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.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Comic Critic Reviews Death Race 2000 and The Return of Stickman #813


Death Race 2000 was one of the very first grindhouse films I ever saw. I believe it achieved cult status because it was timed to take advantage of the high frustration folks were feeling about gas prices and the economy. The storyline is none too subtle about it, either. In the film, a huge crisis occurs in 1978 that radically changed the political landscape, so by the year 2000 one of the means of population control is the Transcontinental Road Race. And the American Resistance Party believes that by messing with the race, they can bring down the immoral establishment. Like any wonderful grindhouse film, the premise was so ludicrous that by adding just a bit of humor to the script, the movie was able to achieve huge, if undeserved, laughs. Nobody cared about the huge holes in the plot or story, nor that the scoring system never made any sense. You just went to see some guy do what you wished you could do, and that’s what a lot of movies are about.

An interesting side note to the film is that the Video Arcades of the day were having a hard time. Kids could play Pong at home on their Atari systems, so they weren’t putting quarters into the slots at the arcades as fast as they used to. Then the Death Race arcade game come out. The goal was to run over a whole bunch of running figures. Once you did so, a headstone would pop up. The game became more and more difficult as more and more headstones got in your way. Running over a headstone would cause you to lose speed and it made a horrific noise. Anyway, a lot of uptight folks made a hue and cry over this immoral game. It was warping young minds. The story was picked up by the national news, and enquiring television programs pondered how video games were affecting American youth. All of this attention naturally drove kids back to the arcades for a chance at the machines–before it could be banned.

Some might think this to be the first movie-inspired video game, but that honor goes to Jaws. The bloodlust in Death Race was far more compelling to the media than Jaws for some reason. (Neither of the two games was properly licensed.) While it’s now de rigueur that a video game is released as a tie-in to a movie, it all had to start somewhere.



The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Return of Stickman #812


This strip was inspired by my friend James Stowe who found kittens in a box behind his house one fine day.


The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Return of Stickman #807


While this might not mean a lot to the average Joe, it means a lot to these tribal members. But I cannot help but feeling it is going to mean more to the whales.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Return of Stickman #806


Does this ancient high school cheer come from a Jackson Five lyric? Or does it go back even farther than that!

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Dark Knight - 2008 & The Return of Stickman #805


Many fans of the DC universe see the Joker as the ultimate in sociopathic masterminds. To depict such a character adequately means that some very dark places are indeed not merely seen, but deeply explored. Before I saw this film, I thought that Heath Ledger’s role might have been over-hyped, with all the talk about his death after filming. But I have to admit that even if Mr. Ledger were still alive, he would be in Oscar contention. Such a superior performance can only be achieved with the other strong talents of film production, from writing to directing. This Batman film raises the bar from previous efforts and is well worth your trip to the theater.


As long as we’re talking conspiracy theories, we might as well include U.F.O.s in the discussion.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Return of Stickman #803


The public wants to know. Well, I want to know! Who were these witnesses? Buffalo rustlers were the first idea that popped into my mind.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Return of Stickman #802


Inspiration is sometimes no farther away than the news of the day.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Return of Stickman #801


Today I sold the original art to The Man Who Would Be King movie review to a very happy fan. It makes me happy when my fans are happy. And a little mulla never hurt.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bowery at Midnight - 1942


What makes this Bowery at Midnight so fun, and such a pleasure to watch from other Bela Lugosi films is the huge amount characters. It is like comparing string to rope. And while it might be more difficult to follow all the strands, you do end up with a stronger product. The reason I give it a four is because the storyline has multiple strands as well, and some of them end short and others, like the ending, are awkwardly woven into the whole.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

The Return of Stickman #799


One of my nieces collects snow globes. Every time I travel somewhere I pick up a new one for her. I have several sitting on my shelf to send to her right now. But, she has not given me her mailing address. How about it Kat? Are you going to send your Uncle your address? Hmm?

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Return of Stickman #798


The demand for my creative genius took me to New Haven, Connecticut this week. The hometown of Yale is very interesting. Why was I there? I was drawing top-secret stuff for top-secret people. And yet again I amazed all with my outstanding brilliance. From the heap of images I created I did find one that I’ll can share, you can draw your own conclusions.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Return of Stickman #796


My friend Donna Barr told me the little factoid of how through history when the German army changed their uniform, the U.S. army soon changed theirs. That was more than enough material to whip up another strip.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Man Who Would be King


I have lost count of how many times I’ve seen the last twenty minutes of The Man Who Would Be King over the last thirty years. I’ve never seen the beginning. This is a macho film, filled with adventure, saber rattling, and the wholesale slaughter of extras. John Huston immediately pulls you in—you feel the heat, the cold, the sweat, and the gunpowder. Decades since this film’s release, its crisp, clean story still holds up. I can now rightfully claim it as one of my favorites and suggest it for fathers who want to share some good clean killing fun with their sons. It would’ve been a ten but I had to knock off one point for blatant colonialist racism.

The Comic Critic is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Return of Stickman #795


This strip was inspired by trip to the drugstore where I was trying to find a Mountain Bar.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

The Return of Stickman #794


This strip was inspired by my last trip to Hawaii when I visited a The Dole Pineapple Plantation. You can see my graphic novel of the trip here.

The Return of Stickman is a product of Monlux Illustration, “Home of the Creative Mind!”™

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Return of Stickman #793


David Jordan initially drew a Return of Stickman strip for me. But, unhappy with it he wrote the script for it and submitted that instead. It is by far the most professional looking script I have received to date. How could I resist in seeing how well I could complete it? Below is the script he sent me. Thanks David.

INT. STICKMAN OFFICE (SCENE 1) – NIGHT
(Or day it doesn't matter lol)

Stickman is sitting and writing something on a sheet of paper.

INT. STICKMAN OFFICE (SCENE 2) - NIGHT

Bill shows his head through the half-open door and Stickman turns to him.

BILL -Hey,I forgot something. Mind if I get it?

STICKMAN -Nope, not at all.

INT. STICKMAN OFFICE (SCENE 3) - NIGHT

Bill is fiddling around the desk while Stickman is still writing.

INT. STICKMAN OFFICE (SCENE 4) - NIGHT

Bill is half way through the room to the door and is holding a duck. Stickman has stopped writing and is looking at Bill amazed(with his eyes popped out).

STICKMAN -...

INT. STICKMAN OFFICE (SCENE 5) - NIGHT

Stickman is sitting and writing something on a sheet of paper.

INT. STICKMAN OFFICE (SCENE 6) - NIGHT

Stickman is sitting and writing something on a sheet of paper.

STICKMAN -FREAK

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Return of Stickman #791


I first met Jane years ago when I moved to Tacoma. I was at her wedding when she tied the knot with Ron. They run a studio called http://www.nautilusdesign.biz and we like to hang out whenever we can. This is Jane’s first submission to The Return of Stickman. Thanks Jane!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Return of Stickman #790 & Chalk Art



There is a small park in downtown Tacoma called Frost Park. When rumors were floating that a fence might be placed up around the park to keep out undesirables, some locals got a crazy idea. They would make the park a fun place to visit on their Friday lunch breaks by holding a weekly Chalk-Off Slam. Anyone is welcome to participate with free chalk on hand. Voting of on the art is done online on the Tacoma Urbanist blog. Rubbing elbows with a few of the other artists in Tacoma is a fun way to spend a lunch hour. I go when I have a chance. And this last Friday I won the slam with this tiki design.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Return of Stickman #789

The Werewolf - 1956

My friend Bill Barnes of Unshelved told me that I should be blogging my webcomics. So, until I’ve learned enough CSS to revamp me webcomic sites I’ll be using this blog as a way to promote my strips. Today you get a double feature; A movie review the classic B-movie The Werewolf (1956), and what might be a controversial The Return of Stickman.


This is just one of many movies that Sam Katzman produced. Katzman was all about keeping on budget and increasing the profit margin by getting them quickly in the can. Most of his films are B-Movie classics. He might have worked fast, with an eye for the bottom line, but somehow, most of his films have a solid professional feel. The Werewolf was made fourteen years after The Wolf Man, just a year prior to I Was A Teenage Werewolf. What I love about this film is its location. Sure, the sign on the sheriff’s office says Mountaincrest, but every other sign in town reads Big Bear, a nice hunting community from what we can tell. If the scenery around Big Bear City looks familiar, it’s because the town is a common filming locale for movies. From classics like Old Yeller (1956) to recent horror efforts like Ticks (1999), Big Bear City has played host to over 200 films. You might want to check out their annual film festival.

Featured in the film, the cool jazz of Mischa Bakaleinikovff.

And here is today's...

The full archives of these strips can be found at
The Comic Critic and
The Return of Stickman.