Review: Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade
Everyone knows the legend of Michael Jordan: The Chicago Bulls, Nike shoes, minor league baseball. In Bull on Parade, Wilfred Santiago digs in a bit and lifts the veil of the man behind the legend. The graphic novel, published by Fantagraphics, is Santiago’s follow up to 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente.
15 seasons. 1,072 games. 41,011 minutes of basketball. That alone could fill up volumes of exciting graphic novels, as Jordan rose from team reject to basketball god. Santiago has a lot to work with, and takes the man’s legendary life and condenses it into a one big theme, how Jordan went from basketball player to as much of a product as the items he later was paid to endorse.
Santiago also has no problem showing that it’s not all shine, and touches upon the more controversial aspects of Jordan’s life including his infidelity and gambling habits, things that are often overlooked at when discussing his rise. There’s also the failure of his baseball career, and retirement and return to basketball. None of it is very deep, instead touching upon key aspects of his career and life. From his sometimes scandalous and tragic private life to Jordan’s intense battles with the “bad boy” Pistons, Clyde Drexler’s Trailblazers, and the unrelenting Utah Jazz of the late ’90s, Santiago is able to induce a sense of dynamism and awe as he takes on Jordan’s life on and off the court.
The excitement that was Jordan and his Chicago Bulls is brought to life with Santiago’s style that’s beautiful to look at. It’s a kinetic style for a kinetic personality, and the graphic novel is as entertaining to read as it is to look at.
For all those who have strapped on a pair of Air Jordans, donned the number 23, or wished they could be “like Mike,” the graphic novel is a must read. So just sit back, let your tongue hang out, and marvel at Wilfred Santiago’s mastery of the life and times of Michael Jordan in Bull on Parade.
Story and Art: Wilfred Santiago
Story: 8.25 Art: 9 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Fantagraphics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review