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Mark's 2013 Appearance Schedule:

    March 17th/ Albany Comic Con
    April 7th/ RocCon
    April 20-21/ Boston
    September 7th-8th/ Baltimore Comic Con
    September 13th-15th/ Cincinnati Comic Expo
    October 10-13th/ New York Comic Con

Fun and Healthy Facts about the Banana

food for thought

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!! This is interesting. After reading these, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.

No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

food for thoughtOverweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Banana Tail Con Sketches and Unused Artwork

From time to time, I do sketches for fans of Banana Tail at comic cons and book fairs. Along with some of these sketches I am also letting you, the Banana Tail fan, in on some exclusive unused artwork that was created BEFORE the 1st Banana Tail storybook was created back in 2003!

Click on the images below to see the old and new art of Banana Tail.


Of Banana Tails and Dynamic Duos: artist Mark McKenna discusses life in children's books and comic books

Of Banana Tails and Dynamic DuosArtist Mark McKenna has redefined "crossover."

Known best for a 24-year inking career covering such titles as Dr. Strange: Sorceror Supreme and Countdown, Mark has moved into children's books as well.

He and his father co-created Banana Tail, an ongoing children's book series about a monkey who awakens to find that "his brown tail has turned yellow," Mark says. "He thinks that because of his love for bananas that the old adage that 'you are what eat' is coming to fruition," Mark says.

"Once he gets settled with his new banana-colored tail and realizes that he isn't turning into a banana, he and his buddies, Tic Tac the plaid zebra and Reena, a mood-color changing girl rhino get to explore friendship and the many wonders on their island. "

click here to read more of the article)

Welcome to the second feature of "Spotlight on..."

Spotlight On... Kevin West is the man....

He's the guy who created the look of Banana Tail. Without Kev's vision Banana Tail, Reena and Tic Tac would look completely different. Kevin is the consumate artist who has drawn comic books for years for Marvel, Image, Malibu and DC and I am proud to call him "friend". Please read on so you can find out a little bit more about the artist that is the heart behind Banana Tail...

Go West Young Monkey (click here to read full article)

Baltimore Comic Con

baltimore comic con

As we're just under 2 months until the big 10th anniversary show, you may have noticed our on-line activity incrementing.  We're sending out PRs, posting notes to blogs/feeds, and updating web pages with increasing frequency with information on guests, exhibitors, retailers, exclusives, Harvey banquet details, and anything else worthy of mention.

As you'll be joining us, we'd know you want the show to be as successful as it can be as do we. Since many of you have significant on-line presences, we have created a graphic that you can post on your web page, blog, feed, message board, or to which you can change your icon, and attach the link to encourage your supporters to attend the show.  To view the image attached to this e-mail, you may have to tell your e-mail reader to download the pictures, or you can go to can download the image at illseeyouinbaltimore.jpg (or find it now on our main homepage).

We encourage you to post information about your presence at the show, what you'll be offering/promoting, panels on which you'll be participating, and anything else that you think will drive our mutual success.

Thank you again for your participation this year!

OK online radio fans!

Fan Base Radio InterviewYours truly, Mark McKenna was interviewed on an online radio show called FANBASE last week which is an Anime station dealing with video games and comic books.

The station is located at and the host asking the questions is cool dude Danny Ryde, along with co-hosts Evil Jeff Big B and Krysta Shepard.

Click here to hear more

Comic-book artist makes superheroes come alive
Illustrator has inked more than 7,000 pages of fantasy art

By Sheldon Scruggs
July 19, 2009
In a sense, Mark McKenna, 52, never grew up. A childhood passion for drawing superheroes is how he makes his living. But he has a dream he is inking into reality, too.

Comic-book artist makes superheroes come alive I've always liked to draw. When I was a kid on Long Island, I created and drew my own superheroes and monsters. Little did I know where that would take me. I went to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and graduated with a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1982.

I was 26 when I started drawing and inking professionally for Marvel Comics in Manhattan. I basically fixed up the things that were wrong with the art continuity or storytelling in comics...

Click here to read the full story

Wizard World Philadelphia 2009
Mark McKenna attended the Wizard World Philly show last weekend to spread the word of Banana Tail to the few that are still unaware of the little monkey.

Wizard World Philadelphia 2009 A good time was had by all. Mark was even asked to do a panel on being a professional comic book artist and gave some tips on comic book inking (click here to see the pictures). Quite a few fans dressed up as their fav characters too. Quite a lot of imagination out there!

See you at Baltimore Con in October!

Click here to see more pics from the con

Leaping off the page
Students get the chance to connect with authors, illustrators
By Julie Huss

festival of authorsLast Saturday, Derry Village School Cultural Arts Committee, along with the PTA, hosted a Festival of Children's Authors and Illustrators, bringing together a long list of authors, artists, and families for a day-long session full of activities and literary fun. Parent volunteers worked to organize the event, attended by hundreds of local families and young readers, who got a chance to get up close and personal with many authors including Mark Karlins, author of "Starring Lorenzo and Einstein, Too" and DC and Marvel Comic illustrator Mark McKenna, who hosted a workshop to show children how he draws his characters.

festival of authorsOther authors visiting Derry Village included Jean Marie Cochran, illustrator Jennifer Morris, and Kathy Brodsky, many hosting workshops and special activiities for their young fans and offering a lot of information about how to write a children's book and how they come up with their ideas. Along with the authors' presentation and workshops, families had a chance to stroll among the books and purchase their favorites, while gaining a few autographs from the authors along the way.

click to see more on article

Welcome to a new feature called "Spotlight on..."

Spotlight On... This new feature was meant to familiarize the Banana Tail fans with an artist who I've befriended and in some way smoke screened over the years. My plan is to get them acquainted with and draw or paint some aspect of the Banana Tail family of friends and tell them they will get rich off of it! Its a brilliant plan, except that now that I've mentioned it here, the banana is out of the bag(Sorry guys)!

Kidding aside, I plan on "Spotlighting on" a new artist quarterly as there are some amazingly talented people on this planet. I think that many of them aren't really "seen" enough, so in my little world of Banana Tail, Im going to try and solve that, so you are all invited to my newest Banana Tail feature "Spotlight on..."

First up...

McManus meet McKennus (click here to read full article)

New coloring book pages have been added

Coloring Pages Hey, kids! Do you have a picture of Banana Tail or one of his friends that you've drawn or colored? We'd love to see your pictures. So, what are you waiting for? Click the link below to start coloring away.

Click here to start your adventure

Banana Tail has joined with a new digital home!

BT Comic Online Banana Tail has joined with a new digital home! is an exciting new website for kids that allows a fan to download kids comics and the original Banana Tail storybook as one of them! More then 120 "kid friendly" comic books are available to read for FREE at Kidjutsu!

Take a look at this exciting new home for kid readers! You won't be disappointed!

Banana Tail was added to Kid Jutsu

Banana Tail at Kid Jutsu "I recently joined Kid Jutsu, a website where kids can read, discover, and share comics.

You can also find the Banana Tail soft cover there to read for FREE!"

Mark McKenna: Catching A Banana By His Tail

Comics Bulletin Interview Recently I got the opportunity to sit down with long time professional artist Mark McKenna. McKenna, a 24 year veteran of the comic book industry...."

Click here for full article

Banana Tail Reviewed at Comics Bulletin

Comics Bulletin Review Heres a fantastic Banana Tail hard cover book review done by reviewer Alex Rodriguez (the other A-Rod) for Comics Bulletin..."The cover of this book says it all -- this is a fun read for parents and a great time for kids! Banana Tail is the story of a monkey, who since he was a baby was told by his mother "Eat too many bananas -- That's what you will be...."

Read the whole review

2008 News

January 2008
Banana Tail has joined with a new digital home!

Click On The image below to view The Banana Tail Comic Book

November 2008
Miami Book Fair...One Week Later


Miami Book FairIt's a week after I attended my first Miami Book Fair International and Iím finally coming down from the euphoria surrounding that show. Iíve done many a comic convention in my 24 years of being a comic book pro, but at Book Fair I was a first-timer, there to promote and sell Banana Tail books to the masses. It was the 25th Anniversary of the Book Fair but the inaugural year for the Comix Galaxy to introduce fans to the power of comic books, graphic novels and other related products from our universe.

More then 300,000 book fans attended the show over the 3 day span. The Comix Galaxy tents were set up at one of the entrances, so many of the fans who attended had no choice but to walk through our world to get to the rest of the Book Fair...great idea!

Miami Book FairThere is just way too much material to cover and far too many new friends to mention here as well as everything that surrounded us for 3 full days. I could fill a book with all my memories of the show. I will say that I sent 4 cases of books to the Fair 3 weeks ahead of time. One was completely lost by Federal Express. No notice or attempt on their part to let me know this happened until I got to the Comix Galaxy tent and saw 3 of the 4 cases and contacted Fed Ex's customer service, only to have the rep tell me that the case had been missing for 10 days. "Sorry, but you have to file a claim," the rep tells me. I donít understand how that casualness helps me in anyways but I guess Iím just another victim of circumstances, eh?

Miami Book FairAnyways, of the 3 cases that I did have at the Fair, my buddy Mike and I sold every single hard cover Banana tail book we had shippedÖalmost 100 books in all! We also moved every other single item we had at our booth except a few tee shirts. I gave away over 200 bookmarks and probably 75 business cards. I was actually short on merchandise and thatís certainly a credit to the reading community of Miami! I was curious about the follow up interest on this here website now that Banana tail had a couple more hundred fans and I am pleased as banana pudding pie to tell you that my website hits that were averaging 1300 a day PRE Book Fair spiked to a whopping 3600 hits a day the 2 days following the Book Fair!

All in all, the show could't have been better for us save for the case of lost books. Thanks for opening up your hearts and imaginations, Miami!

Miami Book FairI want to give a special "shout out" to our humble leader, John Shableski of Diamond Books for truly being the workhorse behind the scenes who was there before the beginning and Im sure left after the lights had dimmed. John was making sure that the Book Fair warehouse did their best to drop the books at the proper booths and make sure there were as few hitches as possible. Without John's enthusiasm and beliefs going into this unknown territory, I never would have made the trek from New York to Miami, despite the 85 degree weather :o)

Miami Book FairA big "ups" to my buddy, New Jersey police officer Mike White AKA Off White for truly giving new meaning to the phrase "carnival barker" but in the nicest of ways. Without Mikeís unending support and beliefs that selling a book about a monkey who thinks heís turning into a banana is a great idea, I salute you, sir! Iím sure with your Energizer Bunny-like energy you most likely helped me double sales. Just a great job by a true friend!

If you want to get some perspective by reporter Oscar Pedro Musibay of Publishers weekly:

Miami Book FairSome "shout outs": Helen Tse (seen here with legendary Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegleman) who took pictures of our crew at retail book store Books And Books Helenís book Sweet Mandarin - a memoir is the true inspirational story of three generations of Chinese women and their journey from East to West. Chosen by Barnes and Noble in their top 8 non fiction selection, featured in Redbook (Dec 08), this is a heart warming story of survival against the odds. The Graphic novel adaptation is coming soon.

Miami Book FairJohn Shableskiís blog

My boys from up in the Great White North, Jim, Long and Matt of Udon Entertainment:

My good buddy, who I never seem to spend enough time speaking with, John Gallagher:

Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of Miami Book Fair International and owner of Books and Books:

Carol Fitzgerald:

Robin Brenner:

Alex Rodriguez :

Full Sail Animation Update!

The Banana Tail Trailer For those of you who have heard me talk about the animation being done for me by Full Sail University, I was able to pry a 37 second segment of the animation project away from the overseeing teacher Steve Akehurst. Actually, Steve was kind to have an intern work through more then 5 minutes of unedited 3D animation and edit a nice little portion of the work into a nice little trailer.

You will need Quicktime to see this little gem.

So without further ado... Banana Tail Trailer

A New Comic Book Interview with Mark McKenna.

The new batgirl seriesBanana Tail creator Mark McKenna was interviewed recently about his work on a new Batgirl mini series for DC Comics. For the full interview click here:

Scroll down to McKENNA INKING BATGIRL & OTHER ICONS for a link to the full interview

Mark recently visited Full Sail University down in Winter Park, Florida to do a presentation for the students on how Banana Tail was created and to discuss his lengthy career as a comic book artist. Mark discussed how the two creative forces merged in his life as well as the background on his home life and college experience.

Read more about Mark's Full Sail University adventure...

July 2008
Mark's Full Sail University Adventure

Full Sail University is an accredited school that offers degree programs in Computer Animation, Digital Arts and Design, Game Development, Graphic Design and much more.

At the invitation of the head of the animation dept and all-around great guy, teacher Steve Akehurst, Mark had a full agenda for his 2 day visit to the Full Sail campus. After his hour-plus long presentation, Mark was carted around the campus for a tour of the mind-boggling Full Sail facility.

A virtual set at Full Sail UniversityThinking that Full Sail was a small, single building complex, Mark's eyes were opened wide by the sheer attack of technology on his senses. Motion Capture rooms, full recording studios, indoor and outdoor stage sets and so much more. Needless to say, Full Sail is a serious, big time multimedia university. Go ahead and visit the site and see for yourself:

Full Sail University

Back to Steve Akehurst. Steve is a comic book fan and also primarily responsible, along with some truly gifted students, for working on a 3D Banana Tail computer-generated project, that should soon be completed and possibly be made available through this site. Banana Tail was brought to Steve, by a, now graduate and teacher at Full Sail, Math Smith, who's early 3D anaimtion can be seen here at this website. I can't thank these 2 guys enough...

Ted Isla, President of the Full Sail SIGGRAPH Chapter and Apple Campus Representative, wrote about Mark's visit in his website.

"The Full Sail SIGGRAPH chapter welcomed professional comic book artist Mark McKenna to speak to Full Sail University students about his 25 year experience in his industry. McKenna went over the start of his career, the business, and story conception of his independent childrenís book titled Banana Tail."

"McKenna was honest and very encouraging about achieving your goals. During Q&A he gave sincere advice to the students on becoming a professional artist. What I enjoyed most about McKennaís presentation today was his down to Earth personality and thick New York accent. We welcome Mr. McKenna to come back to our campus any time in the near future."

View Ted's slideshow of Mark McKenna's visit to Full Sail University...

Banana Tail


by Gallagher, Sava, Faber, Gownley, & More!

Kids Love Comics! — and here are some c love kids! Featuring fun stories, how-to's, and more, by some of comics' top all-ages creators! John Gallagher's Buzzboy! Scott Sava's Dreamland Chronicles! Patrick the Wolfboy! Roboy Red! Banana Tail — and more! All hosted by Jimmy Gownley's < Rules! characters! Plus: A Super-Cool Guide and Recommended Reading List of the best in Kids' Comics! A great introduction (and helpful guide) to comics for readers of all-ages!

Mark attended Free Comic Book Day at Grasshopper Comics in Williston Park, NY, which is held on the first Saturday in May each year. This year's event was on May 3rd and it was a great success! It's a national event where comic books are given away for free across North America - what a great way to get your hands on some awesome comic books! It went so well that Grasshopper Comic's store owner John, emailed Mark to ask him to come back next year! Visit Grasshopper Comics website.

Im starting the new year by giving all my fans a gift....

I am trying out a new venue for the original Banana Tail soft cover edition on a website called All you have to do is click on the banner above and BINGO! Banana Tail pops up for you to download for
F-R-E-E! You do need to register, but its as simple as typing in a name, zip code and email. So if you have been a fan of the Banana tail website and still haven't purchased the book for your kids, do yourself a favor and download the original 32 page book, your kids will brag that you're the best parents in the world(if you aren't already)!

Nobody will bother you, no hidden gimmicks! Just good clean monkey business..... Honest!

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If you want to see more comic book art from your favorite monkey creator, visit Serendipity Art Sales.