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The photo above isn’t from a comic convention or even a new Apple release, but rather the debut over the weekend in Japan of the Jordan X Slam Dunk Collection. More than 300 people reportedly lined up to get their hands on the collaboration between Nike and manga artist Takehiko Inoue.
The collection includes the limited-edition Air Jordan VI ($250), Jordan Super.Fly 3 ($185), two T-shirts and a hat, all featuring Inoue’s artwork and other nods to the bestselling basketball manga (for instance, protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi’s school and jersey number).
Jordan X Slam Dunk launches everywhere else in the world on Nov. 1.
Nike has unveiled its full Jordan X Slam Dunk Collection, inspired by Takehiko Inoue’s bestselling basketball manga.
The all-red upper of the limited-edition Air Jordan VI ($250) features imagery highlighting moments from the series, paying tribute to protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi’s “personal growth and on-court talent.” The Jordan Super.Fly 3 ($185), meanwhile, is described as “the canvas for the new sketches of the Slam Dunk world. The all-black upper provides the perfect backdrop to showcase the continued on-court legacy of Sakuragi. Even the shoebox serves as an additional platform to tell Sakuragi’s continued story.”
As I don’t follow soccer, I recognize only a few of the faces in “Winner Stays,” a four minute-plus ad — heck, it’s a short film — that’s debuted as part of Nike’s promotional campaign for the 2014 World Cup, but I don’t need any team rosters to pick out one of the players: the Incredible Hulk, who makes an appearance at about 2:30.
Now why does Marvel’s Green Goliath have a cameo? You’re asking the wrong guy — hey, I have trouble following the commercial’s plot — but Blastr suggests it’s a case of mistaken identity, as Brazilian player Givanildo Vieira de Souza, aka Hulk, is called in, but the emerald giant appears instead. Watch the full ad below.
Cartoonist Ron Wimberly is a busy man — but not too busy to try something new.
For the past few weeks, the Prince of Cats creator has been working with Nike and advertising agency Weiden & Kennedy comic strip about Detroit Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Launched in September, Calvin & Johnson tells the story of Calvin and how he uses his alter ego (named Johnson) to help manage his life off the field and unleash his speed on the field. The Johnson alter ego is more than just another side of Calvin, as Wimberly states it’s played — in comic form — by rapper/media mogul P. Diddy. If that doesn’t sound like a traditional comic, that’s on purpose; Wimberly says that’s one of the reasons he chose to do it.
“What’s cool about this job is that it’s a comic that you won’t find in a comic book store. It’s not about superheroes,” he told ROBOT 6. “Hell, it’s kind of in the style of yonkoma manga. It stars people of color, made by a person of color. And it’s produced by Nike; they see the value in the medium for everyday folk who are not necessarily initiated in the language of comics. And none of that was deliberate … just happened that way. So that’s cool … rare, but hopefully not for long.”
Despite how well Amanda Conner might be able to slam-dunk a basketball, it’s her artistic ability that’s got her joining forces with Nike on a new campaign. Joining with Star Wars artist Jan Duursema, Conner has created a series of superhero-friendly illustrations promoting Nike’s women’s training line under the title “Make Yourself: A Super Power.” Here’s the artwork released so far, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there are some actual comics in the offing.