Artist Quits Superman Book Over Orson Scott Card Furor

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Artist Quits Superman Book Over Orson Scott Card Furor


Artist Chris Sprouse says he's not comfortable with the media uproar over Orson Scott Card's participation in the Adventures of Superman comic.

Orson Scott Card is a pretty good storyteller, but he's also kind of a terrible human being. The Ender's Game author is infamous for his criticism of homosexuality and virulent opposition to same-sex marriage; he serves on the board of the National Organization of Marriage, a political group that works to oppose same-sex marriage in the U.S., and said in in 2008 that he would "act to destroy" any government that legalized it. In a 2004 essay entitled "Homosexual 'Marriage' and Civilization," he described same-sex marriage as a "potentially devastating social experiment" and argued that gay men and women are not actually being discriminated against because they have the same legal right to get married as everyone else - to a member of the opposite sex.

But, he's a pretty good storyteller, and thus he found himself among the writers working on Adventures of Superman, a collection of Superman short stories by various authors that's coming out in April. DC's announcement of his participation last month went over about as well as you'd expect, as fans and retailers called for boycotts of the book and the website All Out launched a petition [https://www.allout.org/en/actions/dccomics-osc] demanding his removal, which has thus far attracted over 16,000 signatures.

And now things have taken an even more interesting twist, as artist Chris Sprouse, who was slated to illustrate Card's story, has quit. "It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I've decided to step back as the artist on this story," Sprouse said in a statement. "The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that's something I wasn't comfortable with. My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them."

The good news, or perhaps better news, is that DC Comics, knowing a PR win when it sees one, is standing behind Sprouse. "We fully support, understand and respect Chris's decision to step back from his Adventures of Superman assignment," the publisher said. "Chris is a hugely talented artist, and we're excited to work with him on his next DC Comics project. In the meantime, we will re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired."

But with Sprouse setting the standard and DC signaling that it won't throw people under the bus, what are the odds that any new artist will actually agree to work with Card? I suspect this is one Superman story that will remain untold - and that's fine with me.

Source: USA Today [http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/03/05/chris-sprouse-orson-scott-card-superman-comic/1964845/]


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Jackel86

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May 3, 2008
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Good. OSC is a scumbag. I don't even like Superman, I'm just glad to see people stand against such a terrible bigot.

Hopefully Shadow Complex 2 can release without his name attached to it this time.
 

Twilight_guy

Sight, Sound, and Mind
Nov 24, 2008
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Makes me question how much the separation of artist and art exists. I've heard arguments for viewing art separately from artists and I've seen people linking artists and art. How is one supposed to related artists to art? How does one affect the other?
 
Sep 14, 2009
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i dislike the fact that i like OSC's books quite a bit, after learning about his bigotry.

good on the artist though, hopefully that works out for the best for him.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
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After everything else Supes has been pullling past us faster than a speeding bullet...THIS is what makes an artist quit?

There are no freakin' words.
 

ChristopherT

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Sep 9, 2010
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There's a small part of all this that I do not understand. There are people who want Card fired? or not be allowed to work on Superman comics. There are people who want someone to not have a job because of his personal beliefs. I don't care how much of a dick head, asshole, bigot Card is, isn't that still discrimination against him or possible other -ations?
 

lord canti

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May 30, 2009
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I'm confused here yes the guy is a dick, but unless he is putting his beliefs in his work then people really don't need to be getting so upset about this. Can someone tell me if this guy puts his beliefs through his work?
 

Thistlehart

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Nov 10, 2010
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I still find it sad that the person who wrote Speaker for the Dead would be so adamantly anti-gay.

Oh well. It takes all sorts.

Good on the artist sticking to his guns. It's too bad that OSC is seen as the bad-guy for sticking to his, but his is the less-popular firearm at the moment.
 

Preacher zer0

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Jun 13, 2010
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Name any writer or artist who does work you like a lot... I can promise you they have some belief or opinion that you would dislike a lot.

If a writer or artist holds an opinion or belief you dislike, does that mean you have to avoid their work?
Because if it does... you won't be doing much reading, or watching movies, or playing games or listening to music.

I think Alan Moore is a total douchebag, but I love his work.

Humans are idiots and we all hold some belief that another person would find offensive.
 

Zachery Gaskins

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Mar 29, 2011
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ChristopherT said:
There's a small part of all this that I do not understand. There are people who want Card fired? or not be allowed to work on Superman comics. There are people who want someone to not have a job because of his personal beliefs. I don't care how much of a dick head, asshole, bigot Card is, isn't that still discrimination against him or possible other -ations?
If DC wants to fire him, that's their decision. What's happening here (and in other culturally-relevant art-spaces) is society altering its opinions.

Activism has learned that the one thing that talks louder than demonstrations or violence, is money, or rather, the withholding of it. Money speaks to the artist where logic/reason/decency does not. Money is the thing which makes all other things possible in the modern world.

With the advent of the internet, "social currency" is beginning to supplant hard currency. If someone has ideas that society approves of, society will see to it that those ideas (and the person behind them) thrive (which is why Kickstarter and other crowdsourced methods of production work so well). If someone's ideas are abhorrent and not popular, people will refuse to compensate them until they recognize the error of their ways.
 

Scribblesense

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Jan 30, 2013
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Twilight_guy said:
Makes me question how much the separation of artist and art exists. I've heard arguments for viewing art separately from artists and I've seen people linking artists and art. How is one supposed to related artists to art? How does one affect the other?
I've always believed that art becomes independent of the artist once it is in the hands of the public. All throughout history, artists have repurposed art they did not create themselves to create new art; it's simply how language and communication function.

Look at Shakespeare, or even the Bible. Shakespeare adapted most of his plays from older tales and stories, while many modern writers have adapted biblical tales (these tales likely borrowed from older myths such as Gilgamesh) to tell new stories in a new context. Do you think that one would have to agree with the message of a work of art to be influenced by it, or do they put this art on display through their own lens, their own point of view?

If artist was not independent of art, and all artists are influenced by prior art, then there are no original thoughts, and only one story ever told throughout all of history.

I don't subscribe to OSC's personal philosophies, or give them but a sliver of credit, though I find Ender's Game to be one of my favorite books. I doubt I'd agree with anything Shakespeare believed, but I still find his work to be genius.

And whether or not you agree with what I say, does it matter that I'm the one saying it?
 

LysanderNemoinis

Noble and oppressed Kekistani
Nov 8, 2010
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The man has an opinion, and people are losing their minds over it. We all have opinions that people don't agree with. It just seems to me that certain opinions are considered acceptable and others are not. He has no power to enforce his beliefs on others, no way to make people change their minds, no ability to influence anyone. If you don't like what he believes, don't buy his products. I for one, am not buying BioShock Infinite or SpecOps: The Line because I don't like what the games espouse. Pure and simple. The anti-Americanism there is as offensive to me as what Card says to some of you.

I'm just glad there are a few people on here that realize that once you start holding people's opinions against them, and discriminate against people for what they think, you're getting into increasingly sketchy territory.
 

Thistlehart

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Nov 10, 2010
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lord canti said:
I'm confused here yes the guy is a dick, but unless he is putting his beliefs in his work then people really don't need to be getting so upset about this. Can someone tell me if this guy puts his beliefs through his work?
Directly? No.

In a roundabout way? Yes.

OSC is a big contributor to anti-gay propaganda, legislation, lobbying, and social programs. That means he takes money he makes from his writing and donates a portion of it to fund said anti-gay factions. Through his work, though it does not deal in the subject much (to my knowledge, as I never saw it in the Ender books), he fights against gay rights.
 

Zachery Gaskins

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Mar 29, 2011
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Scribblesense said:
I don't subscribe to OSC's personal philosophies, or give them but a sliver of credit, though I find Ender's Game to be one of my favorite books. I doubt I'd agree with anything Shakespeare believed, but I still find his work to be genius.

And whether or not you agree with what I say, does it matter that I'm the one saying it?
OSC's case is special in that he is throwing a lot of his financial wealth and his klout behind his beliefs. If me compensating him for his work directly goes towards such endeavors, I will not buy his stuff. (Lovecraft may have been incredibly racist, but he's dead and no longer profits from his work.) I can live without art, and someone else equally talented but without bigoted beliefs will step up to replace him.
 

Dead Seerius

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Feb 4, 2012
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I think all of us here can agree that Card is a bigot, but are his personal opinions seriously the justification people present in order to boot him from writing a goddamn Superman comic?

Look, it's cool if people want to continuously harp on the guy for being narrow-minded (because it's only a matter of time before he agrees with us, right? /sarc), but if he's not writing his views into the comic, why is this such a huge issue? Perhaps I'm missing some info since this is the first I've heard about this.