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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Comic Critic's Review of Forrest Gump

I struggled with this review of Forrest Gump for a long time. It would have been too easy to fill all the panels with the mountains of catch phrases this movie introduced into the popular lexicon. I toyed with the idea of pairing two commentaries on each panel: one on love and one on country. But it didn’t take. My “country” theme kept hop-scotching from historical moments to pop-culture fads. And I was also struggling with the “love” theme. I grouched about my efforts to my wife. She responded, “It’s not a movie about love; it’s a movie about friendship.” I then remembered Milton’s essay on Friendship. The gist of it was how friendship, unlike love, is a bond created by choice. And it’s the strength of that choice that creates an element to life of unequaled depth and transcendence. I thanked my best friend in the world for her insight. The strip quickly fell into place.

Winner of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Fans, I'm going to be taking some time off from the drawing board. I'm scheduled to attending the Denver Comiccon, Olympia Comic Book Festival, and the Silverdale Comic Book Show. I will be back in two weeks.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Return of Stickman #1481

I can't help but think that history might be repeating itself. You can find the news story that inspired this strip here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Return of Stickman #1480

This strip was inspired by this news article.

Tonight I will be speaking to the UW's Graphic Novel Society. I'm going to tell them how to stay alive while trying to achieve fame and fortune.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Comic Critic Reviews Goldfinger

What makes Goldfinger one of the best Bond movies ever? It wasn’t the first James Bond film. It wasn’t even the first James Bond film featuring Sean Connery. It wasn’t the first with a great villain or the first with great spy gadgets. But it was the first to have every each and every element of a Bond movie reach out and please its audience all the way through. We loved hating the villain. We found the henchman exotic and threatening. The car was a lovely thing. The women were beauties. Everything in the film looks great, from costume design to the giant ceiling-mounted laser, which has a more Buck Rogers flair than your normal industrial machine. All the elements you desired for a spy movie were delivered, wrapped up in a song that drove itself up the charts. While the music was fantastic, it can’t take all the credit for this fantastic Bond. The producers learned an important lesson from the theme song of Dr. No. That theme became the Bond movie theme. Great care went into selecting, composing, and writing the theme songs that would play well and set the tone for the following Bond movies. What makes this one of the best ever is that they got everything right. Drawing this strip was easy; all I had to do was list just a few things that went right in the movie, then punctuate it with a gag.

Why do I give Goldfinger only a nine? Because I didn’t get to see it in the theater. Why didn’t I get to see it in the theater? Because I was only two years old. Because my parents had the common sense and courtesy not to take a toddler to a movie filled with gunfire, explosions, and a plot that didn’t involve animated animals. Am I getting sidetracked onto the subject of people bringing in underage children to watch inappropriate movies? Yes I am. Just because the film has a tiger in it, you don’t take your six-year-old daughter to see Life of Pi. I personally don’t care what movies you watch with your kids at home. But a theater is a communal experience. And while it might take a village to raise your offspring, you don’t take them to see The Village while their still in nappies and cant follow the plot, get squirrely and then start a long wheezing cry that spoils everybody’s experience. I’m sorry, but if you’ve got enough mulla to bring your kid to the theater, you’ve got enough to cover a baby sitter. And that’s why Goldfinger only gets a nine.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tacoma Artists Initiative Project, Step 1: Script

My Tacoma Artist Initiative Project is creating two public service announcements using whiteboard animation. As part of that assignment I’m sharing this process on both my blog and the Cartoonists’ League of Absurd Washingtonians website. Step one of the project is drafting two scripts. My goal was to focus strictly on the dialog and time it to roughly 50 seconds per script. One I wrote each script I then sent it to my legal consultant, and then ran it past my editor. I gave my editor a few gray hairs because I did not write into the script the dialog in context with the images. I wanted to leave the script very open for when I came up with ideas during the next step, creating the storyboard.

Here are the scripts:

Voiceover Script for Defining Copyright Ownership.

Your creative expression can take many forms: writing, music, dance, sculpture, or visual art.

Copyright protects your creative expression.

Did you know that when you sell your original art you are not selling your copyright?

Just as an author does not lose the rights to his story when he sells his books, neither does a painter lose the rights to their creative expression when they sell their original paintings.

When a person buys original art, they become a curator of that piece, but they do not have the right to license the art.

Only you, as the creator, have the right to license your art.

Even after the original art has found a new home, you have the right to license and profit from your creative expression in any way you see fit.

The only legal way others obtain permission to license your work is in writing

Providing provenance to your art is a great way to inform buyers of their role as custodian.

It can confirm their obligation to keep the work safe from harm—and for you to have reasonable access to the original to make reproductions.

This message sponsored by the Tacoma Artists Initiative, and these fine creators.

@ 2013 Mark Monlux


Voiceover Script for Having vs. Registering Copyright

Your creative expression can take many forms: writing, music, dance, sculpture, or visual art.

Copyright protects your creative expression.

But there is a difference between having copyright and registering your copyright.

And since it can significantly affect how well your artistic rights are protected, you should know about it.

You have copyright the moment you physically create or record your expression.

But you need to register your copyright with the government to fully protect your work.

A registered copyright is your ticket into the courtroom.

It means that with a favorable judgment your legal fees can be collected in the settlement.

It also means that you can be awarded statutory damages for willful infringement.

Without a filed copyright you don’t qualify for any of that.

So, remember to protect yourself and your creative endeavors.

Register your copyrights early, and often.

It’s easy. You can do it online at

This message sponsored by the Tacoma Artists Initiative, and these fine creators.

@ 2013 Mark Monlux

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tacoma Public Library Project

I just finished up on a project that was a lot of fun. The Tacoma Public Library asked me to do a series of eight cartoons featuring kids reading books in interesting places and situations. What made the project challenging was the images are going to be used into two different size formats, and in two different shape formats. One size would be nine inches by nine inches square on mini-posters. The second size would be two and a quarter inch wide round stickers. This meant that the images would need to have detail scalability. It also meant that I needed to create the image with three zones. Zone one would be the middle of the image and be the center point. Zone two was the image where the text would fall (with an option to remove the text). Zone three were the corners, where I’d have extra bits that would be seen only on the square layout. David Domkoski, Community Relations Manager of TPL, guided me in my efforts and we are both very happy with the results.

Technical Note: All of the blacks in the images were made with a color combination of; C: 20, M: 20, Y: 20, K: 100. This rich black helps the black stand up to the vibrant colors while at the same time removes any chance that white slivers will appear next to the black in case a bump in the registration occurs. Something that I’ve seen happen in the past when producing stickers on rolls rather than sheets.