Follow-up: Orson Scott Card “Superman” story put on indefinite hold

03.11.2013, 1:21 AM

Last month, I posted about the controversy over science fiction writer (and member of NOM board of directors) Orson Scott Card being commissioned to write a couple of Superman stories for DC Comics.

The cartoonist slated to draw the stories, Chris Sprouse, has withdrawn from the project, writing:

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 said that “we will re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired.” I don’t think anyone will be surprised if no new artist is ever found.

12 Responses to “Follow-up: Orson Scott Card “Superman” story put on indefinite hold”

  1. JayJay says:

    Barry, it is unusual for you to simply report something that has happened without analyzing it and expression your opinion about the development. What do you think about Chris Sprouse’s withdrawal? Why do you think that no new artist will be found? Please elaborate.

  2. JayJay says:

    Last week, Ralph Lewis posted about a fascinating story in the NY Times about a same-sex couple who adopted an abandoned child that one of them found in the subway. The thread was hijacked by trolls and Ralph closed the comments section after only 18 comments.

    I hope that posting this here will be excused given those circumstances, which were caused by the haven given trolls on this site. But I wanted to call attention to the appearance of the “subway dads” on Anderson Cooper Live over the weekend. Here is a clip:

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  3. JayJay says:

    Sorry that didn’t work. I found the video at Joe Jervis’s blog:

  4. David Hart says:

    Why do we insist on creating martyrs? It defies common sense.

  5. Kevin says:

    Has Card said anything about this matter? Has he retracted earlier offensive remarks? Is he sticking to his “beliefs”?

    I don’t have strong feelings but it’s interesting to speculate if he had the same feelings towards blacks or Jews, what the response would be. Gays still seem to be in the category of “so what if he knocks them?” to a lot of people who would not be so indifferent to dehumanizing blacks or other minorities.

    I wish I had a better understanding of why people object to dehumanizing or marginalizing some groups under the law, but not others. It seems inconsistent to me, which, I guess, describes common human behavior!

  6. David Hart says:


    When I was a child we (Jews) could not stay at some hotels. Indeed, the Trapp Family Lodge (for example) was notorious for turning Jews away.

    It takes time.

  7. JayJay says:

    Kevin poses an interesting question. Do we think of people who have been chided for saying anti-semitic or racist things as “martyrs”? Is the actor who played Kramer in “Seinfield” thought of as a martyr because his career tanked when he made racist slurs in a stand-up comedy appearance?

    BTW, there is an interesting article here by Kevin Mims, a writer who was a neighbor of Maggie Gallagher and a student of Orson Scott Card. He has fond memories of them but finds them “deranged on the subjects of homosexuality and gay marriage.”

  8. David Hart says:


    Keeping Card from getting employment unrelated to his viewpoint serves no purpose. In my opinion it can only sway people away from equality. In contrast, I think that Robby George should be discharged for cause. He used the prestige of Princeton University in his “children’s innocence” campaign against Kevin Jennings. His video had a sub, throughout, indicating his chair at Princeton.

    I am reading the Regenerus papers obtained by The Independent. At least one scholar, Rosenfeld at Stamford, passed on participation due to the source of funds.

  9. What do you think about Chris Sprouse’s withdrawal?

    I don’t think it matters much to me, ultimately – I’m not much of a fan of mainstream comic books, and in the end I don’t think a story like this matters to the larger SSM issue.

    I hope OSC doesn’t become a “martyr,” but I’m happy for those comic book fans who are really into the symbolism of the Superman character and were unhappy to have OSC work on the character.

    Why do you think that no new artist will be found? Please elaborate.

    Because I don’t think DC wanted the controversy – they just wanted the services of a famous writer who has a movie coming out. Sprouse’s withdrawal gives DC a graceful way to drop the OSC Superman stories without having to actually take a stand.

    BTW, thanks for the link to the article by Kevin Mims, it was interesting.

  10. Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: Do we think of people who have been chided for saying anti-semitic or racist things as “martyrs”?

    I think it depends entirely on whether there remarks are, in fact, racist or anti-semitic. (I think both of those terms are often overused, and particularly the ‘anti-semitic’ one is really wildly overused). In general, I think we’re more likely to consider people ‘martyrs’ if we agree with the cause they’re suffering for.

  11. Mont D. Law says:

    I have no problem with this. If Card has the right to work on the story because marriage equality is unrelated to his work, then the artist has a right to refuse to work on the story because he feels the controversy distracts from the work.

    As to whether another artist is found, my guess is they would have to find one willing to work with Card, understanding what his position is on the rights of women and LBGT members of society. Since Card’s opinions are so far out of the main stream I agree that’s unlikely to happen.

  12. JHW says:

    So far, this controversy doesn’t seem to have gotten all that much attention. If it eventually does, I think the key question about its public perception will be whether people falsely interpret the objection to Card as amounting to nothing more than his opposition to same-sex marriage, rather than realizing that he has a long history of saying inflammatory, offensive, and unacceptable things about gay rights and gay and lesbian people. Opposition to same-sex marriage remains mainstream; the fullness of Card’s views on this subject, not so much.