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'Superman' artist drops out of project following Orson Scott Card controversy

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(Read caption) The first issue of the anthology 'The Adventures of Superman' is scheduled for a May release.

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Comic book artist Chris Sprouse announced that he was leaving a “Superman” project on which he was working with sci-fi author Orscon Scott Card because of the controversy surrounding the writer’s views against gay marriage.

Card was hired to write a story in the anthology series “Adventures of Superman,” with Sprouse illustrating, but the artist said he became uneasy with the project after news coverage of Card’s views.

 “The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that's something I wasn't comfortable with,” Sprouse said in a statement. “My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them.”

DC Comics, the company behind the series, said in a statement that it “fully support[s], understand[s] and respect[s] Chris's decision to step back from his Adventures of Superman assignment. Chris is a hugely talented artist, and we're excited to work with him on his next DC Comics project."

The story by Card and Sprouse was supposed to appear in an anthology series of “Adventures of Superman,” which was scheduled for a release later this year, but a new story will take its place. However, DC Comics said in its statement that it will “will re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired,” so Card’s narrative will presumably see the light of day at another time.

Renewed discussion over Scott’s views against gay marriage started when the company announced that the “Ender’s Game” author would be behind a “Superman” story. The news was greeted by a petition on the website AllOut.org requesting that DC remove Card from the anthology. The petition currently has more than 16,500 signatures.

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