Author: Kristal Starr

Goners Volume 1: We All Fall Down

Writer: Jacob Semahn
Artist: Jorge Corona
Image Comics
Street: 04.29

If you like tales of horror, demons, monsters, family legacy and grim fairy tales, Goners is something you will enjoy.  With brightly emotive artwork and a storyline that eventually captures your attention, Goners is an adventure you won’t easily forget. Goners does not squander any time and jumps right into the action.  On the first few pages you witness the death of Raleigh and Evelyn Latimer.  By the end of the book you find out that they are humanity’s last defense against demons and monsters trying to take over the world. they became extremely popular with a reality show about their endeavours,  Their death is witnessed by their children, Josiah and Zoe who watch the tragic death of their on live television.  Not a moment later, after witnessing the death, the brother and sister team are being attacked by ghoulish demon type monsters and the adventure begins, as Josiah and Zoe try to learn the “family business” and solve the mystery of their parent’s death. I hard time following the storyline, it felt unclear and very irregular and broken.  With flashbacks and jumping from storyline to storyline I wasn’t sure about what was going on.  However, the artwork kept me interested and I didn’t mind that I had to go back and read it for a second time. Goners is worth the read and second read and if you like bright, magana type artwork the visual adventure makes it worth adding it to your comic book reading list. –Kristal Starr

The Sixth Gun: Days Of The Dead
Writers: Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt
Artists: Mike Norton, Bill Crabtree

Oni Press
Street: 06.10

As a fan of Western Fiction and horror, I had high hopes for The Sixth Gun, and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.  The illustration drew me in and the story, although a little slow at first, kept me engaged and excited to see what would happen next in this Old West gun-slinging story.  With a cast you would expect in a western, like cathouse owners, Civil War castoffs, Pinkerton agents and preachers, this story not only tickles and delights my enjoyment of western stories, it also brightened my dark little horror fanatic soul with a hanging tree and plenty of gunslinging action and dark characters. Missy Hume a mysterious woman with unclear motives, enlists Pinkerton agents to find a valuable gun that belonged to her late husband General Oliander Hume, currently in the hands of a preacher.  However, the perplexing gun falls into the hands of his daughter, Becky Montcrief, who discovers the gun has supernatural powers and imprints itself to the person who uses it after the previous owner passes away.  Only Becky is able to wield the gun and bad people are after her. The illustrations seem a bit cartoony at first glance.  However, Brian Hurtt’s art comes to life as he conjures the horrors on the pages and story’s action increases.  While portraying the action and horror in a way that draws you into the story rather than distracting you, he also does an amazing job at depicting the period costumes and settings. The Sixth Gun is a perfect mash-up of western and horror wrapped up into a highly entertaining comic. This was an excellent start to what I feel is going to be one of my new top comics to read. —Kristal Starr

The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Ben Dewey

Image Comics
Street: 07.01

If you enjoy fantasy, even  just a  little bit, then The Autumnlands is right up your alley.  With anthropomorphic animals who are every bit as charming and varied in personalities as any human character and just as intriguing and cheer-worthy as any superhero, Autumnlands captures the imagination with its beautiful artwork, but was a little overwhelming with all the character introductions and developments. To avoid stepping into spoiler territory—much of the story’s entertainment comes from not knowing what is going to happen—a brief and broad explanation of this story is that this story takes place in a world where magic is dying.  The world is a high fantasy setting,  characters give prayers to their multitudes of Gods and travel on flying cities powered by magic spells.  The characters try to find a way to renew the magic and stop a potential revolt. Kurt Busiek is an excellent story teller, and although Autumnlands is a slow burn and it took awhile for me to get into the story, I can see all the potential this comic has to offer.  The art of Ben Dewey was very pleasing to the eyes and several of the pages warranted a second or third look.  If the story doesn’t draw you in and make you feel like you are visiting a true fantasy land, the art surely will.  Although the story took sometime to pick up they left on a cliffhanger and has me wanting to pick up the second volume. —Kristal Starr

JCRD faced off with SCDG’s elite roller derby team on Feb 28. Photo: D.E.sign
Roller derby season is here! I mean, unless you’re a roller derby person—for you, it’s ALWAYS roller derby season. However, now is the time the bouts start happening on a more regular basis, and the games that count for your roller derby team’s rankings will be played over the next few months.
Ogden’s Junction City Roller Dolls kicked off their season opener with an all-weekend multi-bout, held at the Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden. Junction City Roller Dolls welcomed several teams to their home turf. In attendance for the weekend were the Sacred City Derby Girls (Sacramento, CA), Pikes Peak Derby Dames (Colorado Springs, CO), Grand Junction Roller Girls (Grand Junction, CO) and our local Salt Lake City team, Wasatch Roller Derby.
Junction City’s first game of the multi-bout weekend was Saturday at 6 p.m., where one of their travel teams, the Trainwrecks, faced the SCDG Sacrificers. The Sacred City Derby Girls are Sacramento’s number-one-ranked flat track roller derby team, and they are ranked 55 in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (JCRD comes in at 88th ranked). The rankings are for roller derby teams that are registered with the WFTDA with over 300 registered teams nationwide.
As the teams lined up on the track, on sight alone they seemed evenly matched. If you did not know the background of the two teams, you might be expecting a close-fought game. The first jam started and the Sacrificer’s jammer, Ariel la Twister, took the position of lead jammer, passing through the pack several times and earning SCRG 20 points.  The SCDG defense effectively held the JCRD jammer, Pickles, and kept her from scoring any points.
The bout continued in a similar fashion, SCDG continued to score big, JCRD continued to play hard, push their limits and fight to stop the Sacred City Sacrificers. The first jammer from JCRD to gain lead jammer and put some points on the board for Junction City was Pickles. She fought and broke through the tough defense of the SCDG, met by huge cheers from the crowd.
At halftime, the score was Junction City 13, Sacred City 128.
Yes, 13 to 128! What surprised me was how hard Junction City continued to fight and how excited the crowd would get to see their home team make lead jammer or put up any points. This game wasn’t just about winning, it was about playing a hard game, ilearning from a better team and, most importantly, showing the roller derby fans a weekend full of truly talented athletes.
The Sacrificers held the Trainwrecks at 13 points for the first of the second half, but with twelve minutes left on the clock, Malibu Harpy of Junction City broke through the tight defensive wall of the Sacrificers, taking the position of the lead jammer and picking up three points for the Trainwrecks. Later in the second half, JCRD’s Bee A Tricks put up some points for the team. The crowd lifted the roof with their cheers and applause. The city of Ogden love and support their derby girls.
The game was a tough one for JCRD’s Trainwrecks, but the excitement from the crowd and the smiles on all of the players’ faces were not lost with the game.
Final score:
JCRD Trainwrecks: 26
SCDG Sacrificers: 254
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Rollin Rebellion faced off against the Sirens of Steel at the season opener for HVDD. Photo: Void Pointer
Approximately 40 miles south of downtown Salt Lake City is Utah County, home to the Happy Valley Derby Darlins (HVDD). HVDD is a WFTDA Member League with one travel team, the Molly Morbids, and three home teams: Daughters of Anarchy, Rollin’ Rebellion, and Sirens of Steel. They also offer for their beginner/recreational skaters a chance to play with the Bridal Veil Dolls.
This past weekend the Happy Valley Derby Darlins hosted their season opener at the UVU UCCU Event Center in Orem, Utah. Featured in the event were three thirty minute bouts showcasing their home teams. The season opener also featured the first official scrimmage of the Bridal Veil Dolls.
As the Bridal Veil Dolls (Black vs White) took the track for warmups the crowd’s excitement matched the anticipation and nervousness of some of the players. For some of these skaters, this would be their first time playing roller derby in front of a crowd. As the teams lined up for their first jam of the evening, the nerves on some of the player’s faces could be seen across the stadium. When the first whistle sounded, it was like the nerves melted away with the action. The white team’s jammer, Raven Mad, made her way through the pack and became the lead jammer. Because this team is the HVDD intermediate team the action was a little slower and it was a perfect way to start the event. The slower action allowed for new roller derby spectators to catch on to how the game was played and allowed for some of the veteran spectators to more easily explain what was happening.
Although the action was a little slower, it does not mean it was void of action. The teams were very evenly matched and the score stayed fairly close through the entire duration of the game (fifteen minutes). With some pretty impressive defense from the black team’s Elbow Brite, and some solid hits from the white team’s Saucy Aussie, you could tell these women have been practicing hard and loved playing the sport. Final Score on this debut scrimmage was Black 48, White 42.
The next game to up on the agenda was the thirty minute bout between the Sirens of Steel and the Rollin Rebellion.
Both teams lined up on the track and the first jam was underway. Bursting her way through the pack, the Rollin Rebellion’s Thrasher, took lead jammer and came away from the first jam with 19 points. This game was definitely faster paced than the previous game and you could tell the girls on the track had been working hard on their roller derby skills during the off season.
The Rebellions continued to rack up the points with jammers Bizzie scoring 35 points and Red A Whip scoring 40 points within the first 10 jams. The Sirens fought hard, but their jammers struggled to gain lead due to the tough defense of the Rebellions led by Bloody 2shoes and BreakHer.
About the seventh jam into the game, the Rebellions sent out their jammer Amazon Ambush, who attempted to jump the apex. Amazon’s attempt fell a little short when she fell on top of the pack, taking down the majority of the players on the track, leading to her ejection from the game.
Sirens of Steel continued to fight the tough defense and the seemingly unstoppable jammers of the Rollin Rebellion. The Juker from the Sirens put some much-needed points on the board for her team as did Kya Boom and Demo. Still, it wasn’t enough to stop the Rebellions from winning 150 to 51.
The next half bout featured the Daughters Of Anarchy taking on the Rollin Rebellions. The Rebellions were hot off their win against the Sirens of Steel—literally hot. They were all sweaty and pumped up! All their players were back in play for this game, including Amazon Ambush.
After the fifth jam it was evident that the hot streak was continuing for the Rebellions, with the score standing at 24 to 51. With the DoA’s jammers fighting to put up points, the Rebellions BreakHer and Bloody continued to be a tough defense to break.
Amazon Ambush, well rested after her expulsion from the last game, came up to the line to jam for the Rebellions, with help from her team and her determined fearless skating style she pushed through the pack and became lead jammer, putting up 14 points. Amazon was so much fun to watch on the track, not only was she fearless as a jammer, her blocking was fierce and almost stealthy. Oftentimes she came out of nowhere with a big hit, surprising the spectators and the person she just knocked down. Our little section of spectators named Amazon Ambush the “M.E.P.” (Most Entertaining Player) of the game. She skated fearlessly and strong. After the game, I asked Amazon what, if anything, changed on how she played the second game, Amazon gave me a big grin and a laugh and said, “My team told me, ‘Don’t do any stupid shit’ and I took it to heart.”
Final score: Daughters of Anarchy 55, Rollin Rebellion 167.
In the final bout of the evening, we saw the Daughters of Anarchy take on the Sirens of Steel. The Sirens of Steel’s The Juker and Daughter of Anarchy’s Pain in the Nikki were the first jammers on the track. Off to a big start, both jammers put up big points for their team. The defense was much more evenly matched for this bout. However, towards the end, the Daughters of Anarchy’s exhaustion started to show.
The final score for the final bout of the evening: Daughter’s of Anarchy 78, Sirens of Steel 103.
Happy Valley Derby Darlins sure know how to hold a season opener. Displaying all their home teams skills and highlighting all skill level of players they have. Looks like they will have an exciting season ahead of them, and all their fans and players won’t be disappointed with the performance.
If you would like to learn more about Happy Valley Derby Darlins, get their schedule, find out how you can sign up to skate with the HVDD or volunteer to help out at a game, check out their webpage and like them on Facebook.
Thanks to photographer Void Pointer. To see more awesome roller derby photos, check out his Facebook and his webpage.
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The Molly Morbids and Bonneville Bone Crushers faced off on 03.21. Photo: Void Pointer
Over the weekend, Wasatch Roller Derby (WRD) hosted a double header on their home track, located at the Derby Depot (1415 South 300 West). The first bout featured the Happy Valley Derby Darlins’ travel team, the Molly Morbids, taking on WRD’s travel team, the Bonneville Bone Crushers, followed by a bout between two of Wasatch’s home teams: The Black Diamond Divas vs The Hot Wheelers.
The Molly Morbids made the trek up from the valley of happiness, bringing with them their fans, friends and families. Signs, chants, cheers and excitement filled the northwest corner of the Derby Depot as the Morbids took the track.
The excitement in the room increased as the Bonneville Bone Crushers’ fans noticed their team lining up on the track. The Derby Depot is a warehouse that is often times a bit chilly on cold or even warmish nights, but I am always surprised at how quickly the place warms up once the excitement begins.
The jam whistle sounded and the two teams wasted no time getting into action. Sookie Slaphouse, jamming for BBC, jumped off the jammer line and dove into the pack of blockers, pushing and fighting her way to the front of the pack, ultimately coming away with lead jammer and putting up double digit points for her team.
The Molly Morbids fought hard over the next few jams and their jammers Demoraliza, The Juker* and Pain in the Nikki pushed through the tough defensive wall of the BBC, earning lead jammer status and score points for the Molly Morbids.
The halftime score was Molly Morbids: 61, Bonneville Bone Crushers: 128.
If you were to judge the game by just looking at the score, you might assume that the BBC were were dominating on the track, but the Molly Morbids were not giving up the points easily. Hard hits from the Molly Morbids’ blockers Breakher, Scarlet Viper and Cookie* made the BBC earn each and every point they scored.
During this game, we saw a great deal of jammer-on-jammer action, which you don’t often see. Usually, the jammer’s main focus is offense, getting through the pack and scoring as many points as possible. This game, we saw a fair amount of the jammers taking each other on, hitting the other one out of play and more aggressive defense from the jammers than in an average game. I believe because of this more aggressive jamming we saw lots more penalties being called on the jammers and more power jam opportunities for both teams.
While the Bonneville Bone Crushers were able to hold the Molly Morbids jammers fairly successfully during their power jams, only allowing the Morbids to score an average of 4 points per power jam, the BBC were able to optimize their power jam situations by using more effective strategies. The BBC defense, led by Ariel Assault*, Chiquita WabamYa and Mad Eye Molly, worked together to get their jammers through the Morbids defense, scoring on average 12 points during their power jams.
Both teams fought hard and it was a fantastic game to watch, but ultimately the Bonneville Bone Crushers skated away with the win, led by their MVP jammer Sookie, whose skating techniques, style and improvement have been fantastic to watch. Her skinny gazelle legs helped her jump through the pack, while her determination and push when getting through the pack can be seen on her face from the stands. A spectator like myself can’t help but watch and wonder how she does it. How do those delicate, long legs provide so much power? Where does her power come from? Sookie is a machine.
It was a great game to watch, impressive derby skills, strategies and skating from both teams.
Final score: Molly Morbids: 61, Boneville Bone Crushers: 128
(* Voted MVP for the game)
Black Hearts' Scissorella holds the Cherry Bombs ' jammer.
Black Hearts’ Scissorella holds the Cherry Bombs’ jammer. Photo: Jason Santti
The Red Rockettes are Utah’s only strictly recreational roller derby league. Being around roller derby in Salt Lake City, I have heard different questions and statements about this group of skaters. Some spectators think they’re just your average recreational team. When I asked a skater from another league what she thought of them, she said, “Oh, The Rockettes? Well, they dress cute.” One time, I even heard one of the officials say, “Well, if you’re not serious about roller derby, they are the team to skate with.” Sure, they might dress cute, but to say they are just a recreational league doesn’t give the Red Rockettes the respect that they deserve. If you’re interested in roller derby, it is a great place to start, and everyone needs to start somewhere.

 

From eager student to successful surgeon, from seasoned veteran skater to brand-new baby deer–leg skater, the women who skate with the Rockettes come from all walks of life and all levels of skating skills. The league welcomes all levels of skaters, spectators and officials. Quite a few people began their love for roller derby here with the Red Rockettes.

 

The Rockettes split into two teams for their bouts—the Cherry Bombs and the Black Hearts. As the teams took the track for warmups, you could feel the excitement building in the warehouse, the crowd eager to see their friend/daughter/mother/coworker play roller derby for the first time. With lots of practice, patience and determination to pass their minimum skills, these girls were noticeably excited and nervous.

 

With the sound of the whistle, the first jam began and the swelling excitement in the warehouse burst into cheering and shouting. The Cherry Bombs jammer, Chasey Jones, wasted no time jumping off the jammer line, pushing through the pack and picking up lead jammer status. Over the next few jams, it was easy to see that these two teams were pretty evenly matched and the strategy, skills and endurance the skaters had been working on were paying off.

 

The Cherry Bombs quickly took and held on to the lead for the first half of the game. However, not to be underestimated, the Black Hearts quickly rallied and began to push their offense and defense, giving the Cherry Bombs a fight for the lead.

 

With big points from their jammers—Lucky Vixen and Darth Jader—the Black Hearts narrowed the score. The Cherry Bombs—determined to keep the lead—pushed back, tightening their defense led by their blocker Jammy Dodger. They laid down some impressive hits and strategic blocking, holding the Black Hearts from scoring. The Cherry Bombs expanded their lead when their jammer, Punchface Momma, picked up 31 points with a power jam.

 

The halftime score reflected the power and determination of the Cherry Bombs with 150 points to the Black Hearts’ 77.

 

The Cherry Bombs’ lead did not dampen the Black Hearts’ perseverance to come away with the win. Bringing her team’s forces together and pushing for the fight, the Black Hearts’ jammer, Scissorella, successfully held the Cherry Bombs’ jammer, forcing a penalty and allowing a power jam to happen for Lucky Vixen, who was able to pick up 19 points for their team.

 

During the second half of the game, we saw the Black Hearts push hard, and then the Cherry Bombs push back a little bit harder.

 

The Cherry Bombs jammer, Taboo, seemed unstoppable in the second half. Jumping, pushing and juking through the Black Hearts’ defense, she seemed to not be physically fazed from the battle on the track. She picked up big points for her team with several power jams and quick skating.

 

The Black Hearts fought hard, but it was not enough to take down the Cherry Bombs.

 

Final Score: Cherry Bombs 242, Black Hearts 174.

 

The Red Rockettes invite anyone and everyone to come and learn the sport of roller derby. Whether you want to become a skater, spectator or NSO (non-skating official), they are always looking and excited for new people interested in the sport.

 

The Rockettes practice every Thursday from 7pm-10pm and their sessions run 12 weeks, ending with a bout on the 12th week. Roller derby has always been a DIY sport and could use all the support and volunteers possible, and joining the Red Rockettes is a fantastic place to start. The new session for the Rockettes begins April 2nd and will end in June with a bout. Be sure to come check them out—they scrimmage every third Thursday of the month and it is a great place to start learning the sport of roller derby.

 

To get in contact with the Red Rockettes, check out their Facebook page.
Or contact them by email at: redrockettes@gmail.com
Thank you to Jason Santti for the photos. Want more awesome roller derby photos? Check out his Facebook page: Stroker Ego 
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