Featured Review: Represent! #1

Review: Represent! #1

 

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Christian Cooper

Artist: Alitha E Martinez

Letters: Rob Clark Jr.

Colors: Emilio Lopez

 

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan

 

Summary

“I can’t breathe…” – George Floyd

In Christian Cooper and Alitha E.Martinez’s story, Jules, a Black teenager, is given a pair of old binoculars as he heads out for a morning of bird-watching. “I hope young people read it in particular, and that they’re inspired to keep the focus where it needs to be, which is on those we have lost and how we keep from losing more,” said Cooper, while Martinez added, “I wish this story could have been that punctuation of, ‘…and we all lived happily ever after.’ But it just keeps coming.”

Positives

I applaud DC, writer Christian Cooper and artist Alitha E Martinez for tackling this story.  Everyone that has ever read a comic associated with DC knows the phrase “Look…up in the sky…It’s a bird!” and you simply know the rest. 

That phrase has become as iconic as the description that traditionally accompanied Superman in “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”.  Whether Cooper designed “It’s a Bird” to used it to reframe our view or if it was used to simply acknowledge he was bird watching, it’s perfect for us as readers.

It also begs the question, what is “The American Way?” As this should be a simple tale of a young man going out to bird watch and complain about the old set of binoculars given to him by his Dad, it gives the reader a glimpse that nothing is as it seems in this day and age.


Positives 2.0

This comic is more than a story…it’s history…it’s an ignition for conversation..it sparks anger, introspection, and a host of other emotions.  As a reviewer, I respect the book, the art, the writing, the message, and the pages that highlighted those lost at the hands of violence.  

As an educator, I will use it as I use comics to teach on a variety of levels.  As a father, I will use it with my son and daughter to teach them about perceptions, privilege, sociology.  As a friend, I will pass it along and I will listen.  I am an older white man, and I tell my friends this. 

If you go through a neighborhood and only one house is on fire, do you place water on all of the houses?  Or do you address the house on fire?  DC addresses the house(s) on fire…. well done!

 

Negatives

For me, the fact that in the year 2020, this is still an issue.  This is an excellent comic to catapult everyone into conversations, action, and changing your paradigm if you are stuck in one. 

As an older white man who is a college professor, I challenge you to obtain this comic, use it in your classrooms, at your supper tables, and to speak to your friends.  Comics are often used to escape the real world.  In this case, use this comic to change the real world!

Verdict

Well Done DC!  Thanks for initiating a spark to teach, to listen and to learn.  You would be well served to use this resource.  

 

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Carl Bryan

Doc B is a college physical education instructor that has coached numerous sports on the rec, club, and collegiate level. He has a wonderful wife, two awesome kids, and remembers when Kryptonite came in a lot of different forms. He also has learned not to utter "Mxyzptlk" backwards!