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About Rich Koslowski
“About Rich”…Yes, folks, this is quite possibly the most exciting portion of the Rich Koslowski website. I know that this is probably, for most people, the sole reason for perusing this fine site in the first place. “About Rich”…Gosh, where do I start?…There’s just so much to say.
Well, first of all I’m a really awesome guy. I am. It’s definitely true. Talented too. But, of course, you already knew that otherwise you wouldn’t be here perusing this fine site, now would you? Okay, so you all know already that I am great and talented. Did you know that I’m pretty darn good-looking too? Yep! And I work out. And I’m a genius! I can prove it because it says so right on my business card. So, to summarize thus far…Great. Talented. Good-looking. Physically fit. And smart, too.
I really don’t see the need to go any further but my wife says that I really should give you all a bit more. Sigh…Okay, here it all is in a nutshell…
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1967 and lived in the Milwaukee area until 2009. No, not because I wanted to––I absolutely hated the weather there––but all my stinking family and friends lived there, and my wife’s family, and that’s why we stayed so friggin' long, okay? I kept telling my parents to hurry up and die already so we could move guilt-free! I’m kidding…I love them...and we miss them dearly.
I graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1985. My education as a young lad was an exercise in seeing just how little I could actually do and still pass. I was the classic “underachiever” and “class clown”. I also got into my fair share of tussles. Not because I was some “tough guy” or had problems at home. Nope, I just kind of thought it was fun. What can I say?
Overall I had a fantastic childhood and had a great group of friends, most of whom I miss very much (another reason we stayed as long as we did in that God-forsaken Hell-hole of a state. Thanks, you bastards!)
My parents own their own grocery store where I worked in the Meat Department. I met a lot of great people working there and the experience was invaluable. I hated it at the time, of course, but looking back I realize what an invaluable tool it was for me in shaping who I am today. My father was, and still is for that matter, the most hard-working individual I’ve ever seen. He taught me about work ethic and pride. He is also, I should add, a world champion in the culinary art of sausage making! Not bad for a guy who had to quit school in the seventh grade because of a little episode known as World War II.
I earned an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1988 and parlayed that into a meaningless job as a “dust spotter” at a local photo lab. The job totally blew but I met my wife, Sandy, there so I guess the experience wasn’t a total loss.
From there I went onto working as an animator at a small studio in Franksville, WI called Animagination. We worked on television commercials, instructional videos and a few children’s books. I still freelance for them to this day. It was through Animagination (say that ten times fast!) and my good buddy, the owner Art Mawhinney, that I got my first comic book gig working on Sonic The Hedgehog published by Archie Comics. We were doing storyboarding for the t.v. show and it led us to Archie in a roundabout way. Not your typical way of breaking into comics, but it worked and I was thrilled! I still work as an Inker for Archie to this day. Yes, I can pretty much ink Jughead in my sleep.
Comics was, and still is, my first love as an artist. It was always my dream growing up to work in this fickle business. So landing the gig at Archie was a dream come true. But it’s not the “big dream” for me. The big dream is creating my own properties that become so friggin’ huge that the lines of people waiting to get my autograph extend through the entire show floor at cons pissing off the other vendors and….! Ahem, sorry.
Anyhoo…In addition to working in the field as an Inker at Archie I also worked in a comic book store for a while here in Milwaukee. It was at this store, Collector’s Edge, working under the tutelage of the enigmatic owner, Jef Parker, that we found ourselves discussing the fact that a certain amount of our customers were found to be lacking in certain…social skills. We commented that it would be nice if they had some sort of “handbook” to aide them in their fruitless hopes of attracting female companionship. Hence, I set about creating said “handbook” in the form of my own self-published comic book entitled, How To Pick Up Girls If You’re A Comic Book Geek, in 1997. A one-shot, full-color, 40 page comic that I had to take a home equity loan out to get it printed. I had no idea if it would sell, or not, but I absolutely felt compelled to produce this comic. I was thrilled to see the results. The book was a bona fide hit and I decided shortly thereafter to make it into an ongoing series entitled The 3 Geeks. To this day I have produced 25 3 Geeks comics, 4 trade paperbacks, and had The 3 Geeks as a backup feature in the popular Dork Tower series by John Kovalic. The 3 Geeks was expanded in format in 1999 when I was nominated for three Eisner Awards and the title became Geeksville. Image Comics also published it for a while. Most recently I did a full-color issue called “Jim’s Jerky” that included a free chunk of beef jerky with the comic. Recently, in 2010 I was asked to contribute a 3 Geeks story to the wildly popular comic Zombies vs Cheerleaders by Moonstone and 5Finity comics! A total blast and the comic sold like crazy!!! For me The 3 Geeks comic is all about fun. I always try my best to make that comic innovative, fresh and fun.
In 2001 I decided to finally produce a book I had been tinkering with for years. A book about the cartoon industry called Three Fingers. A dark comedy told in a documentary style about “cartoon actors” in the 30s and 40s and the barriers they faced in a prejudicial Hollywood. I approached Chris Staros of Top Shelf Productions with my proposal and he sent me a contract a few days later. In 2002 Three Fingers the graphic novel was released to much hoopla and fanfare! I was incredibly proud of that day, that book, and the critical praise it received. In 2003 it was nominated for the Harvey Award, the Ursa Major Award and the Ignatz Award for “Best Graphic Novel”. It won the coveted Ignatz brick––quite possibly the coolest award in the history of awards. Three Fingers has also been named one of the "500 Essential Graphic Novels" by Harper Collins and has been published in several other countries.
In 2005 I did another graphic novel with Top Shelf entitled The King––my take on the whole Elvis Presley phenomenon. The King was also well received by the fans and critics and another proud moment in my career. It has also been published in Germany, France and Holland. The Germans love Elvis and David Hasselhof!
In 2007 I completed an Illustrated Novel, The List, a gritty take on Christmas. I'm very proud of the tale and it's attracting some attention from some Hollywood studios. We shall see what we shall see.
I am currently developing a good 12-15 ideas for comics and film. Just wish I was 15 years younger and the days were 5 hours longer so I could get everything done! So many plans so little time!!!
So, yeah, I plan on being around for a while.
And, oh yeah!...my muse is my little Stella Rose. My nine-year old daughter who provides me with all of my inspiration! She is the light of my life.