Zine Review: Bananas Are Zine

Jeff Low 4Bananas Are Zine (Vol. 1)

Illustration/humour zine, Bananas Are Zine, 14 pgs, bananasarezine.com, info@bananasarezine.com, $3

Pizza jokes. Seinfeld references. Cat drawings. And it’s totally 420-friendly. No, I’m not talking about meme culture; I’m talking about volume one of Bananas Are Zine. I can’t say that I get it, or even like the name very much, but Bananas Are Zine definitely leaves an impression.
As the first of the series, Bananas Are Zine begins with an important precursor: “Please draw on your own experience to understand this zine.” With the invocation of some mystical wind, driven by the absurdity of modern life,  is something of a rubbing stone for self reflection – and it’s pretty far out there.
There’s a lot to unpack in this one. The illustrations are effectively strange; a mix of hybrid animals and cultural references, compiled haphazardly like the tangible evidence of some acid trip. But it’s all very lighthearted, with an interesting sense of positivity to it. There’s a sly, tongue-in-cheek way of mocking everything, yourself included. My favourite illustration is a tasteful rendering of a hula-hooping bear/rodent wearing high heels on a podium – and, of course, his penis is fully erect. Yeah, of course.
It’s mostly sketchbook-style illustrations, but this zine has some wisdom in there, too. There are outlandish adages scattered throughout: “watch the antics of the mind as you would watch clouds in the sky”, “when you look this cool, you don’t need to be on topic” and, my personal favourites, “where’s your dad at?” and “your feels is heavy maybe go blow some out of ur bottom”. It’s not exactly oracle-tier wisdom, but for a publication called Bananas Are Zine, I’d say it’s pretty damn good. The author is an illustrator that simply goes by the Bananas Are Zine moniker. According to their website, Bananas Are Zine is “some kind of an artist/illustrator with roots in the east coast, currently based out of Vancouver”. You can buy their work here. (Jeff Low)

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