Artist Chris Sprouse has decided he won't be drawing the story penned by sci-fi author Orson Scott Card in DC Comics' Adventures of Superman, the publisher told USA Today.

Continuing media attention focusing on the comic and Card's vocal activism against same-sex marriage has prompted Sprouse's departure from the story, which was set to be available online April 29. Sprouse's decision has delayed the story, but DC is looking for a replacement artist."It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I've decided to step back as the artist on this story," Sprouse said in a Tuesday statement. "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. My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them."

The uproar since the announcement of Card's story in the anthology has been considerable. An online petition to remove Card from the comic has reached more than 16,000 signatures and a handful of retailers around the country have said they won't sell the print editions of Adventures of Superman that contain Card's story, while others have promised to donate their profits to LGBT-friendly organizations.

Due to the delay the artist change has caused, Card's story will no longer be part of the first collected issue of the series, which is set to be released May 29. That issue will retain a story by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee and will now have other stories by Jeff Lemire, Justin Jordan and Riley Rossmo.

[Via USA Today]

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