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, September 15, 2014

The Comic Critic Reviews The Graduate


The Graduate is a unique coming-of-age film. Most coming-of-age films are about the journey from child to adult. Often they are shown as journeys, sexual experiences, or acknowledgements of the need to take on adult responsibilities. Uniquely, The Graduate takes those themes and twists them, leaving the hero with very little self-assurance. We find him at home from his college journey, having a sexual affair chained with questionable moral behavior, and struggling with himself over what his true responsibilities are. He’s been thrown onto the reef of life by a siren’s song. The folk music of Simon and Garfunkel swirls around our hero’s world and is the perfect backdrop as we watch and wonder if our Odysseus will pull the wax out of his ears or shove it in further. In the history of film, The Graduate brought an entirely new level to the coming-of-age story. And because very few movies since have been able to improve upon the tale, The Graduate will remain one of the best movies ever made.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Two Public Service Announcements about Copyright - Sponsored by the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program

After the storyboards were reviewed - this project progressed very quickly. I want to thank Joe Izenman and Adam J. Manley for adding their creative talents to this project. And thanks to the city of Tacoma for having the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program. It really was the kick in the pants I needed to take my work to the next level.

 



Please share these video with your fellow creative professionals, and anybody looking to benefit the most from the work they create.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tacoma Artist Initiative Project Part Two: Storyboards

My project for the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program is creating two public service announcements about copyright using whiteboard animation. As part of that assignment I’m sharing this process on both my blog and the Cartoonists’ League of Absurd Washingtonians website. The first step of the project was to write a script, then run it by a few consultants. Special thanks to Daniel Abraham. Step two of the project was creating the storyboards. Here you can see how the script is expanded with visual reference.


RSA © PSA #1

Sc#01
Audio:
:00-:03 sec. [Intro Music]
Your creative expression...
Visual:
Symbol: ©
Text: Copyright and You
Text: Defining Copyright Ownership

 Sc#02
Audio:
:03-:06 sec.
...can take many forms: writing, music, dance, sculpture, or visual art.
 Visual:
Items appear in following sequence: Book, Notes, Dancer, Bust, framed flower.

Sc#03
Audio:
:06-:07 sec.
Copyright protects your creative expression.
Visual:
Symbol: © is drawn in the middle of screen and then a wavy circle around the other images.

Sc#04
Audio:
:07-:10 sec.
Did you know that when you sell your original art you are not selling your copyright?
Visual:
Artist is selling original art to a buyer who’s hands we see reaching for it. One of the hands holds money. The artist holds a painting with a price tag on it with their right hand and holding onto their copyright with their left hand.

Sc#05
Audio:
:10-:18 sec.
Just as an author does not lose the rights to his story when he sells his books, neither does a painter lose the rights to their creative expression when they sell their original paintings.
Visual:
Erase part of the image - the painting - and draw a book in it’s place.

Sc#06
Audio:
:18-:23 sec.
When a person buys original art, they become a curator of that piece, but they do not have the right to license the art.
Visual:
Buyer hanging painting.

Sc#07
Audio:
:23-:26 sec.
Only you, as the creator, have the right to license your art.
Visual:
Back to image of Artist from Sc#4 minus the buyer, minus the pricetag on artwork, a larger grin is drawn onto the face.

Sc#08
Audio:
:26-:32 sec.
Even after the original art has found a new home, you have the right to license and profit from your creative expression in any way you see fit.
Visual:
Draw painting inside outline of house. Draw a simple figure with copyright symbol as it’s head. Draw arrow leading from figure to multiple copies of the painting.

Sc#09
Audio:
:32-:36 sec.
The only legal way others obtain permission to license your  work is in writing
Visual:
Text - in large cursive: John Hancock


Sc#10
Audio:
:36-:41 sec.
Providing provenance to your art is a great way to inform buyers of their role as custodian.
Visual:
Artist is giving art buyer a provenance.
Text: ‘Provenance’ with arrow point to scroll.

Sc#11
Audio:
:41-:47 sec.
It can confirm their obligation to keep the work safe from harm—and for you to have reasonable access to the original to make reproductions.
Visual:
Close up of the bottom of ‘Provenance’ where text appears.
Text: Keep safe from harm.

Sc#12
Audio:
:47-:50 sec.
This message sponsored by the Tacoma Artists Initiative, Story Lab at the Tacoma Public Art Library and these fine creators.
:50-1:00 sec.
End Music during credit run.
Credits.

*****
 RSA © PSA #2

Sc#01
Audio:
[Intro Music]
Your creative expression...
Visual:
Symbol: ©
Text: Copyight and You
Text: Having vs. Following

Sc#02
Audio:
...can take many forms: writing, music, dance, sculpture, or visual art.
Visual:
Items appear in following sequence: Book, Notes, Dancer, Bust, framed flower.

Sc#03
Audio:
Copyright protects your creative expression.
Visual:
Symbol: © is drawn in the middle of screen and then a wavy circle around the other images.

Sc#04
Audio:
But there is a difference between having copyright and registering your copyright.
Visual:
Fellow holding a copyright looking quizzical?

Sc#05
Audio:
And since it can significantly affect how well your artistic rights are protected, you should know about it.
Visual:
Text: Infringement & Theft
Fellow finds that a hand is trying to pull away his copyright.

Sc#06
Audio:
You have copyright the moment you physically create or record your expression.
[Sound FX: cash register drawer and ding.]
Visual:
Sequence of images being drawn: Flower in pot, frame around flower, copyright symbol, cash register frame, text: DING!

Sc#07
Audio:
But you need to register your copyright with the government before infringement to fully protect your work.
Visual:
Sequence of images being drawn: Fellow, drawing of flower, Uncle Sam.

Sc#08
Audio:
A registered copyright is your ticket into the courtroom.
Visual:
Sequence of images being drawn: copyright symbol, ticket frame, arrow, courthouse.


Sc#09
Audio:
It means that you can claim legal fees, which the court will award with a favorable judgment---and that the risk of paying for your lawyer as well as theirs can aid an early settlement. It also means that you can be awarded statutory damages for willful infringement.
Visual:
Sequence of images being drawn: copyright symbol wearing Uncle Sam hat, money bag #1, money bag #2, money bag #3

Sc#10
Audio:
Without a filed copyright you don’t qualify for any of that.
[Sound FX: repeated rubber-stamp thumps.]
Visual:
Erase Uncle Sam Hat on copyright symbol, Big NO circle with slash symbols descend/appear on money backs.

Sc#11
Audio:
So, remember to protect yourself and your creative endeavors.
Register your copyrights early, and often.
Visual:
Bring back fellow and Uncle Sam from Sc#07. Add to the image a shield with the copyright symbol on it.


Sc#12
Audio:
It’s easy. You can do it online at copyright.gov.
[Sound FX: Mouse Click]
Visual:
The arrow on screen is drawn last. FX of it clicking the screen.

Sc#13
Audio:
:47-:50 sec.
This message sponsored by the Tacoma Artists Initiative, Story Lab at the Tacoma Public Art Library and these fine creators.
:50-1:00 sec.
End Music during credit run.
Credits.

Step three of the process will be to digital capture of me drawing these images, have a musician write a jingle, record a voice actor reading the script, and then edit it all together into a video.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Comic Critic Reviews Battle of the Damned


I had such high hopes for Battle of the Damned. I’m a big fan of both zombies and robots. After I saw both in the preview for Battle of the Damned when I was sharing it with my friends—that is, my zombie- and robot-loving friends, they too voiced their excitement. As a zombie film connoisseur, I will tell you what I look for in a zombie film. The first thing it should have is an interesting premise. An example would be the film Zombie Strippers, in which the Zombie Apocalypse starts in a strip club. The second thing it should have is some interesting zombie death scenarios that have either never been seen before or which pay homage to previous memorable death scenarios. The third thing is at least a couple of lines of memorable dialog. I got excited because Battle of the Damned had a great premise: Zombies vs. Robots, but the movie falls apart because all the fighting between the zombies was mundane. There were no uniquely memorable kills. All it would have taken to fix this flick was a few thoughtful shots using some practical special effects. That, along with strained, not memorable dialog, let this movie flounder. As a result, Battle of the Damned is doomed not to become a cult classic—but just a footnote in bad zombie film history.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Comic Critic Reviews Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid"


I’m compelled to confess that I’ve not seen many Charlie Chaplin films. I blanch when I consider my knowledge of the sum of his work comes from odd clips seen in documentaries are recreated for dramas about his life. As an enjoyer of silent films, a deep fan of black and while movies, and a self proclaimed critic of the medium, my lack of viewing of Charlie Chaplin films is almost horrific. I’m seeking to remedy this, and what better way than to start with The Kid, a movie which prove to Hollywood that Charlie Chaplin was a force to be recon with. This movie was longer than his previous films. Chaplin won his battle to be paid for the higher reel count. He also won the heat of the movie going public. In 1921 The Kid was the second highest grossing picture. The highest grossing picture was The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which became the sixth highest grossing silent film. Yet The Kid’s heartwarming story would prove to have the longer legs. It’s regarded not merely as an American classic, but one of the most influential films from the silent era. If your Chaplin education needs improvement – I recommend The Kid as a starting point.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Comic Critic Reviews Foreign Correspondents


Not only is the Fourth of July a time to celebrate American Independence, but it is also the date my wife picked for our anniversary. She figured I would never forget our anniversary if it was also a National Holiday - plus she would get work off. Needless to say I was busy with other things other than drawing up a movie review. So I'm digging into the archives to bring you Foreign Correspondents. This film was created by Mark Tappio Kines, and I have to confess that we are friends. But, before you start thinking that this is one of those crappy made at home movies I'd like to say the following: It ain't. This film was on of the first movies to be funded via the web before Kickstarter was even a thing. It also has talented actors who you will recognize. And I think that Mark's writing and directing holds up too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1541



When I read the news story about a bear falling through a skylight into a birthday party and then sticking around to eat all the cupcakes, all I could think about was the poor kid whose party was crashed. I wonder just how good of a sport he or she was about it?