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, April 25, 2016

The Comic Critic's Review of "Darby O'Gill and the Little People"

 Darby O’Gill and the Little People was featured regularly on the weekly television show The Wonderful World of Disney. I’ve seen it so many times I’ve lost count. It’s a perfect family movie, or at least I thought so when I was a kid. I loved watching Darby and King Brian of the leprechauns engage in their battle of wits—even though I knew how it would always end. Darby O’Gill and the Little People is a wonderful fantasy movie. It captured my imagination and held me enraptured. I think it might have been my first introduction to Irish myth and legends. I never thought it overdid Irish stereotypes. Yes, we knew that Darby preferred spending his time at the pub rather than on the estate. But we always felt it was because that’s where the audience for his leprechaun stories was. Having a bit of a pint was just a lucky happenstance, not a signature of alcoholism. I’ve not seen Darby O’Gill and the Little People in a while. With the slew of newer fantasy films available, I can see how some might have overlooked this now seldom-seen Disney film. Pull it out of the vault and watch it with your family. You will find that it’s much better than a lot of the nanny films sitting on your shelf.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Comic Critic Reviews "Zardoz"

Zardoz is a cult classic. Part of its charm is its fearlessness. Like a man with no rhythm or moves hitting the dance floor just because he loves to dance and screw what anybody else thinks, Zardoz goes for broke on the screen. Embarrassment is not an option. So, it’s not an embarrassment that Sean Connery shows off just how hairy a Scotsman can be in a scarlet loincloth with suspenders and thigh-high boots. It’s not an embarrassment that this fairly decent post-Apocalypse melodrama’s script is slightly overshadowed by sets and costumes that look like they came out of a discothèque designer’s wet dream. It’s an Irish-American production with director John Boorman being given pretty much free rein after the highly successful film Deliverance. While Zardoz did not fare well at the box office or with critics, it did find its audience in the video rental market for those looking for truly unusual and bizarre entertainment. Its cult following has grown so strong that love it or hate it, Zardoz has become entrenched in our culture.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Comic Critic Reviews "Rashomon"

Rashomon is unique on many levels. This film, set in Japan, tells a Japanese story in a very Japanese manner. As far as Japanese audiences were concerned, there was nothing overly remarkable about how the story was told, so Rashomon received a lukewarm reception there. But Director Arika Kurosawa knew that the Japanese were very modest as a culture and was determined to exhibit this unique Japanese take on storytelling to a worldwide audience. Rashomon served as an ambassador of the Japanese film industry and Kurosawa was quickly acknowledged as a respected director throughout the world. Rashomon’s depiction of various, often conflicting, viewpoints has come to be known as the “Rashomon Effect” and is now used extensively in media. Kurosawa’s bold use of light, nature, actors, and editing is so seamlessly structured that audiences are never aware that the reason for so many outside shots was its very limited budget.