Artist Quits Superman Book Over Orson Scott Card Furor

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Artist Quits Superman Book Over Orson Scott Card Furor

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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 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

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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.

Andy Chalk:
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.

It's hilarious when a bigot is too stupid to realize they're a bigot. But then if they were intelligent, they wouldn't be bigots in the first place.

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?

Keep Sprouse, and make OSC work on Green Lantern instead :P

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

ChristopherT:
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.

Twilight_guy:
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?

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.

Yeah... It's kind of a shame that the artist felt he had to step down not due to his own feelings about Card, but through fear of coming out off all the hysteria worse off.
At the end of the day though, I think it's a good sign, that this is increasingly no longer a society that will put up with such militant homophobia. I can't separate Card's accomplishments and talents from his toxic political agenda, and really, I don't think I should.

lord canti:
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.

Scribblesense:
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.

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.

ChristopherT:
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?

Yeah, live and let hate I say.

Thistlehart:
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.

Because as long as it's his opinion, he can't actually be wrong now can he?

LysanderNemoinis:
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.

To be fair, this isn't just another guy who thinks gays are the apocalypse. He's put incredible time and effort into official channels specifically for the purpose of influencing politics to stop gay marriage legislation where ever he can.
People often don't like the guy, not because his opinions differ from theirs, but because he does have greater than usual power to use those opinions to influence the politics that everyone has to live with. Power that he has built for himself , to be sure, but the way I see it, once you dip your opinions in other people's politics (which admittedly, has to be done or we wouldn't have any laws) then those opinions do become those peoples' business.

And I do think it's worth noting that what's happening here is at least vaguely akin to giving Card a taste of his own treatment. He's free to stand against what ever he wants, even gays, and consumers are free to stand against whatever they want, even him.

I thought leftists were all for people not being discriminated against because of their political views? It's ironic that they hate so virulently someone that they claim hates virulently.

ChristopherT:
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?

You have rights so long as those rights don't impede the rights of others.

This guy is actively working to impede the rights of homosexuals. I say let him go without work till he's living under a bridge.

But on the flip side to that... I still eat chickfila... So... who am I to talk.

Twilight_guy:
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?

The thing about art is that is without doubt a product of its creator. It is something of a snapshot of the creator's thought process, so trying to view the product separately of its creator isn't easy. In this case, people aren't liking the mind in question because of some rather outdated ideas expressed by said mind. Due to this I can't really see why one would try to separate the work from the creator. You can learn a lot about the creator just by examining their work.

deth2munkies:
I thought leftists were all for people not being discriminated against because of their political views? It's ironic that they hate so virulently someone that they claim hates virulently.

Depends on who is doing the discriminating. Government is not allowed to discriminate and deprive people of rights. The free market economy of product and ideas (of which both pro-equality and anti-gay participate) is allowed to behave as it wants. It just so happens pro-equality is starting to be a pretty popular and classy view, and less popular ideas are being boycotted.

Twilight_guy:
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?

Most people who view art with the artist don't want to give the artist money.

You've got Phil Fish telling people that all Japanese games suck. And now people won't buy Fez.

You've got people refusing to watch Tom Cruise films because Tom Cruise tries shoving Scientology down everyones throats whenever he can.

The director of Assasins Creed 3 threw a tangent saying people were racist for liking Japanese games.

A lot of Madonnas ex fans hate her due to her divaish attitude. Same with Barbra Streisand.

It's a case by case basis.

Twilight_guy:
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?

Thats something i have bee thinking about resenlty. i have just finished listening to the enders game audio book, and i think it is a great book, it goes on for too long because it want to set a squeal which i know was planned before the book was written but it did take away from the book twist. i did not know about Card mass homophobia other wise im not sure if would have bought it but after finding out some of the parts of the book seem strange, with young boy sharing beds, kiss each other and being groomed and manipulated by old men. i not say Card is a peodofile or any such thing but is interesting when you take his ideals a religion into account. Card being a Mormon does make the whole ender being some kind of a profit at the end really weird.

so in this case yeah know more about the writer did effect my reading of the novel, i tried to think of it as a separate entity but found that hard given the nature of the author.

lord canti:
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?

from what i have read many of his books at least in the enders game series has a lot of religion in then (Card is a mormon which explains in part his homophobia) but the parallels between the one in the books and the real life religion im not sure about

I don't really think this is right I mean criticize him for the subject at hand not something unrelated. I mean if he keeps his politics out of the story I don't really see why he should be discriminated against.

aba1:
I don't really think this is right I mean criticize him for the subject at hand not something unrelated. I mean if he keeps his politics out of the story I don't really see why he should be discriminated against.

He thinks my sister and her wife are despicable human beings who are not worthy of love or respect. So, fuck him.

lord canti:
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?

he actively donates to lobbying groups seeking to have homosexuality criminalised. So, by giving him money, your indirectly giving those groups money. Some people would rather not give him money, and would like people to understand why they're not giving him money.

Okay... I kind of need some clarification on this.

If all Card is doing is advocating against gay marriage... who cares? A lot of people are against gay marriage, and it has nothing to do with being a bigot. They're trying to preserve something that they hold as sacred, and believe that gay marriage will take away from that. Whether you agree with it or not doesn't matter. There is nothing bigoted about trying to hold onto the traditions of a religious or spiritual ritual.

Now, if he is slurring gays we get into a whole other issue. Then the man is a bigot, but doesn't make him a terrible human being. If he is committing or threatening violence against these groups, then we have a problem and I would be completely down with any sort of boycott against him.

You cannot punish someone for sharing their personal beliefs on an issue just because we disagree with it. The US Government isn't the only party who has to respect the amendments outlined in the constitution. We, as citizens, have an obligation to support every last one of them.

That doesn't mean that you can't disagree! However, you should use words to influence people to change. Using a mob punishment system is just as irresponsible as if the government were to lock up dissenters for speaking out.

Rogue 09:
Okay... I kind of need some clarification on this.

If all Card is doing is advocating against gay marriage... who cares? A lot of people are against gay marriage, and it has nothing to do with being a bigot. They're trying to preserve something that they hold as sacred, and believe that gay marriage will take away from that. Whether you agree with it or not doesn't matter. There is nothing bigoted about trying to hold onto the traditions of a religious or spiritual ritual.

Now, if he is slurring gays we get into a whole other issue. Then the man is a bigot, but doesn't make him a terrible human being. If he is committing or threatening violence against these groups, then we have a problem and I would be completely down with any sort of boycott against him.

You cannot punish someone for sharing their personal beliefs on an issue just because we disagree with it. The US Government isn't the only party who has to respect the amendments outlined in the constitution. We, as citizens, have an obligation to support every last one of them.

That doesn't mean that you can't disagree! However, you should use words to influence people to change. Using a mob punishment system is just as irresponsible as if the government were to lock up dissenters for speaking out.

He publicly declares anti-gay sentiments, campaigns against gay marriage, and he supports and donates to organisations campaigning and lobbying to have being homosexual criminalised.

Yes, he has his right to express his views, and and support these groups.

We all have a right to look at him doing so, and decide to point out what he is doing is morally wrong, and decide not to spend money on his products, and explain to people why we're not buying their products, and why we would like them not too either.

It's no longer mere "personal belief" when you're funding and performing public advocacy. Don't try to tell me that he's being punished for his "personal beliefs".

He has the right - which I fully support - to invest his own time and money into his advocacy. And I have the right to not help fund that, and to speak out against it, in my own turn.

And that's what we're talking about, here. There's no attempt to eliminate OSC's rights, just people exercising their own rights.

Being intolerant of someone's bigoted beliefs is not hypocritical. It is wrong to unfairly discriminate against others for things they have no say over. Gender, race, disabilities....these are uncontrollable things and punishing someone based on them is ignorant. But a person's choices....THAT is perfectly okay to persecute. Religion is a choice. Racism is a choice, and OSC being a homophobic douche-canoe is a fucking choice. And choices, opinions and beliefs are fair game to be shot down and the holder of those beliefs to be punished.

OSC made the choice to hold those beliefs, and so the consequences against him are perfectly fair.

The guys who run Marvel are very very socially left. They're firmly on the gay side of the fence. They should invite card to write x-men stories and he'll get so much gay on him it'll turn him gay. At least that's how I'm told his subspecies of homophobe's theology teaches that it is transmitted.

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