Chris Cooper should be famous for being Marvel Comics’ first openly gay writer and editor, for introducing some of the first canon gay characters in major comic books, and for his editing work on Blade, The Punisher, and Star Trek comics.⠀
Instead, on May 25th, 2020, the same day that George Floyd was killed, Cooper became famous when a film of him being harassed, threatened, and lied about to police by a white woman breaking the leash laws in New York Central Park while he was peacefully birdwatching was released online. ⠀
Then, he became infamous for refusing to press charges against the woman, despite the cries for justice–any justice–that were sweeping across America.⠀
So, I wasn’t sure what to expect from his comic based on the event, now available for free via Amazon Kindle and DC Comics. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be any good–interesting, perhaps, but not good. ⠀
But it is good, and definitely worth your time. The art is clean, the pace is quick, and the story it tells is necessary. While it’s based on Cooper’s frightening Central Park experience it doesn’t really make direct reference to Cooper himself. It does reference George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Amadou Diallo, and quite a few others on the heartbreaking list of Black people killed unjustly due to police violence. They come to the mind of a kid named Jules. He’s birding in a park when he’s confronted by suspicious white people who threaten him with cops and lies, and their specters remind him to walk away. The ghosts of the victims don’t give him strength or come to his rescue. They just stand nearby sadly as this kid, who’s done nothing wrong but be Black while birding in the park on a nice morning like countless others do…just walks away, and lives to bird another day, while the memories of those who weren’t so lucky stand sadly by. ⠀
Make of that what you will. ⠀
5 stars and continued cries of #BlackLivesMatter for Represent! #1: It’s A Bird.
(No affiliate links in this blog entry, beautiful people but do download this comic on Amazon, DC, or any major ebook or comic seller online. Peace!)