They should have known it would end in a PR disaster, and now it seems it has. A column that DC Comics’ Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras and Editorial Director Bobbie Chase co-authored for Comic Book Resources called B&B has been suddenly cancelled, and the reason may be that the fans who submitted questions to the column were getting a little too impertinent.
The source of the controversy over the column may have been another controversy, the hiring of writer Orson Scott Card to pen the online adventures of Superman. Chris Sprouse, a regular DC artist tasked to draw Card’s Superman story, removed himself from the project when fans began to protest Card’s appointment to the project on the basis of, shall we say, his strong views on gay marriage. Here’s the question a fan asked B&B about Card:
Finally, LGBT_Fan asks, “As a gay man, I was disappointed that you decided to work with Orson Scott Card on the upcoming Adventures of Superman. The man has called for the overthrow of the government if marriage equality legislation is passed in the U.S. and serves on the board of the National Organization of Marriage. How do you justify this hiring along with your attempts at reaching out to the LGBT community (e.g. writing LGBT characters in stories like Alan Scott and Batwoman)?”
The answer read as follows:
Note: A DC spokesperson referred CBR back to their previous statement on that question.
Perhaps unwilling to be caught off-guard like this again, the plug has been pulled on B&B with the following statement from CBR:
With regret, CBR News has to inform our readers today that there will no longer be a “B&B” column on the site after only four short months.
When CBR proposed the idea of a regular column with DC’s executive staff, our stated intent was for the feature to be a place to connect the decision makers at the publisher with the wider comics community. Aside from product and story information, discussing the industry news and debates of the day was something we always planned to focus on both in the regular interviews with Harras and Chase and the monthly fan Q&A. However, the DC team has made it clear to CBR that discussing some of the more controversial debates surrounding the company and the comics community is not something they feel comfortable doing in this format, and ultimately they decided to no longer participate in this feature.
Specifically, Harras and Chase declined to comment on questions about DC exclusive talent Jerry Ordway in regards to his statements about his work with the publisher. (Though it should be noted that DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee did discuss the matter in a recent CBR TV interview)
After ensuing discussions on the matter, CBR regrets that DC has decided not to continue what we consider a valuable discussion for readers, retailers and creators. We will however continue to cover the company’s comics, editorial moves and broader impact on comics to the best of our ability – including future interviews with DC executives and editorial staff as they are willing and available.
Well, it was a unique idea while it lasted. Still, The Mary Sue points out that the comic industry is one of the view entertainment media that makes its top people available to fans vis-a-vis convention Q&As and columns like B&B. Could you see the executives of Walt Disney or NBC sitting down with a fan site and doing a monthly article where they answer questions from fans? I hardly think so.
What do you Bastards think? The cancellation of B&B: the coward’s way out, or inevitable result of dealing with combative fans.
Source: The Mary Sue