There’s a bit of geek inside all of us. Some of us do our best to hide it, but rest assured it’s there. Rich Koslowski, the author of the critically acclaimed “Three Fingers,” was well aware of this. Back in 1997 he published a book called “How to Pick Up Girls If You’re A Comic Book Geek.” From those humble beginnings was born the “3 Geeks” series. Unfortunately the geeks haven’t been in print for a couple of years now, but that all changes this July when they return in a new one-shot called “3 Geeks: Full Circle.”
For those of you that may be reading about the “3 Geeks” for the first time we offer the following primer. “How to Pick Up Girls If You’re A Comic Book Geek” was a 40-page, full-color one-shot that offered some tongue-in-cheek pointers to comic collectors on how to pick-up girls. In this humble book Koslowski introduced readers to three die-hard comic fans: Allen, the fan that’s so completely lost in the comic book world that he acts and dress like Thor. Jim, the very intense Punisher fan that dresses in all black and even makes his own knives. Finally, there’s Keith, the star of the series and the closest to normal of the three, but wear’s his geekness like a badge of honor. Together they made up the “3 Geeks.” The book received solid reviews at which point Koslowski decided to continue publishing their adventures under his own Three Fingers Prints label. The “3 Geeks” caught on, ran for eleven issues and even garnered three 1999 Eisner Award Nominations.
In 1999 Koslowski decided to team up with friend Gary Sassaman, who at the time was self-publishing his own series, “Innocent Bystander,” to publish “Geeksville,” which featured the Geeks and stories by Sassaman, plus “True Tales from the Comic Shop,” which told outrageous but true stories about comic shops by various artists and writers. Koslowski and Sassaman self-published three issues and then moved the book under the Image Comics “I” for an additional seven issues. After those seven issues the two took a break from publishing, during which Koslowski worked on his critically acclaimed original graphic novel “Three Fingers” published by Top Shelf.
With “Three Fingers” behind him now, and a new graphic novel planned for far off in the future, Koslowski has decided to return to his roots with the “3 Geeks” later this year.
“The reasons I’m bringing the boys back this summer in a brand new 48 page, B&W, super sized special is simple,” Koslowski told CBR News, “there was enough of a demand by old readers, I still have a few good stories to tell, and most importantly I have some financial backing by two very prominent figures in comics. Chuck Rozanski from Mile High Comics and Steve Borock from the Comics Guarantee Corp. have always been big fans of the book and good friends of mine and they will be assisting with some of the costs to launch this special. I will be publishing it myself under my 3 Finger Prints banner. The book will be solicited in the May catalogues for July shipping.
“The story is going to be the ‘3 Geeks’ origin issue entitled ‘Full Circle!’ It will tell the whys and whens of how the three of them got started reading comics in the first place. And, of course, since it is Allen, Jim, and Keith we’re talking about here, you can imagine that the origins will prove to be somewhat more interesting than the average comic collector. There will be quite a few big surprises and, I hope, quite a few laughs!”
“3 Geeks: Full Circle” will be written and drawn by Koslowski with an assist from his wife Sandy. We pressed Koslowski for a few more details on the story in this issue and he was happy to oblige.
“The surprises in the issue will be the unbelievable origin and how they’re connected to one of the most powerful men in comics! How he guided them, and they guided him in return on their respective paths.
“I know, I don’t give too many specific details. I’m just one of those guys who hates having the stories told to me before the book or movie comes out. Hate knowing what I’m getting for Christmas, and absolutely did not want to know the sex of our baby before being born. I like surprises!”
Last summer saw the release of Koslowski’s “Three Fingers,” a satirical, behind-the-scenes look at the early days and history of animation. “Three Fingers” was a dramatic change of direction when compared to the “3 Geeks,” yet both easily found their audience. Now with some down-time before his next graphic novel sees publication with Top Shelf, he felt this was the perfect time to get those geeks back in print.
“I was very proud and very pleased by the reactions I got with ‘Three Fingers,'” admitted Koslowski. “I wanted to do something very different from my previous work on the ‘3 Geeks’ and was very confident that people would like it, but you still get a little nervous when a new project first comes out. It was an idea I was sitting on for several years, but just never had the time to do it. That was why I pulled the plug on ‘Geeksville’ at the time. So I could work on the graphic novel. I always left the ‘door open’ for more ‘3 Geeks’ stories but never commited to a specific time when they’d return. The timing works right now for me.”
Trade Paperbacks of the previous stories are available (there are currently three TPB’s) and Koslowski would like to offer a “complete” hardcover containing all of the “3 Geeks” stories from 1997 until the series ended with Image, but notes that’s all a bit maybe for now.
In the time since last summer’s “Three Fingers” Koslowski’s been continuing his work as a free-lance artist for Archie Comics and has another original graphic novel in the making.
“Since ‘Three Fingers’ I’ve been working on new story ideas for Top Shelf. We’ve settled on the next graphic novel idea and it should be done by summer 2004. The working title is ‘The King.’ That’s all I can say on that for now.”
Look for “3 Geeks: Full Circle” this July