BLAKE NORTHCOTT

The BOOnana Tail Halloween Special

Now here’s an interesting little surprise for me, as I had no idea that this comic existed until this past Sunday, when I was getting my reviews for All-New Fathom and Agents of Pact ready. I looked up Black Northcott’s name on Comixology and this popped up among her credits. It was released November 12. 2014 via Banana Tale Press and is described as “an all-ages, Halloween-themed comic, packed with 5 fun-filled short stories. 32 pages featuring Banana Tail and Friends by some of today’s TOP creators!”

Reading the comic, I see that there is actually 6 stories.

BOO!
Written and inked by Mark McKenna/Pencilled by Jim Califiore/Colored by Kate Finnegan/Lettered by Ed Flagg
This 15-page story is set in a jungle and stars three talking animals. A Monkey (Chimpanzee?) named Banana Tail (presumably he’s like the mascot of this publisher), a Rhino named Reena, and zebra named Tic-Tac. After messing with a little baby leopard and it’s father, the three animals run in fear and end up getting separated. It’s nighttime and each one is lost and afraid but each ends up meeting new characters, in the form of a talking mushroom, talking spider, and talking bat, who initially scare them more. But it all ends well, as the new friends help them reunite, and everybody makes it back home. It’s a good main story to anchor this issue, but there is a bit of a coloring flaw, as Reena starts off pink, then for several pages is colored orange or yellow (I’m a little colorblind so it’s not always easy to tell), and then is back to pink. I don’t know if that’s a coloring error, or was it deliberate, like to show Reena is scared by changing colors?

BANANA TAIL AND THE ALMOST GHOST
Written by Jim Calafiore/Pencilled by Geraldo Borges/Inks by Mark McKenna/Colored by Kate Finnegan/Lettered by Ed Flagg
This 3-page story has Banana Tail creating his own ghost costume made out of leaves, and proceeds to then try to scare his friends. That includes, Reena (whom we learn in this story is a female) and Tic-Tac, plus new characters Eggboo the Ostritch, and mouse and elephant who are both unnamed in this story. But nobody is scared by poor Banana Tail’s costume, as they all immediately recognize him. Banana Tail gives up in frustration, but then…well, I won’t spoil the ending but lets just say that he gets a taste of his own medicine.

REENA’S CANDY CRUSH
Written by Black Northcott/Drawn by Geraldo Borges/Colored by Kate Finnegan/Lettered by Ed Flagg
This 4-page story is a direct sequel to the previous one, as it begins with Banana Tail telling Tic-Tac about what he saw, but Tic-Tac doesn’t believe him. Then neither of them believes their own eyes when Reena turns up now in giant-size, shouting that she wants candy. Banana Tail, Tic-Tac, and Eggbo all make a run for it as the giant Rhino rampages through the jungle. Unfortunately the three friends find themselves coming to a dead end in the form of a cliff. With Reena rolling right behind them, what can they do?!? This has a clever little twist-ending which I won’t spoil.

THERE’S A FUNGUS AMONG US
Written and inked by Mark McKenna/Pencilled by Ryan Brown/Colored by Kate Finnegan/Lettered by Ed Flagg
This 5-page story has Banana Tail and Tic-Tac dating Norton, who is that little mouse from the 2nd story, to go into a part of the jungle called “the Dread Wood”, which is known for being very scary. Norton brags about his bravery, but they bet he couldn’t last 5 minutes in the Dread Wood. So Norton goes in and finds out exactly what’s so scary about that place.

SAFETY FIRST
Written by Sam Eggleston/Pencilled by Richard Johnson/Inked by Josh Oakes/Colored by Michael Woods/Lettered by Ed Flagg
This is a one-page story (so maybe it wasn’t counted in the solicitation). It’s Halloween night and Banana Tail and Tic-Tac are preparing to go trick or treating. Using other animal and bug friends from the jungle, Banana Tail dispenses some common sense safety tips for kids on Halloween.

SCAREDY CATS
Written by Fabian Nicieza/Penciled and colored by Kevin West/Inked by Mark McKenna/Lettered by Ed Flagg
In this three-page story, Banana Tail, Tic-Tac, and Reena, are trying to get to Eggboo’s place for a Halloween party, but they get lost in the jungle. They get scared, but it’s a good kind of scared, which is what you want to experience on Halloween. At least time they’re all together, and Banana Tail proves himself to be a smart dude, as he comes up with a clever plan to find out where they need to go.

At the end there is also a colored image of Banana Tailas the Headless Horseman, by Dave Hillman, Mark McKenna, and Kate Finnegan. Altogether this action is a nice little product that children should enjoy. The characters are friendly and relatable, and the stories are entertaining but with nice little moral messages in them that kids will pick up on without even realizing it. I can imagine Banana Tail and his friend starring in a Saturday morning cartoon show. Perhaps someday?

So if you’re a parent of young children, you’d do well to pick up this comic for them. Get it at Comixology.

You can also get a print version and learn more about the characters at the Banana Tail website.

And support Black Northcott on Patreon

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