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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Comic Critic Reviews "Liquid Sky"



During the late Seventies and early Eighties, a crazy club scene emerged in New York City. A strange vampire with the swirling mental compass of Punk while decked out in the fluorescent neon pastels of New Wave, it greedily sucked the last little bit of life out of Disco. The nightclub scene was fueled by drugs, sex, nihilism, and an endless parade of anti-fashion. A miasma of chaotic, creative, spirit-led people pursued all sorts of outlets. Super 8 cameras were readily accessible and were picked up to create commentaries that paid no heed to established film standards. Pirate shooting was the norm, sets were accessible rooms and spaces, actors were often anyone free at that moment, and lighting was anything you could manage. These films formed what would become the No Wave movement. They were an inspiration to numerous filmmakers to just pick up a camera and start. Forget Hollywood  formulas—just go for your vision and damn the consequences. Liquid Sky is one of the success stories from the No Wave movement. Made on a shoestring of $500,000, it would garner a slew of prizes at film festivals while achieving a gross profit of $1,700,000 worldwide. It became the most successful independent movie of 1983. Liquid Sky is a cautionary tale suggesting people are cattle. Whether it’s society, fashion, music, relationship, sex, or aliens, everything is just a rope around their necks guiding them to the slaughterhouse. Liquid Sky looks trashy with all of the esthetic of a Nagel print left forgotten in a fraternity's garage. Yet somehow, its dated kitschy look only enhances the atmosphere and the spirit in which it was made.

I sort of took the Pandemic as time off from sending out this Newsletter. I want to get the blood flowing again. I also want to keep you up on my activities. So, you will be seeing neat stuff at the end of these emails. And please, share these emails with others. I'm going to be promoting this list. I'm also booked at some conventions.

I'm prepping for my next Kickstarter, a series of enamel pins I'm calling "Atomic Age Alien Series". The pins will be two inches tall with to studs on the back to hold it in place. They will be mounted on movie poster themed backers that will be 2 x 3.5 inches. Here's an idea of how "Invasion of the Saucer-Men" will look like:


I will give you an early heads up because there will be an early bird discount within the first hours of the campaign. Let me know if you desire a special reminder. And again, please let share this email with your friends.

I've been posting regularly on my Patreon page during the Pandemic. It's the only place right now where you can get a daily dose of "The Return of Stickman." Also, I'm posting new movie reviews there. This is a link to My Patreon Page.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

TAIP 11: Coloring 02


I decided it would be faster to color as I usually did with one color at a time rather than one object at a time. This is how I typically think. I usually have an idea as I put the image together what colors are going to fall where. So, I save a little time by going around and dropping that color in everywhere I think it belongs. I can then change my mind later on as the image fills up. Initially, I was worried about the file overloading, but that doesn't seem to be an issue.

If you want to add your support, you can always buy one of my many movie-inspired items at my online store.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

TAIP 10: Coloring Begins


This is the start of the coloring process. Earlier, while I was creating the elements and determining the layout I was also selecting the colors. Since I want each person to be drawn and colored with colors that are associated with them by their friends, I decided not to rely on color for composition. What I could do to create a sense of unity is use the same consistent palette through the image. And, to make the work best represent me, I would pull upon two palettes of color I created already. The first was a set of colors I created for a Mermay challenge. I went on to use those colors in most of my work for the rest of the year to create a consistent look for my portfolio. When you look in my Instagram you will see that as a result of my color selections, all of my images complement each other.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

TAIP 09: Line Work Completed


It's been a while since my last posting. I was dragging my feet on filling in sections of the image which were giving me problems. I'd yet to make up my mind on how I was going to approach some aspects of the drawing. Since part of this project was me growing, I allowed myself to puzzle over various elements and choices. Perhaps the toughest choice was to decide to move past the ink stage. This would mean I would have to live with my choices. 

I will be facing some interesting challenges due to my technology choices. I decided to create the image inside ProCreate on my iPad Pro. But, because the size of the image is substantial, at a decent resolution, I'm limited to only five layers. Only five! Normally I would have had a different layer for each person and often those layers would have sub-layers. That can't be the case. I must also plan for the scenario that the file might choke. So I will fill in the image via quadrants instead of all over at the same time, which is what I normally do. 

It's time to charge ahead! Here's a time-lapse of the inking. I want to thank the Tacoma Arts Commission again for having faith in this project. Without the Tacoma Artists Initiative Project, I'm not sure I would have ever pushed this past a daydream. Now it's becoming a reality.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

My friend Leilani Lisa Lawrence can be found in the project.

I've been a bit depressed. When I began this project I thought I might incorporate friends as characters into a scene. It quickly became a theme. Kristopher Brannon, also known as "That Sonics Guy" was a friend and I wanted to honor him by having him as a character. One of the first people I sketched for the project was Leilani Lisa Anderson. She was very pleased when she saw the video of my drawing her fire dancing. Unfortunately, Lani became very ill, and just as she was going to start a treatment she died. The abruptness was shocking. She was a vibrant person in my life. I think she would like to have a small cartoon version of her fire-dancing in a jigsaw. She'll go on performing for people in a surprising way. As I progress with this project new unexpected aspects I didn't anticipate the result. And I have to smile even more. Finding the hidden is what this project is all about.

Lani interacting with one of my chalk
drawings at Frost Park in Tacoma. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Tacoma Artists Initiative Project - Compiling Sketches

Here's a video showing an update on my project. I'm compiling elements of various sketches into the whole.

Here's one of the videos showing my sketches.

Monday, April 5, 2021

My Tacoma Artist Initiative Project

In March I received word that I have the Tacoma Art Commission's backing for a Tacoma Artists Initiative Projects. Of the forty artists who submitted applications, I was one of 24 selected for this year. I'm very honored to be one of the chosen and I'm looking forward to sharing this adventure with you.

Here is the gist of my project. As children, we were taught to find objects in our surroundings. Sometimes these would be out of context, such as in drawings when objects were hidden within a scene. Like a spatula hidden in the bark of a tree, or an iron in a field of flowers. Jigsaw puzzles were another way we learned to organize our thoughts. Our reward would be a view of a larger picture with a sense of accomplishment. In 2019 I lost three family members and became familiar with hospice facilities. There was a constant between all the facilities I visited: jigsaw puzzles. On tables by bedsides and in the communal waiting rooms I saw jigsaw puzzles being constructed. They brought forward a familiar welcoming feeling of those bygone times of play and learning. It was a perfect low-key activity that brought enjoyment, of pieces coming together to form a big picture, a gratifying feeling of coming full circle. Those hospice moments inspired an idea. I’ll be creating a puzzle picture. It would be a busy scene filled with people, animals, plants, and buildings all bustling with activity. Within it, there would be hidden objects, like a spoon making the hand of a clock. This image will in turn be turned into a jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle will become a public puzzle as they are hidden around Tacoma to be discovered by provided clues or chance. And, of course, a few will be donated to local Hospices and retirement centers. I’ve started live broadcasting of my work via my Facebook profile. You can also follow my progress via my other social media portals; YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

"Arena" was one of the sample images I submitted to give the review panel. It provides an idea of my style and the activity I was looking to apply to the image.

This is not the first time I've done a Tacoma Artists Initiative Project. About five years ago I created two one-minute public service announcements informing artists about their copyright rights. Click here to see those videos.