Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Team: The Mad Dollies

It's that time again: time for another installment of Meet the Team! In today's episode, we'll meet the league's most stylish, sophisticated, and funky-fresh team, the Mad Dollies. But first, an addendum to the previous installment: since the graduation of GSORD's first Fresh Meat class (plus one skater transfer), the Elm Street Nightmares have welcomed four new Nightmares to their menacing ranks! Coming soon to a flat track near you, these Night Terrors are sure to bring more of the Nightmares' signature fearlessness.

  • Hitter Miss: An unstoppable jamming juggernaut, Hitter Miss is undeniably fierce. When they try to take her out, the result for opponents is usually "miss."
  • Soul Sucker: Another super-fast jammer, whose speed and agility cause opponents to question their very existence.
  • Thistle Killya: During your last moments on the track before being taken out by Thistle Killya, you won't be able to ignore her beautiful face, adorned with the woad that ennerved her Scottish ancestors.
  • Butternut Squasher: With her quick and devastating hits, Butternut adds a savory dish of pain to the Nightmares' lineup.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. The Mad Dollies are ladies worthy of being placed on the proverbial pedestal. They're also known by their signature ensemble in the hues of teal and yellow, colors that complement one another just as the Dollies provide balance and symmetry on the track. The Dollies are known for a calculated and coordinated style of play. Opponents rarely see the strategy being executed by the Dollies until it's too late.

Some facts about the individual Dollies:

  • Shrimp n' Grit: Team captain of the Dollies, her glamour is unmatched in the derby world. Shrimpy's outspoken pivoting keeps her teammates informed about the goings-on on the track. Fierce things come in small packages, and opponents are wise to be intimidated by Shrimpy's grit.
  • East Pound-her Down: Shrimpy's co-captain, East Pound-her Down (known as PD for short) goes after her opponents with a cool resolve. PD's gifts also include almost superhuman agility. Her moves on the track are elegant and unpredictable. One hit from PD and you're effing out.
  • Betty Rumble: This first-class jammer usually has a smile on her face as she effortlessly glides around the track, passing the pack again and again. Her lithe style makes jamming look easy. We know it ain't. But, as Betty knows, it sure is fun.
  • Jess the Ripper: What do you get when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? You get Jess the Ripper, who is both. One hit from Jess proves that you don't know Jack.
  • Ann What?!: This natural pivot is known for her laser-like hits and her decisive nature. Local legend suggests that her name comes from the soul-searching questions opponents ask after being floored by Ann What?! She is also the only player in the league with the chutzpah to sport an interrobang.
  • Elizabeth Hauntgomery: That chill you just felt on the back of your neck? That's Haunt's calling card. Jammers tell stories about Haunt's blocking around their campfires. The real fright, though, comes when Haunt haunts the track as a jammer herself. Who you gonna call?
  • Carnegie Brawl: The society papers are all abuzz about Carnegie Brawl. Jammers making their debut on the track with Brawl experience all manner of anxiety. As well they should; a hit from Brawl will have you taking a bow. Side note: Carnegie Brawl is no fan of any Nightmare, but is especially unfond of the Nightmares' Miller Lightnin'. No one knows for sure what heinous act precipitated the feud, but some sources indicate that it began when Miller and Brawl collided on the track with such force that both forgot significant portions of their childhood and damaged the areas of their brains responsible for self restraint and table manners.
  • AlaBAMison: This balanced player blocks and jams with ease. Stars fall when AlaBAMison makes her way around the track.
  • Snarl Jung: A formidable blocker, Snarl Jung dominates the dreams of opposing jammers. And when Snarl takes to the track, the opposition becomes collectively unconscious.
  • Scary Splice: She'll tell you what she wants, what she really really wants: to hit you really hard and take you out of bounds.
  • Heluva Hooker: This all-around player fishes for jammers and delivers a devastating hookshot that opponents don't even see coming. When she takes the jammer line herself, blockers practically bounce off her left and right.

In addition to these seasoned players, the Mad Dollies would like to welcome their new Babydollies:

  • Hitstompapotamus: She's Hitstompapotamus and her energy is bottomless. Stomp's a promising jammer as well as a gifted positional blocker.
  • C*ntry Ham: She's salty, savvy, and she packs quite a punch. Take one hit from C*ntry Ham and say goodbye, because we'll see you next Tuesday!
  • Ellie Mae Crammit: If you're blocking against Crammit, you may as well sit a spell and take your skates off, because there's no way you'll stop her.  
  • Rusty Syringe: Have you had your tetanus shot? Make sure you're up to date on all of your immunizations before you share the track with Rusty. Her jabs give opposing players lockjaw.
  • Alexandroid: Don't try to outmaneuver the machine. A hit from Alexandroid will send you plummeting into the uncanny valley.

Of course, players and captains need the guidance of a coach. The Dollies' coach, El Gaucho, knows each player's strengths and challenges well. El Gaucho skillfully crafts player combinations and lineups so devastating that the Dollies become practically unstoppable.

The Mad Dollies will be bouting against the Elm Street Nightmares in October. But you can meet the Dollies at any of the league's upcoming events, such as Tate Street Fest. See our website or Facebook page (don't forget to click "like"!) for more details.

Watch this space for the next, and final, installment of Meet The Team: The Battleground Betties!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fly Derby Fliers

Advertisement and marketing are important with any product.  Derby is really no different, especially if your league aims to be an active and competitive sports league.  Yet another rad thing about roller derby is the production aspect of the sport, which in turn allows for some serious creativity in the public relations department.  Give your bout a theme, and you give it life.  Flier art in roller derby is arguably some of the most interesting marketing in the sporting world.
Here are two vintage roller derby fliers:

Check out some of the artwork from these derby leagues:
1.  Atlanta Roller Girls:

This may be one of my favorite derby bout fliers I have seen to date.  Apart from the apparent awesomeness of a big booty (of which GSORD is especially appreciative as owners and lovers), this flier is eye catching and therefore serves its number one purpose:  advertisement.  You cannot miss this flier.  It's not just the butt of the skater, but the decision that the artist made to create a single image to fill the composition and extend beyond the frame created on the poster.  It isn't cluttered, and I like that.  Also, I like that this illustration goes against a very typical image of the tattooed, svelte, white and blonde derby skater. 

2.  Cape Fear Roller Girls:

I love this flier. The artist chose a visual theme to match their bout title "Derby is Victory", and came up with a kickass composition and allusion that works really well with the fierceness and camaraderie of derby.  I like that pretty much only 3 colors (and shades) were used, as it allows an active picture to be busy without being too confusing or heavy (of course, the colors are thematic as well).  The artist also does not neglect the details and effects that can be achieved through lettering.

3., 4., and 5.  The Naptown Roller Girls:
The next 3 fliers are from Naptown.   I have found that, as a league, I really appreciate their bout posters.  Their artist(s) work really well within a theme, and therefore create interesting and professional posters. The "War of the Wheels", "Scar Wars", and "Beat My Valentine" posters are some of my favorites. 

They follow a very similar format, which some people may dislike, but I'm ok with that because they are executed so well. 

 The "Beat My Valentine" is my favorite of the three.  I love the use of space and the juxtaposition of the "girly" colors with the proclivity for rough housing (to say the least). 

6. and 7.  Philly Roller Girls

I like the movement that is created in #6 (the orange/yellow) with the slope of the track and the slant of the wording.  I also really like the varying shades of one color as being the predominant tone of the composition.  Even though I dislike that the general aesthetic of a derby dame is often geared to one type of woman, what I do appreciate about this skater is the boldness of her face and hair.  This figure embodies a general badass attitude that derby women feel and exude, though it may not show in every woman through tattoos and "edgy" haircuts.  The great thing about derby is all types of skaters are valued. 

The flier with the soldier (#7) is awesome because it utilizes their city's heritage, but with a derby spin.

8.  River City Roller Girls

I think that most of the Gate City Roller Girls and other supporting league members would agree that so far in our league's history the River City Roller Girls have given us one of the best away matches and after party thus far.  That's just a shoutout for good league sportsmanship and hospitality.  It makes sense that those sassy and creative women would advertise with great posters.  One reason I like this flier is that the artist does not feel the need to incorporate a female figure.  I love the female body, but I think it's pretty cool that an interesting poster has been made without using a human form.  I also think this poster is pretty classy, while still holding onto the attraction to gore that is ingrained in the performance aspect of the sport.  There's a minimalist appeal in this poster. 

9.  Greensboro Roller Derby

I have to applaud one of Greensboro's own artists for creating one of my favorite GSORD fliers to date.  Jordan Grace Owens created a very simple, classy, and elegant flier.  Without knowing too much about the teams, she managed to capture the aesthetic of the Battleground Betties and the Mad Dollies in her artwork.  She worked with only two colors, and the result had a very vintage feel to me.  

10.  Charm City Roller Girls

In this flier Charm City (a lovely team we got to know while at the aforementioned River City bout) plays the Carolina Bootleggers, a team close to our hearts.  This flier is pretty awesome because it goes for a pretty standard comic book theme with the illustration, and it is executed really well.  It reminds me of the vintage derby posters (posted above). 

Please comment with links to some of your favorite fliers!

Derby love!
--Ann What?!  #36 Chambers

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome Home GSORD!

On Saturday, July 30th, Greensboro Roller Derby rolled out the welcome mats and invited the community to check out their new practice space in (finally!) Greensboro.  After over a year of practicing in High Point, the league finally found a home to call their own.  The celebration featured live music, artwork displays from local artists, two roller derby expo bouts, food, face painting, water balloons to beat the heat, and dj’s spinning music late into the night.  For those curious about how they would look as a derby girl or ref, hand-painted cut-outs for pictures provided the perfect opportunity.  
Live music from Big Rob's yet-to-be-named band warmed up the crowd as the teams for the first bout of the night warmed up on the track.  GSORD’s first graduating class of new skaters or Fresh Meat as they’re fondly referred to, were up to show off their skills in a mini bout after 6 months of hard work and passing their assessments.  The theme of the night was the 1990’s and in keeping with that, the Ravers took on the Grungies.  This was their first time bouting in an event and these girls brought it!  It was a close and hard fought battle but in the end the Grungies took the win 79 to 75. You’ll want to watch for these girls in future bouts because they are soon to be big contenders.
Up next, the lovely sounds of Emily Stewart and The Baby Teeth entertained the crowd while the grill kept them fed.  Meanwhile, it was time for the veteran skaters to take to the track and warm-up for the next expo bout called Saved by the Hell.  In this epic battle, the A.C. SLAYters were up against the Kelly KaPOWskis.  The fast-paced action kept the crowd on their toes and the teams kept it close.  It was another hard fought one; however, the KaPOWskis put the kibosh on the SLAYters, 108 to 102.
The rockin’ Decoration Ghost played into the night while the crowd of derby girls and guests mingled.  The space was then opened up for a dance party, as D.Js Larry and Prez kept the crowd going late into the night, fueling the nostalgia with 90’s hip hop and dance music.
It was a great opportunity for Greensboro to check out what their roller derby league is all about and how hard they work.  If you haven’t been to a bout yet, keep up with the schedule on the website and Facebook.  Make it a priority to see how amazing this league is and what an awesome addition to Greensboro they make.