100 All-Time Greatest Comics… Improved: Part XV

I’m getting to the point where it’s getting harder and harder to pinpoint exactly what comics should be replaced. I guess this “bookazine” isn’t quite so bad after all.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man

NUSM

There’s nothing really wrong with Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (for some reason, it’s listed in the “bookazine” as New Ultimate Spider-Man) but it’s just not quite as good as they make it out to be. of course, I’ve never really seen the appeal of Ultimate Spider-Man as a series – there have been the odd issues here and there, but it never grabbed me, no matter who was in the costume.

I mean, if you wanted an action-packed comic book with a lot of heart and a black protagonist…

The Replacement… The Big Woof

BigWoof

… all you had to do was ask.

Part bio-comic, part-wish fulfilment, The Big Woof is all about renowned British stand-up Lenny Henry trying to think up new jokes for his upcoming tour, so he can get that roar of laughter every night – what he calls “the big woof”. Oh, and he’s helped along the way by God, who has chosen to appear in the form of a lanky white guy with NHS glasses and more than a few sarcastic one-liners.

Suffice to say, it’s a rather odd story, but wonderfully told. Henry touches on everything from free will to the plight of his people throughout history, as well as touching on his own past. All of this is drawn perfectly by British comics legend Steve Parkhouse, who draws the absurd and trivial just as well as he does with more serious fare (the end, dealing with the death of Henry’s father is as funny as it is moving).

Sadly, the whole graphic novel has been out of print for about 25 years; I only know about it because every library in the Birmingham area had at least one copy when I was but a wee lad (weeell, he is still a local lad). Fortunately, you can still get a copy online for a reasonable price. Still, an anniversary reprint would be nice…

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