A Superman artist quits: Chris Sprouse has ditched his collaboration with author Orson Scott Card in the upcoming digital-first Adventures of Superman anthology, USA Today reported on Tuesday, March 5.
Sprouse admitted the decision was a tough one, but stopped short of blaming Card’s views and activism against same-sex marriage for the decision.
“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 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.”
Representatives for DC said the company supported, understood, and respected Sprouse’s decision, adding, “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.”
The Card story was originally set for a May publication date in print, but that issue, which would have hit stands on May 29, will now feature work by writer Jeff Parker and artist Chris Samnee.
Card has not commented on Sprouse’s decision, and has kept a low profile in recent weeks as gay rights groups have targeted the bestselling sci-fi scribe for his views against same-sex marriage, imploring the company to back down on its decision to hire Card for the issue.
It is not known whether this was the first time a Superman artist quits the character amid political pressure, but it’s certainly one of the most high-profile.
Comic Book Resources noted that a number of stores have refused to carry the issue Card’s story appears in, and the LGBT website AllOut.org has reportedly collected more than 16,000 signatures calling for his removal.
Card’s views against gay marriage have included stating that the movement “is about giving the Left the power to force anti-religious values on our children,” calling the LGBT lifestyle “a reproductive dysfunction.”
Do you agree with DC’s decision to hire Orson Scott Card, and how difficult do you think it will be amid political pressure for the company to find a new Superman artist for the project?