Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Problem with Orson Scott Card writing Superman
While this topic has been beaten to death at this point as it relates to "Should DC have hired Card or not", I'm feeling like the real problem with DC hiring Card is that it looks to me like DC is treating Card's detractors the same way it treats diversity in general.
DC knows that there are only so many members of of it's buying public who are not straight white males but that isn't news. This is comics. MOST comic book readers/buyers are going to be straight white males but given the efforts of publishers and fans even on smaller scales, this is changing and faster than DC seems to be willing to admit.
DC didn't just hire a famous writer who annoyed people to write Superman. Comic book companies seem to troll Hollywood for leftover plot ideas, leaping from the minds of vain celebs all the time. That could have been Kevin Smith or Michael Bay. People on the Internet and in comic shops would have had all sorts of gripes but everyone would have gotten past it pretty quickly.
These guys went for OSC and I have to believe someone in a meeting said, "You do know this guys is ON RECORD as a champion anti-gay bigot don't you?" I'd be willing to bet someone then explained that OSC and some other more desired writer shared an agent or something and if they hired OSC, they could get BIG FISH X to come on board for a Batman GN in time for Christmas!"
Note: Mark the date down so that when the announcement happens, you know I called it.
The problem with OSC goes beyond bigotry on the part of the politics and finances of the writer. The problem goes to the alleged efforts the publisher has made towards respecting and promoting diversity. it's as if DC has said, "Come on people, it's not like we've been cancelling comics starring minority characters, which we KNOW tend to have a hard time maintaining traction in a market dominated by white male reader dollars."
DC is hiring people and making business decisions as if each one takes place in a vacuum but for how much longer is this a viable option or way of approaching the quest for sales?