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.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Weekly Dose of Mark

Sunday, May 28th 2023 • 05/28/23 – Memorial Day Weekend


I didn’t write a Weekly Dose last Friday because there was too much going on at the time. And, as often happens, so much kept happening that another week went by. I’m going to do my best to get you caught up.


The first change to my schedule occurred on Monday, May 15th. Normally I would host a freelancer gathering at the Red Elm Café. This small gathering is called Freelance Fandango, and it runs from 11am until 1pm. However, I had to miss it because the Tacoma Art Commission scheduled an online video conference for all selected artists to create artwork wraps for crosswalk utility boxes. We were going to be instructed on how to file contracts and the measurements of the artwork. Representatives from the print company and the city were both there. After their presentation, I had several questions. The questions I raised inspired the other artists to ask for clarification on small specifics. I’m very glad I took the time to attend and didn’t rely on the recording of the event. I went onto Freelance Fandango’s Facebook page and saw that there was a fun turnout of people without me. Everyone complained about the lack of Kit Kats. 


Another change to the schedule was Krista having to go into her office in Olympia on Wednesday. She does much better working at home. But, this was a council meeting, and it needed someone on-site to run events. 


Thursday, I was busy prepping my bins for Crypticon. Crypticon is the largest horror-themed convention in Washington State and is held at a hotel in SeaTac, very near Sea-Tac airport. It runs three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. John Draper helped me on Friday. I spent a little extra to be in the vendor hall rather than the artists’ alley. Not only did I have a backdrop, but the vendor to my right put up a plywood wall between us. With their permission took advantage and draped a spare red tablecloth over it and then hung my shirts on it rather than the poster backdrop. The folks on my other side were a tattooist. He had people booked on his table throughout the entire event. I was grateful for John being there. I would have taken him out to dinner as a thank you. But when I sent him out at lunchtime for some sandwiches, he bought himself a sandwich for dinner. That was a good idea as the Crypticon show starts late and ends late. The vendor’s hall didn’t close until 8 pm. I dropped John off at nine and ate a small dinner with Krista when we got home. I would have to ask John if he had a chance to talk with any of the writers who were selling books at the show.


Allen Gladfelter helped me on Saturday. Allen picked me up at eight, and we had breakfast at Little Jerry’s down the street. We didn’t have to rush and enjoyed a nicely paced breakfast. I’m not used to eating a big breakfast and was quite fortified. Allen was kind enough to use his car so that Krista could use our car to pick up plants and the like for her weekend activities. Allen has helped me at several conventions, and I can rely on him to pitch and sell items when I step away from the table. Allen is slowly getting items of his own to sell: books, prints, and stickers. So we added those to the display, and he made some sales.


I allow myself to get one autograph when I’m at Crypticon. There were a lot of celebrities to choose from. This year I chose Dee Wallace. Dee Wallace is an Actress I’ve been following since the ’80s. Most people will remember her as the mom in “E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial.” She was also the lead actress in “The Howling” and” Cujo.” She’s been active for decades in both film and television. Most of the films have been horror films, so it was very easy for me to keep track of her. I left Allen at the table to see if the line for her autographs was short enough for Allen to get a signature for me. But I got lucky, and she was finishing up with a fan as I went to the table and chose a headshot from “The Howling” for her to sign. As she signed it, she asked if I’d be willing to toss in another $20 for a selfie with her. I couldn’t refuse! I could not get over what a small petite woman she was. And as she signed the photo, I complemented how well her most recent headshot looked. She then said, “Oh, let me give that to you for free.” And she signed it as well. So I had to do something for her. I went back to my table and drew a picture of her in the movie “Cujo,” where she is trapped in the car with the dog on the hood, trying to get in. I then went back and gave it to her when her line had quieted down. She laughed when she saw it. She then flipped through the book to where I drew a review of “E.T.” I’d compared the movie to a boy and his dog film. She laughed again and gave me a motherly slap on the shoulder like I had just tried to pull a fast one. “My husband is going to love this.” She told me.


I have lots of friends who have tables at Crypticon. It’s hard for me to get time to visit them all. Elizabeth Guizzetti writes and illustrates books featuring vampires and aliens. Other artists I know who were in Artist Alley are Eli Wolff, Mark Brill, Chad Scheres, and Nick Gucker. I chose to be over in the vendor’s room this time and sat across from Jason Emmott and his wife at Evil Threads. I was worried that my friend Travis Bundy wasn’t going to be able to sit the entire convention because of back pain. But he has Kevin McCoy with him, and that lightened the load enough that he was able to manage all three days. I’d hoped to have my neighbor Pat Smith with me on Sunday, but he had other commitments. Thankfully I was able to manage by myself, and Crypticon is a very easy show to set and tear down as the car was parked very close by. The show was not as profitable as last year, but last year it was absolutely nuts! So, it’s tough to compare the two shows. I think I will still stay in the vendor’s hall because of the extra display options.


My Uncle Bill, an identical twin to my father, moved to Shoreline, WA, on May 25th. I’m going to give him a call in a few days. I think his daughters are moving him into his apartment right now. I know that they were invited to a wedding. I believe it’s Cody Wagner’s wedding, a relative on his late wife’s side of the family.


I was able to host Freelance Fandango this last Monday. There were seven of us in attendance: Britton Sukys, Corey Macourek, Stan Brown, Nori Kimura, Haley Waddington, Mark Brill and myself. Cory and Brill brought in movie poster art to show. Brittan brought comic and graphic novel art that he’s been working on. Brill brought in another art book. I asked everyone to submit suggestions for a new bingo game I’m creating. I made one for horror movie fans that is selling well, so I want to create one for Anime fans. By the end of the meeting, the whiteboard was filled with suggestions. These were erased, and then we all drew versions of the proposals. I brought a new KitKat flavor this week: Banana Caramel. It was voted one of the better flavors. I made sure to bring one home for Krista since she found the bag. I also have been giving a couple to the staff of the Red Elm Café as a thank you. They have been very generous in letting us use their meeting room for nothing more than the snacks and meals we buy.


Once a month, I host another event, a drawing session at the Grand Cinema. We call it The Grand Drawing Room. It runs for two hours from 6-8pm. Attendance for this event has been filling the room. This month we had a cosplayer named Miriam as our model. One of my tasks is to position the model into interesting poses for the artists. We also changed the room’s layout this time, with the tables close to the sofa on which the artist stood and sat. Before, we had things arranged with the tables in rows, and late arrivals were stuck in the back rows. This month many of the artists brought friends who were in the back reading books and watching the group quietly draw. One of the artists approached me after the show and asked if she could be the cosplay model for next month. I've already posted the event announcement with her photo. I set up a Facebook page so everyone had a location where they could show off their artwork. You can see photos and sketches of our sessions at:


Speaking of the Grand Cinemas, both Mark Brill and James Stowe did movie posters this week. Brill did a poster for “The Seven Samurai,” and Stowe did a poster for “Perfect Blue.” I gave the binders holding past posters to Brill before his on Thursday. I then retrieved them and took them to Stowe for his turn in the lobby on Friday. I sat with him and helped to keep track of sales. He sold more posters on Saturday. 


There were several shows happening this weekend. I didn’t make it into the Punk Rock Flea Market. I was accepted off the waiting list for Tacoma’s Night Market, but by then, I’d already committed to doing the Tabletop Expo. But this week was up in the air as Krista and I weren’t sure if we’d be traveling or not. In the end, I did not table at the Table Top Expo, but Allen Gladfelter and Mark Brill did. Instead, Stowe and I carpooled up to Renton to be part of a panel. Polo, the organizer, asked me if I could line up some artists. Stowe and I stopped at The Cedar River Smokehouse for a BBQ lunch before we went to the expo. He had a chopped porked sandwich. I ordered the brisket sandwich. The owner came out and told us about some new sandwiches he was offering. Instead of a long bun, these would be on a round potato or onion bun, with coleslaw and pickles as part of the sandwich. I changed my order to it and was glad I did so; it was delicious. Stowe’s side selection was coleslaw, so he didn’t change his order. My side was macaroni and cheese. The extra carbs were delicious. Our panel was not as well attended as I had hoped. It was Stowe, Allen, and myself at the table with nobody in the audience. The show was very small and thinly attended. However, we turned on the microphones and made them loud enough that they could be heard over some of the expo hall and got into a discussion with each other. The debate lured our lone audience member into the room. He was joined by the organizer, and we had fun. Both Stowe and Allen are teachers and are looking forward to summer break so that they can hang out with the rest of their artist buddies. Stowe made sure to give me the Grand Cinema poster binders for safekeeping.


Alley News


My neighbor Pat Smith and I have gone on walks nearly every day, even on days when I’ve already gone on a walk with Krista. Pat taught me a couple of Pokemon Go this week. He called me up yesterday to see if I wanted to go for a walk. I turned him down as I was busy out in the yard with the weed whacker. The replacement for the battery I ordered still is being processed. I wonder if they discovered that all of their stock is filled with faulty batteries. In the meantime, I’m stuck using the weedwhacker. I tried the push mover, but the grass was too long for it to function easily. It’s been sitting idle for several years, and I’m sure the blades need sharpening. Krista bought plants. She’s also been planting seeds and cuttings that she nurtured over the winter. We should be getting some vegetables soon. Judy Martin is sitting outside on her carport now that the weather is warmer. The Smiths are over at her house a couple of times each day. We were yelling at each other not to give away any spoilers, as today was the last day of the Sumo Tournament. Krista and I have gotten our neighbors addicted to watching sumo.


I had some dreams:

May 14

#IDreamt time-traveling teenagers from the future infiltrated high schools in the past. Rather than murder, they assassinated would-be politicians’ characters with rumor, innuendo, and such.

May 15

#IDreamt I was a runaway youth who was also a material witness. I was bad at faces but good at remembering badge numbers. I ran from the police assigned to my transportation because they had black tape over their badge numbers.

May 16

#IDreamt that I could tell when one dream stopped and another began. My brain then had the option of rewinding the dream for two minutes to change the ending.

May 17

#IDreamt While doing an old friend a favor, I walked into a plot to blow up a wealthy oil magnate while he was getting drunk at a club. I think I was the only sober one there, but high school chemistry was a long time ago.

May 18

#IDreamt Barack Obama wanted to hire me to do a graphic novel. He’d hired another artist who did it, but his advisors didn’t like it. I looked at it and saw it was superior to what I could do and told him so. He still wanted to do it.

May 19

#IDreamt creating a space station with a functioning pool was less of a challenge than you would think. The surprise was in water in the pool becoming sentient a few decades later.

May 22

#IDreamt I was meeting my sister at Steam Engine Station’s Cafe, where she went to get a Latte. I found her flirting with a young Marlon Brando. I wondered if we were in the afterlife, and I was just slow in figuring it out.

May 23

I dreamt I was at a client’s convention, searching through two flash drives for images to insert into a PowerPoint presentation mere minutes before their time slot was scheduled.

May 24

#IDreamt David Hasselhoff was celebrating his birthday by giving away fried chicken at a seaside bar. He was also signing his autograph. He was behaving just like he did in “Piranha 3DD”.

May 25

#IDreamt after its debut at a county fair, the Rat-Bait Guitar was remarked as a dog’s chew toy (minus the rat poison). Sales soared after a TikTok video showed a dog being a music critic.

May 26

I dreamt I took a large cedar tree pole to a lumberyard and haggled with them over its value.

May 28

#IDreamt I was mistaken for a spy and found myself wearing an exosuit that could mimic my physical appearance and completely protect me. The drawback was I couldn’t take it off. And it could mess with my mind by feeding me false info.


I read a couple of books:


“Paperback From Hell: The Twisted Story of ’70s and ’80s Twisted Horror Fiction” by Grady Hendrix, Rating: 10

I was a voracious reader from an early age. As a teenager and college student, I consumed 3-5 books a week, often re-reading my favorites. And I was a horror fan. It never occurred to me that these decades would be the heyday for such books. As I flipped through the pages, I was amazed. I pointed to the covers and said, “I read this one, and this one, and this one, and this one. Oh, and this one too.” I’ve been showing this book to my friends, and they asked if I’ve read any of the ones featured. They chortle when I confess I’ve read most of them. They become intrigued. I don’t know why. A lot of those books were completely trashy! Most of them were! But I couldn’t get enough of their gory, nightmare-fueling contents. Now I’m using it as a reference to hunt down books at the used bookstore. These aren’t titles you will find in the audiobook section of the library. My niece, who bought me this book as a gift, was intrigued and might get herself a copy.

“Sacrament” by Clive Barker, Rating:7

There was less goo and grisel than I was expecting. And since I kept expecting it, I was kept on edge. It wasn’t until I was halfway through the book that I settled on the rhythm the author established for the story. That was a bit of relief. I hadn’t read a horror novel in a while. I first started to read Barker in the ’80s when horror was a bit extreme in themes, description, and insane writing decisions. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to wade up to my hips in gore and goop. That’s not to say that there is a lack of some disturbing images. I enjoyed hearing Mr. Barker’s storytelling voice again.

I’ve watched some movies

53. May 16

No Man of Her Own (1932) Rating: 7

It’s quite possible I watched this film when I was a kid, that is, if they allowed pre-code movies on television. The romance angle must have left me flat if I had watched it before. I was probably more interested in the card shark aspects. As an adult, I enjoyed it for many reasons. I got to think about how much better movies were pre-code when the innuendo allowed for more salaciousness. I enjoyed it as it was the only time the two leads worked together, even though they would marry years later. And I enjoyed it because of the character actors and the wonderful sets. These early films kindle my nostalgia. I watched it on a Netflix DVD.

54. May 18

Ted (2012) Rating: 7

There comes a time when you realize you’ve watched the same clips from a movie so many times that had you spent that same amount of time just watching the film, you would have seen the whole thing by now. So, before I started to get my Ted clips confused with Ted 2 clips, and before the rumored Ted 3 came out, I thought I should see the film. Why haven’t I seen this film? Perhaps it’s because I don’t smoke pot, drink beer, or make jokes about hookers. And having met Sam J. Jones, I can tell you my reaction to the experience was very much like that in the movie - minus the cocaine. I watched it on Amazon Prime.

55. May 24

The Deadly Mantix (1956) Rating: 6

Do you want to see a giant mantis? This is the film for you. It also comes with lots of stock footage of air force planes. There’s also a lot of footage of civilian airforce spotters. Perhaps a thank you for all their hard work in looking for airplanes that never appeared during WWII. The danger of the cold war was made abundantly clear with multiple references to the various lines of defense against “the threat” against “us.” I watched it on a DVD from my personal collection.

Not a movie, but an Anime series on Netflix I finished watching:

Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre (2023) Rating: 6

I lived in Japan for a year back in 1979 before Anime and Manga started to influence American culture. But I got hooked on it while I was there, and I was particularly fascinated by their spooky tales, which differed in their approach to horror. This collection captures the weirdness of their horror.

Songs I woke up with in my head:

“Honky Tong Women” by the Rolling Stones

“Royals” by Pentatonix

 “Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles

“The Distance” by Cake

“Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac

More next week,