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.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Comic Critic Reviews "The Man Who Fell to Earth"

I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth in the theater when it came out in 1976. Who wouldn’t want to see David Bowie in a movie? This would be his first time starring in a motion picture. I was a little disappointed that none of his music was used, but aside from that, the movie met all of my expectations: it had David Bowie, it was a science-fiction fantasy, there was beautiful imagery, and I anticipated being confused. I was fourteen—almost everything confused me. A lot of things still confuse me. But The Man Who Fell to Earth doesn’t confuse me nearly as much now as it did then. The film is all about confusion, confusion of identity, of purpose, of morals. It can be seen as an allegorical story where youthful ideology is bludgeoned by cruelty of greed, corruption, vice, and loss. David Bowie had just left his gender-bending, glam-rock persona of Ziggy Stardust and was in his Thin White Duke era. For a confused adolescent such as myself, to see someone unabashedly being anything he felt like being, to express himself as wildly or sedately as he saw fit, and all the while being suavely cool, David Bowie was quite the inspiration. I walked into The Man Who Fell to Earth hoping for a guided tour of trippiness from Bowie—and he delivered.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Return of Stickman #1588

True story. I wonder if they found her. Maybe she shaved her beard. I thought about doing this strip from the stabber's perspective with her shaving off her beard in a gas station or something. The strip you see was a lot easier to compose as no thinking was involved. I'm all about no thinking.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Comic Critic Reviews "Kelly's Heroes"

Kelly’s Heroes was a successful movie despite the studio’s meddling. It was meant to be a vehicle for Clint Eastwood to increase his growing stardom. Indeed, his star would continue to rise with a series of successful films that would leave a trail of iconic characters and oft-quoted lines. But Kelly’s Heroes didn’t spotlight Eastwood as well as it could have. For one thing, a fair portion of the script was either thrown out or ended on the cutting room floor. For another, all of the other actors did a terrific job with their characters and kept stealing scenes. Eastwood ends up playing straight man Abbott to every other actor’s Costello. The magic of Kelly’s Heroes is that this level field amongst the actors created a sense of camaraderie that radiated off the screen. You end up empathizing with this band of shysters, thieves, and hooligans. Even after editing, enough war commentary was still left in the story to make it relevant to an audience still in the throes of dealing with the impact of the Vietnam War. Kelly’s Heroes was warmly received by an audience enjoying a wave of WWII films. War movies seldom have an enduring charm, but this one does. You’ve got some great acting portraying unique characters, very good writing, non-CGI battle scenes, and a soundtrack that you will be humming for a few days. It’s well worth a viewing.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Return of Stickmna #1587

There is no news story for this strip. My New Year Resolution is to be less of a @#$%. I'm less than a week into the New Year and I'm already finding it to be a challenge. I used to think I was a nice guy. Now I'm thinking that maybe I've been a bit of a @#$% and should make an effort to be less of a @#$%. But, it's hard. Especially when ____________.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Return of Stickman #1586

The news story that inspired this strip was pretty straight forward. I man is at a gym working out on a treadmill. A truck crashes through the wall and hits him. It's one of those stories that writes itself.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Comic Critic Reviews "Harold and Maude"

For others, Harold and Maude is a dark comedy, but for me it’s a perfect romance movie. A truly great romance movie is more than two people falling in love. Romance is more than sweet gestures and kind words. Romance is about delving into the world, exploring it, and then sharing that exploration with the one you love. In Harold and Maude, Harold is delving into the only world he knows of, full of isolation and loneliness. Many find these states of being comparable to death because both isolation and loneliness are defined by an absence, and death is the ultimate absence. The sadness and grief that follows in death’s wake are overwhelming tortuous emotions. The juxtaposition of absence occurring with death to the overwhelming emotions of grief is a source of confusion for Harold, and in his travels to clear this confusion he meets Maude. Maude is a great explorer of the world. We glean that she’s seen her share of horrors. Her outlook on life makes no time for sadness, loneliness, or grief. She doesn’t conquer them so much as disregard them as meaningless to following the spirit of life. She finds joy in every moment. She is a force of nature. Harold and Maude is the perfect romance because it’s two people sharing with each other their discoveries of the world with love and understanding. The humor is wonderfully dark. It’s extremely easy to see the writer’s commenting on America’s involvement in the Vietnam War and drawing parallels to the story. Keep that in mind and the already rich minefield of wonderful surprises Harold and Maude has in store for you will become even more entertaining.