The backlash against DC Comics for hiring Orson Scott Card to pen a new entry of an upcoming Superman anthology just isn't going away.
Artist Chris Sprouse, who was set to illustrate a tale about Krypton's favorite son written by Card and Aaron Johnston for release online April 29, has backed out of the project. The move follows a protest by LGBT advocacy site AllOut.org, which so far has gathered over 16,000 signatures for DC to fire Card, because of Card's notorious anti-gay views. He's spoken out for years against gay marriage, is a board member of the right-wing National Organization for Marriage, and has even supported maintaining sodomy laws.
In a statement Sprouse did not indicate any fundamental disagreement with Card as the catalyst for his exit from the project. "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."
In a statement of their own DC Comics said, "We fully support, understand and respect Chris's decision to step back from his Adventures of Superman assignment. 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."
This will cause some logistical problems for DC, as Card's story will no longer be a part of the inaugural issue of Adventures of Superman, when it's collected in print in May. The depature of Sprouse also points to a larger issue Card's projects: as we detailed in a recent feature, many are already predicting that the author could face the same turbulance in the months leading up his Ender's Game movie adaptation.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt