I realize I’m kinda famous for not reading the Previews until it’s almost-too-late, but I do occasionally try to catch up on other websites’ mentions of the Previews, and I just saw Chris Sims agreeing with Dorian Wright that Orson Scott Card writing an adaptation of a video game made famous for its gay characters and storylines is total bullshit.

Dragon Age is a story-based RPG which features gay characters and gives players the option of playing a gay or bisexual hero if they wish to. Because this is the sort of thing gay video game players like, the game has received a mostly positive reception from the gay media.
IDW decided that the best person to write a comic in this setting is Orson Scott Card, a man so homophobic he has advocated treason in the event that gay marriage becomes the law of the land.
So, basically the good people at IDW can just go fuck themselves.

- Dorian Wright, Postmodern Barney

I don’t know if I’d go so far as Dorian in my condemnation of the publisher–I like a couple of the folks at IDW quite a bit–but sincerely, fuck Orson Scott Card, and fuck that book, and what were you thinking in hiring him, for that book in particular.

I mean, if nothing else, as soon as either gay or videogame media gets a hold of this there’s going to be a total shitstorm. Which I, for one, welcome with open arms. And I mean by “if nothing else” that we disregard all of the basic reasons of human dignity not to give that proselytizing jack-ass any more money to fund his vicious hate-speech. Which in the comics industry we are all expected to do, all the time, for some stupid fucking reason.

- Chris


30 Comments on “Really, IDW? Orson Scott Card?”

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  1. Sean T. Collins says:

    Didn’t Chuck Dixon write a Midnighter book recently, too? I’m really baffled by these decisions sometimes.

  2. Chris says:

    Like I said, we’re all supposed to ignore people’s not-just personally held views, but all of the venomous hate that they’ve spewed online, and separate that from “the work”. IDW, for example, just published one of Dixon’s early creator-owned works.

  3. Sean T. Collins says:

    If these people said what they said about black people or Jews or something (I’d say women but Dave Sim’s still the toast of the town, even when he’s doing comics ABOUT WOMEN) there’d be no question about what the appropriate response would be. Sorry, fags!

  4. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Is there going to be a response from people who feel strongly about this issue other than saying “fuck you”? Because honestly, if you’re looking for a reason people in comics continue to equivocate it could be in part because that kind of response is lame, and goes away quickly. That’s what a kid says to an usher in a movie theater who calls him a name, not what industry professionals and/or issue advocates do in response to something they find egregious and harmful.

    Seriously, I’d love to have something better to write up.

    And yeah, yeah, fuck me, too. Still: is this it?

  5. Suzene says:

    I heard about it on the Dragon Age forums, went to confirm in Previews, and just spent a few stunned moments blinking at the page. I can’t decide if this is IDW showing an ignorance of the property, an ignorance of their hired writer’s infamy, or if they just don’t care either way, as this is likely to be a fairly bullet-proof project given the target audience. In any case, depressing and good reason for me to spend my money elsewhere.

  6. Alex says:

    I looked up the Dragon Age comic news on various gaming websites, and it seems sadly that very few of them, apart from 1up (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3177438), picked up on the irony of OSC doing a Dragon Age comic, though there were quite a few user comments criticizing the decision, and others defending the choice, saying that OSC’s personal views won’t affect the comic…

    In general I think the gaming audience and media isn’t the most sensitive to gay issues, so I don’t think the news has turned into a shitstorm, though it’s not too late to start one ;)

    I also think that it could be simply that Bioware and/or EA were totally unaware of OSC’s homophobic rants, and IDW was clueless to the gay characters in the game, EA could have just given them a basic outline of the game, setting and storyline…is the comic going to use characters from the game, or be an original story set in the Dragon Age universe?

    As far as the fuck-you goes, I don’t know sometimes the simplest response is the best, since reasoning with someone is a futile exercise

  7. Chris says:

    Well Tom, considering I discovered this less than 24 hours ago, AND I’m in the middle of launching a massive web presence, yes, this is what you’re getting for now. If that’s not enough to report on, don’t. I’m sure I (or others) will have more to say later on. But, considering you write as much journalism as you do editorial content, I humbly suggest that if you want something better to write up, write it yourself. I feel that my anger in response to this terrible decision is valid, and perhaps I will write something further, later.

  8. Alex says:

    Suzene is there a thread about this on the Dragon Age forums yet…maybe if enough people spoke out there they might reconsider? Probably too late now though, at least for the first issue

  9. Suzene says:

    Afraid not, Alex. The topic came up as an aside to the continuing griping on the delayed DLC a day or so back; the forums were down last I checked. I’ve already done some fuming in a few other places, but I reckon a C&P to the DA forums when they’re back up won’t hurt me.

  10. Tom Spurgeon says:

    I look forward to any further response on your part, then. I do reject wholeheartedly the assertion that I was in any way questioning the validity of anyone’s anger.

    And of course I’m looking into the matter myself and will consider any number of responses, including editorial. Thank you for the suggestion, though.

  11. Dorian says:

    Tom, when you essentially call gay people expressing their anger “childish” and imply that comic publishers should ignore them, you are absolutely “questioning the validity of anyone’s anger.”

    Welcome to being part of the problem.

  12. Tom Spurgeon says:

    You know, you can substitute any words you like for the actual ones I used, redirect the ones I used towards an analysis of the anger rather than the response and make any implications on my behalf as you’d like, despite my direct protests to the contrary. That’s your prerogative.

    It’s not a very effective mode of response against me, either. You can do better. I doubt I’m part of any problem, but if I am, I’d like not to be and deserve to be hammered until I’m not. I hope that it doesn’t take time away from a better response to the original issue, but that’s your prerogative, too.

  13. Dan Coyle says:

    While we’re at it, Shadow Complex was a hideously overrated piece of shit that I beat way too quickly.

  14. Simon Jones says:

    Mr. Spurgeon,

    Isn’t the bold insensitivity, or surprising lack of oversight, of selecting an apparently notorious anti-gay proponent to write the comic adaptation of a gay-friendly property, newsworthy (or at least commentary-worthy) in and of itself? (Personally, I don’t know enough about Dragon Age to say one way or the other.)

    Either way, for those for whom this is an issue, I can’t think of a more appropriate response than sharing your displeasure, however tersely, with other potential readers. What more is required?

  15. THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Kibbles ‘n’ Bits - 1/18/2010 says:

    [...] Speaking of IDW, some bloggers are puzzled by their hiring Orson Scott Card, a well-publicized critic of homosoxuality, to write an adaptation of [...]

  16. Chris says:

    Tom, and I mean this seriously, you’re out to lunch on this. Your initial response was calling “fuck you”, which will herefore be referred to as ‘anger’, “lame”. Then when I said my ‘anger’ was valid, you said you never said anything otherwise, which while technically true (i.e.: my feelings are valid, my expression of them is just “lame”) is still dismissive and belittling.

    Your “you can do better” refrain also comes off as enormously patronizing. Again, I’m sure that nothing you’ve written was intended to aggravate, belittle, or otherwise invalidate my or others’ feelings on this issue, but I gotta tell you, you’re doing a hell of a job.

    - Christopher

  17. Dee says:

    Derailing for Dummies: “You’re being hostile.”
    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#hostile

    The Tone Argument (found under “Silencing Tactics”):
    http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Tone_argument

  18. Abhay says:

    “it could be simply that Bioware and/or EA were totally unaware of OSC’s homophobic rants”

    Card was involved in a game called Shadow Complex (which Dan mentions) which generated a similarly negative reaction in the “games press”– where he was defended vocally (and I thought, quite lamely) by Peter David. See,e.g., http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24627.

  19. Suzene says:

    Quick search reveals that there were threads on the subject in the DA:O forums, they just get quickly locked down and the posters told to take it to the Off-Topic forums.

  20. Alex says:

    yes the threads are interesting reads…this struck me though as a semi official statement on the matter from David Gaider, one of the writers I believe of DA

    “As for how anyone feels about Orson Scott Card’s personal views, they’re not very relevant to the work at hand unless it’s being used as a platform for those views (which it is not). If someone really feels that the politics of a writer and their creative endeavours can’t be seperated, that’s up to them, but eliminating anyone from being eligible to work on a creative project simply because someone might find their personal views objectionable isn’t something we’re prepared to do.”

    oh dear

  21. Steve MacIsaac says:

    “If someone really feels that the politics of a writer and their creative endeavours can’t be seperated, that’s up to them, but eliminating anyone from being eligible to work on a creative project simply because someone might find their personal views objectionable isn’t something we’re prepared to do.”

    I don’t disagree with this out of hand – professional writers should be able to write from a variety of perspectives. But it just seems odd that someone whose made such pronounced anti-gay statements in the past would WANT to work on this kind of property. It’s like Dave Sim announced that he was going to do a comic book adaptation of Jeanette Winterston – an interesting enough choice, based on talent alone, but given his view of women, one can’t help but wonder that certain core elements would be at risk of being stripped out in order to make it palatable for him to work on.

  22. Suzene says:

    Yeah. Their choice, but the interests of me and mine are going to win out over supporting Bioware’s IP, no contest.

  23. Chris says:

    “As for how anyone feels about Orson Scott Card’s personal views, they’re not very relevant to the work at hand unless it’s being used as a platform for those views (which it is not).”

    Which, I’m sorry, is utter bullshit. It stops being a personal view the moment he uses the platform afforded to him–by working on projects like DA–to espouses not only those views, but the active persecution of a huge segment of society.

    This isn’t a political issue, it’s a human rights issue. If Card had taken similar stands on other human rights issues, he wouldn’t be let within ten feet of a big IP like this.

  24. Dan Coyle says:

    You know, I’d almost forgotten that David freakout- which is even more repellent given how he, personally, experienced virulent homophobia in high school because he had a friend who was gay. I haven’t bought a Peter David comic since August, and that’s why.

  25. Gail Simone says:

    I’m sorry, but WHAT THE FUCK!?

  26. Dan Coyle says:

    Gail: Were you talking to me? I was really bothered by David’s behavior in that thread; the writer of that article was NOT endorsing boycotting the game because of Card’s views, he was saying they could boycott the game if they so chose. David saw it as an endorsement of not buying the game.

    I remembered the But I Digress columns about his friend Andy and the way they were both treated in high school because Andy was gay. David was bleating about how we should show how open minded and tolerant we are by buying the game despite Card’s views, but if you look at Card’s views he isn’t interested in giving any “Leftists” a goddamn inch, so why should we?

    I DID end up buying the game when it was on sale, and quite frankly, David’s script was lacking anyway.

    And I’m buying I Am Iron Man this week, so boycott over.

  27. Alex Davies says:

  28. Startups and follow-ups, five reviews for 1/13 (sorta). | Savage Critics says:

    [...] between IDW and Electronic Arts, aimed at dedicated proliferation of video game-licensed series. Have you heard about Orson Scott Card co-writing the Dragon Age comic? First comes Peter Milligan and Army of [...]

  29. Piledriver says:

    The fact that OSC has included homosexual characters in his fiction for years eludes all of you folks. No, your reactionary hysterics over internet gossip tells me you aren’t the deepest lot.

    Now if Dragon Age were about nothing but the homosexual experience and not a broader fantasy world, maybe Amistad Maupin would be the go-to guy. But as is — looks to me more like Orson Scott Card (one of the most decorated modern fantasy writers) is slumming to write any video game graphic-novelization.

  30. Delix says:

    This is ancient history but lol @Piledriver. The only gay characters OSC writes are villains or achieving happiness by converting to heterosexuality. He is incapable of writing anything on his own that is not suffused with not-so-thinly veiled conservative diatribe. And that makes a poor writer no matter how decorated by the masses you are. I would take Bian Sanderson, who is also a Mormon novelist, any day. Because he can write about viewpoints he disagrees with without making them abysmal caricatures.

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