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, July 29, 2013

The Comic Critic Reviews R.I.P.D.

If Men in Black and the HBO series Dead Like Me had a love child, it would look like this. That was my first thought when I saw the preview for R.I.P.D. Later, I was eagerly sitting in a movie theater, wearing my 3D glasses, watching my suspicions confirmed. I found R.I.P.D. to be rambunctious, but lacking the zaniness that made MIB so popular. A little more back-story on the Rest In Peace Department might have been nice. Even more back-story on Nick, the recently deceased cop, would have been nice. Instead, the emphasis was on telling the story as quickly as possible, with the only lingering scenes being the CGI action sequences. Most of the character development was centered on Roy, the Old West character played by Jeff Bridges. While I enjoyed watching Roy’s scene-stealing antics, I only wish that there had been more scenes for him to steal. Now I’m looking forward to seeing the DVD version. Hopefully, the additional material will show deleted scenes and the director’s thoughts on the need for them.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Comic Critic Reviews It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Stanley Kramer was known for creating movies with strong social messages. Many said that this made his films depressing. He decided to address this complaint by making a comedy about greed. To that end, he hired every humorous entertainer he could think of, not just big name movie actors, but character actors, emerging television sit-com stars, stand-up comedians, anybody in the business of making people laugh. There are over 105 speaking roles in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Watching their crazy antics is made all the more hilarious as the endless cascades of talent participate in their scenes. Many of you dear readers might not recognize the sit-com stars of that era. But watching It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World will provide a primer to the wealth of enjoyment that awaits if you seek out the members of this cast in other movies.

The scene with the car flying off the cliff made a real impression on me. All of my drawings of cars going off cliffs tend to look like what you see above.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Comic Critic Reviews Pacific Rim

Loosely translated, Kaiju means monster. Over decades of men squeezing into hundreds of rubber costumes and trampling cardboard cities, Kaiju has become the term used for the genre that features incredibly huge monsters. Since the 1950s, Kaiju have become nearly omnipresent in Japanese movies, television shows, Manga and Anime. Another Japanese term is Mecha, referring to large machines and robots. Japanese pop culture has had a strong influence on American pop culture; enough so, merely dubbing the original source material doesn’t satisfy the U.S. craving. Remakes into American versions have jumped into the market for decades. It’s gratifying to see Kaiju and Mecha paid homage by such a prominent director. And with a budget for more than a giant rubber suit! I’ve haven’t had this much fun watching a Kaiju since I was a little kid watching my favorite Gamera movies.

On a related side note, there is a growing trend: Anime remade as live-action movies. I want to coin a term for this: Gaiking, in honor of the anime by that name, the first to feature a human riding in the head of a giant robot.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Return of Stickman #1490

The idea for this strip came from my wife. I might do another strip on it that's a bit more involved. But my whole interest on the story was the "How would you do that?" factor.