BREAKING: Chris Sprouse Drops Out of Orson Scott Card’s ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN Story

samneesupesWith media attention mounting, and more and more comic book stores threatening to boycott the paper releases of Adventures of Superman due to writer and high profile anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card’s involvement with the first story, artist Chris Sprouse announced today that he was dropping out of the project.

Sprouse released a statement that reads in part,

“It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I’ve decided to step back as the artist on this story. 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.”

DC Comics is now looking for a replacement artist for Card’s story.

What does this mean for the digital-first anthology series set to debut on April 29th (digitally) and May 29th (on paper in stores)? With Card’s story being pushed back until a new artist can be found, it means that the first story will now be by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee (art to the right) followed by a story by Justin Jordan and Riley Rossmo.

One hopes that all of this negative attention does not blowback on Parker, Samnee, Jordan, and Rossmo, all extremely talented comic book creators whose Superman stories are going to be something to look forward to.


Comments

  1. I dont agree with Orson Scott Card’s beliefs but i dont feel comfortable with outside forces to pressure a comic publisher on who to hire. I rather just not buy the book if i dont like what a creator believes or not. I think DC just needs to drop the story and move on with someone else.

    • I agree

    • I agree wholeheartedly.

    • People being unwilling to buy something based off of the writer’s personal beliefs IS an outside force pressuring comic publishers on whom to hire. Frank Miller for instance, has largely dropped off the map after his racist comic and anti-occupy comments netted him similar controversy, as has David Sim after his whole men are lights and women are voids devouring the lights incident.

    • i only kind of agree with you. With comics they aren’t just selling a book. They are selling the creators as well if not more so (despite how much DC is trying to change that). That’s why they put their names on the covers in big letters and make press announcements about the creative teams. That’s why you hire *high profile* writers to get a PR bump. I’m kinda surprised DC didn’t see this backlash coming.

      And when you sell the person, you take on that person’s public baggage whether you like it or not. So its not really surprising that public pressure about someone so incredibly controversial as Card let to this kinda thing. Totally sucks for Sprouse as getting a shot at working on a great character like Superman isn’t an everyday.

    • DC has the PR acumen of David Brent.

    • You say you don’t believe it is okay for outside forces to pressure a comic publisher on who to hire, yet you say they should DC should drop the story entirely. Someone’s personal beliefs shouldn’t have a factor in decisions such as these, they may not be things I believe in but if he creates something with high quality, then he should be allowed to have it published.

  2. The superman that is coming out in May will not include Orsen Scott Card, so everyone feel free to pre-order it cause its gonna be awesome!!

  3. I find it interesting that the only image associated with this title (on this site or any other site) has always been the Samnee image (not Sprouse). Now, it seems that Samnee will be doing the Inaugural issue.

    Controversy sells…When you want to create a strong brand in the marketplace first decide on who you want to attract then who you are willing to annoy. This could be the beginning of a strong branding position.

  4. The thing of it is, as loathsome as Card’s politics are… I still love Ender’s Game. And Pastwatch, and Seventh Son, and the Homecoming Saga. The man can write, no doubt. Of course I haven’t had much interest in anything DC has put out since the new 52 so it is really academic to me. I just wonder, if Marvel hired him to writer Spider-Man… would I read it or not? I just don’t know…

  5. This kind of controversy is probably going to follow Card for the rest of his career, or at least for a long time. I’m kind of torn honestly. On one hand this is America and everyone is entitled to their beliefs, even though I STRONGLY disagree with his, and it shouldn’t effect their ability to find a job and support themselves. On the other hand, he chose to be vocal and public about these beliefs so now he has to deal with the consequences.

    • Ironically, I debated with a guy who believed almost the opposite; he believed OSC should die penniless and homeless for expressing his beliefs. He was pretty ironclad about it.

    • Whoa whoa whoa! I was not that harsh last time this all came up!

      If I recall, my main point was regarding hate speech vs. free speech. I believe some of the things Card has said border on hate speech rather than free speech, and though he was a bad person because of his anit-gay views. I don’t recall saying the man should die penniless and alone!

      Some people did say such things as I recall but I was not one of them.

    • Fine. Let it follow him. He can always just find a job working for a bunch of other douchebags. Bada Bing Bada Boom! No one says actively trying to crush someone’s rights under your boot heel lets you Reach for the Top or work anywhere. You can still say whatever you want, you just don’t always get the widest, most broadcast-y platform if what you say and actively encourage and promote is a bunch of bs.

    • @Uspunx, I was referring to someone else; looking back tho I could’ve been clearer, my bad. It’s just funny both of you feel the same way but to different degrees. I wonder if Ayn Rand and Paul Robinson deserved what happened to then at the end, I don’t know much about Ayn Rand but I know Paul Robinson got a raw deal.

    • i dunno, if you decide to get “Born to Lose” tattooed on your neck, McDonalds (and just about every other employer) has no obligation to hire you for any reason regardless of your talent or skills. Actions and beliefs have consequences, and when you chose to publicly wear a controversial issue as part of your public brand, you can’t complain when it affects your job prospects.

      I doubt the dude is hurting for cash anyhow.

    • @flan: I think we’re on the same page?

      @Ithosapien: I know Ayn Rand suffered throughout her life for her writings, to be honest I don’t know much about Robinson. My main point is personal responsibility. Everyone has the right to free speech but all speech also has consequences. Because of his views I choose not to purchase Card’s work, but I’m not saying the man should be blacklisted or anything like that. Without both the right to free speech AND the personal responsibility of being held accountable for what you say, democracy cannot function.

      @wally: Well said and totally agreed. I agree that he undoubtably is not hurting finicially.

    • @USPUNX Yup.

  6. I would’ve thought this story would come with the comments already disabled, last time this subject came up things got intense.

  7. MutantSentry: “I just wonder, if Marvel hired him to writer Spider-Man… would I read it or not? I just don’t know…”

    I hadn’t thought about that until you brought it up. I have no interest in reading anything Card writes now, but that’s easy to say at the moment because I don’t read Superman. What if he or someone of similar ilk is hired to write one of my all-time favorite books? If the controversy didn’t cause the company to drop him (which is what I’ll go out on a limb and say DC may do to Card), I would probably just not buy the books he wrote (notice I didn’t say ‘boycott’).

    • My issue is that, while I hate his politics, he has written some books I absolutely love. So there is this part of my brain that goes “Ender’s Game” was awesome, why wouldn’t I want to see the author that wrote that write a Spider-Man story… but then there is his politics… I can see why DC fans are so up in arms about this.

  8. I prefer to keep politics and beliefs out of my hobbies, but in this instance DC should have been more responsible and diligent with they’re choice of writers While Mr. Cards views and belliefs are within his rights to voice; he and anyone who employs him must realize that we as the buying public also have rights to voice our displeasure with one of our moral heroes being protrayed by a person who avidly presents a message of hate, and prejudice for anyone wo will listen. I do not want my Superman to have Mr. Cards voice, and I do not want a company I support to employ individuals whose personnal message to this world is one that fights equallity and basic human rights. That is not Superman, and that apparently is not Chris Sprouse.

  9. Chris Sprouse is a great artist and deserves to work with someone who is not a putrid person. Will still be keeping an eye on anything with his name on it.

    I feel bad for anyone who has to pick this project up knowing you’re going to be associated with Card and his deserved reputation and controversy.

    I certainly won’t be buying it along with anything else associated with that man.

  10. I wonder if DC didn’t encourage Sprouse to drop out, maybe with a promise of other work. That way they can let the Card card story fall into limbo, and they don’t have to back down from their previous stance. Or maybe I’ve just been watching “House of Cards” and “Game of Thrones” too much

  11. DC won’t be getting one penny of my money for anything with Orson Scott Card’s name on it. Just like I will never support any other kind of bigot / racist / hate monger. There’s a difference between your 90 year old grandpa not being comfortable with gays, and 60 year old Orson Scott Card actively using his vast riches and fame to defeat marriage equality wherever he can. If you can’t tell that one is far more dangerous than the other – and deserving of rebuke and boycott – then you have way more problems than merely being insensitive to a persecuted minority.

  12. Well now I’m not interested in this book anymore. Card is a great writer and I could care less about his personal beliefs. He has a right to believe what he believes just as much as a homosexual has the right to get married. I’m not against gay rights or anything I just can separate the author from the material. As a Christian you are expected to in todays pop culture.

    If I didn’t read books that attempt to make Christianity seem stupid, watch television shows or movies that depict Christians as hateful hypocrites, or read comic books where authors believe God is an imaginary being I wouldn’t be able to enjoy most forms of entertainment.

    BTW In Card’s Homecoming series the most kind, compassionate and sacrificial person is homosexual. When I read his series not knowing his personal comments I thought he was an advocate of homosexuality.

    • Couldn’t agree more with this.

    • Well said. There are so many creators in all forms of media that are advocates for things I disagree with. I still enjoy the work. Tell you the truth, most people in everyday life have different views, and I don’t judge them for it, and expect not to be judged in return. I like Sprouse on Superman. It would have been a great team. At least we still get Parker/ Samnee.

    • So let me pose a hypothetical. If you suddenly found out that someone like Geoff Johns or Brian Bendis (or whatever comic writer you buy on a regular basis) hated jews and blacks, and spent much of the money he made from his writing career on funding groups who strip jews and blacks of equal rights, and then spent much of his own personal time speaking in public about stripping jews and blacks of equal rights, then you would not feel strange about supporting this person by giving him money – just because he happens to amuse you with storytelling?

      Again, we’re not talking about someone who happens to vote for Republicans when you’re a Democrat, or vice versa. Or someone who doesn’t believe in divorce, or God, or buying foreign cars. We’re talking about someone widely-known for devoting much of his life to subjugating a minority – and whether we want to help him.

    • @bionicdave: I think that’s a great point. People look at persecuting minorities as being obviously wrong yet for some reason see the persecution of non-race based minorities as “personal belief.” I’ve never understood that viewpoint. Persecution is persecution. And equal rights are equal rights.

    • There is plenty of rap music on the radio that talks bad about “white people” outright. I’m white. I’m not necessarily going to buy it, but I’ll definitely dance to it. I also don’t go out and bash it. Should I? Id probably be the one called a rascist. I do however choose not to buy a lot of it. Some, but not a lot, because there’s some stuff on there I do like for one reason or another and can get past the “rascist” language. That’s my point: If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, but its unfair to bash the person and their non-political work. It’s a choice and we vote with our time and wallets.

    • @thewac1: I agree with everything you said. The difference here is between just speech and actual action. Card isn’t just saying homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry, he’s the President of an organization that campaigns and spends large amounts of money for the sole purpose of preventing gay marriage. Rappers are allowed to say whatever they want. But if one was funding an organization dedicate to taking rights away from white people, or people of any color, that would be a serious problem.

    • I get that, but its not all that different. What we say has influence whether its within an organization or not. Here’s another example (And I’ll prolly get railed): Obama attended and most likely contributed to, a church with a rascist pastor. I don’t think we consider him a rascist. As I’m sure there were plenty of other reasons to attend. Does.the fact that this church never outright campaigned for anti-white legislation make it any better? Regardless of it, I just want to read good comics, and I wish politics didn’t dictate what we read. Now we will never know what could have been.

    • @theWAC1 – I can predict that part of the reason you don’t feel all too worried dancing to anti-white rap music is because you know that whites are not a persecuted minority here; they are, according to the 2010 U.S. census, the 72% racial *majority* of this country. You know that no matter what this rapper says, you’re pretty safe, at least for a good long while. It’s a very different case for the gay people of this country who Orson Scott Card is trying to subjugate. Also, the rapper you’re dancing to, most likely, is not spending great amounts of money and time specifically campaigning to strip you and your white friends and family of your rights. He’s just spewing ugly racist statements in a song – which I find disgusting, and I wouldn’t feel as easy as you do in buying/dancing to/supporting him – but that is his right, just as it’s your right to indulge in that. If you found out that this rapper was indeed spending great amounts of money and time specifically campaigning to strip you and your white friends and family of your rights – would that affect your choice to buy/dance to/support him?

      As for the Obama pastor you brought up, I am not familiar with all the details of the case, so I can’t get into that. But as a jew, I do know that if I found out that my rabbi was a racist, it would indeed sully my opinion of him and I would not attend his sermons.

      What really troubles me in your last post, though, is your frustrated comment “I just want to read good comics.” It’s like you don’t care how the cow is slaughtered – you just want the steak.

    • Yeah the Obama issue is complicated. Did he know and ignore it? Did he not know? Does it make a difference either way? In regard to politics influencing a books creation, I still think that blame lies firmly on Card’s shoulders. He choose to be a vocal and public as he has. And as I said earlier, there are, and I believe rightly so, consequences for that. Without consequences and personal responsibility free speech becomes meaningless.

    • @BionicDave I enjoy your thoughtful comments. And if you’ve ever been in a black hood, its a scary place if you’re not there with someone who lives there. So there is an aspect of fear to being “white” at times. Jail is another. The thing is, that differences, prejudices, hate are all parts if life, that will never go away. We have tribed up since the beginning and fight for what we believe in. It’s how this country works and people have a right to do this no matter if you’re the majority or minority. I think that gay marriage is fine and hating homosexuals is not right, but I don’t know if Card hates gays though, all I’ve heard is his view on marriage, and I can see them as different things. To me, we all have an opinion, and a choice, and this is a right we have. Other people can judge us in them if they choose. For me, its entertainment, and I realize I will not agree 100% with any other human, so I take it for what it is. Maybe I’m hypocritical or ignorant, but for me I tend to differenciate, hence, “I just want to read good comics.” Alan Moore is an example for me, in this case its OSC. I just don’t agree with bashing. Id rather judge it for what it is and vote with my wallet. It’s about a choice, and we walk a fine line as a society when we decide what speech (actions/ contributions) to silence, no matter what it is.

      As for Obama I bring that up to show how people choose what to judge, and what to disregard. I too would not follow anyone who advocates hate, and would question their teachings, but because of the circumstances, in this case, the minority performing questionably, its OK.

      I honestly thank you for your comments, as I admit I have room to grow as a person, and welcome differing views. It’s just far be it for me to tell someone how to think or act (which is what OSC attempts to do-its his choice, I just disagree, but its not my job to bash him into submission).

    • @BionicDave I get what you’re saying on the would I support someone someone who removed rights from African Americans or Jews but the issue of marriage is a little more complicated. Marriage is a very religious ceremony. The fact that the government has any say on how marriage works infringes on religious rights.

      How many Mormons (Which Card is) have not been allowed to marry multiple wives? Would you support someone who was actively against polygamy? Why is that different than same sex marriage?

      If a religion that supports homosexuality wants to marry a same sex couple they should be allowed to. If it’s against a particular church’s beliefs then they should be the ones to decided if they preform the ceremony.

      Orson Scott Card is fighting based on his religious views of what marriage should be. Its not on if they shouldn’t vote, be allowed to eat, work or shop with heterosexuals, or something like that. His method of trying to use politics to push his religious views on this country is not something I agree with or support but that’s why I can separate his religious views from his writing.

      Its no different to me than when people push to have their religious view of evolution to be taught in school. It’s no different than when people that push to have Christians not be aloud to display mangers at Christmas in government offices. It’s no different than when the writers of television actively right antiChristian scripts.

      Marriage is a religious issue that Card unjustly is trying to push via his organization.

  13. I wasnt going to pick this up, but I support Card’s right to his opinions so now Im going to get this. The Samnee image helped though

    • No one has a problem with his opinion. It’s his ACTIVE crusade that gets on people’s nerves.

    • I would continue to comment but the iFanboys will cut us off if we dont keep the discussion to comics. With that said I just dont want to a creator’s political beliefs to lead to a boycott that prevents good comics from being made…

    • @daddy_ak74: Its a tough call, but I see what you state and that’s what it comes down to.

    • Im just trying to say that people should not choose which comics to buy based on the creator’s political beliefs. For example, Im pretty sure from interviews Ive heard that Rick Remender and I have different views on social and political issues. But he seems like a good guy and I like most of the comics that he writes so I buy them…

  14. Good for Sprouse. Pass go and collect 200 cool points.

  15. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Pretty eager to read Parker and Samnee’s contribution. Great matchup.

    • Agreed. Can’t wait to see what they do.

    • I can’t agree more, and after hearing Josh, Conor, and yourself wax about the possibility of Jeff Parker at DC on this week’s show I hope this isn’t the last DC tale we’ll see from this duo. And hey, if he brings artists like Hardman & Samnee, all the better…

      The only drawback is that I hope these endeavors stick to the digital-first wing until DC, well…welcomes new leadership…

  16. I’m not concerned with the controversy. To me the Parker/Samnee story was always the biggest draw here so I’m glad it gets to be the lead.

  17. Someone earlier brought up Miller and his Occupy comments, and how they have marginilized him in the comics community. Apparently its ok to hate the rich and cause violence in the name of economic equality, but its not ok to voice the “majority” opinion in comic books. Just look at all the names on the “Occupy” comic. It will probably be praised while a completely non-political work like Superman is bashed because of the creators viewpoint. I’m all for peaceful free speech in America no matter your views. It’s what makes this country great. And if something is good, then its good, no matter who creates it or the subject matter.

    • I brought this up when OSC was derided for writing on Superman, but I think this country just enforces ways of thinking on people so that history repeats itself. It’s scary when you live in a world where everyone has to think the same, scarier when you realize it’s happened throughout US history. People keep drawing the line between what Card says and what he does, as though if he merely voiced his beliefs there wouldn’t be a problem. Seems fallociois, if I’m using the word correctly.

    • Couldn’t agree more @theWAC1

  18. “Won’t be buying this title…”

  19. This is totally stupid. Shame on the artist and all those stores that are pulling the book from release. Whether or not your agree or disagree with the person, they have a right in this country to express their views. I don’t agree with a lot of things, but I allow myself to try and understand the other side. Just because I read comics does not mean I agree with everything that is written or drawn in them. Should I stop buying my comics and protest until they stop doing what I don’t like? It is the same thing in reverse. I will not ramble on about this, I think i is childish and stupid. If this was done in reverse, I can just imagine all the comments on how stupid those people are acting. Enough is Enough, lets just simply enjoy the comics.

  20. Maybe its just me, but someone who has anti-gay views on the freedoms that gay people have, writing a character that is about truth, justice, and an IDOL to 10000000000000000000000s yeah I kinda see the problem.

    • And yet Frank Miller is mostly known for writing about a Billionaire who dresses up like a bat and fights crime, and is derided for making fun of the occupy movement. Huh, y’know typing it out I’m not sure if that’s a good comparison…

    • Probably alone for agreeing with Card’s views. We share the same religion. I have no problem buying anything from local shops or bigger chains that would or have views that disagree with my own. Heck, I’d buy comics from a guy who hated Mormons. I just don’t see why I should let how other people feel to dictate how I’m going to live my life.

  21. Why do people care so much about what this guy believes? If you disagree with him, fine but remember you seem just as obtuse and crazy to him as he does to you. Why can’t we just say, “I disagree with this guy and I won’t support him.” Why must we constantly go through all the theatrics of protesting, of showcasing our anger and all these de facto book burnings? Just don’t buy his books. If they prove unpopular, then his publishers will drop him. No muss, no fuss.

    The more people rant and rave about the comic, the more likely it is to get noticed by people outside the comic community, which will only drive up sales. If you really want this comic to fail, then stop talking about it and let it die in the obscurity.

    • It’s called ‘slacktavism’. It’s the easiest form of protest that requires very little effort by the slacktavist.

      In this case, to persecute another for being “wrong” ironically puts the persecuting in the wrong, undermining its own legitimacy.

  22. People seem to be confusing beliefs and actions.

  23. Whoa doggie!!

    Just imagine how much worse Orson Scott Card would be getting it right now if he were a bully…

  24. Interesting. There’s not much i can really say about this developing story. But i feel that big blue represents my feelings here in this awesome comic.

    http://www.agreeablecomics.com/therack/?p=1823

    Besides, not supporting an outspoken bigot is the right thing to do.

    • Have to roll my eyes at “outspoken bigot”. I wonder how fast this article would be removed and how many would be offended if it were the religious boycotting an atheist, or conservatives boycotting a liberal. I wonder if there are any conservatives on this website are offended at the comments here now. I remember comments being locked up last time because it violated rules. Yet again, here it is, and the name calling and politics rage on.

    • @Dr. Casanova – Ha! That strip by Kevin Church is pretty good!

    • I think it should also be mentioned that boycotts don’t simply hurt people like Orson. If they were successful they’d harm the artists, they’d harm (even if but a little) the company itself. It harms those being paid to put a comic out, regardless if they agree with Card or not. Hell, it could hurt those closest to Card such as his children or wife(if he needed the money, I doubt this is the case, unless you basically do the same thing for anything else he puts out). Don’t give me that “Well then he shouldn’t have said anything in the first place” junk. How is anyone willing to ruin a man’s career any better? Honestly.

    • @deepspacesamurai I don’t think the term “outspoken bigot” is inappropriate in this case. Card is very outspoken, he leads an organization dedicated to curtailing gay rights and speaks all over the country in support of his views. And the definition of a bigot is someone that treats members of a group with hatred or intolerance. Card does not tolerate gays or their right to equality in American society. Your problem shouldn’t be that people call him an outspoken bigot, but rather that he actually is one.

      And as for why comments get turned off, I think it’s because the political discussion veers away from the relevant topic. In this case, Card is a political figure fighting for a policy position. He uses his money to advocate for a position that many people vehemently oppose. Your hypothetical boycotts don’t work because I think by and large most comic readers trend left rather than right politically. That’s why this matter has gotten so much attention.

    • @deepspacesamurai, OSC is the definition of a bigot, he wants gays to have fewer rights under the constitution than other people. It has nothing to do with liberal vs conservative.

  25. Again, we thank you for your participation, and just before we turn the corner into pointless and angry argument where no one is going to change anyone else’s minds, let’s nod, say good day to one another, and move along.

    And again, we totally recognize that we bent our own rules, but we felt it was a compelling bit of news.