Due to media attention, Chris Sprouse won’t illustrate story by the controversial author.
The brouhaha surrounding Orson Scott Card’s involvement with a new Superman comic project has already caused one major change.
Due to the media attention surrounding the science-fiction writer and his story in the forthcoming Adventures of Superman, artist Chris Sprouse — who was to illustrate a tale by Card and Aaron Johnston — has departed from the book, according to DC Comics.
Scheduled to launch April 29, Adventures of Superman is a digital anthology of 10-page Superman short stories featuring the works of various creators that will be collected in print issues beginning in May.
DC’s announcement of the creative teams last month caused a furor, however, with the involvement of Card, the acclaimed Ender’s Game author who has been criticized for his anti-gay stance and opinions on same-sex marriage.
Fans and retailers called for boycotts of the print comic, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender activist website AllOut.org collected more than 16,000 signatures on an online petition asking DC to drop Card from Adventures of Superman.
“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.
“We fully support, understand and respect Chris’s decision to step back from his Adventures of Superman assignment,” the company said in a statement. “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.”