Slam!: The Next Jam #2
When comic art works well, sometimes it becomes invisible, making it easy for readers to concentrate on the events of the story. When it doesn’t work, though, the comic falls flat, and readers may not even realize why.
I liked the first Slam! series, written by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Veronica Fish. It had character-driven action and an intriguing cast. Then the series was restarted with a new artist, Marina Julia.
Unfortunately, as seen in Slam!: The Next Jam #2, Julia isn’t doing as good a job. Backgrounds are nearly non-existent. Characters are flat, out of proportion, and static. For a comic with such a dynamic setting as roller derby, there needs to be more motion and fluidity. It’s hard to follow the action, since it can be unclear exactly what’s going on. Panels seem to be chosen based on having fewer things to draw. All this can be seen in these preview pages.
The covers, above and below, are still good, though — shame they don’t represent the contents.
Since the writing isn’t amateur-level, there isn’t a lot of name repetition or plot exposition. As a result, I found it hard to follow what was going on or even to remember which characters were which. This is disappointing, since I’d previously enjoyed seeing a continuing story about what it felt like to play roller derby. Now, I suspect that this second try at Slam! will also be four issues and out. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)