Here's how the circle of life works: online a-holes act like online a-holes about something dumb like video game box art, or a comic book cover. Bloggers and journalists then take to their sites and write several pages worth of content that basically boils down to "stop being a-holes, and call other people out when you see them being a-holes." This continues until something major out in the real world occurs--usually a political event, celebrity death, or natural disaster. Everything resets, and a few months down the line, we're right back to square one.
We're all happy to do the dance over and over again, because the reality is that we need it. We need distractions while we're at work or on the bus. We need to feel like we're doing something about all the vile behavior going on in what we perceive to be our community. We need to feel like our voices matter. It's all very basic and human, but sadly it doesn't amount to much.
Here's the truth of life: online a-holes do what they do because they're either A) twelve years old, and just discovered cursing, or B) they're grown adults who have no control over their lives, so they take refuge where they can--being absolutely horrible to others without fear of consequence. Women get rape and murder threats. Men get murder and rape threats. Parents get threats hurled at their children, and artists have their work torn down and reduced to garbage. We all put on our social justice caps and rally like minds around us to torch and pitchfork these online boogeymen out of town, but nothing ever changes. This is because our cries for justice are just as hollow as their threats.
The latest internet outrage comes courtesy of a relaunched series by one of the two major comic companies in the US. Its cover is awful for several reasons, and this has made bloggers and journalists focus their attention on it, which in turn lead the internet a-holes to focus their attention on it. Because of this perfect storm of internet coverage, it's almost inescapable. And so, we're right back to the circle of life repeating itself.
If you want to effect change, start with focusing on your own life. Don't like something? Don't buy it. Think that something's offensive? Then don't put a spotlight on it, thereby giving it way more attention than it deserves. And this isn't to say that if you don't like something, and don't pay attention to it, it will go away. It won't. You don't matter. Whatever it is will still exist regardless of you not paying attention. The point isn't to will something out of existence; the point is to weaken its chances of prolonged survival. This goes for all things in life--people, places, things, etc.
Internet a-holes will either grow out of it, or continue putting on a show with diminishing returns, until all they're left with is their own sad existence in their one-bedroom apartment above the liquor store.
Bad games will come out, sell next to nothing, and three months later you'll see twenty copies sitting in a bargain bin.
Bad comics will get released and cancelled in the same breath.
Instead of focusing on the negative, highlight the positive. I know that sounds very hippy-esque, but it really is a sure-fire way to bring exposure to that which you do enjoy in life.
With that being said, I'm going to take my own advice. This year alone, we've had The Raid 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Felipe Smith's new take on Ghost Rider, Timm and Cooke each doing animated Batman shorts to celebrate his 75th birthday. Dark Souls 2, a great new Tomb Raider comic series, Jazzpunk, the BBC doing a short documentary on Frank Quitely, and lots more to come throughout the year.
There's so much genuinely great stuff out there that I really don't see the point in wasting time talking about the bad. It sucks that there are a-holes on the internet, it really does, and I wish they didn't exist... but they do. They're not going anywhere, and just about 100% of the time, nothing that comes out of their mouth (or written in a message, as the case were) should be taken to heart or mind.
Make good art. Talk about good art. Everything else will work itself out.