NYC bird watcher Christian Cooper turns racist confrontation into graphic novel

Central Park bird watcher Christian Cooper and comic book artist Alitha Martinez discuss their graphic novel, "It’s a Bird," which tackles racial injustice.
6:47 | 09/17/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for NYC bird watcher Christian Cooper turns racist confrontation into graphic novel
And we turn around the world of comic book so often considered an escape with at big battles between good and evil the powerful and the powerless. But here's a twist remember Christian Cooper of the black Central Park bird watcher who had a confrontation back in May. With a white woman who falsely claimed that he was threatening her after he asked her to lease your dog. The reason conclusive kick off please don't think the senate picking. Please please call the cops. Please call begins. And helmet of African American men threatened by what their African American man. Huge according to let Mike tell him I don't think yeah. Well Chris Cooper has now written a graphic novel illustrated by veteran comic artist a lethal Martinez says. Closely based on that experience and also in the killings of black men and women by police officers. They are book it's a bird is being released today as part of a DC comics books digital first series called represent. The series highlights typically under represented groups in comics and we are fortunate enough to be joined now by Chris Cooper. And a leaf the Martinez thank you both for your time. He jeopardy here so it's a bird follows the story of jewels of black teenage bird watcher who looks through binoculars and seize on the Chris while many people came to know you as a bird watcher you know you actually worked as a comic book. Editor and writer tell us a story of it's a bird and and how the idea came about. Sure. Some folks who I had worked with in the past and know we've remained tight friends over the years. Change your name after. The incident central Americans that hey United's maybe we should do you. A comic book adjust your experiences in the personals like well how about that it's not exactly capes and tights and turning them. But we talked about it a little bit hung. And finally they tossed a title it meaningless and well it does somebody I happen DC and they really liked this title. It's a bird and it took me a second act a series you did there it's a bird look up misguided to play its planes bird. It's if it's a super won't sell. Over the months they gave me the title if I just thought it was so clever just got my in my day engine going in the wheels turning and the story just kind of slowdown in the after wa. And daily thing you're of course well known in the comics world and I should add a rare person of color and a woman in that world. You've illustrated Iron Man in back girl comics among many others. Explain how your own experiences of coming back to this country's a child in being deported colored the images that you brought to life here and also the inclusion of the portrayal of your own son. Yes well journals is my son my son and I travel a lot for the US State Department rural speaker program and legal already United States comic book conventions as well but it was when we returning from North Carolina. The TSA stopped me and because my hyphenated last name. And after bitten back it's what they did let us colonel but I actually saw the transformation in my own child from that innocent second world Justine. All there in. Accepting anyone and everyone accepting him to just it's hard and young man who was a little bit outrage so of course. When this opportunity came to me I had ice did you know wax. This jacket is my sad but this is our experience. And that was my little huge contribution to Christian story. So little yeah. And Ed and Chris at the end of the character jewels. He turns his back on the woman in the park in her words start to get smaller and smaller and you've said that that's because it's not about her anymore it's about the ones that we've lost and how we keep. From losing anymore. Just start with identifying and punishing bad behavior that target's black people specifically what I'm trying to get at is. In your case a Manhattan DA charged Amy Cooper with filing a false police report but you refuse to cooperate in the investigation why. Well I'm very much on the chancellor about I'm of two minds part of me is very much well believes that. There's a principle to be upheld here and and yes she needs to be charged you know to be held accountable part of me is like well you know considering that I suffered no direct arm and considering that. You know she's already lost a job and suffered a lot of a lot of already negative effects. That you know she's already paid a price that the bottom line you know beyond any of that is exactly what I showed in the comic book it's not about her. It's no it to focus on terror is to miss the point and the point is. The underlying reason their racism that runs through our society and to lots of people who don't wanna look at themselves and by focusing on her they managed to avoid looking at themselves. Look at her she did that. Yeah we'll look in the mirror what did you do what what have you done what is. In your life that you should be examining and change and it's to fight this. Dana braces on the run sort. On trips and Lisa would you agree with that you feel Amy Cooper needs to be punished beyond losing her job and being shamed publicly. Well I'm a slightly different opinion than Christian if there is no prosecution. They're not seen cried. It will continue as happens so often it's it's almost comedy. Well today we are also focusing on the book and Chris let me come back here again the book is free and it launches the represents series where can we find it and what do you hope that people take away from it. Sure I hope people get inspired commons should should think about these issues and how there injury how. You know the deaths in the racism how it's all of one piece of all they know it's all from the same off. On and I hope all well also especially the young people needed and they get educated but those I am. Costly surprised at how many young people don't know a lot of these cases that are listed does not allowed in the comic the mentions specific incident since but once 200 people have been killed. And so I hope there's educate. Should that goes on as far as we can find it you can find it at me DC where DC comics dot com. And you want to look for represent shuts the name of comic book series that it's a bird is a part. So what you can find that you'll find the comic and it's absolutely true which I think it's fantastic is more people who needed the back. And only the same question do you what do you hope the people take away from a room. I hope that they understand even. Begin to understandably are only does togetherness we want to see positive change happen we asked to stand together but council votes short. Chris and Eileen we thank you so much for your time. Thank you my pleasure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"6:47","description":"Central Park bird watcher Christian Cooper and comic book artist Alitha Martinez discuss their graphic novel, \"It’s a Bird,\" which tackles racial injustice.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"73062670","title":"NYC bird watcher Christian Cooper turns racist confrontation into graphic novel","url":"/US/video/nyc-bird-watcher-christian-cooper-turns-racist-confrontation-73062670"}