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.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Weekly Dose of Mark


Friday, June 30th 2023


It has been a crazy week. On Thursday, I was prepping my bins for Washington State Summer Con, which most of my friends just call Summercon. I went online to see where my table assignment was located. I was contemplating setting up that evening. But I couldn’t find myself listed on the website. I thought that was odd and looked for my application and receipt. I couldn’t find any. I was kicking myself because this is one of my most lucrative shows. I sent Steve, the organizer, a message. Hopefully, he’d find it in the dozens of others he was probably getting already on the first setup day. I then moaned to a few of my friends. Oddly enough, Travis Bundy was in the same boat. Thankfully, Steve found a space for both of us. We just wouldn’t be on the directories, which were already put to bed. I was relieved just to get in, and I wasn’t worried about where he’d put me. I always do good at this show. The show is large, taking up two buildings, a large one and a smaller one with two floors. Still, It wasn’t until late in the day on Thursday that Steve got back to me, so I was going to set up on Friday.


I got there with plenty of time to set up. I was able to drive my car onto the fairgrounds and unload at the door. I then drove my car to the Vendor’s parking lot. As it was still early enough, I got a spot closer to the gate than farther away. Unlike Lilac City Comicon a couple of weeks ago, the footprint and tables were big, with eight-foot square space and long tables. I was able to spread out my display. I also had time to roam through the exhibits with Matt Youngmark. Matt and I have traveled and tabled together at so many shows we’ve lost count. Also at the convention was Jay and Karen Palmer, Eli Wolfe, Chad Scheres, Katie Crown, Timothy W. Long, Elizabeth Guizzetti, and, of course, Travis Bundy. Several of my other friends were there as well, tabling, volunteering for organizations, and working as staff. This was one of the few times that I was actually able to at least look at all the tables and booths before the event started. And for me, it started with a bang. During the first how two guys came to my table, and between the two of them dropped $100. It was a good way to start the show. The one person who didn’t make the show was Mark Brill. He caught Covid on Monday and didn’t sound that good when I talked to him on Thursday.


A funny thing happened to me on Friday. The fellow tabling across from me had the name Warren Montgomery. While setting up his table, another person approached and said that was their spot. Warren said something like, “No, as you can clearly read, the sign says Warren Montgomery.” The man said, “Yes, it does say that, and my name is Warren Montgomery.” What are the odds that there would be two Warren Montgomerys tabling at the same comic convention? A check with the staff cleared up their locations. That’s an honest mistake to make. The only thing now is I can’t remember which Warren was set up in the correct spot at the start of this story. Either I didn’t learn that detail, or I forgot it. I have a wonderful photo of the two Warrens pointing at each other that is identical to the famous meme posting of the three Spidermen pointing at each other. If you aren’t into comics, you probably won’t get the reference. But, for a nerd like me, it’s hilarious.


Allen Gladfelter picked me up Saturday morning. He agreed to help me man my table on what was going to be the busiest day of the event. Allen has helped me several times before and is very good at running the orders and doing the Spcheal if I have my hands full. He also has a good stock of posters, books, and a sticker. We sell them on the table along with my stuff. We ate that morning at Little Jerry’s, where Allen introduced me to his friend Rick. Rick is a little bit of a Luddite in that he doesn’t have a social media account. He only reads books in their paper form. And books are his favorite subject. Thankfully he and I have similar tastes in science fiction, which I think is his favorite genre. I was able to give him some fantasy recommendations of books that have come out in recent years. Allen was at first worried about how long we were taking, but I told him that I wanted to enjoy a good long slow breakfast with his and Rick. After saying goodbye to Rick, we quickly arrived at the fairgrounds. And Allen had about an hour to enjoy looking around before the show kicked into full speed at ten. I could handle the early bird at 9:30. I was very thankful Allen was there with me. We made a lot of transactions. I ran out of some prints and shirt sizes. Thankfully I had more prints at home to restock. That evening Allen and I ate at a new restaurant he wanted to try, The Flying Tomato. It was an Italian-ish restaurant. Allen and I agreed to split our meals and the check. We ate a Cajon Fettachine and Lasagna. Both were delicious, and we both decided that the Fettacine was the winner. We were stuffed; one meal would have fed the both of us. Now we are interested in trying some of their pizza. This restaurant was in the location of a restaurant my neighbor Ralph and I would occasionally visit when we didn’t go to, The Peanut Sauce. It was an American dinner then, and made excellent breakfasts. I don’t know if Covid closed it down or not. Allen reported that renovations were underway since he moved into the area at the start of the school year. The Flying Tomato has only been open for three weeks. It has a booming business.


Both my neighbor Pat Smith and my friend John Draper turned me down when I asked them to assist on Sunday. However, Corey Macourek said, “Yes.” He was even kind enough to come to my house on Saturday night to pick up the Vendor’s pass so I wouldn’t have to leave my table and meet him at the gate while the event was underway. Corey showed up earlier than I expected, and he, too, had several prints to sell. He didn’t do quite as well as Allen on his sales, but it was Sunday, and he also logged fewer hours. I was grateful for his help and now owe him a favor. Corey left before the event was over. He still had a movie poster to work on.


I genuinely need to be better about writing down all the funny things that happen at these conventions. I do take photos, but even then, I don’t get pictures of everyone. Travis Bundy closed down his booth on Saturday. Travis didn’t get any sleep the night before and looked a little rough around the edges. I’m glad he made the decision to of health over profit. A quick tally after the event indicated that this was my best Summercon and also my most profitable show this year. That’s going to be hard to beat as all the remaining shows are only two or one-day shows.


Genevieve Schlemmer, who moved to Brooklyn three years ago, has moved back to this state and is living just down the interstate in Olympia. Her husband Trevor cashed in on his old job, and they decided there were lots of reasons for them to move back to Washington. They want to build their own computer games together. Genevieve has been working on a game that is rather meditative; it’s based on tending houseplants. Everyone was happy to see her walk in at Freelance Fandango. I showed her a ProCreate feature that she loved. I’m looking forward to her giving me a tutorial on making patterns next week. Also in attendance were Richard, Allen, Stan, and Nori. The Kit Kat flavor this week was Wasabi. Genevieve says it’s her favorite flavor so far.


But my Monday didn’t end there. The Asian Pacific Cultural Center relocated to a new location. Their old building is being torn down to build a permanent place for them. They are hoping it will be done in one or two years. Their first art show at the temporary location features three artists, one of which is Yichao Zhang. I met Yichao when she first immigrated to the united states. A mutual friend brought her to Freelance Fandango. Her last show at the center featured illustration; this show features her painting. She’s so talented. The other artists are Marialina Wallace and her tattoo artist Kamu of Kardey’s Polynesian Tattoo. Yichao was happy to see me. Also, there were some of my friends June Sekiguchi, the mutual friend who introduced me to Yichao. Patsy Surh O’Connell stopped to give me some words of encouragement with all the events I organize for artists. She is a powerhouse in the Tacoma Art scene and served as the backbone of the Asian Pacific Cultural Center until she stepped down from her role, which was only recently. I was extremely flattered by her words and had to confess to feeling a little pride.


Speaking of hosting events, this Wednesday was the monthly live drawing session, The Grand Drawing Room, at the Grand Cinema. Our model this month was Devin Blair, who was dressed as the character Jynx in a scene in the television show Arcane. The character initially originated from the League of Legends video game. The turnout has grown each month. This time there were fifteen artists drawing the model. What made a real difference was the platform they brought to her to stand and sit on. The elevation really helped.


I drove downtown today to drop off the Weird Cabal binders at Corey’s apartment. His print for the Silver Screen showing of “Spirited Away” will be ready. The movie is showing on Saturday and Sunday, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I’ll be buying a print from him on Monday when he comes to the next Freelance Fandango.


What the “Parental Unit” is up to.


For a couple of years now, my father has been wanting to go on a fishing trip to a resort in Canada. And by a couple of years, I mean several decades. He and my Uncle George headed that way back half a century ago but got sidetracked to another resort. I remember spending a summer when the whole family went there and rented a cabin. I caught a trout that broke the lake record for that summer. It hangs on a wall in my living room. Anyway, Dad was bound and determined to go on a trip there while he still could. He convinces my Cousin Vic to go with him. Dad often goes fishing with Cousin Vic. At least, I think it’s my cousin Vic. I’m not kidding when I say I have a lot of cousins. If you count wives, there were over fifty of them at one time. That’s first cousins, mind you. Anyway, back to the topic of the fishing trip. Uncle Bill, my father’s twin, recently moved back to the Northwest after living in Taos, New Mexico, for several years. Dad asked Uncle Bill to go with them. My sibling owes cousin Vic big time as he’s taking care of two 92-year-old men on an excursion up into Canada to catch fish. My brother Stan made sure that they had travel insurance, just in case. I hope the three of them are having a good time.


Aunt Audra, my Mom’s sister, decided she would take the opportunity to visit Mom. Audra lives in Oregon and drove up. The trip took her 11 hours. And what does she get as a reward? A black eye. She described it as a collaboration between a bed leg, her luggage, a chair, new wooden floors, and gravity. We’re glad you made it home in one piece, Aunt Audra. I hope the swelling goes down soon.


I called this Mom this evening. There was quite a loud gathering going on, as it sounded like Kat, Nick, Andrew, Jasmine, Randy, and Evi were all over for dinner. They were chanting, “Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark!” as I tried to say goodbye. So with a chuckle, I hung up. A minute later, I got a call from Mom. When I pick up the phone, wondering what it could be, I hear, “Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark!” and before I can respond, they hang up. I look over at my loving wife, who just cackles. My family is a bunch of loving kooks.


Here are some of last week’s dreams:


June 22

#IDreamt four high school students found an abandoned station wagon on the beach. It could fly, but only two feet above the water, and only if one of them was in love.


June 23

#IDreamt Due to roads closing, I had to stay overnight at a friend’s house after a party. I’m not sure that they meant to invite me in the first place. Then they forgot I was still there.


June 24

#IDreamt I was a financial advisor in a first-time meeting with a teenager who had just inherited an estate worth millions. His reaction to my first suggestion for philanthropy was a dismissive “No way!”


June 26

#IDreamt, my parent’s HOA president, was asking for donations, so my father was going to pledge money he didn’t have. I suggested that a crowdsourcing fundraiser be done first. The homeowners could then contribute after.


June 27

#IDreamt the wife sent me out for eggs, and I picked up a dozen in a carton. “These are deep-fried!” She cried out with frustration. I was incredulous, but sure enough, in the shell deep fried.


June 28

#IDreamt I met a shiny android at the library. They owned a BBQ restaurant but had initially been programmed as a “therapist.” They said the career shift wasn’t that big.


June 29

#IDreamt I was using ProCreate and iMovie to make a video to show some creative uses of whiteout. I did this while living with a South American tribe that worshipped and lived with giant bats.


June 30

#IDreamt I was on a ski trip with my brothers when I got separated and then trapped within a zoo where all the animals had been released and were running amok. I couldn’t tell if a lion was affectionate or playing with me like a mouse.


I watched a movie this week:


61. June 27

The Last Stand (2013) Rating: 6

This action movie has Arnold Schwarzenegger acting as the weathered-old cop on the nose. Everyone is trying to bring the movie up with the script they were given. They didn’t capture lightning in a bottle this time, but they did try. It’s a fun movie that I watched on Netflix.


More next week,