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, April 15, 2023


Weekly Dose of Mark

Saturday, April 15, 2023• 04/15/23

I sent out a Comic Critic email for the first time in months. I’ve realized I’ve fallen out of the habit of drawing comics daily, and I think I should get back into it. Before, I got more done. Well, at least I got a couple of comics drawn at the end of the week. The movie review was on “Zardoz.” Jane H. wrote about how that film temporarily stopped her lusting for Sean Connery. I’m paraphrasing.

I spent Monday morning and later evening in Downtown Tacoma. In the morning, I went to Freelance Fandango, where I met with Corey, Stan, Nori, and Haley. Corey brought prints for the binder, and Stan brought a Warlock compilation for show and tell. He also got a How to Think When You Draw book for Haley to check out. I brought in Shannon Wheeler’s Too Much Coffee Man compilation. Nori showed us bird photos he’s been taking with his telescopic lens. He would have been out on his kayak or taking more pictures, but it was raining today. This week, the KitKat flavor was Gato Chocolate, a chocolate mouse cake with a hint of strawberry flavor. We compared them to the American flavored Strawberry and Dark Chocolate. The Japanese flavor was once again superior. The Sisters of Pythias held a Ham dinner as a fundraiser in the evening. It was much better than the last Ham dinner they did. I think they took the feedback they overheard and applied it. Krista doesn’t like ham, so it was a treat for me. I went back for seconds. Oddly, small KitKats left over from someone’s Easter celebration were desert.


On Tuesday, I left the house at 6:40 am to drive to Seattle Central College to give a presentation titled “Cartooning as Labor.” I’d been invited by Leonard, who knew me from the Graphic Artists Guild. He teaches cartooning. I drove by five car accidents but did manage to arrive at 8am, in time for Leonard to take me to breakfast, where I had Bacon and Egg Tortillas with hashbrowns. I think the students got something out of it; some of them were interested in making cartoons. Others were taking the class for credit. A walkout was scheduled at 10 o’clock, so I left as the building emptied. When I got home, I made sure that Krista and I went for a walk before lunch. I ate a very light lunch.

My Uncle Bill, the twin to my father Jake, will be moving from New Mexico to Washington State next month. He’s moving to be closer to his family. Two of his daughters live in the Puget Sound area. I look forward to seeing more of him.

Speaking of my father, Jake, he and my mother are visiting my brother Stan and his wife, Nancy, in Hawaii. From the photos, he is texting the siblings; they are having fun at the beach.

I got an exciting email from the city of Tacoma. It reads:

Greetings and congratulations, Mark!

You have been selected to create a Traffic Box Wrap design for the City of Tacoma! We received 126 applications, and you are one of 17 artists selected, as a cohort representing a diversity of styles and perspectives, based on the quality exemplified in your past work. Rebecca Solverson will be reaching out to you soon to set up an orientation focused on the technical requirements and assistance in understanding the project and specifications for wrap designs. 

We greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into this submission. In addition to this opportunity, we may reach out to you to create one-off, site-specific wrap designs based on the information you provided about parts of Tacoma you feel especially connected with.

Thank you and let us know if you have any questions!

BK LeMay

I’m very stoked by this news. I’ve wanted to do a Traffic Box Wrap since the city started the program. I’ve applied before but didn’t make the cut. Then there was the pandemic, and then funding was an issue. I had my fingers crossed when I applied. I have an idea of what I’m going to do. It will be something that will be whimsical as people drive by, admired when they are stopped, and enthralled when they find hidden elements on close inspection. It’s going to be groovy!

Alley News

Every trip to Costco has included buying a couple of bags of dirt for the garden. We also picked up some Chicken Manure, which works very well but stinks to high heaven until you get it in the ground. And some would argue even then, there’s a smell. But the vegetables love it. Krista is worried she’s not getting the peas in early enough.

Pat Smith and I spent three hours at Wapato Park on Saturday because there was a Pokemon special event he wanted to take advantage of. I was all for this. The whole goal was to catch as many of one type of Pokemon as possible. So the last week, we’ve been gathering game elements to assist this goal. We plugged in lure modules, lure incense, and lucky eggs for extra points and enjoyed the outdoors. There was less walking than planned. We sat under the protection of roof-covered picnic areas because it was raining part of the time. Why would I do this? Besides my neighbor’s company, I’ve been stuck at level 40 for nearly two years because one of the tasks to get to level 41 was to catch 200 Pokemon in one day. And it never seemed like I had a good enough excuse to blow an afternoon in the park catching Pokemon, at least not on my own. It is with a happy heart that I can announce that I’m finally at Level 41, whatever non-accomplishment that is. It was a fun way to pass the time. But it might be a while before I do that again. If it wasn’t raining, I’m sure Krista would have preferred I mowed the yard and garden. She’s started to drop hints in that direction.

This week’s dreams:

April 8

#IDreamt I was flying to a reunion, but the plane was forced to land due to snow storms. All flights to the destination or out of the airport were then canceled. Discovered Arthur Ross Jr. was stranded with me at Cincinnati Airport.

April 9

#IDreamt Tacoma became an area of study as our dimension would partially phase with a similar dimension. In the other dimension, my friends had a toddler. So they would find ‘their’ kid popping in and out of their lives at odd times.

April 10

 #IDreamt my sister was in charge of a cruise liner’s entertainment. One of her performers for a dinner mystery was AWOL, so she asked me to fill in as an aging, poorly skilled drag queen.

April 11

#IDreamt I was working at a summer camp. The washers and dryers were caked with years of dirt and grime, so I was giving them a scrub.

April 12

#IDreamt Lani Lawrence was helping me buy property in the afterlife. Turns out that burning things like money did arrive for you. She had lots. Newcomer got a discount on land, so we were working on a deal.

April 13

#IDreamt I drew a t-shirt design for a band back in the ’80s that became famous and a pop culture icon. More than half of my income came from its licensing. It’s a shame that I woke up without fame or fortune.

April 14

#IDreamt I lived on the road. I was placing my aged orange cat on a sofa in a strange house to sleep while I rearranged the contents of the back seat of our vehicle.

April 15

#IDreamt four dreams last night. Each is in a different county with different people. All of them were jailbreaks.

I watched some movies this week:

35. April 8

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018) Rating: 8

When it comes to movies that have both Hitler and Bigfoot in them, this one is at the top . You might expect a film with such a cheezy title to be poorly produced, lacking in talent, and have poorly constructed dialog. But this film dismisses all those expectations. It’s played straight and honestly, just like the main character. The entire movie is all about a person’s character. Plus, if you are a Sam Elliott fan, as I am, you will find it a delightful film to watch. Plus, I give it an extra point for having a dog with a name in it. I watched this movie on Tubi.

36. April 9

Apollo 18 (2011) Rating: 6

I’m not a big fan of found-footage horror films. But I found myself drawn into this festival of shake-shots because it’s set on the moon. After viewing the movie, I found myself thinking of the cold war hysteria science fiction films of the ’50s. I love those old films. I believe that the undercurrent of nostalgia, along with my interest in space exploration, is what drew me to this movie. I watched this movie on Tubi.

37. April 15

Demolition (2015) Rating: 8

This drama involves a unique perspective of how a person has to excavate out of their numbness induced by denial, loss, and grief. What makes this well-sculpted film from a seven to an eight is the songs that are carefully selected for the soundtrack. The songs which aren’t familiar, you are left craving to explore. That sense of desire for exploration reflects the similar personal struggles of the characters in the film in a way that is genius in its subtlety. I watched this movie on a Netflix DVD.

38. April 15

Cocaine Bear (2023) Rating: 7

I’m giving this move an extra point on a title that became a pop-culture hit overnight. It also gets an extra point for having a dog with a name. I don’t think anyone expected this to be Ray Liotta’s final film. Mr. Liotta died in his sleep from a heart attack filming Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic. His death scene in this movie was gut-wrenching, and I would give an extra point for it, but it might be considered in bad taste. I watched this with Krista on Peacock. Well, I watched it. Krista gave up on it and busied herself with a game on her iPad.

More next week,