Spotlight on: SLAM!


In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, and a better friend—if the competition doesn’t tear you apart! After breaking one of the biggest rules in derby (not to mention an actual collarbone), Knockout and CanCan have a lot of work to do to rehabilitate their bodies and improve their standings in the league.

Let’s talk about Jennifer Chu and Maisie Huff, AKA Knockout and CanCan. How has derby changed these gals and what challenges await them in The Next Jam?

Ribon: Maise and Knockout are both dealing with the fall-out of their last bout—where Knockout left her team behind in order to hand-deliver her best friend to the hospital. Maisie’s got a busted collarbone, and Knockout’s got an entire league talking about whether or not there should be consequences.

Pam, you’ve skated with the L.A. Derby Dolls. What does derby mean to you, and what’s it like translating the sport to comics?

Ribon When I have felt lost and broken, roller derby has built me back up, time and time again. It’s a challenging, all-consuming, heartfelt spectacle of a sport. Translating it into comics has been both an honor and a pleasure. The hardest part is trying to fit it all in! There’s just so much to say about it, so many things I’ve learned about life, friendship, and endurance.

Mar, what do you most look forward to drawing in this series? What inspirations are you pulling from?

Julia: I love making work about girls doing cool things and kicking butt, and that’s basically roller derby right? I’m excited to learn a lot (hopefully) about derby through SLAM! I’ve always been a little interested in it, so now I have an excuse to learn more about it.

Which characters are your favorites?

Ribon: I love all these beautiful weirdos.

Julia: I like all of them, but especially Knockout and Velvet.

What are your derby names?

Ribon: I proudly skated for the LA Derby Dolls as May Q. Holla. (Shout-out to the Varsity Brawlers. We are One! VB!)

Julia: I’m not sure, but my friend suggested ‘Marimo’ because it’s Mar plus I joke about being like a mossball.

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