DC Comics Artist Refuses to Illustrate Homophobe Orson Scott Card’s ‘Superman’ Comic, Leaves Project


Artist Chris Sprouse won't be illustrating a DC Comics story written by uber-homophobe sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card because of public outrage over Card's involvement, AND, the story has been pulled from the first issue, USA Today reports:

"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 released Tuesday. "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."

Due to the creative change, the Card story will not appear in the first collected issue out May 29. Instead, it will feature a story by writer Jeff Parker and artist Chris Samnee, as well as a tale by Jeff Lemire and one by writer Justin Jordan and artist Riley Rossmo.

DC is also looking for a replacement illustrator for Card's story.

DC Comics said it supported Sprouse's departure and is looking for a replacement.


  1. Thomas says

    I want to be happy about this. I do. But I wish the statement by Sprouse hadn’t just focused on the media. It’s not about that. It’s about a free marketplace of ideas and the role of individual integrity in that marketplace. Card should be treated as a pariah by fellow professionals and by the public, not because of media pressure but because he’s a bigoted ****.

    Since it seems that Card’s story will eventually be published, I guess the best thing would be for sales of the issue with Card’s story to be significantly lower, or for DC overall to take a hit in its quarterly earnings. I wish I could see more of an opportunity for a silver lining here.

  2. Caliban says

    I’s like to think that this, and the musicians abandoning the BSA Jamboree, are the first signs that we’re really past the tipping point, that working with homophobes or homophobic organizations has become a “third rail” that many are no longer willing to touch.

    And maybe it is.

    But the wording of Sprouse’s statement doesn’t indicate that. He never says “I thought about it and didn’t want to work with someone who has made the kind of statements Card has.” What he said was that the media attention this has gotten had become too big a distraction so he pulled out.

    Not the same thing at all.

    Neither he nor DC Comics has really voiced an disapproval of Card’s words or work at all.

    I always thought DC Comics kinda s*cked, with the possible exception of Batman. I just hope Marvel Comics doesn’t hire some anti-gay sh*tweasel to write for them!

  3. Randy says

    Suddenly conservatives will be against the free market system, as it increasingly will show a tendency to betray them.

  4. Bollux says

    Sadly Marvel has been publishing adaptations of OCS’s Ender works for several years now – none of the comics are specifically written by him. Nevertheless Marvel is still associated with his poisonous dreck and therefore should not be exempt from your outrage.

  5. Slavecek says

    @Bollux: Well, back in 2005, Card wrote the Ultimate Iron Man miniseries for Marvel, which was heavily promoted by the publisher, so it’s not as if Marvel’s hands are particularly clean in this respect… Admittedly, Card’s social conservatism had a much smaller profile at that time compared to now.

  6. Francis says

    Have we passed the tipping point? No. We haven’t. We’ve gotten to the point where being connected to homophobia is seen for most people as a negative. That’s a good thing. The bad thing is that these moves are often NOT being done out of the goodness of these individuals’ hearts, and really just done for PR reasons. They don’t *really* care about our community. It’s not as if they’re truly taking a stand for us. At least Chris Sprouse isn’t. Some of the companies that signed the DOMA brief also donate to the Boy Scouts, Chick Fil A, donate to corporations, groups with anti-gay back stories.

    We’re at the point where we’re tolerated as a community and overtly flagrant homophobes are condemned, but we’re also not truly accepted and respected yet and homophobia isn’t taken as serious as other forms of discrimination.

  7. UFFDA says

    I’m way behind here. I’m still not over the unbelievable fact that these people are called artists and writers. HAHAHAHA. Call me a snob but I can’t stop laughing. Next you’ll be suggesting that what these hacks are creating is literature!

  8. bandanajack says

    i call it a win, at least until we see how far they have to go to find an artist willing to work with a card project that the public has now associated with homophobic acceptance.

  9. TonyJazz says

    Nice to see this artist stand for the correct moral values.

    OSC needs to dry up and go away. Maybe he & Ann Coulter could become a couple?

    (a couple of what?)

  10. Art says

    I used to have and love all of Card’s books. Now I have burnt them. Just as he needs to burn in his momo hell.

  11. Kevin Foster says

    D.C. continues to support Card in the face of a de facto gay-purge at its own offices. What self-respecting GLBT person would want to work alongside such an outrageous oppressor prone to utter hideous abuse? Why am I not thrilled? Why do I not see this as a good thing?

  12. LCR Jay says

    Card still has his job with DC. The artist will simply be replaced. Just another day.

  13. Bill says

    @Caliban: the wording of Sprouse’s statement is pretty much standard bureaucratese, where you use terms like “distraction” to avoid ruffling feathers. Bowing out gracefully increases the chances of Sprouse working on a different project.

  14. says

    I think what’s more important than who DC or Marvel use as writers is what the content of the stories says. I’m not that up on DC, but from what I have seen, they’re not real strong on pushing diversity, while that’s an important part of most of what I’ve seen from Marvel — Avengers, Young Avengers, X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, X-Factor are all featuring not only gay characters but racial and ethnic minorities as well as women — the constant theme is accepting difference. DC buried the gay Green Lantern story almost immediately. They’ve introduced a gay character in the new Teen Titans (who’s also an undocumented immigrant), but haven’t really done anything with him yet. It’s starting to look like tokenism on DC’s part, where gay characters exist at all. (It’s interesting that their major offering in this area is Batwoman — one wonders if that’s OK because she’s only a woman, at this point.)

  15. Brian says

    We can only that no other illustrator will agree to work on Card’s story and DC will be forced to drop it.

  16. Liam says

    UFFDA – You need to go back to the dark ages. With titles like The Walking Dead winning over audiences and awards, Comics are no longer the Kid’s Books you are thinking of. They ARE literature. They are the new Mythology. Anyone thinking otherwise isn’t paying attention.