“Dear DC Comics Editors,
I see that you have hired a writer for Superman who has written strongly of his opposition to equal rights for LGBT people. And I see that there is an online petition protesting that move.
Perhaps you could balance that decision by hiring an openly gay writer to draft a Superman story for a future issue.
I hereby volunteer.
I have been a fan of Superman since Bud Collyer played him on the radio. (Before TV was invented.) I can remember Brainiac’s first appearance, and Bizarro too. And I cried when George Reeves died.
I do have some small credential as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. I have published a few books and written a few teleplays. (You can look me up on the internet.) I have also written some mangas, and I wrote two issues of the Babylon 5 comic you published ten years ago.
I have some very good ideas that I think would work well for the series. I’d like the opportunity to write for you the very best Superman story ever.
“The Trouble With Tribbles”
Land Of The Lost
The Martian Child
(and a whole bunch of other stuff)”
—David Gerrold, in response to DC’s decision to hire Orson Scott Card
“...[M]ost adults don't read anywhere near the quantity of literature they consumed in their youth. Nor do they read with the same intensity.
That is because youth is the age of Romance. Not boy-girl romance in the common meaning of the term, but rather the classical meaning of Romance: intense, passionate stories in which everything matters greatly. The hero is not just brave, he is the bravest; he does not save just himself, he saves the world. The poet is not merely somebody who happens to have a way with words; the poet sees the world through the eyes of genius and helps us understand the human condition. Everything the Romantic writer writes is bigger than life. Deeper, truer, richer, more brutal. ”
—Orson Scott Card on the Romantic YA genre, from the introduction of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.
“If your fictional vision is a good and truthful one, your characters will help your readers understand their friends, their enemies, and the countless mysterious and dangerous strangers who will touch their lives, powerfully and irresistibly. ”
A comic book shop franchise in Ottawa is taking a stand for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights by pulling the work of a writer who publicly opposes gay marriage off its shelves.
The Comic Book Shoppe on Bank Street, as well as another location in Nepean, are no longer stocking the work of a controversial American author.(Google Streetview)
Orson Scott Card, the American author who wrote the popular Ender’s Game science fiction novel, is set to write a story in the upcoming Adventures of Superman for DC Comics. It’s due out in May, but The Comic Book Shoppe has decided not to stock it. Instead, customers can place special orders for the print edition, as long as they do so before March 15. Both Comic Book Shoppe locations also decided last week to pull all of the writer’s other work off their shelves.
“This is a man who wants to criminalize homosexuality,” said Rob Spittall, the owner of The Comic Book Shoppe 2 location on Bank Street, not far from Ottawa’s gay village.
‘I’m in a world of superheroes. It’s the superhero’s job to stand up and fight for what we believe in.’
—Rob Spittall, owner of The Comic Book Shoppe 2
“Superman is a very iconic character to a lot of the gay community. He’s a character that stands for truth, justice and freedom for all, and to see and learn, like I had, about Orson Scott Card … I was astounded to find out that everything there was true,” Spittall said.
He made the decision to make Card’s work available by special order because some customers take collecting too seriously to stop because of someone’s personal beliefs.
“I’m telling my customers I want to boycott this book. You have the freedom of choice whether you want to buy it or not, but we’re saying, please don’t,” Spittall said.
When DC Comics announced Feb. 6 that it had hired Card to create a chapter of a new Superman anthology series, many LGBT groups in the U.S. protested and urged DC Comics to drop him. Card has become a vocal opponent of gay marriage. He’s a member the board of directors of the right-leaning National Organization for Marriage, which has been at the forefront of opposing same-sex marriage laws. He also wrote piece for the Mormon Times in 2009, in which he argued: “Marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.” In another column in 2012, he called homosexuality a “reproductive dysfunction” born of choice.
Since pulling all of Card’s work last week, Spittall said the response has been overwhelming.
“There’s been a huge wave of support for us. I even got a message from a guy somewhere in the States, I believe North Carolina … saying congratulations and thanks so much for taking a stand on things,” Spittall said. “This story has been tweeted to George Takei, to Ellen DeGeneres and a bunch of others as well, so it’s gained a lot of attention as it’s gone on. We’re simply taking a stand and saying we don’t like this, and that we hope you people don’t as well.”
But the response hasn’t all been positive. Someone unfriended Spittall on Facebook, and he said he’s received emails from customers who disagree with the decision, saying it amounts to censorship. He said he isn’t going to change his mind, and that it’s not the first time The Comic Book Shoppe has taken a stand like this. Spittall said he hasn’t stocked anything by writer Dave Sim for years because of the author’s anti-feminist views.
“I am doing something right,” Spittall said. “I mean, I’m in a world of superheroes. It’s the superhero’s job to stand up and fight for what we believe in. And by me taking this standpoint, it’s sort of following through with my business practices and what I sell.”
Card has made public his opinions about homosexuality known for more than two decades. In a 1990 article for Sunstone Magazine, Card wrote an essay in which he said:
“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”
While he did urge people to treat those who engage in homosexual acts with kindness, he wrote that the “goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly.”