Artist Chris Sprouse, who would have been drawing controversial writer Orson Scott Card’s contribution to the upcoming Superman anthology Adventures of Superman, has stepped down from the project today. He cites the media furore over the comic as his reason for dropping the project. As a result, the first issue of this digital-first series will feature stories from Jeff Parker/Chris Samnee, Justin Jordan/Riley Rossmo, and Jeff Lemire.
DC have also issued a statement hoping to see Sprouse on a new project soon. Hopefully this will be a Superman one as well, because his Superman is super-aces —
Sprouse’s statement regarding leaving the comic, which became controversial due to Card’s well-known association with anti-gay activism, is as follows:
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 have responded amicably to the artist’s decision, saying:
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.
The issue was scheduled for April, and had sparked a massive debate over whether Card was the wisest of choices for DC to hire on a Superman story. Some people thought he should have the right to free speech, some people thought maybe DC shouldn’t have hired a real world villain to write a Superman story. That oil-and-water combination of opinions has basically been interminably floating over comic book comment threads, and everybody’s had a really good, friendly time of things.
The real news from all this? It’s that there’s no need for people to boycott issue #1 anymore! Jeff Parker! Chris Samnee! Superman! Wooooooo!!