Tagged: Orson Scott Card

Martha Thomases Is Outraged!

Thomases Art 130913In the last week, DC Comics has made me exhausted. I can’t keep up with my own outrage.

At first report, DC reportedly drove off J. H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman from the pages of Batwoman by decreeing that Kate Kane could not marry Maggie Sawyer, a storyline that they had been developing for more than a year.

How could this happen? DC had always been a leader in creating a diverse universe, or at least it did during my tenure there. We were so LGBT-friendly that I was able to work with GLAAD to get an awards category established for comics and graphic novels when they gave out their yearly prizes. And now they’re going all reactionary? That made no sense. The Internet rumor that they were doing this to suck up to Orson Scott Card made even less sense, and, happily, turned out to be complete paranoid speculation.

Was I going to have to boycott DC Comics, which I’ve been reading for 55 years?

Then, as it turned out, the news story was more complicated. The editorial edict was not against gay and lesbian marriage, but all marriages. I don’t think this is what we had in mind when we wanted marriage equality. The editorial theory is that a married hero can’t be interesting, but instead must be miserable and lonely to have a dynamic emotional life with a lot of story opportunities.

I understand what they’re saying here, but I think it’s lazy. It would be like saying that a hero can’t have a successful career, because poverty has more dramatic potential. However, having an editorial edict about marriage does make it easier to manage the stories from a brand perspective, as potential Hollywood blockbusters. Hollywood loves single heroes, considering them to be sexier and more appealing to the coveted 14-25 male audience. It’s letting marketing trump editorial, and, even worse, it’s letting paranoia about movie marketing trump comic book creativity.

Batwoman is currently one of my favorite books. It’s one that I show people who don’t think they would like superhero comics. Even when the story isn’t necessarily to my taste (Killer Croc doesn’t interest me that much), the artwork is always lushly gorgeous, the lay-outs intriguing, and the characters both enigmatic and engaging.

While I don’t know J. H. Williams, I consider myself to be a huge fan, and it upsets me to see him and his colleague treated so poorly. Editors are an important element of the creative process, and nothing I say should be considered anti-editor. However, it’s bad management for editorial to swoop down and demand changes at the last minute, especially on a story-line that was already approved. It’s no way to treat talent. It’s no way to run a company.

Was I going to have to boycott DC Comics, which I’ve been reading for 55 years?

The latest news as of this writing is that Mark Andreyko will take over Batwoman. I enjoy his work a lot, and, while I don’t think we’ve met, we’re Facebook friends and we seem to share a sensibility. I’m curious to see what he’ll do with Kate Kane, so I guess a boycott isn’t really an option, at least not for me at this point.

Here’s the thing. It’s been taking me longer and longer to read my comics every week. The pile will sit there for days, waiting for me to get interested. I’m writing this on Monday, and the “Villains Month” books have sat there since Wednesday. I’m not sure I care anymore. Treating artists and writers like cookie-cutters has made reading the books a chore. I don’t have to spend money for more chores. Chores surround me, for free.

Nagging about chores is something that ruins a lot of marriages. Way more than being the hero.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis (honest)

SATURDAY MORNING: Marc Alan Fishman

 

Mike Gold: Cop Killer and Cop-Out

Gold Art 13080721 years ago Warner Bros. released a record album called Body Count and it launched a shit storm. The artist, Ice-T, performed a track called “Cop Killer” which was written from the perspective of, well, a cop killer. This is a common device in the communication arts, and it doesn’t mean the author/performer is an advocate for his character. For example, Robert Bloch wrote a novel called Psycho, from which the classic Hitchcock movie was based. I do not recall anybody accusing Bloch of being, supporting, or even befriending cannibalistic serial killers.

However, oftentimes when some strong-looking black guy assumes a position of power, certain other people completely lose their minds. The NRA and similar hate groups said Ice-T was advocating the wanton murder of police and the usual protests ensued: Warner’s Rockefeller Plaza headquarters was picketed, talking heads babbled mindlessly on teevee and radio, records were burned, and the far right basked in the afterglow of a rich orgasm of bullshit.

This is sort of like a trauma suffered by Warner Bros. almost two decades earlier, where some people listened to parts of Randy Newman’s song “Short People” and decided Newman was bigoted against, well, short people. Randy’s a nice white guy; Warners didn’t pull the track.

In the “Cop Killer” case Warner Bros. issued a statement saying they believed in free speech and they were standing behind Ice-T. As an executive (!) of Warners at the time, I was genuinely proud of my employer. Silly me. I had met Ice-T up at DC Comics’ offices; they were going to do a graphic novel with him and the guy wanted to “borrow” Trevor Von Eeden, who was drawing the Black Canary monthly for me at the time. Ice-T is a nice guy, and coming in person to make the request was a massive act of respect.

A while later, when fewer people were looking, Warner Bros. quietly withdrew the track from future pressings of the album and they dumped Ice-T’s next record and the graphic novel mysteriously disappeared. If corporations were truly human the way the highest court in the land said when they were undoubtedly high, then Corporate America has the morals of a crack whore.

So, outside of Trevor, what does this have to do with comic books?

Science fiction writer Orson Scott Card is a vicious little homophobe consumed with hatred. He had done some comics writing, and a little while back DC hired him to write a story for their new Adventures of Superman title. This title features stories written and drawn by a variety of writers and artists and, for the record, is one of my favorite books from that publisher. Shortly after that, Card exposed his innermost feelings to the public and Warner Bros. – DC Comics is owned and operated by Warner Bros. and isn’t even a division thereof – publically pulled the story from the book. DC said “Hey! We don’t hate no homos!” and, yes, I paraphrase for emphasis.

OK. That’s nice. Make a stand in favor of equality and equal rights and the common humanity of all people. That’s probably good for business as, at the very least, it takes them out of the “Orson Scott Card is a crawling piece of shit” controversy.

But now, when fewer people are looking, they’ve quietly admitted they are going to publish Card’s Superman story.

The “Cop Killer” incident happened a few years before Ice-T became a star of one of television’s longest running crime dramas… playing a cop. So much for Ice-T advocating the killing of policepeople.

But Orson Scott Card remains an unrepentant homophobe and consummate hater.

Fuck you, Warner Bros, you poseurs. You goddamned lying hypocrites.

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Martin Pasko

 

Michael Davis: DC Is Coming Out

Michael Davis: DC Is Coming Out

Davis Art 130416Orson Scott Card does not like gay people. In fact, I think it’s fair to say he hates gay people. Orson Scott Card is writing Superman stories for DC Comics. A lot of people are pissed over that, but DC is standing by their man.

But will Orson Scott Card still stand by DC?

Why, you ask, would I ask that? Because DC Comics now has a transgender character the first ever in comics…except for Johnny Storm but he is on the down low and come on, that’s so freakin’ obvious. DC’s new transgender character is also…wait for it…wait for it…

Wait for it… Bisexual!!

But wait! There’s more!

Alysia Yeoh is her name (I think she’s Asian and if so…hot!) is the roommate of Batgirl!

Batgirl is living with a bisexual transgender hot Asian woman. Clearly Orson Scott Card won’t want to write Batgirl and who knows he may just quit Superman after his extreme right wing hate buddies start bitching about the Gay Mafia which is now clearly running DC Comics.

Man, I’d love to write that book but the odds of me writing anything for DC are about as good as Obama getting an A rating from the NRA.

Wait. That’s not true. I almost forgot I wrote a piece for the Static Shock Dwayne McDuffie tribute issue. That’s a good a sign as any that someday I’ll work on another DC Comics project. Hell, that’s not a good sign, that’s a great sign.

On the other hand, they still haven’t paid me for that piece… which could be considered a sign also.

Shit.

But I digress (sorry Peter hope you are doing well my friend). Orson Scott Card may not even care that Batgirl, an iconic major character in the DC Universe is shacking up with an bisexual transgender hot Asian woman.

Yeah, right.

Someday soon a reporter, journalist, creator or fan will ask Card in a public forum for his reaction to the bisexual transgender hot Asian woman living with Batgirl and when they do I hope Card responds and doesn’t dodge the question.

Will he stand by his homophobic hateful views and then have to answer what will surly be a follow up question along these line “Will you continue to work for the company that considers this type of lifestyle, which you abhor, a legitimate one?”

That is the rock and hard place that Card will find himself between. Hope for his sake neither rock or hard place are names of guys but just a metaphor.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

 

Look at Ender’s Game One-Sheet

EG_188 teaser fin14 theater crop_Ender’s Game has been percolating for years and the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s best-selling novel is finally being released in November. Here’s the first one-sheet for the movie and Summit Entertainment has released a new synopsis for the film.

In the near future, a hostile alien race called the Formics have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer.

Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite.  Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School.  Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.

Based on the best-selling, award winning novel, ENDER’S GAME is an epic adventure which stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, with Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford.

Mindy Newell: It’s Personal, Not Business.

Newell Art 130225From Wikipedia: Critics have generally received Ender’s Game well. The novel won the Nebular Award for best novel in 1985, and the Hugo for best novel in 1986, considered the two most prestigious awards in science fiction. Ender’s Game was also nominated for a Locus Award in 1986. In 1999, it placed #59 on the reader’s list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels. It was also honored with a spot on the American Library Association’s “100 Best Books for Teens.” In 2008, the novel, along with (it’s sequel) Ender’s Shadow won the Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors an author and specific works by that author for lifetime contribution to young adult literature. Ender’s Game was ranked at #2 in Damien Broderick’s book Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010.

Not too shabby.

The announcement by DC that Orson Scott Card (author of Ender’s Game and its sequel) will be writing a Superman story to be included in an upcoming anthology has burst into a firestorm of controversy on the net and in newspapers such as The Hollywood Reporter (“Ender’s Game’s Orson Scott Card’s Anti-Gay Views Pose Risk for Film,” February 20, 2013), not only because of Mr. Card’s publicly-stated negative opinions on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but because Mr. Card sits on the Board of Directors for the non-profit National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Established in 2007 to work against the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, NOM contributed $1.8 million to the passage of “Prop 8” in California, which prohibited same-sex marriage in California. (The amendment was in force until United States District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned it in August 2010, ruling that it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the United States Constitution. His decision has been appealed, and the ruling has been stayed.) NOM also opposes civil union legislation and gay adoption.

Last week Michael Davis’s Brokeback Bastard here on ComicMix asserted not only DC’s right to hire Mr. Card despite the widespread outrage, but Michael’s opinion that efforts to get DC to renege their offer to Mr. Card, i.e., fire the bigot!, will fail, because, DC sees this, a la The Godfather, as “business, not personal.” Why? Because, to quote Michael, “This is a win – win for DC. They get a pretty good writer and massive publicity so why fire the guy? When the book comes out they will get another round of colossal exposure so like I said, why fire the guy?”

He’s right about that. Any publicity, so the pundits say, is good publicity. (I get the sentiment, but it’s not really true. Just ask Elliot Spitzer about his hooker friend, or Paul Ryan about his marathon time.)

This is what I wrote in response to Michael’s column:

Well, I understand the business side of it. Orson Scott Card is a prolific and popular science fiction writer whose Ender’s Game won the Nebula and the Hugo, and whom DC is betting will bring in lots of $$$$$. And I understand the “high moral ground” that Michael and Dan and John (Dan and John are respondents who took issue with Michael’s viewpoint) are arguing above: judge the guy on his writing, not on his personal views. However, Card’s views are not personal in that he is a member of the Marriage Is Only Between A Man And Woman Board, (I was too lazy at the time to look up the name of the organization) or whatever the hell it’s called. He has publicly stated that gay men and women should be ostracized and worse.

Superman is an icon. Superman stands for justice for all. Superman stands for the American dream. Superman stands for the pursuit of happiness. Superman stands for Truth. Card does not stand for justice for all. Card does not stand for the American dream. Card does not stand for the pursuit of happiness. Card does not stand for Truth.

Hatred and bigotry is rampant again in this country. Just look at what’s happening in Congress. The total blockage of Obama’s proposals, the continuation of the birthers and their lies, the about-to-be sequestration of our economy is all about the hatred of our first black President. Operative Word Is Black.
 Hiring Card to write an American icon is disgusting because Card is against everything the American dream stands for. That’s my opinion, plain and simple.

Though, as I said, I understand the business behind DC’s decision, I’m also so fucking tired of the “anything for a buck” crap that’s so damn rampant these days. It’s not just in business. It manifests itself everywhere. For instance:

I worked for many years at my local hospital. Across-the-board layoffs were scheduled. Instead of protesting the lay-offs, my union said that any employee who had lost his or her job could “bump” a junior employee. In other words, take the junior employee’s job and leave him or her out in the cold. I found this despicable. The union’s job, im-not-so-ho, was to protect all employees, not just do a “run-around” to solve the problem.

I could never take another person’s job. “It’s not right,” I said. Most of my co-workers mouthed the words, but when push-came-to-shove, most of those who were on the lay-off list did “bump” the one below them. And what was worse, being a small, community hospital, the “bumpers” knew the “bumpees.”

Et tu, Brutus?

Yeah, I know. “Oh, grow up, Mindy.” “Who are you, Pollyanna?” “People gotta do what they gotta do.”

It really sucks that I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore.

But like I said, I get it.

Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.

Go to the mattresses.

It’s business, not personal.

BUT GOD DAMN IT…

IT’S SUPERMAN!

TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis

 

 

New Ender’s Game Image Released

ENDER'S GAMEOf late, Orson Scott Card has been causing controversy for his work on a digital Superman storyline. However, the story that made him a bestselling author, Ender’s Game, continues production for release Novenber 1. Now we’re getting some of the first visuals, featuring Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld.

The film is being written and directed by Gavin Hood and also stars Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and of course, Harrison Ford.

The official film synopsis reads:

In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.

Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.

Michael Davis: Brokeback Bastard

Davis Art 130219DC Comics is hiring a very anti-gay writer named Orson Scott Card to write for them.  That’s bad enough in my opinion, but they are giving him Superman to write.

Damn DC.

Giving a guy who wishes gay people were wiped off the face of earth is one thing, but giving him Superman is just ballsy as shit.

The outcry in the industry is loud and clear. There’s a movement to have DC just fire the guy outright.

Not gonna happen.

Let me be clear, I don’t think DC will fire the guy unless videotapes are found of him doing unnatural things with a German Sheppard… a girl German Sheppard, of course. I don’t want to offend him in case he’s reading this.

This is a win – win for DC. They get a pretty good writer and massive publicity so why fire the guy? When the book comes out they will get another round of colossal exposure so like I said, why fire the guy? For DC this is not personal, it’s business.

I say, let the guy write the book. Really.

If you want to take a stance against him and his views as I do, trying to get him fired is the wrong way to go about it at least I think so. Nothing short of a massive boycott will make a dent in stopping this guy from doing the Superman story.

But there is another way…

Take the writer to task at every turn. Make him own his views. Challenge him all the places where DC will send him to promote the book. Like comic book conventions, or any online forums, or any book signings anywhere he will show his bigoted face. Then the story is about his hated, his views and his failings as a human being. No company wants that shit following them around, over and over and over.

Trust me on this; I know first hand just how hard that sort of bad press hits corporate America. The way they are perceived by the public is easy to weather unless it keeps happening.

Now is if they also just happen to be a publicly traded company…

Yippee Ki Yay Mother Fucker.

I like what DC is doing with its line these days. I don’t like to think that one of my favorite comic book characters is going to be written by a guy who would deny others their right to exist.

I don’t blame DC for hiring the guy, I don’t blame them for standing behind him (although it better not be a guy standing behind him) because like I said for them it’s not personal it’s business.

For me and I’m guessing many of you making his comic book journey miserable is not business, it’s personal.

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

 

Orson Scott Card, Superman And Here We Go Again

Orson Scott Card at Life, the Universe, & Ever...I’ve already received e-mails about this. Encouraging me to go nuclear on DC Comics’ for hiring Orson Scott Card to write a story for the new Adventures of Superman digital comic, as reported by IGN.

The first two chapters are by Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story, the third by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee; teling of Superman’s first meeting with Lex Luthor. Future chapters include work by Dan Abnett. Ed Benes, Mitch Breitweise, Giuseppe Camuncol, Nathan Edmondso, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Christos N. Gage, Marc Guggenheim, Justin Jordan, Matt Kindt, JT Krul , Max Landis, Andy Lanning, David Lapham, Jeff Lemire, Michael Avon Oeming, Riley Rossmo, Stephen Segovia, Bruce Timm, Marcus To and Marv Wolfman.

But Orson Scott Card is on the board of directors for National Organization for Marriage, an association committed to stopping the legalisation of gay marraige. And as a result of this, and a number of unpleasant statements he’s made regarding the issue of homosexuality, has been the subject of a number of boycotts. And it looks as if one is brewing for this Superman story.

I think that’s wrong.

There are a number of comic book creators who believe something very different to what I do. Some of those beliefs offend me. Sometimes they even inform their art, something that Card is unlikely to be accused of in Superman.

Some try to draw a line between an opionated person and an activist. I disagree, any famous person who expresses an opinion, especially in this day and age, de facto becomes an activist for that opinion.

It’s a very dangerous game, it has led in the past to witchtrials, McCarthyite or otherwise, and it’s no better than the actions of, say, One Million Moms. And next time? It could be you…

The 2011 Chesley Award Winners

The 2011 Chesley Award Winners

This is a busy weekend for awards, and the first major awards have just been handed out. The winners of the 2011 Chesley Awards were announced today at Renovation, the WorldCon going on right now in Reno, Nevada. The Chesleys are given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists each year for excellence in genre art.

  • Paperback: Jason Chan, for Geist by Phillipa Ballantine (Ace)
  • Hardcover: Michael Whelan, for The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Tor)
  • Magazine: Nick Greenwood, for Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show #17
  • Three-Dimensional: Mark Newman, Eel Walker; bronze
  • Interior: Donato Giancola, Middle Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth
  • Unpublished Color: Julie Dillon, “Planetary Alignment”
  • Unpublished Monochrome: Ian Miller, “Triptych”
  • Product: Sam Weber, Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, promo art for Tor ebook
  • Gaming: Lucas Graciano, Amorphous Drake (Legends of Norrath) (Sony Online Entertainment)
  • Art Director: Jon Schindehette — Wizards of the Coast
  • Lifetime Achievement: Boris Vallejo

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! And check ComicMix tomorrow for the results for the Harvey Awards from Baltimore Comic-Con and the Hugo Awards from WorldCon!

(more…)

ComicMix Radio: Diamond Slashes Devils Due

ComicMix Radio: Diamond Slashes Devils Due

Due to a legal puzzle in who has the rights to the ReAnimator characters, Diamond is not carrying issues 17 and 18 of Devil’s Due’s Hack Slash.  So how do you get your copy? We dig up the answer, plus:

Orson Scott Card talks about this week’s debut of Ender’s Game at Marvel
Dark Night headed for your Christmas Stocking
Robert Kirkman makes a pledge to you

And there’s a boatload of new comics and DVDs to tackle as well so Press the Button!

 

And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!