Rich Koslowski: Writer, Artist, Genius
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THANK YOU, STELLA!

Sometimes it's the little things in life that make you smile and remind you what's important. There are far too many days when I'm feeling blue wondering if I've chosen the right path professionally or made the right decisions about this or that and how it may affect our futures as a family. And then something happens that puts it all in perspective...an occurance, a comment, an observation, a realization...or perhaps the simple but very kind words of your six-year-old daughter.

"Daddy," she said after returning from the bathroom with a copy of my last book, The List (she asked if she could bring it in there while she did her duty much to my surprise as she can't fully read yet and if she could I wouldn't let her read that quite yet! But anyway, I digress greatly, back to the point I was trying to make...) "Daddy," she said "...I would like to use the money I have in my piggy banks to buy your book you made."

I can't begin to describe the joy I felt hearing her say that.

"Oh, honey! That's okay...you can have a copy for free!" I said with a huge grin as she stood there holding the book out in front of her. She smiled back, clutching the book to her chest, as I patted her affectionately on her head.

A million sales would be great! But NO sale will ever be sweeter.

word.

r

CHECK OUT THIS SHIZNIT!!!

Hey all!

As some of you may know I've been writing for Marvel Comics for the past few months in their new MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS anthology. I'm writing the "Weapon Omega" storyline featuring the new Guardian character! YES!!!! Anyways, I was informed a month or so back that my artist, Andrea DiVito, could no longer continue on the book and would be exiting as of issue 8. I was bummed, saddened and inconsolable. Then John Barber (editor) went on to explain that he'd found this "new guy" (a relative newcomer anyway) to take over named Marco Checchetto (another Italian dude). I was like, "Okay, I guess." What could I say, really? It was out of my hands. John said he'd be sending over some samples of Marco's work for me to peruse. I was like, "Sure...okay (i.e. whatever)."

So I waited for the jpeg samples.

Then I got them.

My worries soon evaporated (And I'm sure you can see why from the image I've just posted).

I'll still miss Andrea, don't get me wrong. He's fantastic! Love the guy. But Marco's stuff is just as good in it's own right. I'm not getting the middle relief pitcher here guys, I'm getting the saver in the ninth inning after my starter pitched 8 quality innings!

Word!

R

THIS AND THAT

Hello. Yes it took me several days to get over the Packer's loss. Ten days in bed just eating Bon Bons can be very therapeutic. Sigh...I hate to say this but Brett looked old and cold in that game. And I say that with all sincerity not taking anything away from the guy. Let's face it...when you're 25 you can deal with that type of weather a lot better than when you're 38. Eli Manning did not look cold, Brett Favre did. Bottom line. And when the game moved into the second half Brett looked twice as cold. And the Packer's nosedived. It's really a minor miracle they were in it at all the second half and somehow managed to survive into overtime. And, well, we won't talk about the overtime.

And...

Went and saw the movie Cloverfield the night it came out with my geek buddy, Jim Droese. From what I understand people are polarized on this film either loving it or hating it. I fall into the former category. Absolutely thought it was brilliant! Jim agreed and Sandy agreed three nights later when I took her to see it. The gripes I've been hearing from the "Hated it" camp seem to be of the "they didn't explain enough, though" variety. i.e. "I have zero imagination and am incapable of filling in the blanks which aren't really essential to the movie."

This movie is a ride folks! One helluva fantastic one, too. You get on and you're on the edge of your seat until it's over. Do you get all the questions answered? No. Do they need to be? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The movie's not about, "Where did the monster come from? Did it die in the end? Why was it here?" It was about a group of friends being caught up in a nightmare and trying to survive. They didn't know any of those answers and since the film's being shot from THEIR perspective why would they? HOW COULD THEY?! If you saw this movie and fail to realize and appreciate the unique perspective well, then, I simply cannot help you.

And...

Things are moving along quite swimmingly on the new graphic novel "BB Wolf & The 3 L.P.s." Contracts are signed with Top Shelf, Johnnie (the writer) has Tony Guaraldi (the letterer) moving along on the lettering, and we're already pimping it to the book trade market which one has to do 6-8 months in advance these days. So our work is faaarrr from over but the bulk of the creative part's all finito. So good news there. You'll note one of the pages above!

And...

Had a few foreign market deals signed recently on both THREE FINGERS and THE KING. The Dutch version of THE KING came out recently I guess. Still haven't seen the darn thing yet but am excited nonetheless. And recently signed a deal with a Brazilian pub and an Italian one for THREE FINGERS (I think the Italian one was for 3F anyway). Very cool. My books are being published in different countries. This is a pretty cool thing. I know MY high beams are on!

And...

Am wrapping up my writing chores on my MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS 12 issue run this week! Hopefully this springboards me to bigger and better things with Marvel and/or some of the other comics companies. If you get a chance write Marvel and tell them I'm the greatest thing since the Pamela Anderson/ Tommy Lee video. Thanks.

So what's next?...

Well, first I have to figure out why I have this debilitating pain in the heels of both my friggin' feet! Which really rather sucks cuz as my big pal, Big Tim can attest I been nuttin' but the wackest shiznit on the flo' dis yeah! Da rock bin goin' in da ho' fo' me like all geddup of late and da boards I bin a crashin'!!! (That's my hip cool lingo for "I've been playing some rather splendid basketball this past year and contributing in a very positive manner by scoring the ball well and exerting great effort in obtaining numerous rebounds." Remember?...I'm very hip with my lingo. Very current.)

And career-wise I have a few things I'm working on. First and foremost I've had an autobiographical book planned detailing my life as a "struggling artist"...sounds like a hoot, hey? Actually I think it will garner the occasional chuckle whilst being peppered with an occasional tear. Basically it'll be like spending a few days with me...an emotional tour de force where you can't help but fall hopelessly and helplessly in love with me. This happens quite a bit.

And I've also been sitting on my very own super-hero thing for a couple years which needs to be, NAY, DEMANDS to be published as soon as humanly possible. It's just so damn good I would literally be punishing the world not publishing it! Hell, I HAVE been punishing the world these past 2 years as it's sat here waiting and you didn't even know it! How friggin' horrible is that?!!!

I am so sorry. It will see fruition soon. I promise.

There's a few other odds and ends going on but nothing too significant at this moment. I'll keep you posted should anything monumental occur.

Word!

R

MCP #5 IS IN THE HIZZOUSE!

I really can't believe how cool I am! Did you see the header for this column? Pretty hip, hey? I've got the lingo down, brutha! I am THAT cool.

Quick little announcement today...

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #5 has hit the stands! This is the 5th installment of 12 that I'm writing in the new Marvel Comics Presents series by Marvel Comics. In this chapter the shiznit (me being hip again) really starts hitting the fan. So buy hard and buy heavy! As with all my other properties this series is BOUND to be worth millions of dead presidents some day! "Dead Presidents" is (for those unhipster doofuses out there) more cool lingo for money...dollars!

And in other news...

The Green Bay Packers take on the New York Giants today in the NFC Championship game. Pretty cool. Especially considering that virtually no one gave the Pack a chance in Hell of even winning their own division this year. Not even Brett Lorenzo! And now they're one friggin' game away from the SuperBowl! And this miraculous season has been no fluke. They didn't luck their way in...there wasn't a few of those kooky games where the ball just kind of fell into their hands and they pulled the game outta their collectives arses (think Bears a few years back). They won 13 games in the regular season and won each of those games decisively. They are a fluid, polished, hungry, well-balanced and very well-led team. Led not only by Brett Lorenzo (I just love using that cool middle name) on the field but by who I think should've been named coach of the year, Mike McCarthy, over there on the sidelines. This is the youngest team in the league and McCarthy has managed, in just 2 years as head coach, of getting them to the NFC Championship game. Not too shabby.

And speaking as a brilliant strategist myself I can't help but notice glaring differences in his coaching ability as compared to our previous coach, Mike Sherman...or Coach Blah Blah as most Packer fans know him. McCarthy has demonstrated a lot more creativity in his play calling and has also demonstrated the ability to make the "Big Call" whereas Sherman never seemed to be able to (remember 4th and 26?). Last week alone, where he stayed with Ryan Grant after 2 fumbles in the first 4 minutes and stayed with his gameplan, demonstrated intestinal fortitude that most coaches just do not have.

Bottom line: I like the Packers chances today. Even in sub-zero weather and even though the Giants are on an unbelievable roll right now. I give the Pack a 65% of winning. I'm going to say the Packers win in a low-scoring, running back dominated game with a 17-10 final score.

Then it's onto the SuperBowl. And whatever happens there is just gravy! Win or lose just getting there this year when nobody expected much of anything from this team will be a pretty darn cool thing.

Word.

R

THE KING IS SERIALIZED!

Howdy. Some fairly cool news today regarding my graphic novel THE KING. A prominent UK website http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/ has been serializing graphic novels for awhile and have recently (today as a-matter-of-fact) started posting my very own graphic novel, THE KING! They'll be posting/serializing the book in 8-9 page chunks over the course of the next couple weeks until they hit page 157 (And it looks friggin' SWEET posted there. Sometimes the resolution on these sites stinks but they've got it looking fantastic! The line quality and coloring (done by my lil bud, Adam "Scrot" Wallenta) look top-notch! It's true!). Then, if their readers dig what they're reading they gotta go out and get the book to finish the story. Pretty cool, hey? And my little story's rubbing shoulders on that site with some other pretty cool stories...Joe Matt's "The Poor Bastard" is up there; "Maakies" by Tony Millionaire; and a slew of others.

So GO...check out just how cool and popular I am. We're talking international here, man! IN-TER-NAT-IONAL!!!

I'm a goldurned star.

And then, of course, go to my site and order a boatload of THE KING graphic novels of your very own. We've still got first printings you know. They will be worth millions one day. You simply DO NOT want to be in that vomitous situation some day where you're saying to yourself, "Uhhhn...and-and I could've got a copy back in 2008 when it was COVER PRICE! Signed by the author yet!...N-now the thing's worth millions...sob...MILLIONS!" as you hold the razor to your wrist.

Don't be mad at me when that day comes...not my fault...I warned you.

Here's that address again http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/

Word.

R

NEW BOOK CONTRACT!

Hi-de-ho true believers!

Exciting news from the frozen tundra on two fronts--first and foremost the Packers rallied back strong after spotting the Seahawks 14 points in the first couple minutes of Saturday's playoff game and absolutely dominated in a 42-20 victory. I assume most everybody knows this as I write it and am telling you nothing new. But I have to say that, personally, that was the single most weird, bizarre, entertaining and satisfying football game I've ever witnessed. Especially after the first couple minutes and my wanting to turn the car around and head back home instead of going to the party we were heading towards. I can't believe they not only stuck with Ryan Grant who coughed the ball up twice in those first couple minutes, thereby spotting the other team 2 touchdowns, but that they also managed to maintain their collective poise and proceed to play the most inspired, well-designed, efficient football I've ever seen!!! This game was truly remarkable and inspiring. And how utterly ballsy and genius to keep Grant going! And the cat could not have redeemed himself better after the 2 fumbles could he? 201 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns?! Are you friggin' kidding me?!!!

Again, greatest game I've ever seen.

Ha ha ha on the Cowboys demise. Hate TO and couldn't be happier.

On to different news!...

I'm thrilled to report that after one year of very hard but happy effort I have completed the art for "BB Wolf & the 3 L.P.s" graphic novel written by my pal, Johnnie Arnold! AND we've signed a contract with Top Shelf Productions to publish it all in the same week! Now the promotion machine starts up as we begin to pimp the heck out of it leading up to a big 2009 release.

Yeah, I know...2009??? Waht the hizzel, you ask? Yep, in this day and age you gotta get all your ducks in a row before printing the books. You need a huge lead-in for the book trade, i.e. if you want to get the sucker into the major book chains like Barnes & Noble you have to get it into their catalogues 6-8 months in advance.

Thusly and therefore look for it in 2009, folks. But I can guarantee you this...it'll be well worth the wait. I've never done better artwork and couldn't be prouder of the end result. Enclosed is one of the last 10 pages.

Let me tell you...finishing up a major job like BB leaves one with mixed feelings. There's the satisfaction and joy of having done a job well, sure. But there's also a weird sense of emptiness. Johnnie related to me yesterday that he felt the same way and was a wee bit perplexed by it. I told him I always experience the same thing. You invest yourself so much in these endeavors both time-wise and emotionally that when you finally reach the end of that veeerrry long marathon race you're completely out of sorts. You're a friggin' wreck! And a large part of the reason is that it's not really over. Your done with the physical work of producing the art but now you gotta sell the sucker! And, oh yeah, get it signed by a publisher, printed, marketed, solicited, distributed, and then shlep it around the country to all the shows.

And then decide what project you're going to start next.

Basically it never really ends. Hence the mixed feelings I guess. It's never really over.

Word!

R

MOVE THE EFF OVER!

Hey kiddies!

It's the holiday season...yep. Some of you may have gleaned from past blogs that I'm a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. Yessir, too true. Aside from past points I've made regarding the obvious over-commercialization, forgetting the origin of the holiday and why we're celebrating in the first place there's the simply asinine behavior people exhibit in the weeks leading up to our most cherished of all holidays. Examples: PROBLEM: The sheer panic some imbeciles are in in the few last days preceding Christmas...SOLUTION: Shop earlier, losers!

PROBLEM: The religious uproar every year that some ass will put up over separation of church and state because the local courthouse put up a Nativity Scene out front...SOLUTION: Deal with it, losers! Whether you like it or not majority rules in this country and it's majority wants the pretty Nativity Scene.

PROBLEM: Selfishness! Yep, you heard me right. Sure it's supposed to be the holiday of giving but my experience has shown me that it's really more about "What's in it for me?" Am I wrong? No, in general I don't think so. I watch people...I see not only selfishness in the gift-giving (or should I say receiving in this case) aspect of Christmas but in the little things. I.e. In the lines. Again, deal with it, people...we're all in the same boat when we go to the local Target store. Lots of people in big hurries waiting in long lines. Goes back to "You should've planned this better and shopped earlier a-hole." Don't be all pissy now that you have to stand in line for 10 minutes. Happened to me today at the post office, too. And it really pissed me off today in traffic!!! Everyone's in such a friggin' hurry that they won't even leave the simple courtesy gap in traffic in the middle of intersections so that people can cross or make a turn! They're in line waiting, traffic in their lane's at a stop and obviuosly not going anywhere and yet they still stay right on the car's bumper in front of them blocking traffic and clogging the entire intersection so now nobody can friggin' move!!! BRILLIANT JERKSTORE!!! Just brilliant. This turd of a human being did this to me today and then when I honked and gave her the "What the Hell?" gesture she just looked at me, shrugged like, "So?!" and looked back at the car in front of her. I'm sure she was in a super-big hurry though. Very important.

Selfish beeyotch.

SOLUTION: CALM THE EFF DOWN PEOPLE! Oh, I'm sorry...calm the eff down people. It's crazy out there, everyone's stressing, everyone's got last-minute things to do...just take a deep breath and calm the eff down. A'ight?!

Okay, I vented. Ah, Christmas...you just gotta love it.

As I've said before, if it weren't for my daughter I'd get the hell out of Dodge every year and find some remote place that's completely idiot free. Can't wait for her to get completely jaded like me and Sandy so we can all go together.

I'm Kidding! Kind of.

In other news!...

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #4 hit the stands! And it features part 4 of my 12 part "Weapon Omega" installment. Beautiful cover featuring my character, Guardian, as well. Sweet. I think it'd make a fantastic stocking stuffer for everyone on your list. And OH, HEY! I just happen to have copies available right here at this very site! Lucky you! And, oh gosh, look what else I have!...the previous three back issues of the very same comic! How unbelievably convenient, wouldn't you agree?

Hell, while you're at it you might as well go and stock up on all my other goodies as well. Go nuts!

And in the spirit of the holidays I will add an extra incentive for you. For any three items purchased I will throw in a fourth item completely FREE! The fourth item being of equal or lesser value than the lowest priced of the three you pay for. So, if you order three things, just make sure to indicate in your info in the confirmation email which fourth item you'd like. Sounds confusing but it's really rather simple. This offer is applicable for anything on the site including original art. Just remember, the fourth "FREE" item has to be the lowest price of the four items you pick.

Have at it and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. And happy other holidays to all you other people of other religious persuasions. Even to the atheists and Wickens!

Word!

R

THANKS A MILLION!

Hello everyone!

I'm doing something a little different in this week's blog. I'm posting a press release from my buddies over at the CGC (Comics Guaranty Corporation). Steve Borock and I became friends back when I first started THE 3 GEEKS 10 years ago, and since then he has shown me such wonderful support and friendship and introduced me to Paul Litch and the other great people over at CGC. I know that I can always, ALWAYS, count on Steve at every show to have a warm smile on his face and, if we have the time, a beer or ten after hours.

Whether you like the CGC or not, you can't deny they've staked a claim in our industry. They've made their mark! One million marks to be exact....

THANKS A MILLION

Every CGC-Graded Comic Is Now One in a Million. Literally.

CGC is proud to announce that it has just certified its one millionth comic book. A 9.0 copy of Gold Key’s “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” Movie Comics (1970) submitted by collector and restaurant owner Bruce Horste from Canton, MI, has been officially recognized as the one millionth submission certified by the company in its eight-year history.

“This really is a monumental moment, not just for CGC, but for me as well! It is so important knowing that the hobby I have loved my whole life is now better, safer and much more fun, in part because of CGC” said Steve Borock, CGC President and Primary Grader. ”I remember back when Mark Haspel and I, looking at the CGC safe for the first time and seeing about 400 to 500 comic books, saying to each other ‘How the heck are we going to get all these comics books out of here in time?’ We both look back at that day and laugh, knowing that now all the Finalizers combined, grade about that many books in a day.”

Since its official opening announcement in 1999, CGC has experienced an increase in comic book submissions each year, expanding its grading personnel and staff multiple times to meet the hobby’s incredible demand for expert, impartial grading.

“This is insanity. CGC has certified one million comics? It feels like we did that years ago!” joked Paul Litch, CGC Senior Grader and Modern Age Specialist. “Seriously though, this is a huge milestone for all of us here at CGC and the collecting community as a whole. Shawn Caffrey and I have had a lot of fun working with some of the greatest publishers and creators in our hobby. Let’s also not forget the collectors we see at every city we visit during convention season. Without any of these hobbyists, CGC would not be here today.”

“Steve, Paul, and I are not only proud to be part of this from the beginning, but we are so very proud of all our employees that make CGC what it is today,” says Mark Haspel, CGC Vice President and Finalizer. “We feel privileged to have worked alongside them as well as with all the collectors and sellers in our hobby for the past eight years.”

But now that CGC has reached this milestone, what do these numbers really mean? How remarkable is it really?

The process of CGC certification is not that of one or two hobbyists looking at a book, picking a grade and placing the comic book in plastic. It is a monumental task, done not just by hobbyists, but by professionals who love what they do.

The certification process starts the minute a comic book(s) arrives and is signed for at the CGC offices. It is processed by our receiving department and then labeled for grading. The only information that the grader will see is the label. This label will only have a barcode and the invoice number. When the comic book goes through the certification process, the only knowledge the graders have of any specific comic book is that which is on the label, to keep the submitters identify hidden throughout the grading and restoration detection process for reasons of impartiality.

After each book is carefully inspected by a restoration detection expert, pre-graders and finalizer, the comic is then assigned a grade and a label color classification. Any restoration detected is always noted on the label along with the grade.

The comic book then goes to encapsulation where two pieces of safety micro chamber paper are placed inside the front and back cover. Next the CGC label and comic book are placed in an archivally safe Barex inner well before being sonically sealed in CGC’s state of the art tamper evident holder.

Once an invoice has left encapsulation it enters “Q.C” (Quality Control), to ensure that each and every comic book is checked, before being safely shipped to the submitter in our specially designed shipping boxes.

With all this in mind let’s now take a look at the figures:

1,000,000 books certified in 8 years averages out to 125,000 books per year, that’s over 10,400 books per month, over 2600 per week! This averages 520 books per day, that are each looked at by a minimum of 3 graders! The lucky submitter, Bruce Horste, will receive a commemorative plaque and free Collectors Society membership, plus a $200 CGC certification coupon. The CGC crew and management, meanwhile, has been celebrating the achievement and is currently making bets on how long it will take them to reach two million certifications.

TWO NEW BOOKS OUT!!!

Just a real quick blog here to let you all know I'm still very great. It's true.

And that 2 new books are out which I was/am a part of...MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #2 hit the shelves this past week and features the second installment of 12 that I'm slated for. And the book is freakin' fantastic, of course. But I know you all already knew that. How utterly silly of me. Ha ha ha

And I am also featured as a contributor in the wonderful A LIFE OF RAVENS book of poetry by Poet and web columnist/reviewer, ALEX NESS. Alex writes absolutely wonderful poetry and invited me to contribute an illustration. I was delighted! There are 50 poems and over 125 illustrations by some of the comic industry's top talents...Mike Grell, David Yurkovich, Bob Giadrosich, Peter Bergtring, Josh Howard and many more. The book retails for $16.99 but I have it available here at the site for an even $15.00 with S&H included. If you are a fan of great poetry this book's for you!!!

That's it for now.

word!

r

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #1 IS HERE!

It has arrived! Fruition at last. After 30(ish) years of dreaming, my first issue as a Marvel Comics creator saw the light of day yesterday; Wednesday, September 19, 2007. I shall mark it on the calendar and, henceforth, celebrate it as a national holiday (my understanding is that Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl is submitting a bill to get this acknowledged as a national holiday next week! My fingers are crossed).

I've read the issue 5 times already and my high-beams are still on. It's a pretty cool thing. I had to take my shirt off, though, after awhile because they were starting to chafe. Ouch.

I know I may be slightly biased, but is this the best anthology you've ever seen?! I think we're off to a great start, folks. That first story alone!...WOW! I am hooked! And I have no insider info here, kiddies, I read 'em just like you do...I have no clue what's going to happen with any of the stories ('cept mine, of course...I think) or what the writers all have in store. But I have a very good feeling (remember? High-beams!)!

Please write Marvel and let the fine folks there know what you're thinking. Feedback is very much appreciated and a crucial part of the process. I certainly will appreciate any comments on my particular storyline.

One quick note on my first installment...Make sure you don't miss the first page of my segment. Due to ad placement requirements one ad was sandwiched between my 1st and 2nd pages and you might just miss that first one. It's the page with the girl banging on the door...and you DO NOT want to miss what's all going on with her!!! Trust me, she's got somethin' to do with poor Michael Pointer's current sad predicament.

Many thanks to the fine folks who helped this dream come true...My wife, Sandy, of course for her unwavering support. Andy Schmidt, formerly an editor over at Marvel for shoving me off to his replacement editor, John Barber...and John for inheriting me and working through that initially tumultuous transition and making it work! Andrea DiVito and his wife Laura Villari for the phenomenal artwork. And Dave Sharpe for the "sharp" job lettering...I know that was a horrible pun. I know.

I'd also thank the many, many friends within the industry I've met over the years and hung around with. Too many to list here but you know who you are. And I've probably bought you all a few beers already as pre-thanks.

So, go now...GO! Run, run like the wind to your local purveyor of comic books and buy, buy, BUY multiple copies of MCP #1! (Also available right here on this very website!) And then go back next month for #2, and the following months for issues 3 thru 12. And then buy everything else I do and have ever done...you shall not regret it for I shall be so very, very rich and famous one day and my back issues and original art shall fetch millions of dollars on ebay!

Run, dammit! RUN!

Hey, I've realized one dream this past week, right? I might as well start the next one.

Word!

R

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