1940s-The Golden Age of superhero comics
1950s-EC Comics; Wertham, Senate hearings, and the Code; the golden age of romance comics
1960s-Wacky Silver Age fun; birth of underground comics
1980s-Event comics/crossovers; "dark" superhero comics are born; the independent publisher explodes onto the scene; the direct market begins to overtake the newsstand
1990s-Crap-tacular comics with stupid gimmick covers; rise and fall of the major independent publisher; the big speculator bust
2000s (so far)-Manga gains major ground, overtaking Marvel/DC in several categories; graphic novels begin to supplant the pamphlet format; probably a bunch of other stuff that will seem clearer in hindsight
The 70s, however, don't have such a clear identity. We often portray the comics industry in that decade as either an outgrowth of the 60s or a precursor to the 80s. There are some notable exceptions. Underground Comix were generally coasting along, seemingly content to nurse a hangover from the previous decade until Arcade, a wonderful anthology which reinvigorated several cartoonists, most notably Robert Crumb (and, IIRC, it's Alan Moore's favorite comic of all time). Yet it's often viewed as more of a bridge to the more important 80s anthologies RAW and Weirdo, both of which lasted longer and featured numerous young cartoonists in addition to stalwarts of the 60s Underground. Marvel and DC were likewise rehashing the previous decade until Claremont and Cockrum (with much help from Len Wein) reinvigorated the superhero team comic. But again, the new X-Men are often lumped in with the comics of the 80s, perhaps because it was so influential on the comics of that decade.
The horror comics of the 70s certainly get their due, particularly those appearing in b&w magazines. But why stop there? Mr. Burgas suggests the bizarre work of Jim Starlin as another touchstone of the 70s; I think we can give the two Steves, Gerber and Englehart, similar consideration. And yet! Can we not consider the comics produced by these men to be precursors of later trends? All three had a darker approach to superheroes than Stan Lee or Gardner Fox. And their epic, cosmic style (esp. Starlin's) might have presaged the event comics of the 80s. Okay then, what about Heavy Metal? Clearly a break from tradition, but one could argue that it set the stage for the early independent "ground level" type comic. Cerebus? Even more so. Jack Kirby's Fourth World? A continuation of the themes from his earlier work at Marvel.
So basically: there were many good comics published in the 70s, especially if you're into idiosyncratic superhero comics, Underground Comix, or horror. But I'm skeptical that the 70s will ever be considered a monumental epoch in the history of comics. Some important wheels were set in motion, but the industry didn't undergo any of the extensive changes (on either the art or business front) seen in other decades. So maybe it's not such a great crime that the 70s dwell in the shadow of the two decades bookending it, an island of humility between two oceans of conceit (I think that's how that saying goes).
-Hey Howling Curmudgeons--don't you guys have anything better to talk about? I mean, nobody else is complaining about The Confession (well, Graeme McMillan reviewed it, but at least it was a review rather than a bunch of "here's what should have happened"), perhaps because they flipped through it in the store, realized it was an extended monologue with a brief and pointless vignette appended, and decided it wasn't worth their time/money. But then again, Howling Curmudgeons reads like a typical wacky nostalgia blog, only someone took away their (communal?) scanner and it made them REALLY, REALLY ANGRY. Also, I assume "I keep getting tempted to write a fanfic version Civil War...." is a jocular rhetorical flourish, right?
-Will Joe Sacco be writing the foreword?
-I think I figured out why my blog was the top Google entry for "Asorbascon"--I'm misspelling it. And yet none of you have noticed/felt the need to comment on it. No need to break with tradition now!
-Outrage of the day: Michael Turner's cover to an upcoming issue of...Justice Society, I guess? Maybe Justice League? Anyway, outrage is expressed here and here, and probably a bunch of other places too. Well, it is a pretty crappy drawing. Does he have to draw every woman with a pointy little chin?
And I thought Turner signed an exclusive contract with Marvel during last year's convention season. Why is he still doing covers for DC? Let's try to contain him to just one company, okay?