Slam! The Next Jam begins immediately after the events of the first volume. Jennifer, aka Knockout, ditched her team during a bout to help her best friend Maisie, aka CanCan. This has caused a rift in the roller derby community as the decision to let Knockout play again is being decided.

With Knockout’s fate in limbo and CanCan healing from a broken collarbone, the girls try to keep their friendship strong while both of their lives become more and more busy. They juggle jobs, school, their teams, family, and new relationships—meaning the girls’ friendship is sometimes pushed to the side.

Roller derby falls to the background in this volume. After the setup in the first one, Ribon focuses on the girls and their lives outside of the sport. Knockout and CanCan are extremely likable. They feel like girls you know in real life and you wish you could be as cool as them. We also meet the other team members and get glimpses into some of their lives, which shows more diverse women. Ribon is great at fully-forming a character in just the span of one page.

Illustrator Marina Julia is new to the series in this volume, but her artwork fits in seamlessly. With bright colors and expressive characters, it’s perfect for the world of tough, smart, strong women of roller derby.

The Slam series deserves as much attention as other realist graphic novels. It depicts amazing female characters and really focuses on their relationships with each other rather than romance. Pair this with Lady Castle and bask in the female empowerment.

Slam!: The Next Jam
By Pamela Ribon
Art by Marina Julia
ISBN: 9781684151202
BOOM! Box, 2018

  • Lisa

    Past Reviewer

    Lisa Clark has worked at the Kenton County Public Library (KY) since 2005. She’s done a little bit of everything including shelving, working at the reference desk, scheduling, graphic design, editing, grant writing, and more. Currently she works in the children’s department and maintains the collection by weeding and ordering materials. She also leads the adult writers group at the library and writes read alike recommendations for Novelist. With a BA in English Literature from Northern Kentucky University, Lisa has always had a passion for reading. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she likes to run, watch TV shows and movies with her husband, and listen to podcasts.

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