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, December 30, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1552




The inspiration for this strip is any evening new broadcast. I'm always amazed at who the local television crew picks to interview. Sure, every now and then you will get a reasonable person able to provide some additional comments that provide some insight. But most of the time you have some guy who only new the neighbor in passing and looks like they just walked off a Gerry Springer show.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1550




My calendar at the beginning of the week had me climbing onto an airplane. But the project was pushed until after the holidays. So I suddenly find me schedule open. I plan on working on one of my book projects. It's time to finish sketching the layout for the cover. It helps that I finalized the title and found someone to write the foreword. No spoilers yet. I also get to post today's strip.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1548



It's nice to know that Stickman is back at work. It might be a while before we see Robot again. Have a nice vacation, Robot. We can kiss this little storyline goodbye. I've already have a couple of strips written for next week expounding on the human condition. Look for your next "Return of Stickman" strip on Monday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1546 and #1547

I'm going to shoot to have at least three comics out each week. That said, I might be traveling next week again. Traveling is what messed up my schedule in the first place.





On the plus side, every time I travel I make money. That's good.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1544 and #1545

I messed up last Friday and forgot to do a posting on this blog. However, I also messed up on my website and posted the strip sequence out of order. here you get to see Friday's and today's strip in the correct order.





I'd like to promise that I will do better. But this is the type of quality you can expect on this strip. Human error raising it's pretty head over and over.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1543

I've been a little lack on my blog as my workload increased. December is a slower time for me and I think it's time to catch up. One of my neglected projects is my The Return of Stickman webcomic. I thought it would be fun to do a storyline where he comes back from vacation to find that things have changed in his absence.



I find it hard to believe that I've not done a posting since September. That has to be disappointing to the few that follow this blog. I will to get back to my old schedule of at least three postings or more a week. Consider it an early New Year Resolution.

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?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1540





This strip was inspired by real life events. Out of the blue my wife asks me, "Whatever happened to Geena Davis?" And then the next moment the movie trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy shows on the television. This strip instantly mashed itself together in my head. I added the bunnies because - well - bunnies.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of Coonskin


Commonly labeled as racist, Coonskin did not receive favorable reviews upon its release. The negative commentary around it led to meager distribution. I have to confess I missed seeing it. I was too young at the time to frequent the grindhouse theaters it might have played, and while my other portals of cable television and video stores were beginning to have it in stock, Coonskin never appeared on my radar. This was odd because I’ve seen the bulk of Ralph Bakshi’s work, a great deal of it as I was growing up. Bakshi, an American animator, continually pushed the envelope of the medium. I have to confess Coonskin caused me to squirm. I can easily remember those years with society’s easy acceptance of racism, gay bashing, and bigotry. To see this ugly visual portrayal in a style so tied to my youth struck home. I know that it’s a lampoon of Blaxploitation, a Minstrel Show meant to provoke laughter and reveal the ugly underbelly of society. But I just  couldn’t laugh–all I could do was wince. But I am glad that I find Coonskin far more offensive at age fifty than I would have at fifteen. For those now curious to see Coonskin, I give this warning: Prepare yourselves; you will hear the N word more times in the first five minutes than you have in the last five years.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of Top Gun


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In 1986, I was fresh out of college and sharing an apartment with a roommate who had three great passions: 1. His stereo system. 2. His advanced skill with electronics. 3. Using those skills to improve said stereo system to replicate as nearly as possible, not only the deep bass, but also the bone-rattling thunder produced by Top Gun’s F14As. And as often as he played Top Gun, and it was quite often, somehow it never got old. Maybe it was because I was a young guy just starting out, and that testosterone-fueled movie was a fun way to enjoy that time. Or maybe it was simpler: Top Gun is just a great movie. At any rate, after having been brainwashed by its throbbing soundtrack, I’m hardly in a position to provide an unbiased opinion. So, when I sat down with a critical eye to write this review, I realized how completely distracted I had been by the horrendous amount of effort and money it took to get the US Navy involved in making that decade’s possibly best-ever recruitment tool. Top Gun is a thinly veiled cop-buddy movie, plain and simple. Once I made that discovery, the strip quickly wrote itself.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Comic Critic's Review of Higanjima Escape from Vampire Island



Why? Why? Why do I keep watching truly horrible horror movies? I could be spending my time watching any of the thousands of decent movies out there – truly entertaining movies. I could be basking the glory of Oscar winning performances. Or learning something meaningful and relevant with a documentary. I could be laughing my head off with a quirky comedy. But, no. When given an option of choosing from all those genres I find myself selecting an unknown horror film of questionable vintage. I guess it’s because I truly love horror movies. My search for that fantastic scary movie continues. But in my search for a prince of a film I have kissed so many frogs – icky, toxic, slime covered frogs. Higanjima Escape from Vampire Island isn’t even a frog, it’s a big fat toad.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of The Rocky Horror Picture Show




Released in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has never left theaters and continues to be the longest-running movie of all time. Rocky Horror didn’t draw much attention on its initial release, but found a home in the Midnight Movie timeslot. There night owls, loners, and children of the freaking night discovered it and made it their own through spontaneous bursts of audience participation. It quickly gelled into an orchestrated script including audience props, costumes, and the occasional call to the Fire Marshall. Your Rocky Horror cred is based on your knowledge and skills of interaction. For each generation that discovers it, Rocky Horror becomes a rite of passage of movie culture. I loved it when my friends took me to my first show. And I love it now as it’s not something you can stream, download, or fully appreciate on DVD. The full, unvarnished joy of The Rocky Horror Picture Show can only be experienced in a sticky-floored theater—with a bag full of props and a collection of your wild-ass friends.--w ged because as it stood, the theater had the bag and the collection.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1539





Every time I lose my train of thought, this is what pops up in my mind as a visual. There is a lot more detail. If you remember the train crash scene from the recent Lone Ranger movie - that's pretty much what I'm visualizing. I know I'm boring people when I find the train derailment more entertaining than the topic I was yabbering on about.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1538





One of my favorite bits of the Johnny Carson Show was Carnac the Magnificent, where Johnny would put on a huge, over-sized turban and cape and be a soothsayer who provided answers to questions via envelopes. To me it was a variation of the kid's game "One of these things is not like the other" refined for adults. Sometimes I think I should do the Carnac bit with Stickman. But, it's always been a Johnny Carson bit and maybe it should stay that way. Anyway, now you know my thinking behind this strip as I was drawing it up.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1537





I drew this strip thinking my friend, Kevin Boze, would get a kick out of it. I was inspired by his compilation of comics he drew while in the military and made it into the European edition of the Stars & Stripes. Check out his book "...and another day gets off to a flying halt."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1536





I wanted to post a strip today, but I didn't want to wait to submit the strip to my copy editor first. So I had to draw a strip that wouldn't use any words. This was the very first thing that popped into my mind.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Return of Stickman #1535





There are several robbers shot in the head every year. Below is the specific video that inspired this strip.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Comic Critic's Movie Review of Close Encounters of the Third Kind






--> -->
Close Encounters came out in 1977 the same year Voyager I and Voyager II were launched into space. Everybody was excited about the possibilities of space and what discoveries would be made out there.  Folks were looking up at the sky and dreaming about man’s venture into the cosmos. Close Encounters tapped into our deep desires to explore space. Steven Spielberg guides audiences into a search rather than presenting an invasion underway. First it’s a search for answers to why we are seeing what we are seeing. Then it becomes an urge, a desire to express or explain what is being seen. And before you know it, audiences are filled with a grand sense of homecoming, of returning. That joy of return and exploration is what powers Close Encounters. A lot has been said about the movie’s special effects. An obvious child of the ’70s with its lack of home computers and portable technology, they’re wonderful, practical special effects that still hold up today. But you don’t really notice the tech; what you do notice is its vibrating core message of exploration and hope which continues to make Close Encounters a great movie.


 [J1]Space is used twice in the same sentence. Changed to avoid that.

 [J2]Deleted to clarify the meaning.

 [J3]Changed because “the public” seems to remove both you and the readers from the rest of us.

 [J4]“Hungry” changed to “deep” to strengthen the sentence structure and meaning. Another way to say this is “…tapped into our deep hunger to explore space.” I think that this is a stronger sentence.

 [J5]“Rather than feeling that an invasion was underway, Steven…” seems to mean that Spielberg may have felt that an invasion was underway.

 [J6]Changed to “audiences” to reflect that audiences everywhere felt this rather than only one audience. You may want to substitute “movie-goers” for “audiences.”

 [J7]Moved to strengthen your meaning (I hope).


Friday, April 4, 2014