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 19, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews Brazil

1985 is better known for small pop culture landmarks than it is for large historical events like Reagan meeting with Gorbachev. We are the World received the best album and best single Grammy, Coca-Cola introduced New Coke, and the top 5 grossing movies were Back to the Future; Rambo: 1st Blood, part 2; Rocky IV; The Color Purple; and Out of Africa. It was also the year I graduated from college. I was about to leave the cocooned security of campus life, filled with discussions of idealism and fantasy, and enter the real world. Maybe that’s why Brazil, a retro-futuristic black comedy about a totalitarian world filled with mind-numbing bureaucracy, appealed so greatly to me. It touched upon my optimistic aspirations and buried fears of what the world might hold for me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1351

The last couple of weeks I've been overwhelmed with project. It is with great relief that largest one with the most immediate deadline is finally out there door. Now I can get back to drawing my stickman strips on a regular basis.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews Aeon Flux

I’m behind the eight ball this week as I finish off a deadline. But I don’t want to leave you hanging with nothing, so I’m digging into the archives to bring you my review of Aeon Flux.

There are many obvious movie genres: horror, comedy, action, drama, etc. And naturally you are aware that there are movies that mix genres: romance-comedy, horror-comedy, etc. You are even aware of the genres that have developed specific names: silent, grindhouse, exploitation, etc. But then there are those film genres whose names have yet to be formalized. Aeon Flux falls completely into a category I’m calling Sexy-Violent-Babe.

Sexy-Violent-Babe movies always have a beautiful female lead, usually featured on the movie poster wearing skintight clothing, often in an exotic pose. Her strong presence, usually featured in a slightly futuristic and or fantasy setting, is augmented with weaponry, often as exotic as her poses, along with a high tendency to use them. On top of everything she is smart, and it is her wiles, along with her graceful strength, that wins the day against “the man.” The man can take as many forms as her weaponry as long it is linked to a visage of female oppression, of which there is an endless selection. The description, Sexy-Violent-Babe, might be a bit wordy. With all the leather, straps, spandex, skin and definite promise of violence,Dominatrix has a far more wonderful simplicity to it. Too bad the term Dominatrix doesn’t lend itself to a PG-13 rating, so I’ll settle for Sexy-Violent-Babe.

Now that I’ve defined this genre for you, I’m betting that you can easily think of a number of movies that fit this description. I know I have a list that ranges from poorly done schlock to international blockbusters. Here’s a few I can name just off the top of my head:

Aeon Flux
Resident Evil

Friday, December 9, 2011

Geeks of Doom Feature Metropolis T-shirt

Geeks of Doom is a great blog to which I subscribe. I like the emails they send out each day called "Geeks of Doom Invade Your eMail!" They keep me up to date on all sorts of cool stuff, including very geek-trendy t-shirt designs. I sent them an email yesterday showing them the Metropolis Bar & Grill design I drew up. They were very interested in the fact that my pre-orders allowed me to order sizes above 2XL as it is a complaint they often hear. I'm completely blown away that they decided to feature my shirt today in their Geek Gear. If your a geek like me, and enjoy seeing something fun and new every day, then I can't recommend their site enough.

Oh, if you do pre-order, I'm throwing in free shipping. So the shirts are only $20. Sizes over 2XL are just a little more. It's not so much the cost of printing, it's the cost of the cloth increases with the larger sizes. That might be why aren't carried very often. As a sole-proprietorship, every pre-order alleviates the financial burden or the press run. So, thank you for your pre-order. You can order a shirt here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1350

I wanted to do a strip that would make sense to the long-term readers of The Return of Stickman, but would be weirdly funny to those just tuning in. Stickman's holiday adventures can be found in the archives.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1349

This strip is a response to the single fan who asked me why I've not done anything related to the occupy movement. I'm not sure if it will make him happy.

I know I've not been posting up strips as regularly as I should. Blame real work on that. To make up for it, here is a cartoon I did for The CLAW's White Elephant Gift exchange. My wife's comment: Why isn't the elephant white? My answer: Meh!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1347

Here is the news article which was the inspiration for this strip. Part of me wonders where this young gentleman will be a year from now - aside from jail.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews A Very Harold & Kumar 2D Christmas

My wonderful wife wanted to take me to the movies on my birthday. She’d take me to see anything I wanted, but I certainly didn’t mean to test her loyalty by taking me to see A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Gullible, I truly held the hope that the magic of the first film would be recaptured; instead, I got something every bit as awful, if not worse, than the second film, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. (It was a crushing blow because it was such a disappointment.) That experience should have set my expectations lower. This one was filled with an homage to past Christmas films, crass toilet humor that left my shoulders aching from cringing, and a seemingly endless stable of obvious 3D effects constructed solely (and obviously) for the post-theater-release 3D TV market. This movie has me hoping that today’s 3D craze will follow the pitter-patter of past 3D fads and just fade way, taking this movie with it.

Here’s an odd side story: As we stepped out of our car in the theater’s parking lot, my foot came down on a baggie. I picked it up to find that it contained a bud of weed. I put it into my pocket because I was going in to watch a movie that heavily featured pot smoking and promptly forgot all about it. During the movie, a familiar aroma kept hitting me at odd times. It was confusing because, regardless of how interesting pot smoke may be, I knew 3D couldn’t broadcast a smell. Certainly the film wasn’t good enough to bring back old memories. Then I remembered the bag in my pocket and mentally let out a long, “Oh!” When we left the theater, I left the baggy behind—on the floor. I have not indulged in years; besides, there’s no way I’d ever smoke something that I found in a parking lot. Why did I leave it behind instead of tossing it away? I wanted the next person to sit there to undergo an unexpected odorama experience. Maybe it would make sitting through the movie a little bit more pleasant for them than it was for me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1345 and the Portland Comic Book Show Report

I've drawn smoking before, usually for iconic or gag reasons. I plan on doing a few more strips about smokers and non-smokers without very much thought. Most of my stickman strips don't have a lot of thought behind them. They just pop out. I never was a smoker. Several of my friends and family members who were smokers managed to quit. Some are doing their best to stop right now. And I have some friends and family who continue to pound coffin nails. So before they and everybody else starts sending smoker hate or support letters I just want to say... (sound of footsteps running followed door slamming shut.)

The Portland Comic Book Show

My wife and I had a great time at the Portland Comic Book Show. My profits were double of what they were last year. I attribute this to the increased amount of merchandise I had available (Brains! t-shirt.) A few other members of The Cartoonists League of Absurd Washingtonians also attended. I want to thank everybody who stopped by to say, "Hi."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1344

I'm not the only person who thinks this is a conspiracy.

If you like near Portland, Oregon you might want to check out The Portland Comic Book Show this Sunday. I'll be there selling my various merchandise.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1343

I've a client who wants me to do an animation. It's been a while, but I'm thinking it might be fun. Falling a little behind on my software tutorials. And I need to draw some coconuts today. It all beats being homeless.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews Breakfast on Pluto

Growing up in religiously and politically divided Ireland has enough troubles of its own and has been used as a setting for a number of movie. Now add into that movie the hero as a boy orphaned as a baby. That’s not enough? Go ahead and make the boy transgendered. You think that would be enough for the writers of Breakfast on Pluto, but no. I’m not against writers adding in lots of details, but don’t focus those details on character development when the character is formed twenty minutes into the film. I can see the effort placed into Breakfast on Pluto, but I found some of that effort to be misdirected. The soundtrack was likeable, but I didn’t attach the soundtrack to the film since I wasn’t emotionally attached to any of the scenes.

p.s. For Dr. Who fans: There are no 'real' Daleks in this movie - just fanboys. Didn't I say in the first panel that this was not Sci-Fi?

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1342

You might think that this is an urban legend, but no. It is a real story. And sadly it gets repeated every time there is an election.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1341

Today's strip is inspired by all the relatives I expected to visit this summer, and didn't. And to all those relatives I didn't expect a visit who did show up out of the blue. Oh, yes. You know who you are.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1340

My brother Randy asked that I do a few strips using characters that a few of the older fans know and love. This won't be a huge saga. I'm going to try a formula of weird news bits along with a story arch. I'll be searching for feedback along the way.

I spent a few hours yesterday being couched by Adam The Alien on monetorizing my YouTube channel. I'm considering do the same to this blog.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1339

My wife was the inspiration behind this strip. I was driving down the highway and she was asking me, "Why? why? why?" And this strip popped into my head. She thought it was funny, which is a good sign that you might enjoy it too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews Even the Rain

Even the Rain
is one of those deep-message-with-social-commentary movies that I watch occasionally. The occasion this time was the Ellensburg Film Festival. Even the Rain was the festival’s opening movie. And it was really good, quite possibly one of the best-constructed movies I’ve seen all year. It had me thinking hard, deciphering all the different messages I’d received in viewing it. Still, I have a hard time putting socially relevant movies on my must-see list. They’re a lot like S&M: you feel both a little dirty and weirdly good afterwards. It’s just the right thing if you’re in the mood for it. So dim the lights, light the candle, and warm up the beeswax; this film is worth exploring.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1338

I'm a big fan of old time radio shows. You can listen to a lot of them on AM 1710 Antioch, which I find under iTune's radio in the eclectic selections.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Return of Stickmna #1337

This last weekend I had a table at ZomBcon. I had a blast. I took several photos of Zombies which you can see on my Flickr photostream. If this strip doesn't make much sense, then it is a perfect reflection of how tired I was yesterday when I drew it. Below are a couple of snapshots if you're too lazy to click forward to the photostream.

Zombcon 2011 43
Zombcon 2011 41
Zombcon 2011 46
Zombcon 2011 28

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1336

I'm getting very excited about ZomBcon. Yesterday I picked up a collapsible cart that perfectly holds the bins I keep the t-shirts. I also picked up an additional tablecloth. I've got my booth buddies lined up for each day as well. I just need to accept another receipt book.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1335

I want to thank all those who sent me twitters when I asked the Internet to help me with this one. I got so many submissions that I will be able to run a few more along this theme.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1334

I actually meant to post this strip last Friday. It is a continuation of last Thursday's strip. I wanted to tell my wife about these two strips but she stopped me. We were going out to dinner and she didn't want to loose her appetite.

Now it's time to call my printer and see if my new batch of Brains! t-shirts are ready.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Comic Critic Reviews Bellflower

Bellflower was shown at the Ellensburg Film Festival, otherwise known as EFF7. Because I’ve been bragging about it endlessly, some of you might know that I drew the festival’s poster this year. The art from my poster was used on all promotional materials, from the ticket stubs to the website. I spent the weekend attending (and giving) presentations at the festival. If you follow The Comic Critic Facebook page, you know that I try to post movie trailers of new and old movies. Bellflower was one of the previews I posted a while back and I was very excited to see it at the festival. This review is one of the few I’ve been able to draw before the mainstream release because I saw it at the festival. I’m hoping that my enthusiasm for the festival has not bled over too much in my rating of Bellflower. I should also say that this film has a dog in it. If you are familiar with my rating system, you know that a dog in a movie automatically adds an additional point to the tally.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1333

This strip was inspired by two things:
1. The increase of bedbugs in the United States.
2. This Vlogbrothers video.

I'm a fan of John and Hank Green's channel on YouTube and have a subscription to it. If You can click here if would like to see my YouTube, which is filled with all sorts of videos from me giving advice to freelancers to movie reviews with my friend Joe Manfredini.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1311 and the Ellensburg Film Festival

My apologies to the overly perverse Internet surfer in search of beastiality and instead found this strip. I almost didn't draw this strip for fear of related SPAM appearing in the comments. Still, I do my best to cover the articles my fans send me. While the dialog in Stickman might be rated R I try to keep the visuals down to a PG rating.

I spent a long weekend in Ellensburg, Washington attending EFF7 (Ellensburg Film Festival.) I had the chance to take in a lot of movies, whose reviews I'm currently working on for The Comic Critic. It was my first time attending a film festival from start to finish. I wish I could have taken a few more films but I was busy doing presentation on Licensing and Freelancing. I also had the opportunity to set up a table and sell my books, shirts and posters to attendees. Many thanks for the sponsors and committee for getting me involved. Thanks!

The opening party at EFF7.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Return of Stickman #1330

This weekend I'm off to attend the Ellensburg Film Festival where I will be giving presentations on Licensing and Freelancing. I'd hoped to put together some new elaborate presentations. But I had some real jobs pop-up that required my attention and so I'm going to have to rely on the presentations I have in the laptop already. Below the poster I did for the event.

Thursday, October 6, 2011