Is boycott of Orson Card’s ‘Ender’s Game’ good policy or free publicity?

EG17-06909RC-V01b

It’s not that I’m sympathetic toward him, but Orson Scott Card can’t catch a break with the gay fanboys lately.

The Mormon sci-fi author and anti-gay activist wrote a book, Ender’s Game, in 1984 that was well-received among sci-fi folks. Then around 1990, he started speaking out against homosexuality. His vocal opposition to same-sex marriage drew more criticism — all of it, let’s say outright, completely justified. He’s even on the board (still) of the National Organization for Marriage.

Earlier this year, when DC Comics announced Card would be authoring the Superman Anthology, gay comic bookstore owners like Dallas’ Richard Neal drew a bright line, saying if the homophobic Card was allowed to write it, stores like Zeus would refuse to carry it. The artist hired to draw the serial pulled out as well.

Now Card is in the news again. Oscar nominees Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld have completed principal photography on the film version of Ender’s Game, due out in November from Oscar-winning director Gavin Hood. Readying for San Diego’s Comic-Con next week, the studio began rolling out the stars to promote the movie; Ford and co-star Asa Butterfield are even on an Entertainment Weekly cover.

And here stands the new controversy. Card is credited as author of the source material as well as serving as producer on the film, and so a boycott had been brewing, with organizers from New York-based Geeks Out asking folks to sign a pledge denying “support” to the film (which, we assume, means buying a ticket).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Artist pulls out of Superman comic, cites Card controversy

400069_517571621593887_813471930_n

Richard Neal

Local comic book store owner Richard Neal has been one of those at the forefront criticizing DC Comics for tapping virulent homophobe Orson Scott Card to pen a Superman story for them; Neal announced his Zeus Comics wouldn’t carry it when it was released.

Well, he will have to wait even longer until that day comes. Chris Sprouse, the artist hired to draw the comic, has pulled out of the assignment, citing the Card controversy.

That doesn’t mean the comic is dead, however; DC says it will hire another artist — a fact that distresses Neal.

“In the same week Carly Rae Jepsen and Train cancel a Boy Scouts of America concert appearance by standing up for LGBT equality, we get this from DC,” Neal sighs. “I’m not sure what I was expecting to happen, but I know what I was hoping to happen. However there will be no parade, no victory celebration for equality. DC relied on the artists to make the decision for them. If there is any victory, it’s in the meaningful conversations held in comic shops across the country about LGBT [rights] and marriage equality. The victory is in the community we create with each other.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Zeus’ Neal gets national attention for opposing anti-gay Superman scribe

Variants castDallas retailer Richard Neal, owner of Zeus Comics, has become the go-to guy on why DC Comics is being bone-headed about choosing anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card to write its Adventures of Superman trilogy, which the superhero-loving Neal has refused to carry in his store.

Neal, center, is now the subject of a two-part interview on the website ComicsAlliance about the controversy. You can read it here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas’ Zeus Comics says it won’t carry anti-gay writer’s Superman

250px-Orson_Scott_Card_at_BYU_Symposium_20080216_closeup

Orson Scott Card

The gay owner of Dallas’ Zeus Comics store has announced he won’t carry the print edition of DC Comics’ Anthology of Superman, after the comic book maker hired a board member from the National Organization for Marriage to help write the series.

DC Comics announced Monday that Orson Scott Card will help write the new Superman. Card not only sits on the board of NOM, but he has also called homosexuality “deviant behavior” and argued that marriage equality will lead to the collapse of civilization.

Despite outrage from the LGBT community and a petition calling for DC Comics to get rid of Card that now has almost 8,000 signatures, DC Comics stood by its decision in a statement to the Advocate.

D Magazine reports that Richard Neal, owner of Zeus Comics, posted the following statement on his Facebook page:

Zeus Comics will not be carrying the print edition of writer Orson Scott Card’s Superman.

Card sits on the board of the National Organization of Marriage which fights against marriage equality. His essays advocate the destruction of my relationship, that I am born of rape or abuse and that I am equated with pedophilia. These themes appear in his fiction as well.

It is shocking DC Comics would hire him to write Superman, a character whose ideals represent all of us.

If you replaced the word “homosexuals” in his essays with the words “women” or “jews” he would not be hired. But I’m not sure why its still okay to “have an opinion” about gays? This is about equality.

Neal also linked to his husband’s Tumblr page containing a scan of a recent Superman comic that appears to show him saving a gay teen from suicide. View the scan below.

—  John Wright

‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ targets the gay community … even though its Mormon creator favors anti-gay author

Two things — well, three really — about the new Twilight Saga entry, Eclipse. First, my review will be in the paper this week, so look for it. That’s kinda the third thing.

Second, when perusing the press site for the film, I came upon these two photos. Look carefully at Taylor; now look at Robert; they are actually the same picture, taken from a scene from the film. The only difference — other than the fact that, once you look closely, you can see how it was Photoshopped — is that in one, the girl is missing. Now, she’s in the scene in the movie. So the question is, why was she removed from the photo?

And the answer, according to one person in my office, is clearly: To appeal to the gay community.

Certainly it is convenient for the studio to streamline all the beefcake in one two-shot and omit the woman — which, when I think about it, is probably the only reason most girls go to see these films. (Who likes Bella, anyway?) But I think gay guys want it all conveniently tied up without female distractions, too. And the producers know it.

They also seem to know it insofar as the two directors in competition to helm the adaptations of the last book in the series were gays Gus Van Sant and Bill Condon (Condon got it). But deep down, it’s hard not to feel exploited by the creator.

Which brings us to point No. 3: The author of the books, Stephenie Meyer, is a devout Mormon who had never written so much as a letter to the editor before she became fabulously wealthy with her Twilight series. Some have analyzed the books through the prism of the LDS church, noting the virginal heroine and Edward’s insistence on marriage are conservative religious principals. Meyer has denied it.

What she hasn’t denied is being a fan of Mormon sci-fi author Orson Scott Card. Card is a virulently anti-gay bigot (which, if you saw the documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition, is par for the course for that cult). Last year, he joined the board of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage and has said no one can claim to be gay and a Mormon.

Now, I see these movies for free as part of my job (plus I have a well-documented crush on Taylor Lautner). But it makes you wonder: Does Meyer agree with Card’s view on homosexuality? Does she have as much contempt for her gay fans as Card seems to?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones