Colors: Brittany Peer
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Available: 11/16/16 (go get it!)
So Paul says “Take a look at Slam! from Boom….” and I think of the many times we recommend books to each other and then swipe the review (it’s all good, Paul!). But this was a great recommendation.
This story introduces us to Jennifer and Maisie, two lonely women who discover roller derby and friendship at the same time. Jennifer is recruited at her gym, and Maisie discovers it after her horrible break-up. You get a complete picture in Ribon’s story – how addictive such a physical sport can be, and how it brings you closer to like-minded people. But most of all it’s the story of the genesis of a friendship, bonded through experience, and their first test: being recruited for different teams!
Pamela Ribon’s storytelling is flawless – she picks up on the roughness of roller derby to talk about how some women need this physicality, this fight, to be their best selves. It’s about finding yourself and becoming authentic through something you love. It could be art or writing or dance or knocking women on roller skates on their butts, but once you try it you know that it’s going to make you into the best version of yourself. Through this, two women find the friendship that each needed, and that’s no easy feat either. Most people meet their best friends as children, but what if that didn’t happen for you? How do you make a best friend as an adult? How do you keep that friend?
Veronica Fish is already somebody in comics – she’s been doing brilliant work for several comics publishers, and has a fresh, expressive, powerful style. Her characters are never static, even when they’re sitting or sleeping, and always have some kind of quirk to let you know that they’re real. If you hold your ear to the page, I think you can hear them breathe.
The best thing about this is that it’s a book about women finding friendship and finding themselves, and no one is completely unattractive, but none of them are typical comic book women either. They’re just women of all shapes and sizes, doing what women do at a roller derby: strapping on skates and taking each other down. Now THAT is downright sexy.
This is where I’d normally insert pages from the book, but you can see them all in Paul’s Review of Slam! #1!