The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of "The Uninvited" from 1944

The Uninvited might seem like an unassuming horror movie that’s quite tame by today’s standards. But it’s worth noting that back in 1944 this film broke unexpected ground. Before this one, most ghosts portrayed in film were played for laughs. An example would be an object moving by itself while a comic-relief actor reacted to get a laugh from the audience. Few films dealt with ghosts as an actual supernatural presence. Paramount decided to take the novel “Uneasy Freehold” and create a supernatural mystery. The incorporation of romance comedy dialog lightens the mood, and audiences were rewarded with a surprise second romance. There are little surprises hiding everywhere in The Uninvited. There’s a touch of psychodrama, a hint of possible lesbian activity, and a very good musical score. The composition “Stella by Starlight” became a jazz standard played by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. The cinematography is top-notch and did a great job of creating shivers and goosebumps. The Uninvited received an Oscar Nomination for its cinematography, but lost to LauraThe Uninvited was a scary movie in its day. It inspired many directors and writers. And it had to be toned down by British censors by the removal of some special effects for its release in Great Britain.

Friday, October 30, 2015

There are times when my editor, wife and fans don't send me any news articles to work from. At times like that I will often use the first thing I see. Too often it's something I've seen on Facebook. I then spend the next hour researching to make sure that it's true. And by research I mean that I stay on Facebook and look at cat videos. Then I get distracted by the Internet. I have no idea if there ever was a study like this. But I do know that the set up made for a good gag and I didn't have to proofread too many of the words.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Comic Critic's Review of "Bell, Book and Candle"

Bell, Book and Candle, like many other romance comedies, is set at Christmas. It’s a hilarious movie with witty dialog, terrific star power, and an enchanting story that appeals to the American audience. When I was growing up, it circulated on television as often as any other classic movie from that era. It has the magical power of pulling you onto the sofa—even if you didn’t see the beginning—and to remain on that channel. Sol Saks admits that he took inspiration from Bell, Book and Candle, as well as a 1942 film called I Married a Witch, when he created the highly successful television show Bewitched. And yet you will not see this movie on any Christmas movie line-up, a shame really. I have a theory about it. When Saks created Bewitched, he focused on magic as amusement, not social commentary. Bell, Book and Candle is rather sly about its social commentary. The story takes place in Greenwich Village, a prime location for beatnik counter-culture. The witches of the film are attributed as part of the colorful counter-culture. The setting of the film is during Christmas, a pagan holiday enveloped by Christians and even more decorated with trappings by American consumption. One of the first scenes occurs in a gallery exhibiting African art. Over the years, I believe it is this subtle irreverence about Christmas, along with the story ending after the holiday, which eased Bell, Book and Candle out of the holiday movie line-up. But it’s these same elements that make the movie intriguing and ripe for rediscovery with today’s audience.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1581

There have been several times when I've questioned the use of a service animal. Maybe that makes me old fashion. Maybe I just like the idea that the only people who should be walking around with a parrot on their shoulder in public should either be selling photos of the parrot sitting on your shoulder or pirates. But it would be politically incorrect if I said the same thing about monkeys. And for the record, I think everyone should have monkeys.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1580

Cartoonists are always looking to do poop jokes. Don't ask me why. But I've yet to met a cartoonist who hasn't done one. I'm surprised that there are not more poop related cartoons out there.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1579

This really does happen to me. The first time I discovered a piece of art I created in the wild it was like a jolt. When it happens now I revel in those brief seconds where I don't recognize it as my work and I'm busy critiquing it in my head. It pleases me that most of those critiques are positive.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1578

When I was sent this news article I immediately scribbled the first half of the dialog. But it's the last panel that really sells the gag.