Once again, DC Comics seems to be living by the old cliche that there is no such thing as bad publicity. The latest flap involves the authorship of a segment of the company's digital Adventures of Superman anthology.
It seems to me that Orson Scott Card; of whom, until this week, I knew nothing other than his name and the titles of some of his books that I'd never read and now likely never will; has joined the club of creative individuals, which includes Steve Ditko and Dave Sim, whose extreme and unpopular political views have overshadowed, and at times overtaken, their creative output. In Cards case, it is his outspoken stand against gay marriage rights that has lowered him into pariahship. Thus, DC's engaging of this controversial author to script a tale of its flagship character has been met with much outrage in the world of Internet opinionating. There is an on-line petition, although likely too late to do any other than symbolic good (yet I've signed it nonetheless), urging DC to reconsider its decision to hire Card, and a few retailers have announced their intent not to carry the print edition of the comic when it ships in May.
When contacted by The Advocate, a spokesman for DC spewed out the following half-assed, have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too, corporate double speak statement that seems to be trying to split the difference between defending the decision to hire Card while simultaneously distancing the company from his more controversial views:
“As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that — personal views — and not those of the company itself.”
Now, I figure that someone at DC must have realized that this controversy would occur. Thus, it seems highly likely to me that, following the above stated dictum that there is no such thing as bad publicity, the prospect of the expected outrage drawing media attention to DC and this particular comic, which is exactly what has happened, may have played some part in the decision by the company to hire Card.
As I probably was not going to anyway, this controversy and my discovery of Card's true colors hasn't influenced my decision about whether or not to purchase or read Adventures of Superman. It has, however, pretty much wiped out whatever vestigial desire I may have harbored to read anything else the man has written.