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, August 31, 2015

The Comic Critic Reviews "This Gun for Hire"

I was so distracted when I started to sketch this strip. I had to remind myself that I was reviewing a movie, not its history.  This Gun for Hire is a classic Noir film. So I made Noir the theme of my strip. But there is so much more in This Gun for Hire than just being Noir that I want to talk about the elements that made this movie a hit. The director, Frank Tuttle, was known for his work on comedy and Noir, so there are light bits of humor that come across as honest. Our heroine, played by Veronica Lake, looks marvelous throughout because Edith Head was in charge of her wardrobe.  While Robert Preston, an actor who would be popular in a large number of films, was cast as the leading man, it would be Alan Ladd who would steal this movie in a role that made his career. The screen chemistry between Ladd and Lake would be captured in later films. Then there’s Laird Cregar. This film is filled with lots of strong character actors. I love character actors. And I love it when their talent is recognized and they are taken out of character roles. Cregar was just such an actor. His talent was undeniable, and his onscreen presence brought a film to life. He was on his way up. If you’re wondering why he isn’t a household name, it’s because he died tragically at the young age of 31 in 1944. This is why I was getting distracted. Everyone involved with this production did good work and This Gun for Hire’s success was because of that good work. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that the movie poster for This Gun for Hire’s movie poster is a stellar design that has been emulated many times. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Comic Critic Reviews "Stranger than Paradise"

The date I went to see Stranger than Paradise was one of the, if not the worst, dating experiences of my life. The bleak, dark humor of the movie didn’t help the situation. If anything, the movie only amplified the confused and disjointed emotions I felt that evening. Going to a movie with happy friends and family can create a memorable experience that fills your heart with joy every time you think of that film. Unfortunately, a regrettable outing to the theater can also produce a strong negative association with a film. My take on Stranger than Paradise is heavily swayed by the sheer anguish I felt that evening. Never had I hoped so hard for a movie to carry me away somewhere else. Unfortunately for me, Stranger than Paradise’s theme was all about being stuck right where you were—forever. Oh, god. It felt like forever. The only way I could review this movie was by drawing just a small sliver of the pain of that miserable, horrible evening.

It was only after I was putting the final touches on this strip that I realized I already reviewed this movie back in 2005! Apparently the rating the movie received suffered with age. Also, I got the release date wrong last time.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1575

If you have can locate it, the slide show some of the museum offerings are pretty interesting. Some of the wax figures are still recognizable. Others will puzzle you for a while. I like wax museums and dioramas. But I'm not sure I'd have the courage to walk through this one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1574

I drew this strip a few weeks ago back when the news story first broke. It's been sitting on my desk waiting its turn. Good luck finding the news story that inspired it. Tonight will be the second gather of an online drawing group: Epic Sketch Time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Return of Stickman #1573

Yikes! It's been over a month since I did my last Stickman strip. I've been wicked busy doing paperwork this last month. It's been a bit of a drag because I've not had time to draw things like this. Hopefully I will get a chance to draw tonight at a new online drawing group: Epic Sketch Time.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Comic Critic Reviews "They Live"

On Saturday, August 1, 2015 I woke to the very sad news that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 61. While I was never a huge fan of Wrestlemania, its presence made itself well known in my generation. John Carpenter was greatly impressed by “Rowdy’s” performances and sought him out as the leading man for They Live. The film was not a weekend blockbuster. But it did survive its immediate negative reviews to go on to be an American Science-Fiction standard. Its iconic sunglasses came to represent a populace discovering the truth of its oligarchy. And its fight scene has become one of the great movie fight scenes receiving homage in both television and film.  “Rowdy” would continue his acting career in a playful manner. Shameless as the lead in Hell goes to Frogtown, or as himself in Man on the Moon, he enjoyed himself in any role. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper embodied life, which makes his untimely death a true loss to the entertainment industry and a hard blow for his now-grieving fans. R.I.P. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, thanks for the show.