Making Curriculum Pop

The artist Wilfred Santiago who was behind the award-winning graphic novel 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is hard at work crafting Michael Jordan - Bull on Parade.


The Chicago Tribune ran a series of interesting articles about Jordan on his 50th birthday last week. This new graphic novel was featured in an op-ed on Jordan's legacy / artist feature about Santiago's project:

Standing in his Skokie apartment, Santiago flipped through a small Moleskine notebook into which he'd drawn the tentative contents of “Bull on Parade.” He stopped on an image of a teenage Jordan skimming a hotel pool during a summer job. “He hated jobs,” Santiago said, then flipped more pages. Santiago said he doesn't follow basketball much. He's just interested in bringing narrative cohesion to Jordan, “to show how he handled his life. Because, after all these years, you just get little sprinkles of how he feels about things.”

Also, the bigger ideas:

Even when he's name-dropped in rap — where, culturally, Jordan seems the most alive — the reference has a ring of ancient history. For instance, Kendrick Lamar's “Michael Jordan” begins with nostalgia: “I used to want to be like Michael Jordan.” Then splashes a colder reality: “Figured I would hit the NBA and make me a fortune.” Even Jay-Z's “Encore,” with arguably the best Jordan reference ever — “When I come back like Jordan/ Wearing the 4-5/ It ain't to play games witchu/ It's to aim at you” — is about a career wane.
When I think of Jordan at all these days I picture a guy so inattentive to his cultural image and importance that he's making underwear commercials and sporting weird little Hitler mustaches and dressing so relentlessly '90s that he inspired a bad-fashion blog, “What the (expletive) Is Michael Jordan Wearing?”
Jordan needs a work of art about himself that will erase the memories of this.

Fantagraphics will be publishing the Graphic Novel in 2014. A press release can be found HERE, Santiago also has a webpage for the book - www.jordancomicbook.com. You can also read a longer interview with the artist including sample images like the one below at the Comics Alliance.

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Replies to This Discussion

This looks really cool. There is so little sports stuff in GNs and very little Jordan stuff at all. Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

Stergios, I figure once and a while I can return the favor :)  I'm glad you dug it and - as usual - love all the reviews. You are the man!  Best - G:)

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