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.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Comic Critic review "The Manitou"

The unquestionably absurd premise of The Manitou is that lump on the back of a woman’s neck turns out to be the growing fetus of a four-hundred-year-old shaman going through the process of reincarnation. But the folks who made The Manitou picked it up and ran with it. While this film may not be one of Tony Curtis’s finest or rate a “Classic” status, it does show a lot more creativity and inventiveness than the current derivative spewing of horror movies. The Manitou captured my imagination when I saw it as a high-school teenager. In contemplating how I would review The Manitou, I groped for a way to show my enthusiasm while still commenting on the outlandish premise. I looked at how different my life is now than when I was a teenager. Showing a couple in-the-bathroom-grooming comes from a married man’s perspective. Once I had that angle, the strip basically wrote itself.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1572

The tragic truth is that you can't take it with you. Most of my house is filled with stuff that has meaning for me, yet have little or no real value to others. Some items might be looked upon as kitschy. I have a large Tunaki piggy bank I brought home from Japan. I associate it with all the good memories of the months I lived there in 1979 & 1980. With age the fake fuzz is peeling off. I also have various gifts that people have given me that hold no value other than they are a gift from a friend. If my wife and I died tomorrow I'm pretty sure that nearly everything we own would either end up in a landfill or would be on a thrift store shelf. I know stuff in my office closet I will never need again. Why do I hang onto it?

 One year I made a New Year Resolution that each week I would fill up a cardboard box (a standard filing box) with stuff that I would either donate or toss. This was a lot harder to do than I thought. I managed to fill up the box only 48 times out of those 52 weeks. It was like pulling teeth. And now I can't even tell you what was inside those boxes. On top of that I noticed a something terrible: I got new stuff to replace the old stuff. So, I didn't end up cleaning out anything at all. The new crap stuff just meant more to me than the old crap stuff.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Comic Critic's Review of "The Flight of the Phoenix"

The 1965 release of The Flight of the Phoenix is my favorite. I wished I’d seen it on the big screen. I could only imagine how much more captivated I would have been than seeing it on television. As it was, any time it came on, I was instantly lured into watching it again. The story of these men trying to survive in the desert while they worked together with the trust that one of them just might be smart enough to save all their lives was enthralling. When I heard about the remake, I hurried to the theater in the hopes that I would re-experience that thrilling adventure through a new crafting of the story. What I got was–not the same thrill. Apparently, the powers-that-be thought the story could use a few more explosions, obvious testosterone, and a hammy chase scene. Each addition was overly garish. I felt I was looking at a waitress’s overly flared apron instead of a movie. Until I saw the second one, I had not realized what restraint had been enforced in the first movie to make it work for the better.  The second is a fun film. The first is a thriller. In drawing this review, I showed elements that exist in both that I liked so much.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Comic Critic Reviews "Citizen Kane"

How Green is My Valley, Blossoms in the Dust, , Here comes Mr. Jordan, Hold Back the Dawn, The Little Foxes, The Maltese Falcon, One Foot in Heaven, Sergeant York, Suspicion, and Citizen Kane—these were the Best Picture nominees for the 1942 Academy Awards. And while Citizen Kane would win two Oscars that evening, How Green is My Valley would walk away with Best Picture. Yet, it is Citizen Kane that has become heralded as a Cinematic Masterpiece. It’s usually listed in any top-100 film list and is featured as a top- ten choice in several others. Some might say that Citizen Kane is the rightful holder of Best Picture by sheer merit. But look back at the nominee list. The Maltese Falcon and Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion have also become well-known landmarks in film. This is why I enjoy investigating films that have been nominated by the Academy. Sure, the winners are worth watching, but true treasure can be found in the nomination list. One of my other favorites nominated in 1942 is Sergeant York. It might not be the must-see that Citizen Kane is, but I found it an extremely entertaining film.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Comic Critic Reviews "The Longest Day"

I’ve seen The Longest Day over a dozen times. But I’ve only seen it uncut a few times. Most of my viewings were via broadcast television where its three-hour-length jostles was compromised by commercials. The Longest Day is a docudrama about the Allies’ invasion of Normandy. A docudrama is just what it sounds like. Parts of it do a pretty good job of providing details of that fateful day, like names and locations. The drama part is everything else. The scale of production for The Longest Day was huge. So large, in fact, that three different directors were assigned to different countries at the same time to meet the production deadline. And there was no shortage of stars for this film. Both Richard Burton and Roddy McDowall flew over from the stalled production of Cleopatra to participate. The Longest Day would receive five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. But there were a lot of great films that year and the Best Picture win went to Lawrence of Arabia.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1571

This is an actual dream I had. I should mentioned that I was not a collaborator. This dream was the result of my brain being lazy. I'd just watched "Went the day well?" before heading off to bed. Actually, the thing I watched before being to bed was an episode from an anime series about boy's high school volleyball. Somehow that didn't make it into my dream, but the Nazis did.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1570

I can promise you at least two Stickman strips this week. This first is about my concern about invasive species.