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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1428

The news story that inspired this strip is even sadder than I make it out. When the cremation company found two, yeah, not one but two, mislaid bodies in the back of their storage unit they were a bit perplexed. Then, without a phone call, they show up at this little old lady's door, at night-time, and show her a photo of her partially decade husband and ask her to identify him. That's horrible enough, she can't get that image out of her mind. On top of that there's no answer to the other questions. Who's ashes were moved instead, and who is that other body? When I decided on this week's theme I knew I would have plenty of material to work with. I was just surprised at how much. And some of the stories, like the one that inspired this strip, provided enough material to do several strips. It's enough for me to understand the Jewish custom of having somebody sit with the dead. If nothing else, it's so you can keep track of them.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1427

I would have posted this stickman this morning, but my morning got busier than scheduled. I'm posting it out before I call it a night.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1426

You're wondering why it is that I'm posting a The Return of Stickman strip day instead of a The Comic Critic strip. The simple answer is I'm a day behind on getting The Comic Critic strip out. So I'm switching the days around and giving you this hint about how the rest of the week is going to be for Stickman.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1425

Each of the strips I did today was inspired by a news story about snakes. There should be enough clues for you to find all of them using your search engines. No snakes next week. I promise.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Comic Critic Reviews Jurassic Park

I went on vacation last week where I stayed in town and just relaxed and decompressed at home. So I'm going to post an older review about a vacation gone horribly wrong. Dinosaur movies before 1993 were a lot of fun. They came in three basic formats in various degrees of quality. First, you had the lizards covered in makeup. These poor things were poked and prodded at each other with the occasional rewarding hiss or tussle for the cameraman. Next up from that, you saw the sectional giant prop, where either a large claw or a set of jaws would swoop in from off-screen. And the best were the stop-motion animations. They might have been a little jerky looking, but it was a lot easier to suspend your disbelief with them than it was with the extras from the reptile farm. Then Jurassic Park hit the scene. Its combination of full-scale animatronics (combined with highly integrated CGI) did more than carry a sense of disbelief. You wondered if your local pet store was going to expand to make way for this new inventory of potential pets. Finally, a real look at the famed giants that so fascinated us when we were little. I bet this film did wonders for the study of paleontology, inspiring a whole new generation into its field of research.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Comic Critic Reviews Lawrence of Arabia

Every time I tried to write about Lawrence of Arabia, I found myself writing something completely different. I wrote about my childhood, the glory of the Golden Age of Hollywood, my family, and the times I spent with them watching films—and about one of my favorite actors, Peter O’Toole. After a paragraph or so, I’d find I hadn’t mentioned anything about the movie itself, so I’ve got to come back to the comment I made in the strip. This film influences you. It’s ingrained into my life to such an extent that I have a hard time just talking about it. How wonderful is it that a movie can be so good that it goes beyond entertainment, beyond culture, and practically worms itself into your DNA? Yes, I love this movie. I rarely say this, but it’s in my top ten movies of all time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1421

When I was writing these Olympic themed strips, I wanted to poke fun at the event and not the athletes. Part of the reason is because I admire the athletes, the other part is that these Olympics have been under a microscope and a lot of the little things that folks wouldn't know about in past years have been showing up in the media along with the big gaffes. The result has been a numbness to errors. I wanted that to be my theme. Tomorrow I'm going to be at a very small community event signing my book. Tanglewilde Fun Day is located more towards Olympia than Tacoma, and I think it's heading a little off towards Yelm. Anyway, there are directions on the Facebook Event Page in the link above.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1419

These are the most terrifying Olympic Mascots I've ever seen. And they have a worse committed design than the Atlanta Olympics Blob. When I read their origin story I immediately thought of the show "Dr. Who" with it's campy - and often awful - low-budget special effects along with implausible stories. This strip popped right into my head. My biggest challenge was deciding between the current final sentence or going with "No. Really. Where's the time-lord?"

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Comic Critic Reviews E.T. - The Extra-Terrestial

My original draft for this strip told of how I first heard of E.T., a teaser poster in my college dorm mailbox, showing nothing but some lights behind some clouds during a dusky nightfall. It gave little-to-no hints about the actual storyline. I was completely hooked at that point, so I nagged my friend to go to the theater two hours ahead of time to buy tickets. He thought it was a waste of time. However, my thinking saved the day. Not only did we get in, but we got excellent seats, and I was vindicated. My first draft also tied in the famous “Phone home” line and a comment on Drew Barrymore being so cute. But I dumped it. I don’t want to overuse my arguments with friends about getting to the theater ahead of time. (Why is it that it’s always the same naysayer who delays you enough to miss out on movie night because the film turns out to be extremely popular?) Anyway, I decided I needed a different approach. And since I was trying to look at the strip differently, I wanted make you look at the movie differently.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1417

This strip is a throw back to earlier Return of Stickman strips. It was only after several hundred strips that I began using odd news stories as the primary inspiration for the strip. Before then it was anything that popped into my head. Sometime it would be a word I randomly pulled out of a nearby book. As I started to reach out more and more for material, the internet with its wealth of odd stories kept providing more and more of them. Then my fans got into the action and started to send me news stories they thought fit the bill. I don't even have to hunt anymore. I like to please my fans and I do get requests for some of the non-news humor. Today I return with a much love character who popped up quite a bit in the past.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1416

here's the new story that inspired this strip. I thought about not posting the link to the story, but that would have been a very challenging Google search as there appears to be a lot of folk setting their bums on fire with fireworks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Return of Stickman #1415

You should have no problem locating the news story that inspired this strip. If you were wondering why I didn't post any Stickman strips last week it was because I was having fun in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city and I only wish I had more time to explore it before returning home. My wish was partially granted as my return flight was delayed until the next morning.