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Monday, March 14, 2011

The 1970's - A Great Decade For Comics!

Wolverine, Darkseid, Black Lightning, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Sabretooth, Patsy Walker, Etragan, Ghost Rider and myself all have something in common. We are are tied to the comic book industry and we were all produced in the 1970's.

The 70's were a cool decade that brought us Saturday Night Fever, Kojack, Superman The Movie, Star Wars, and Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. It was time unlike any other as unrest on the world scene increased. Terrorism beginning to show its ugly face, an oil crisis plagued the world, the US Presidency was in turmoil and inflation was through the roof! Yet, out of the ashes of world turbulence, new heroes arose that led the comic book industry back into an industry of demand and want.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby continued to produce great stories and art but the art of such individuals like Neal Adams and Jim Aparo helped take the industry to a new level. The stories of the 70's took on real life issues of the day such as teenage drug abuse, domestic violence, terrorism, pollution, cold war and other similar topics. Governmental corruption became more dominate in the news and likewise showed up in the pages of comics. The world increased in more turmoil following the Vietnam War and what it needed was a new breed of heroes and villains. Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) and Wolverine serve as an example of the type of anti-typical heroes that arose to take on issues that called for more than simply a 'feel good' solution. Readers wanted retribution and such heroes delivered it.

Horror comics also took on greater roles and increased in popularity during the 1970's. Werewolf by Night, Dracula, Morbius, Blade, Swamp Thing and similar titles/characters became a mainstay during a period of what seemed to be a dark hopelessness. The darker, edgier characters were fitting for the time. Blood, gore and the occult ruled the era that was already ransacked with it.

Long time heroes such as Batman and Green Lantern also took on edgier roles during this period which led them to the kind of characters they still are today. The 1970's blurred the line between heroism and villainy and it made right vs. wrong more difficult to distinguish. Violence grew darker in comics as it also grew darker in the real world.

The 1970's produced an age of comics that certainly was not 'golden'. Yet the demand for Bronze Age issues increases as the nostalgia of such issues are a favorite among modern collectors. It is certainly one of my favorite decades for comics, not because of the darkness, but because of the willingness of the industry to change, the manner in which real problems were addressed, and because of the evident demonstration that answers to problems among humans and heroes is not always as clear cut as we might like them to be. The struggle of heroes helped readers relate to their own issues.

To celebrate the 70's, we have decided to make our contest this week (week of 03-14-2011) 1970's Week. Watch for our contests on Facebook, Twitter or join our email list.

What are you favorite story lines, heroes, villains, artists, etc for the 1970's? We would love to know. Leave a comment and we will give you 20 points per word toward our weekly contest.

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