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, April 30, 2012

The Comic Critic Reviews Forbidden Planet

If you’ve ever read my system for rating movies, you’d know that I give extra points for robots. Other sci-fi robots and I might have necked in the backseat at the drive-in, but I confess—I lost my geek cherry to Robby the Robot. Yes, he was in amazing color, but his charisma goes far beyond that. Far from looking like he was designed by socially awkward engineers in a garage (like so many robots before him), Robby looks like a Madison Avenue marketing group designed him. Visually, Robby set the bar a lot higher for what might be expected. (Vast improvements followed soon after.) And Robby was just one of the ingredients that made this movie great. What truly thrilled me as a young boy was the invisible monster. When his footprints appeared in the flattened earth, I held my breath. And I was riveted when he, caught in the energy beams, could be seen. With a little humor, a little romance, a lot of great visuals and action, Forbidden Planet captured my imagination then. It still grabs me now.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1393

My apologies for the delay in this sequence of strips. I had a series of immediate turn-around deadline requests this week that consumed my time. Here is one that will hold you over until Monday.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Comic Critic Reviews Alien

I saw Alien in 1979 when I was a foreign exchange student in Japan. Because we attended school six days a week, the only time I went to the movies was Sunday afternoons. You’d think that the theater would be crowded, but such was not the case because our hamlet got only one new movie a month. By the time I had a Sunday afternoon to myself, Alien had been in town for a while, and I was one of half a dozen people there. Some might describe Alien as a “horror” film, but I classify it as a “terror” film. I remember walking out into the bright sun, my skin still buzzing from the chills and thrills of the movie, feeling very disassociated from the warmth of the day, oddly enhanced by feeling out of my element in a foreign country. I’d felt this way once before. I was eight or nine and had just seen an afternoon television broadcast of The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price. As the blue skies tried to warm the deep chill in my bones both times, I thought, “So this is what it means to have the friggin’ daylights scared out of you.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1392

I know your dying to find out my news source that inspired this story. But you're going to have to wait because I'm going to be posting a follow-up strip tomorrow. Today I plan on having PB&J's with my good friend and wedding painter, Sam Day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Comic Critic Review The Fifth Element

1997 was a fantastic year for movies. There was barely a dull moment as one highly entertaining film after another was released. I challenge you: Go and take a look at what came out in ’97, and I’ll bet you’ll have seen all of them. If you didn’t see them in a theater (which is too bad), then you’ve definitely seen them on television or DVD in the decade since. And if somehow you did miss any, you must go back and watch them. Among a crowd of great films, The Fifth Element made the top ten. I think it holds up over the years due to the efforts of its creative professionals’ production of this romping, futuristic, fantasy sci-fi yarn. It’s become a staple of the sci-fi geek diet.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Comic Critic Reviews The Man From Earth

This film has none of the clich├ęs that other movies use to create excitement. There are no explosions, flashbacks, montages, or car chases. This is a room full of people, educated people, who spend the whole day in a living room tossing around a singular topic. The drama comes from the circumstances of conversation, how logic and faith are fallible, how truth, lies, gullibility and trust can be stretched, ignored, dismissed, or dangerously reconsidered. A lot of folks don’t find that kind of movie interesting or entertaining. Initially, The Man from Earth didn’t impress me, but my mind keeps going back to the questions it raised during the discussion, and how the characters expressed their reactions. Once I realized that I was running the movie over in my head, I also realized that the movie, whose goal was to have these questions mulled over, was a success. Well, as much of a success as a bunch of professors hammering all day on one subject in a living room can be a success.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1391

I'm looking forward to spending my lunch hour in downtown Tacoma at Frost Park to take part in the chalking. The Mayor has declared April 6th at Frost Park Chalk Day. Here is a short video of the presentation and folks involved. And before I forget, here is the new item that inspired today's strip.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1390

I was so busy talking about ECCC 2012 that I forgot to post the new story that inspired yesterday's strip. Here is the news story that inspired today's.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1389 and A Report on ECCC 2012

I had yet another stellar year at the Emerald City Comicon. There were a lot or requests for another book, so I'm just having to make another one. I'm trying to decide to do a Return of Stickman book, which is long overdue, or another movie review compilation, or maybe both. I look a lot of photos from the table of folks in cosplay and fans who had me draw sketches of them in their book. I was deeply honored when Christopher Baldwin, creator of Bruno, Little Dee and Spacetrawler picked up a copy of my book.
Christopher Baldwin
If you would like to see what I drew in his book, he posted it here. As you can see below, the grand and glorious Mr. Baldwin was kind enough to do a quick sketch of an "Eeb" inside my copy of "Spacetrawler".
Signed Spacetrawler