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, 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

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.