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, December 24, 2007

Why Elves Shouldn't Drink

Every year I do a Christmas Comic or animation. Somehow, in the midst of doing them for others, I forgot about doing one for myself this year. So, I’m recycling. Here is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cat and Spool from Napkin Sketchbook

Running cats is a favorite topic I like to draw over and over again. Here’s one from my napkin sketchbook. There is a dry erase board on the fridge at home where I draw new ones from time to time. (I wait to see when my wife notices the changeover.)

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Creative Index Page Concept

The deadline for my page in the Creative Index looms next week. Earlier this week I drew a dozen or so concept sketches. This concept is the one that made the cut. I thought you might enjoy comparing my initial sketch to the final product. Click on it to see it larger.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's F*cking Christmas Again?

My wife enjoys making and exchanging mix-tapes with her sister. Well, I should say mixed-discs. She put together a CD of all of her favorite punk, indie and weird music that fully captured what the spirit of Christmas means to her. My sweet beloved then asked me to create a cover that did the same.

Song — Band
*uck Christmas — Fear
Home for Christmas — Blink-182
Daddy Drank Our Xmas Money
Run, Run Rudolph — The Humpers
Mr. Grinch — D.I.
There Ain't No Sanity Claus — The Damned
Father Christmas — The Kinks
Fairytale Of New York — The Pogues
Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight) [UK Single Version] — The Ramones
It's Christmas — Bouquet Of Veal
Homo Christmas — Pansy Division Halls
12 Days of Christmas — Boymongoose
Christmas, Christmas — Mojo Nixon
Hooray For Santa Claus — Sloppy Seconds
A Merry Jingle — Greedies
Silent Night — The Dickies
Merry Xmas Blues — The Celibate Rifles
Feliz Navi-Nada — El Vez
White Christmas — Stiff Little Fingers
Oi to the World — No Doubt
Mr. Heat Miser — Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
'Zat You, Santa Claus? — Louis Armstrong & The Commanders
A Great Big Sled — The Killers
Linus & Lucy — Vince Guaraldi Trio
Merry Christmas Baby — Lou Rawls
Christmas Reindeer — The Knife

Friday, November 16, 2007

Falling Cow Stickman Strips

After reading a local news account of a 600 pound cow falling onto a car, I could not resist in doing a full week of The Return of Stickman strips about it. See the full series.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Poster Art

Here is a poster I just finished for the SPGA/Seattle Chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild. I drew all the people separately, then layered them together in Photoshop. My plan is to reuse this art. Next time, I’ll remove some of the larger text, shift the people around, get rid of the Guild logo, and bingo! I’ll have Christmas card art ready to go.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Frosty the Spokesman

This week I have been working on Christmas Cards for folks who want something customized for their company. The folks over at the Neibart Group saw my Moose of Terror comic online and thought it was pretty damn funny. So they wrote up some copy and called me with the concept of Frosty the Spokesman. Above is one of the six panels.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Napkin Notebook Tiki

For years, my restless hand doodled on restaurant napkins—then I left behind thousands of great ideas, along with the tip. One year my wife gave me a tiny little pocket sketchbook, just for capturing all those doodles rather than abandoning them. Today’s picture shows how I take an idea from the sketchbook and develop it into something that’s marketable. Check out the link to see.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stickman Visits Fabulous Las Vegas

My recent trip to Las Vegas inspired me to do a week’s worth of "The Return of Stickman" strips. How much is pulled from my own personal experiences I will leave for you to decide.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Great Commercial

This commercial is amazing. It is NOT done with CGI. Forty animators took three weeks to do this in the old traditional stop motion way. Before watching this commercial I did not know about Bravia as anything special. Now I'm curious. Freakin' awesome.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Corporate Tiki

I’ve been on the road a great deal. The last two weeks have put me in Las Vegas and Topeka. Of the two, I’m not sure which I preferred. Here is another Tiki taken from my traveling sketchbook. He was inspired by all the convention and corporate shindigs I’ve attended in September.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I almost forgot that September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Many years ago, back before Disney made pirates popular, I made a New Year’s Resolution to say “Arg!” to any waiter or waitress who served me. The unexpected growl got a lot of happy surprised looks. It was my best-kept New Year’s Resolution. I got such joy from talking like a pirate that I think we all should do it for at least a day. Feel free to share this graphic with others. Arg!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Testosterone Festival Revamp

Yesterday I received an email from a fellow named Eric. Turns out he saw one of my old t-shirt designs from 1994 and was hoping that he could still get himself a shirt. The original line of shirts are long gone (I still have a sweatshirt), but thanks to my online store I could set it up so that he could get the design on the shirt he wanted. All I had to do was remove some of the dates from the old design to update it. That just goes to show you, you never know what you have in the archives that folks will want.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tiki Torch

Here is another Tiki. I drew this one while I was on a plane to Denver. I wonder what it would look like if I kept it to just three colors?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tiki Madness #2

I thought it would be fun to take the face design from yesterday’s tiki and spread it flat. Then I could apply it to some throw pillows or t-shirts. If you want to see what this design looks like on some products, take a peek here at my online store PoobahSchlock!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tiki Madness #1

I try to start each morning by doing a drawing exercise. This morning, I decided to draw a tiki. I’m pleased with this first effort and it has inspired me to draw some more tiki designs, maybe some tikis with flaming torches or with flaming eyes. Yeah, flaming eyes, that sounds good. You can get merchandise with this design at PooBahSchlock

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pirates of Orange County

While waiting for takeoff on a California tarmac this week, I found myself surrounded by a family that had just visited Disneyland. Their pirate merchandise inspired me to draw this cartoon. Just as I started to respond to their question, “What’s with the cockroaches?” the captain informed us that we were being towed back to the gate—and our flight had been cancelled! Everyone was too distracted to listen to my Disney Magazine cockroach story… Oh, well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lurid Paperback Cover of the Week

I got an email today from a fan of a website I took down a few years ago, Mark Monlux’s Lurid Paperback Cover of the Week. You might have seen the inch and a half blurb about it on the second column of page 185 in the November 1999 issue of Yahoo! Internet Life magazine. It received a fair amount of attention, which probably had more to do with the subject matter of politically incorrect and morally offensive paperback cover art from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s than my skills as a writer. Back in the early days of paperbacks, there were no PC police to reprimand publishers for using sex to sell their novels.

Each week I posted a cover from either my or another collector’s collections and waxed nostalgic about its artistic or historic merits. As much as I enjoyed maintaining the site, the number of hours in a day is limited and I wanted to pursue creating some webcomics. (see The Comic Critic and The Return of Stickman) Thus, my time in Internet space was reallocated. Still, it was a lot of fun. Here are a few of the covers I’ve posted over the years.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Octopus Remote Shuffle

Here is something I worked on this week. It was kind of hard getting any work done earlier this week since roofers covered the house like ants. Their pounding and the constant racket of air compressors made it very hard to concentrate. Now that they are gone, leaving behind a beautiful roof, the cat and I can calm down.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Return of Stickman #491

I spent this last week creating a rough draft of what I hope to be one of many The Return of Stickman books. My main problem is that I had a lot of folks contributing strips that were received in a low-resolution format. I need to write to all the contributors and have them sign waivers and send high-resolution images if they want to be included in this edition. Oh, all of this has absolutely nothing to do with today’s strip.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I Review the Movie Head

I was just a toddler when The Monkees first aired on prime time television. I don’t think it was the type of show my parents watched and I can’t claim to have been a fan then. When the show aired as a Saturday morning show a few years later, I did become a fan. Of course, I thought Speed Racer was cool, too. This didn’t stop me from dragging my sweet understanding wife to a reunion concert of The Monkees at The Puyallup Fair years later. We both enjoyed the show a great deal. It made me fairly excited to see “Head.” Like so many fans before me, I left feeling alienated by it. I didn’t want to watch something that deconstructed their phony television personas. I fell in love with their phony television world and watching this movie felt like getting a Dear John letter—30 years late. Go ahead, watch the film if you feel like an excursion into yesteryear to find some odd writing and a couple of surprising cameos, but don’t expect to feel the love like you did when you were a kid.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Return of Stickman #480

Back in the day, I coveted mood rings, but I never managed to get one. What a bummer. I still remember watching Martin Landau on television, showing off his mood ring to Merv Griffin, when Landau was the star of that very popular science fiction show, Space 1999. The premise of the show was that the moon would leave earth’s orbit and wander around the universe. Who would have guessed that the reverse would happen? Rather than having one less moon, there would be thousands, wandering around everywhere.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fish Festival T-shirt Design

Doing an annual t-shirt is a fairly sweet gig, even if the budget is low and the topic is a bit obscure. We all know the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, when life gives you Bucketmouth Ling Cod, make one freaky fish t-shirt. Just wait ‘til next year. I already have a fun shirt design lined up. Speaking of shirts, the client promised me one. I’m waiting with baited breath. Heh heh, get it? Bait? Breath? Cod? Sheesh, no sense of humor at all.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Comic Critic Reviews Lucky Number Slevin

Yikes! It’s been a few weeks since I posted one of my cartoon movie reviews. Something that should be expected with all the traveling I’ve been doing… First it was a trip to Denver and then a trip to New Brunswick. The latter’s return trip was absolutely miserable. The flight was delayed by seven hours. I’m just glad that I can get one out this week before I head out on yet another trip.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Return of Stickman #475

This The Return of Stickman strip was inspired by my mom, who had a big influence on me as I grew up. She didn’t like it when people swore, so now I hardly swear at all. And there are some swear words I can’t use without thinking that I’m a complete jackass. Thanks, Mom.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Return of Stickman #474

This The Return of Stickman strip was inspired by one of the many bits of advice I give other creative professionals. I actually spend a lot of time answering questions about pricing, contracts and ethics. In fact, I’m thinking of starting a blog for my “Dear Mark” column that I’ve been writing for a few years now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Return of Stickman #471

I finally finished my The Return of Stickman rant on funerals and the like. One of the rules I’m learning about a daily cartoon is that you need to keep themes short, down to one week at least. Unless you’re drawing an action or a soap serial. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling this year, which inspired today’s strip.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Golf Themed Greeks and Other High Art

One of my projects last week was to create some Greek-themed images for my friend Denny Osthus. One of those images was a Caesar-type figure holding a golf club. There was less debate over whether or not the figure should be wearing sunglasses than you might think. I thought it was an excellent suggestion on Denny’s part. It’s nice to know that colleagues can work together to create memorable pop culture moments such as this.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Return of Stickman #469

This The Return of Stickman was inspired by real life. While sorting through Grandma’s belongings, we discovered a pile of photographs. Thankfully, Grandma was pretty good about writing descriptions on the backs. But considering that she had never met my parents, finding a picture of their old Saab in their driveway was just a little bit on the bizarre side.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Return of Stickman #467

Sure, I promised that I will put Stickman back in his cubical, but have I done it? Well, I have a few more funeral-related strips lined up. Then I have a few about, well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Yesterday I attended the SPGA/Seattle Chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild. It was a pretty busy luncheon. I was asked to write two articles and to write up an estimate. The speaker, Larry Coffman, is a pretty amazing guy as well. I took a lot of notes on his Success Secrets.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Perfect Posture by David Paul

Today I’m showing you the cover of a book for which I did a ton of illustrations. It started as just an illustration project, then it grew and grew… I ended up working with the client for two years as he went back, revised, and tweaked until it was just what he wanted. Now it’s finally done. When I showed him my blog site, he wanted one just like it for his book.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Return of Stickman #465

This The Return of Stickman strip comments on how checking the family roster is a universal pastime at funerals. So does learning about forgotten, or more often, unmentioned family history. Right now, I wish I could put Stickman back in his cubical, but I have a few more days of funeral-related stuff to purge from my system.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Return of Stickman #464

This The Return of Stickman strip is not based on real-life, just inspired by it. When family members grieve, they look to ease that pain with a bit of humor. One wonderful moment of levity can make the whole day bearable, not to mention provide a cartoonist with plenty of material for future strips.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Return of Stickman #463

This The Return of Stickman strip is based on a real-life situation. Looks like I’ll have a lot of funeral-related material to use in the near future. It’s coming in so fast that I’m having a hard time writing it all down. That —and a string of jokes about toenails.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Comic Critic Reviews Jurassic Park

I know it sounds a bit trite to mention over a decade later just how Jurassic Park revolutionized movie special effects with its combination of CGI and live action animatronics. It redefined the “Dinosaur” genre. Now I can only watch my old dinosaur movies with the same nostalgia I have in riding a big wheel. Now, I feel like I’m just to grown up to sit in the child sized seat anymore. And then there are all those wonderful cultural snippets that have been parodied to no end. Like the “Objects in rear view mirror might appear farther away than they actually are.” or the “Flashlight beam in the eye” scene. All of them now iconic.  Any movie that has such a profound effect on the movie industry and our pop culture deserves all the kudos that it receives.

The Return of Stickman #462

This The Return of Stickman cartoon is based on a real-life experience I had back in college. Only the noises came from next-door rather than upstairs. It was just a bit surreal. Just what did my neighbor want an axe for? I never did ask. Sometimes it’s better not to ask questions. Especially when the questions involve an axe.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Return of Stickman #461

I think I will start my first entry by showing you The Return of Stickman strip I drew for today. This strip started when I got an email from my old high school friend, Chris. We would spend study hall time drawing cartoons and coming up with elaborate stories. The trouble was that study hall was so short that I never had time to finish anything I started. One day Chris said, “Just draw a stickman.” After that, we had a lot of fun. So, when Chris sent me an email and asked me if I still drew Stickman, I pulled out my clipboard and quickly drew up a strip to send to him. Only this time I had some degree of maturity, a college degree, decades of professional experience, and a deep understanding of comics, as clearly seen by the quality of this strip.