Great Comic Book Eras

The Golden Age of Comic Books 

From Wikipedia:

The Golden Age of Comic Books was a period in the history of American comic books, generally thought of as lasting from the late 1930s until the late 1940s or early 1950s. During this time, modern comic books were first published and enjoyed a surge of popularity; the archetype of the superhero was created and defined; and many of the most famous superheroes debuted, among them Superman, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel. The period saw the arrival of the comic book as a mainstream art form, and the defining of the medium's artistic vocabulary and creative conventions by its first generation of writers, artists, and editors. Read more...

The Silver Age of Comic Books

From Wikipedi:
   The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those in the superhero genre. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the period from 1956 to circa 1970, and was succeeded by the Bronze and Modern Ages.[1] A number of important comics writers and artists contributed to the early part of the era, including writers Stan Lee, Gardner Fox, John Broome, and Robert Kanigher, and artists Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko, Mike Sekowsky, Carmine Infantino, John Buscema, and John Romita, Sr. By the end of the Silver Age, a new generation of talent had entered the field, including writers Denny O'Neill, Mike Friedrich, Roy Thomas, and Archie Goodwin, and artists such as Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, and Barry Windsor-Smith.

The Bronze Age of Comic Books

From Wikipedia:

The Bronze Age of Comic Books is an informal name for a period in the history of mainstream American comic books usually said to run from 1970 to 1985. It follows the Silver Age of Comic Books.[1]
The Bronze Age retained many of the conventions of the Silver Age, with traditional superhero titles remaining the mainstay of the industry. However, a return of darker plot elements and more socially-relevant storylines (akin to those found in the Golden Age of Comic Books) featuring real-world issues, such as drug use, alcoholism, and environmental pollution, began to flourish during the period, prefiguring the later Modern Age of Comic Books. Read more...

The Stone Age of Comic Books

From Wikipedia:
The Modern Age of Comic Books is an informal name for the period in the history of mainstream American comic books generally considered to last from the mid-1980s until present day.[1] In this period, comic book characters generally became darker and more psychologically complex, creators became better-known and active in changing the industry, independent comics flourished, and larger publishing houses became more commercialized.[citation needed]

An alternate names for this period is the Dark Age of Comic Books,[2] due to the popularity and artistic influence of grim titles, such as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. Proponents of this view[who?] point out a wave of "Silver Age nostalgia" that first appeared during this time and has since permeated mainstream comic books. Read more...

GB's note: 

I refer to this "modern" era of comic books as being in fact a Stone Age due to the comic book industry's general overall lack of direction (stylistically speaking), mass employment of amateur and / or photo-assisted "comic book artists", overall dismal sales, multiple "reboot" marketing strategies and sales gimmicks (restarting a whole storyline from scratch due to lack of imagination and thereby rendering all previous history as practically "irrelevant"), and in general, fanboy controlled or influenced companies. No longer do the (mainly big) publishers tell the fans what to like and thereby keep quality control out of the hands of primarily entertainment minded readers / buyers; now the fans tell the publishers what's good and bad and thus the level of professionalism in comic book publishing has suffered. Now generic forms of entertainment predominate, completely with a lack of substantial content. This "Stone Age" is showing signs of weakness, namely do to the radical transformation the comic book industry is experiencing do to the Internet and the ability for independent, serious minded creators to self publish relatively cheaply and thereby avoid the fan-controlled traditional comic book publishers altogether, and a better late than never return to realistic comic book illustrations (coming in through the back door of photo-assisted comic book artwork and the large amount of painted covers being published -a nod to Alex Ross' success.)

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