Comic readers likely know Rich Koslowski best for "The 3 Geeks" stories that appeared in its own title and as one half of "Geeksville." This August that well might change, when Koslowski goes behind the music and tells the true Hollywood story of a very familiar cartoon rodent, in "Three Fingers," published by Top Shelf.
"I've been batting this idea around for about four years," Koslowski told CBR News last week. "I grew up loving cartoons and have a background in the animation field and felt that there should be ... HAD TO BE! ... a dark, twisted, totally absurd twist on the cartoon industry. I've always felt it was a great idea but simply didn't have the time to work on it. It's the main reason I quit doing the '3 Geeks'; so I could finally get going on this book. I also wanted to do it right! make this book something special! and that meant taking my time and properly executing it. It felt like a graphic novel to me. That's the way I've always wanted to do it. BIG! A one shot! This wasn't a 'series' type of project. And the story just screamed at me to do it as a 'Behind the Music' type of documentary! I envisioned it like that right away. Something that starts out mysteriously, teasing the reader as to what it's about, before revealing the payoff! Just like all those 'Behind the Music's do. So I had to develop a story and a back story. And the interview/narrative format was a ton of fun! I had the time of my life doing this book. I really enjoyed doing the old 'photos.' Those were a blast.
"I did take this book seriously and put a lot of effort into making the story as 'realistic' as possible. Like I said above ... I wanted to do this right. And the archival photo look had to be done right. I did a lot of research (and I mean a lot) looking for old photo references that would work for the story. And the reasoning behind putting so much effort into making the book feel authentic is simple ... I feel that if I'm going to attempt a story and tell it in such a specific style that I have to make my best possible effort and do it right. People are going to recognize immediately that it's a 'true Hollywood story' format and have a preconceived notion on how those stories are told ... how they 'feel.' I did my best to duplicate the 'feel' of those documentary style programs and pull it off in book form. I think I succeeded pretty well. I hope I did."
While critics always liked "The 3 Geeks" for what it was, critical buzz has already begun for "Three Fingers."
"I have received very nice critical approval of my work on the '3 Geeks' when I was doing it and I hope for more on this book," Koslowski said. "And yes, I do feel as though this might be a 'breakout' book for me. At least that is my sincerest hope. I truly believe I have produced an interesting, entertaining product with some very nice artwork and backed by a great publisher. I think the story is original and told in a different and unique perspective. And it's dark and twisted, yet authentic feeling. I also think the 'familiarity' the readers will feel with the characters and what I do to them will provoke some intense feelings when they read it.
"I hope that doesn't sound too overly confident but I always go into every project with a high level of confidence because I know I did my best. Then I just cross my fingers and hope that others embrace it like I have."
With "Three Fingers" under his belt, Koslowski is returning to the work that comic readers know best while figuring out what's next after the graphic novel.
"I'm actually doing '3 Geeks' backup stories in 'Dork Tower' again. John Kovalic asked me to contribute some short stories for the back of his book and I was thrilled. I had a real tough time pulling the plug on the '3 Geeks' when I did. I have a lot more fun stories for them. I've also got a few story ideas in the works. Some of the 'lighter fare' variety, some a little darker humor, and some with a serious tone. We'll just have to wait and see which one flies.
"I'll be taking a very short break while I develop my outlines on these other ideas I have going but not too long. My hope is to produce one book/graphic novel a year. I don't see any series in the near future, though. Although I wouldn't be opposed to the idea. But I think my future might be in graphic novel type projects."