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The Scott Card Superman Boycott

Like many things, this started as a comment on someone else's post, but got far too long for that. So, this is my view on the boycott of Scott Card's work on Superman being conducted by some comic shops and, presumably, comic purchasers.

Firstly I should point out that I don't buy Superman, the concept doesn't interest me that much. Scott Card writing it isn't likely to make me change my mind, so I can't really boycott the work, as I had no intention of buying it in the first place. Alan Moore, perhaps, but then he's already done the Miracle-Man arc, which is his exploration of what a real Superman would be.

I think it's perfectly valid for people to complain about an artist's views and to boycott that artist's work if they don't like those views, but personally I prefer to accept the art as it is, and not be bothered by the creator's personal views, unless those views actually do make their work bad. While a work can be, and almost always is, coloured by an artist's views to some extent, much of the time, especially when those views are not relevant to the thrust of the work, those views do not come across in the work in any significant way.

I think Scott's being a Mormon and vehemently disliking gays are both abhorrent practices, but that doesn't mean I'll automatically dismiss his art. I feel "Enders Game", and the series derived from it, is a classic of the genre and that won't change regardless of Scott's views on any subject. Scott has also written and edited probably the best self-help guides for aspiring SF authors out there. But his "Alvin Maker" series too closely parallels certain Books of Mormon, and suffers greatly for it.

Frank Miller is a homophobic, sexist, ableist, anti-Islamic, right wing bigot, but his art and writing in "Daredevil", "Ronin" & "The Dark Knight Returns" (the original comic) are superb. "300" however, is a complete load of crap because he let his views get too close to the surface of his work. On the other hand, "300" was one of Miller's more financially successful franchises, and I suspect people may be fooling themselves if they think DC are going to be negatively impacted in any significant way by being associated with Scott.

Tom Cruise and John Travolta are religious fruitcakes who also make stupid pronouncements in public, among other things. I happen to think that Travolta's performances in things like "Pulp Fiction" & "Swordfish" are great, and Cruise's performance's in "Rain Man" and "Born on the Fourth of July" are even more impressive.

Wagner wrote some great music, even though he was basically a Nazi.

To me, it's nice when an artist, in whatever field, happens to have social or political views that are similar to my own, but it's not necessary for me to enjoy their work, and I prefer to examine the work, not the artist, when making an aesthetic judgement on the work's quality.

If I did not do that, I would have to dismiss Shakespeare as being anti-semitic, sexist, classist, and numerous other things that are unacceptable today.

This entry was originally posted at http://mundens.dreamwidth.org/469196.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
Gosh, the intentional fallacy. Wasn't I just waffling about this last week?

The problem with Card is that his views turn up in his art - maybe not all of it, but enough of it to make me not want to pay money for any more of it.

Vis. Check out the second page, where the templars are practicing their swordplay.

Yes, it was awesome to know that 'you fight like a girl' is going to be an insult in my favourite fandom now (especially given the general non-sexist nature of Bioware stuff in general), and even more awesome to have it reinforced in the next line "Could a girl have cut you into three pieces?" Well yes, yes she could, and fuck you Mr Card for tainting my fandom with your sexist crap, essentially.

It's notable that the other Dragon Age graphic novels, which do not involve him as a writer, do not contain sexist bullshit.

Feb. 28th, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
Gosh, the intentional fallacy.

Yeah. I had this conversation a while ago. As an artist I LOVE the idea that the only thing that matters is the artwork and the artist and his/her intentions/beliefs mean nothing, but sometimes in actual real world situations that does not work out. I was asking for suggestions of SF books to buy my brother for Christmas and people suggested Card books and I was like... my brother's gay. I can't buy Card books for my beloved brother as a present. It would be horribly insulting and gross if I did that. It's not gonna happen. And well, there's lots of other great stuff out there that won't make him vomit, so let's go with that. And the other non-vomictuous suggestions were indeed plentiful and awesome. So... *shrugs*
Feb. 28th, 2013 02:34 am (UTC)
I would be all "Banks, Banks, oh, did I mention Banks?"

lalala.. ;-)
Feb. 28th, 2013 12:03 am (UTC)
Wagner wrote some great music, even though he was basically a Nazi.

Actually, Wagner himself wasn't a Nazi. His music just got appropriated by the Nazi movement, and by Hitler in particular.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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