I've been wondering lately about who(or what) best sums up each of the decades in comicbookdom, for you personally.
I know that this is all very subjective but I"m interested in peoples opinions.
I dont have extensive knowledge of earlier decades so will start with
The 50's The EC comics line. With the super-hero books in a massive slide I think that these books with their graphic stories across a wide range of genres, and with superior creators best sums up the decade. I have gone for these because of the effect of Seduction of the Innocent, which seems to have been directly inspired by a number of their books, and how it led to many publishers cancelling many titles and the creation of the CCA. The only other work I considered were the Disney titles(unsure of actual popularity) or the creation of TinTin(but was unsure of when the characters popularity really began.
The 60's Easily Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Marvel explosion of heroes with lives, loves, and drama was essentially down to these 2 giants. Whether Stans dialogue still works today or not there is no denying the immense effect he had on the business at the time. Being partnered(for the most part) with the genius of Jack Kirby helps of course. While others like Ditko, and later in the decade Steranko and Adams, had influence I think without these 2 our beloved hobby would be immensely poorer.
The 70'sNeil Adams. While he may have produced more work in the 60's, my personal recollection is of EVERY new artist being compared to him, and of the amount of new artists emulating his style. (Anyone remember Bill Sienkiewicz starting on Moonknight etc) I feel that in general most titles from the big two were suffering from severe averageness(like that word...could have tried averagnessity lol). On a personal note the British weeklies Action and 2000AD were huge features in my life, and I also think that the explosion of horror titles like Swamp-Thing, Werewolf by Night, and Tomb of Dracula were close runners but without a clear strong individual title didnt win. There is also plenty to like in Goodwin and Simonsons Manhunter, Rogers run on Detective, Thomas's Conan(came close), and the emergence of a George Perez on the Avengers, but ultimately I believe that the industry was still in the thrall of Neil Adams(much as 20-30 years later they were all trying to get their artists to emulate Jim Lee et al).
The 80's Uncanny X-Men. Mainly the Claremont and Byrne run. Despite my personal preferences, I think that the influence the title had on the business for the next 20-25 years far outways Alan Moore blowing our minds with Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, and Miracleman amongst others. God this was THE era for me and there are so many titles I would love to offer up on the altar of greatness...Daredevil, Legion, American Flagg, Sable, Grimjack, Love and Rockets, TMNT, Byrnes FF, etc etc... BUT those bloody mutants just wouldnt stop.
The 90'sTodd MacFarlane/Jim Lee. Like it or not but Image shook things up and changed how everything looked. Again there are some great and worthy titles and creators, Authority, Planetary, Preacher, Ellis, Ennis, and Millar being personal favourites.
The 00's.Brian Bendis. No character seems to have especially stood out over the decade, but he seems to be the one creator to have portrayed a consistent vision in his work at Marvel. From revitalising Luke Cage and family, through to taking the Avengers to the top of the charts, he has become the guiding force to the Marvel Universe. Like him or loath him (there is NO in-between) he has dominated the decade.
The Teens Geoff Johns. Taking his reign on Green Lantern to even higher levels by becoming one of the guiding lights for the entire DC Universe whilst writing(seemingly) every book they publish. While the decade is new he fits for what we have experienced of it.