Archive for Orson Scott Card

Irritated Again


Oh, comics industry, do you have to do all these things to disappoint the polar bear? Do you really?

So first, there’s this bit of news that’s had the comics news sites roiling over the past few days: Geoff Johns will no longer be writing “Green Lantern.” This is considered so earth-shatteringly important that you can see multiple articles devoted to Johns and GL on all the big sites.

The thing is, this isn’t important. The only reason anyone cares is because Geoff Johns is one of the people running DC Comics (into the ground, he added venomously), and because his devotion to Green Lantern is so overblown that he’s got the company publishing four different GL comics — the same number as the Superman-related comics. We can pretty well be guaranteed that Johns will eventually pick up some new character obsession, if he doesn’t just insist that DC start publishing a dozen “Aquaman” comics.

What else does DC think is important for the comics world? Well, they’re going to let bigoted has-been douche Orson Scott Card, still coasting on the positive reputation he got from writing “Ender’s Game” in ’85, and now better known for being a homophobic freak, write some Superman stories in a digital comic.

Now that’s a real WTF moment, DC.

And you know that DC was probably entirely expecting this, if not actively excited about it. Card’s background and reputation isn’t a secret. You mention his name in nerd circles, and you’re stone guaranteed to get as many people who hate him for being a gay-bashing scumbag as there are who love him for being the author of one of science fiction’s most beloved books. Heck, you can find people who love “Ender’s Game” but still hate Card for being a gay-bashing scumbag. His reputation is inextricably tied to the fact that he really, really hates gay people.

And DC, a company that has more and more often marketed its comics by trolling and insulting comics readers, decided this sounded like a public relations triumph. They knew it’d be controversial, they knew it’d really get the outrage pumping — and courting controversy and outrage is all DC really knows how to do these days. They certainly don’t care about quality stories, because Card hasn’t written anything more impressive than his homophobic screeds in at least a decade.

But really, you know what bugged me the most today? More than the foofaraw about Geoff Johns quitting one of his bland superhero comics? More than one of the Big Two embracing a bigot for the sake of cheap publicity and easy HuffPo hits? How about Don Rosa, the chronicler of Disney’s duck comics for several decades and a man second only to Carl Barks himself as one of the Scrooge McDuck creators, quitting comics completely, partly because he’s getting old and his eyesight is fading, but also because Disney can reprint his work any time they want to, put his name on the cover as a selling point, and not pay him a single dime. Yeah, not even a lucky one.

Seriously, comic book fans, this is way more important than one of DC’s bigwigs flouncing off and paying the comics news sites to freak out about it.

This is a depressingly familiar story. The comics publishers have never shown much interest in supporting the geniuses who’ve made them rich, and it’s absolutely ridiculous that Disney markets their Scrooge McDuck collections with Rosa’s name but won’t pay him any royalties or anything else in compensation. That’s infuriating and just sad.

Don Rosa deserves better. And we all deserve a better, less noxious comic book industry.

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