Rich Koslowski: Writer, Artist, Genius
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FALLCON RECAP & OTHER CRAP

Hey kids, Well, if you were close enough to get to Fallcon and, for whatever reason, decided not to go then you effed up, man! GREAT SHOW this year! Record crowd in the newer, bigger, grander location and the boys who run that show were as friendly as ever. Plus we got to see a wedding there on Saturday night before gorging on New York strip steaks! And, of course, the Saturday night poker game! I lost this year but still had a grand ole time.

And the girls were in tow and also had a great time. Stella in the swimming pool=fun! And there was a "Rubber Stamp & Scrapbooking Show" right next door to our con this year so Stella had a blast over there.

I sold lots of stuff--mostly sketches--and had fantastic neighbors on either side of me again this year. Doug Mahnke was to my right and Keith Champagne to my left. Both talented chaps and both good-looking enough to properly compliment my own dashing handsomeness!

Brewers lost. No surprise there. Doesn't even seem like they made the post season at all, does it? Barely squeaked in and then barely showed up. Next year's going to be rough! They're going to lose pitching and probably a couple position players to free agency. sigh. Whattaya gonna do?

Nothing.

I just finished up the cover to The 3 Geeks: Slab Madness Issue #2 tonight and I'm pretty stoked! I think this might be my best cover yet. Really happy with the cover concept and then the execution (which I surprised myself by actually pulling off without any help from my lil bud, CJ!).

Issue #1 of this 3 issue mini-series will be solicited in the November Previews catalogue and then Issue #2 in the December catalogue, Issue #3 in January of '09. Yep, doing these three issues back-to-back-to-back people! I'm just that damn good!

In other news...It might be too late to advertise this but I'll be doing a signing tomorrow in Kenosha at "Heroes and Dreams" comic shop. 3020 Roosevelt drive. I'll be there from 12-3 so git yer scrawny asses out there or I will hunt you down and make you read back issues of Youngblood!!!

ALSO! Just did an interview that might be featured in the Midwest Airlines in flight magazine. Kind of cool. Up top is the uber special picture of me that millions of bored travelers will soon be taking into the plane's john and joining the half-mile high club to.

Sick, hey?

word.

r

TRYING TO POE IN BALTIMORE!

Some of you may remember my horror story of my trip to Baltimore last year when I had a multitude of failed attempts to have a bowel movement. Well, not this year! Success was had, and had, and had. This year's mishap was when we decided to visit Edgar Allen Poe's gravesite. Found the gravesite and it was very, very cool. Some of the headstones were so old and worn by the weather you couldn't read them anymore. It was after visiting the grave where the fun began. When we decided to walk up the road and see his house. Only a half mile away. Me in my walking cast. Sandy and Stella in tow.

I thought we were going to die.

Folks, stay away if you value your life. We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a WIRE or HOMICIDE episode. i have seen many "bad" neighborhoods in my time but this one was, by far, the scariest! Luckily we ran into another couple making their way to Poe's house as well so we banded together--the old "strength in numbers" thing. And this was the looonnngest .5 miles I've ever seen.

The city of Baltimore should be ashamed of itself for not doing something about this. This is one of Baltimore's greatest treasures and it looks (IT IS!) a war-zone around it. It's no wonder the museum is only open 2 months out of the year! No one wants to go there for fear of there life!

But we survived. It was an adrenaline rush, but we made it.

The con was fantastic! The Baltimore Comic-Con! Marc Nathan and his crew did an outstanding job and the hospitality was amazing. I sold a bunch of the 3 Geeks Exclusives and other goodies and just flat-out had a great time in general! The crowd was BIG, the guest list was top-notch and the Harvey Awards went off without a hitch. If you'll recall I was honored to be asked to be a presenter again this year and got a few chuckles from the big crowd.

This weekend I'll be at the equally fantastic Minnesota FallCon located at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. So get yer buttocks out there for what is going to be the best FallCon yet! They're celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and have tons of great giveaways and guest lined up.

In other news...

The Brewers somehow managed to squeak into the post season! I couldn't believe it. Sadly, they just lost the first game (Rickie Weeks strikes again!) so they're going to have to rally and win game two or I fear this post-season celebration will be very brief. The good news is that CC Sabathia takes the hill tomorrow so we have a chance! And if we can get to game 5 he'll take the hill again. That means we have a chance.

Go Brewers!

A'ight, that's about it for now. Enjoy the illo I just knocked out tonight. That's the great character, USAgent for those who don't know. He was one of the main characters in my Weapon Omega storyline I did in Marvel Comics Presents. Issue #12 just came out and soon the Trade Paperback of my story will be out!!! Very cool! From what I understand my story is the only one from the series being collected into a tpb.

So there's that. I got that going for me.

Word.

r

BALTIMORE COMIC-CON!

Hey all,

Just a friendly reminder that I will be a "special Guest" at this upcoming weekend's BALTIMORE COMIC-CON! What does "special guest" mean exactly you might ask? Well, it means that I was asked/offered a chance to premiere an "Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusive" comic which will feature my 3 Geeks characters (limited to 500 copies!), I am, once again, a presenter at the illustrious Harvey Awards ceremony, I got a free booth and I also got a free hotel room! PLUS! event organizer, Marc Nathan, is also taking a slew of us "special guests" to the Orioles game on Friday night!

It's not often that I get this kind of love from show promoters so going to the show was kind of a no-brainer. And besides all the love Marc has heaped upon me the show is flat-out fantastic! Marc seems to jam pack more creators per square foot than any other show. And he seems to get more of these awesome "exclusives" as well. So if you can make it to the show go! You won't regret it.

Baltimore Comic-Con runs this upcoming weekend Sept 27&28th.

THEN! The following weekend I'll be at the Minnesota Fallcon! As I have said in the past the guys up in Minnesota are the best! This show is flat out fun, fun, fun! Food, beer, poker, close proximity and great sales make this show my "numero uno must go show" each and every year. I can't think of any other show that's more relaxed. Everyone seems to know one another there as most of us come back each year. I think that alone speaks volumes as to just how well this show is run. Fallcon is also celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and have pulled out all the stops! They sent out hundreds of sketch cards to hundreds of top artists this year for giveaways to the fans attending and the response was phenomenal! You have to see the list of artists who have contributed! Amazing!! I have a feeling we're going to see a deluge of these cards posted on eBay shortly after the show.

Fallcon runs the weekend of October 4&5th! Be there!

In other news...

The Brewers suck. And I know I'm going to piss off a few people here (sorry Big Tim) but I called the Ben "Sucks" Sheets (get it?) ordeal day one of the season. "He's gonna go down with a twisted ass hair when we need him most, man!" I said. I also predicted they'd finish 5 games over 500--that would be 86 wins for those who don't know. 4 weeks back I have to say it looked like I was dead wrong on the record, but what with their monumental collapse these past 4 weeks it looks like I'm going to be pretty darn close on the record prediction after all. What the hell?!!

I believe they now have 84 wins with today's win over the hapless Reds. Whatever. They were 9 games up in the Wild Card chase a month ago and now they're 2 games back! Do you know how hard it is to give up that kind of lead?! That lead, with a month left to play, is H-U-G-E!!! Bullpen sucks (really really sucks!), hitting sucks, starting pitching sucks (except for Sabathia who will undoubtedly ship out after this season) and management is in complete disarray with the late season firing of Ned Yost. Not that I'm upset with the firing, mind you. Never a big fan of the hot-headed, "stick with the player even when they suck ass," uber condescending, super thin-skinned Yoster.

But the Sheets thing really chaps my ass. I screamed for trading this glass-jawed Nancy at the mid-season trade deadlines and everyone railed me. "NO WAY!" they screamed, "They're in a pennant racer and Sheets is doing great!" They all seemingly suffered from short-term and long-term memory loss. Apparently they all seemed to forget that Sheeter goes down with some sort of weirdly inexplicable injury every single season he plays...sometimes 2 or 3 times within the same season. Ever see the movie "Unbreakable"? Sheets is our Samuel L. Jackson.

So yeah, they suck. Whattaya gonna do? Nuffin'! I'm actually pretty numb to it to tell the truth. I've come to expect it so it's almost...comfortable.

Pretty sad, hey?

And in other news...

My daughter, Stella, is the greatest thing there is. She makes me laugh every day. She makes me proud every day. She makes me happy every single day. In the "baseball game of life" she hits the walk-off game-winning grand slam every game and pitches the complete game no-hitter!

Word.

R

COMIC-CON RECAP!

Hey all,

Well, I've ALMOST finally recovered from Comic-Con International which came to a merciful end this last Sunday July 27th. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but it seemed like the show was even MORE crowded than ever before! It's almost completely out of control how big the show's become and how many friggin' people jam into the halls...yes "halls" plural because there are at least 8 massive halls and then an almost equal amount of panel rooms on the second floor making this the most massive event in the USA and maybe the world. I kid you not. If you've been there you know, if not just try and picture about 3 football stadiums worth of showfloor space and you've got a pretty accurate idea.

Now, as in years past, there's been some pretty serious grousing that Hollywood's taken over this show--which, to be fair, it kind of sort of has--but I've gotta tell you, I'm not all that upset about it. Sure, the show's comic book roots may have taken a backseat to the ritz and glitz of the movie premieres and video games but the roots ARE still there. And what with all the major super-hero movies always coming out and being premiered there there's still that connection. And I'm not going to argue that because of the Hollywood presence the attendance has exploded...is that necessarily a good thing for comic book sales? No, maybe not, but the people are there and maybe, just maybe a few of them do spend a couple bucks on comics while they are there. I honestly don't think many do but they might.

And for me, I'm there to MAKE that Hollywood connection! I'm there to sell my comics and my art to the fans, sure, but the Holy Grail for any creator like me is having our property optioned into a film, cartoon or video game, so I am thrilled to know that the Hollywood peeps are scouring the showfloor for new material! BRING THEM ON!!! And every year I do, in fact, meet them. Nothing big has happened yet, but man, as long as I keep meeting them, getting my little pinky toe in the proverbial door, then I have a chance. And that's more than I'm ever getting at ANY other con out there. ANY. OF. THEM.

So, yeah, sure...the crowd's are annoying and frenzied over the free junk that's being tossed around. I'm freaking exhausted by hour two of day one. It's near impossible to find a seat for dinner in the Gaslamp District before 9pm. Sure, yes, all of these things...But I wouldn't have it any other way! Comic-Con HAS become the new Cannes or Sundance but that's just fine with me. If the "comics" element were to disappear completely then yes, I'd be really disappointed. But I seriously doubt that'll ever happen. I know the people who run that show and I know that their hearts are still in comics. I seriously cannot fathom them letting that ever happen.

I think they've struck a realistic balance right now! If it teeters any further towards the Hollywood side we "comics folk" may be in trouble but I think they also realize this and will never let that happen.

This was my best Comic-Con since my Eisner year back in 1999. I made great sales, did a ton of sketches, met a ton of nice fans, saw old friends I only ever get to see at these cons, went to several very nice dinners, drank waaayyy too much beer, and then ended my show at the Bill Willingham party where I also had the chance to meet some DC dignitaries! Thanks to Bill Williams for the invite! And if you like Willingham's writing you MUST MUST! go check out the book that Lone Star Press (www.lonestarpress.com) published of his entitled PANTHEON. They just released it in a full-color trade paperback ($19.99) and I think it was Bill's finest work ever! And I love it all. So there's my plug of the show.

And I was lucky enough to be seated next to budding superstar artist Dave Crosland who was a most excellent neighbor. And one hell of a talented artist! Check out Dave's art at hiredmeat.com

A'ight! Thassit for now, folks! Comic-Con 2008 rates a solid B+ for me this year...thus far...if one of the couple connections I made comes through that B+ is gonna bump all the way up to an A+...I'll keep ya posted. Trust me.

word.

r

UGH!

Been awhile but I have about 12,000 reasons why I haven't blogged in 2-3 weeks. My house looks like a bomb went of inside. As some of you may know, my roofer botched his job 6 weeks ago and as a result rain came inside by the bucket full (literally) and cause severe damage to 3 levels of our home. We're now starting week 7 of Hell here at casa Koslowski and it looks like we've got a couple more weeks to go. Saying that this has been an inconvenience would be putting it very mildly.

Here's what we've all had to do as a result of 4 nincompoop roofers who were too friggin' lazy to just DO THERE JOB AND TARP THE EXPOSED ROOF!...

We have had to move three full rooms full of furniture, books, boxes, clothes, etc. into the other already FULL rooms of our home so the workers could do their work. One of these room was my studio...a lot of shit up there! Nowhere to go with all this shit. Nowhere to go.

No. Where!

So we had no choice but to have an impromptu Rummage Sale. Move it all right downstairs and out onto the front lawn and sell it. Sell it all. Did pretty well actually.

I am now set up working on a crummy old desk in the dining room of our home where we also have boxes full of crap stacked high.

The workers are constantly coming through and kicking up dust and asking questions and moving stuff and I'm moving stuff for them and they're sometimes here at 8 am and sometimes don't show up until 6 pm at night and the whole thing has been an ordeal that makes me want to punch my fist right through someone's throat then pull the body down the front stairs and hurtle it right into that massive eyesore of a dumpster that's been parked out in front of our house for the past 2 weeks!...

Breathe...must remember to breathe.

Oh yeah, I see that a few kind neighbors have been secreting their own shit into our dumpster at night as well. Isn't that just lovely.

I would be remiss to point out the absolute joy we have derived from having to deal with the Insurance Agent as well. Can anyone say "stress"?

OH! OH! I almost forgot. After the roof was finished some 4 weeks ago--all brand spanking new and lovely and all--we had some follow-up rainfalls. Not nearly as bad as the "houses being swept away" rainfalls we had that started this whole ordeal but a couple pretty significant ones nonetheless.

Guess what?

Aha...yep...you guessed it! More rain coming into our house!!!! Yessir, more rain trickling in. So we call good ole Skip Kubiak once again and tell him rain's coming in. He curses, acts shocked and promises me a crew right away. Two days later they show up, caulk around a window and with wide grins assure me the problem's solved in there broken english.They spent about 15 minutes here.

Oh, two three days later we have another rainfall. Guess what? Yep, you guessed it! More leaking.

And I should point out here now that the interior repairs now have to wait because they can't put up new drywall if there's still water coming in, right? No they cannot.

So I call good ole Skip Kubiak again (he's the roofer BTW in case you didn't know) and tell him we still HAVE FRIGGIN' WATER COMING INTO OUT FRIGGIN' HOUSE! he assures me that a crew will be there first thing in the morning to fix it. I request a crew that I can communicate with. I don't think it's too much to ask for at this point, do you?

2 days later they arrive.

They're up there on the roof for about 10 minutes and they're done. You gotta be kidding.

I go outside and get the lowdown from crew number two. Apparently there was a hole the main guy could fit his fist into on the dormer where the leak was coming in. Apparently a hole that size isn't visible to the other, previous crews. He says it's fixed now and we shouldn't have any more leaks. So I relate this news to the interior work crew and they proceed with the fixes inside.

We've had a couple light rains since. No leaks. Not yet. But let me tell you that we sit here sweating every time we see even a light gray cloud hovering above our house up there in the sky. And if we hear the distant rumble of thunder I pee my pants a little...just a short little squirt, but I pee myself nonetheless.

So, the ordeal continues. And this is why I have been remiss in my blogging duties fair friends. Forgive me.

In other brief news...

WizardWorld, Chicago was a great show for me. I sold a lot of stuff and sketched my butt off producing some of the finest con sketches I've ever produced. But the show took a very sad turn when the news of Michael Turner's passing hit. His long battle with bone cancer came to an end the Thursday night of the show. He was only 37 years old. I only met Mike a couple times at the big card tournaments there but we hit it off rather well. He seemed to appreciate my bawdy poker table talk and we shared quite a few belly laughs together. He was truly a nice guy and I was very saddened to hear of his passing. The world of comics and the world in general has lost one very nice human being and Lord knows we need more of those.

Next week I'm off to Comic-Con and will be camped in Artist's Alley, so if you're going make sure to come by and visit. I can also be found wobbling through the streets of the Gaslamp District at night buzzed out of my gourd on Guinness beer. So if you bump into me there give me a big bearhug and let's knock back a few together.

Thassit! Still haven't seen the Hulk yet cuz of alla the b.s. going on here but I plan on that tomorrow! And then Hellboy II. Finally caught Spider-Man 3 on dvd the other day...wow. This is a very, VERY close second to Batman and Robin for worst movie ever friggin' made, folks. We were embarrassed for Toby McGuire. This movie sucked ass so bad it was awkward to watch. Sam Raimi lost his mind on this one and please, Note to Producers, do not let these directors write their scripts! Total suck-assishness on this movie from start to finish. wow.

word.

r

ODDS AND ENDS

A'ight, a few things to discuss this week...

First; I will be at Wizard World, Chicago, next week so get your sorry asses out there and buy lots of my shit. I will be located in Artists Alley at table 3116 and I will look effing handsome as hell! I will charm the shit out of you and may even espouse some words of pearly wisdom if you're lucky. I will then proceed to allow you to tell me just how fantastic I am and, perhaps, even allow you to purchase me several pints of lager after the show closes. And if you are a smokin' hot babe I have had an aching back these past few months and might even give you permission to massage my massive musculature.

So that's for next week. Wizard World, Chicago. June 26-29th.

After WizWorld I'll be at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 24-27th...(see above for allowances and such).

This fall I'll be attending the Baltimore Comic-Con (Sept 27-28)run by the incomparable, Marc Nathan, who has invited me to have an "exclusive" release of a 3 GEEKS comic book! That's right, folks, an exclusive edition of all-new material that will only be available at that show!!! This is a pretty cool deal for me. So if you can make that show be there, man. (again, fans, see above for allowances and such).

Then it's the Minnesota Fallcon (Oct 4-5)! The boys at Fallcon simply run the funnest show on earth. Food, drinks, poker and oh yeah, there's a comic book convention, too. (At this show I do the massaging!)

Okay, so that covers my upcoming convention schedule. Onto other odds and ends because that is the title of this blog after all.

Some movies to see or not see...

KUNG FU PANDA. See it! Great fun, great story and fantastic animation.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD. See it! Daniel Day Lewis is an acting god! This movie has the type of pacing I absolutely LOVE. A slow-burn with a phenomenal ending.

INDIANA JONES AND THE CRYSTAL SKULL or whatever the hell it was called. Save your money!!! It started out...okay, and quickly deteriorated beyond ridiculous. Not only do they let any "cat out of the bag" right away so there's no big surprise with the whole alien thing (I'm not ruining anything here, trust me) but the whole chase scene in the jungle made me want to walk out. Swinging through trees like Tarzan, sword fights on two moving cars, driving a car over a cliff onto a tree that slowly bends them down into the river and allows them to then drive off of it gently and then snaps violently up and smacks the bad guys scaling down said cliff?!!!!...it was insulting. We all knew that Lucas lost his mind ten years ago after STAR WARS Chpt 1 but it now seems that his bud, Spielberg has also lost touch with his audience as well. After walking out of the theatre I wanted to be kind and give it a C- but looking back it's really no better than a D.

Softball. Well, the injury bug has taken its toll on me this year. My heel spurs kill me and now it's affecting my lower back. Surgery looms this summer (after softball's over. I have so little joy I need to play!). BUT! I did manage to go 3/4 Tuesday night and 4/5 Wednesday to break out of a pretty depressing inconsistent past few games. We won both games and I know that all of you reading this are getting hard nipples right now imagining me running, tight buttocks rounding the bases, crossing home plate with my pectorals rippling through the taut fabric of my jersey!

Okay, that's enough.

word.

r

CALIFORNIA TRIP!

Hello all,

Been a couple weeks since my last entry...sorry. Snuck away secretly on a little family vacation out to sunny California. First went to WonderCon in San Francisco (not so sunny). The con was great but we had to duck out a day early as little Stella was feeling rather ill. But that gave us a chance to check out the Napa Valley area a day early and it is spectacular! Loved it there...so beautiful and peaceful and has wine...lots o wine. Yum. We did a couple tours including Frog's Leap, an organic winery, which was fantastic! The wine and the tour. Check it out if you ever get the chance. Highly recommended. The entire Napa Valley area.

Then we headed to Yosemite Park where we almost lost our lives traveling through the mountains at night...can anyone say "white knuckle flight"? I guess we should've known when we approached the park's entrance and you saw the huge flashing signs saying "CHAINS ON TIRES REQUIRED!" and "PARK ROADS CLOSED BETWEEN 10 PM AND 6 AM" and the ranger station was unmanned with all kinds of additional warning signs peppering the windows. We paused there, looking ahead into the pitch-black forest ahead, the glow of the blinking warning sign the only light besides our headlights. We were...nervous. But Hell, it was 65 degrees out. Chains? What the hell? But Sandy and Stella were nervous and Stella got a little weepy, so I turned back to this hotel (RIGHT THERE by the entrance) to get an expert opinion. The place was dead...no guests. The lady there waved off the warnings but then quickly recanted but then assured me if we had 4 wheel drive we'd be okay...should be okay. So, head held high and mustering up my most confident brave face I told the girls we were okay and went headlong into the park!

65 degrees out and yet when you're up 5000 feet you get snow...a lot of snow...and the roads ain't plowed so much up there apparently. And what is plowed leaves 6-8 fot carved walls of snow on either side of you with areas that have caved down on the road! Then there's the areas that don't have these walls (which were actually nice because if you did slide off the road you were, at least, not going over the side) that when you look to the right you see the blackness...the abyss!!!the cliffs that fall into certain death! Kind of frightening. Kind of makes you ease off the accelerator and grip the steering wheel just a bit tighter (if that's even possible anymore). OH! and then you pass the semi tanker truck with not one but TWO fuel tankers fish-tailed off the side of the road and the rangers shoveling it out by hand. Nice. Stella was traumatized, the poor kid. But we're from Wisconsin for god's sake!...it was nuthin'!!! Woulda been nuthin' anyway, if not for the "plummeting to your death" factor. That certainly added a little stress element.

I was scared, I admit it.

Didn't help that when we finally hit the lodge--our salvation, our hope, the tears of relief running down my mental cheeks--they informed me they were fully booked and that the next place was another 1/2 hour drive ahead. Talk about feeling completely hopeless and hapless.

But we survived and the next day (in the daylight) at Yosemite was wonderful. Beautiful place. We saw deer, coyotes, a fox, a bobcat and some spectacular scenery of course.

Then we went on to Santa Cruz which is now, quite possibly, my favorite California city. Beautiful place. And my BB Wolf partner, Johnnie Arnold and his lovely wife Katie live there and run Comicopolis! with Johnnie's partner Troy. Great shop located right in the downtown area. Had a great time there and even had time for a poker game at Johnnie's house with his pal Jon "bean" Hastings and his wife Terry. Lost 25 bucks to those bastards but had alot of fun nonetheless.

Then onto LA where I met with my management company, Content House. Options still available on my properties people! Give 'em a call and pony up some dough and we're in bizness together. Let's make it happen.

Then onto sunny San Diego for the last three days of our trip where we wined and dined with friends, Gary "G" Sassaman and Batton Lash and Jackie Estrada. Also went to Sea World while there and loved it because the park was about 25% full...no lines at a major theme park! By the gods it was glorious!!!!

So now we're back in craptastic Wisconsin. Already had to friggin' shovel my sidewalk today.

Yep, "California here we come!"

Word!

R

SWEATCON 2007

It could have been the record setting 90 degree heat...It could have been the stifling, oppressive humidity...or it could have been the frightening fact that I sweat so much the two days there that I didn't even have to urinate but once in the two days I was set up at Fallcon last weekend. It could have been one or all three of those things that your typical common "Joe" off the street person would be utterly stunned by last weekend at the annual Minnesota Fallcon. But, sadly, if I were to have told any comic book "outsider" that the real frightening thing that would occur that weekend would be that quite a few of the con attendees would both neither A)Bathe between day 1 and day 2 of the convention, and B) Not change the clothes they wore on day 1, I would hazzard a guess that they would have looked at me with the look of utter disbelief.

Day two arrived and the smell of one particular large attendee assaulted my olfactory senses with such violence that it actually made the back of my throat sting! And, lucky me! stinky sat 10 feet away from me the whole second day! UGH! And it was beyond typical B.O., man! It had this pervasive sweet, musky smell that was a B.O., fecal, urine, oily dandruff mix. Blarrghhh!

WHY????!!!!!

Why do these people do this? Or DON'T do this (bathe. change their clothes) in this case. It is so disgusting. It gives me the shivers thinking of it even now a week later. Can't they smell themselves?! It's...I...why?...I don't...ugh! Just ugh!

Now, don't get me wrong...I have always been a defender of comic collectors and loathe the stereotype that we're all geeks who live in our parents basements and never talk to girls (even though I affectionately write about these geeks). But, again, sadly, there is a small contingent of stinky geek comic collectors who continue to perpetuate the stereotype and continue to do it with such passionate vigor that it all-too-often overshadows us "normal" geeks who do, in fact, bathe regularly, have our own domiciles and not only talk to girls but occasionally even get lucky with one!

So please, all you non-comic book collectors out there--though the smell of the few does sometimes outweigh the smell of the many--do not judge us all by the actions of the stinkys.

Amazingly, regardless of the fact that Fallcon was unbearably hot (this was an anomoly! It's usually in the 50's in Minneapolis in October), it was a fantastic show for me! Sales-wise I do better at Fallcon than any other show! ANY! OTHER! SHOW!!! This includes Comic-Con International, WizardWorld, SPX, etc. etc. Fallcon gets far fewer attendees than these other shows and yet the crowd comes to spend! The guys who run this show continue to set the standard for how a show should be run. They're enthusiastic, fun, friendly, the feed you, and they sure know how to have fun after the con's over! I will never, NEVER miss this show if it is at all humanly possible.

I encourage anyone who has ever considered attending Fallcon to do so. You will not regret it. Even if stinky is sitting next to you.

In other news...

MCP #1 is still available here and I had 20 copies slabbed by the CGC guys in their exclusive "Signature Series" they're now doing. What this means is that I had 20 copies signed and numbered and then slabbed and they're all graded at 9.8! I have them available here at the website for $40.00 each. I believe I have 13 left so order yours now!!!

MCP #2 is out in a couple weeks so get your copies!

Sonic The Hedgehog Archives have been released collecting the uber popular series that I contributed to as an Inker and I have Volumes 3, 4, 5 and 6 available now at the website as well.

BBWolf & The 3 L.P.s is 50 pages done with 20 to go!!! In case you don't know, I've been illustrating a new graphic novel written by newcomer Johnnie Arnold. It's a new take on the whole 3 Little Pigs/Big Bad Wolf story and it is absolutely dazzling see image above if you don't believe me!)! I'll, of course, keep you posted as the book progresses.

And finally!...The Yankees are out of the post-season. Yes!

Word!

r

TRYING TO POO IN BALTIMORE!

Yep, we've all been there haven't we? Got the "feelings" but nowhere to go. Well, here's a little story you all might enjoy...I know that I certainly did NOT...

I'm kind of particular when it comes to my bathroom habits. Specifically number two, not number one. Number one's not a problem. I can go anywhere. It's man's one true advantage over the ladies. But number two? Nuh-uh. Nope. I got my specific requirements when it comes to the good ole number two.

Here's some quick history for you on my BM activity...

1) In my entire 39 years on this planet I have probably only pooped somewhere other than my "Home Base" 42 times. And let me clarify "Home Base" for you. "Home Base" consists of a) my house that I live b) my parents house or c) any hotel room that I have rented and paid for and therefore I own it for the length of time I am there.

That's it. Those three places.

So, when I'm away from "Home Base" and I get those special inklings that something's going on down below I've got myself a situation. Example: I worked in Racine, WI for about 6 years and it was a 45 minute drive from my home. In the entire 6 years I had worked there, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, I only pooed there twice. This made for several very perilous drives home and one near incident of my having to pull over during a traffic jam to go between those concrete barriers dividing the freeway. I made it home but the brown was hitting the water before my skin hit the seat. I nearly fainted several times while driving.

Another example: I've never gone doogie at my in-laws house. Ever. Not once. My wife and I celebrated our 17th anniversary this past weekend.

Shopping malls are the most powerful laxative I've ever experienced. Whenever we go to one I've "gotta go!" Seriously. And then we've gotta go! Cuz I will never go at a shopping mall.

And that takes us to Baltimore this past weekend for the Baltimore Comic-Con.

We arrived Friday night and stayed the weekend with good pal, Rich Henn. Didn't go all day Friday before leaving and I knew I was in for it then. Saturday morning I struggled to "make" before going to the con. I managed to convince myself that Henn's house was my house while I was there. Henn even said those exact same words so I tried very hard to convince my finicky bowels that this was the case. I managed to squeeze about 3 rabbit-sized nuggets out of them before heading to the show.

At the con the cramps began. Those steady waves of ache that focus right in the sphinctoral region. A quick crescendo that escalates in about 2 seconds with a pointed and powerful cramp that freezes the entire body. I was in serious trouble. And that night I was asked to present two awards at the Harvey Awards ceremony. I wouldn't be getting a second attempt at Henn's house until well after 11 PM.

So, in an act of desperation I made the decision to seek out a bathroom at the con after the show ended at 6 PM. It was my hope that the crowd would clear out (I'd never do it during a con. NO WAY! Have you ever seen a "con john" before? Nasty.) and I'd find one of the remote bathrooms located on the upper show floor somewhere down some seldom used corridor.

The plan nearly worked. I found a remote locale and had a seat. Three more rabbit nuggets.

Went to the Harvey Awards and had a few more beers (6 actually) to help loosen things up...myself because I was a wee bit nervous about being a presenter and my now slightly impacted bowels.

Got back to Henn's after 11:30 PM and tried again at 1 AM. Nada.

Sunday morning before the show I tried again in vain and then proceeded to suffer through the entire day at the show as the profuse discomfort continued to escalate.

Keep in mind that I drank my fair share of beer every night, too. Usually a great laxative. Not, apparently in Baltimore. Must be the sea air.

SO! Monday rolls around and I once again make the morning attempt. Zippo.

Now the comedy of errors really begins, folks...

We leave Casa Henn and head out for breakfast. "I'll get some eggs!" I say. "They always shoot right through me!" Good plan. So, breakfast ends and we head over to the post office to ship a box of books back home before heading downtown to explore the city. (It was in the 90s all weekend by the way and the humidity was so high it felt like a steam room.) Once downtown I begin to search for any clean bathroom. "Home Base" be damned I gotta go poo before my intestines split inside my belly.

Attempt #1) The GEPPI ENTERTAINMENT MUSUEM located right next to Camden Yards. BTW, this is the best museum I've ever been to in my entire life! And not just because it's filled with comic books and art, and other pop-culture wonders. It was also the best in terms of the meticulous care that the people working there have put into the wonderful displays. Absolutely magnificent!

Anyways, I found the one bathroom and went pee hoping that would trigger some other nether-activity. Didn't happen. An hour later we were done looking around and I told Sandy I was going back to try again since the bathroom was not only spotless but there were also but a few patrons wandering around and I felt my chances of privacy were good.

Not.

Go in there and see shoes under the stall wall. "S#!t!" I think. But not the kind I was hoping for.

So we leave. And it's now about 11 o'clock so we decide to go for a drive and explore. We drive around checking out the older parts of the city until it's lunch time and then we head back downtown. I insist on finding a restaurant that's authentic and old and cool. Not some chain. We find a very cool old pub that's over 200 years old and go inside. The atmosphere is wonderful, the food and service equally great.

Attempt #2) The restaurant. I tell Sandy I'm going for it. The lunch crowd is sparse and I got the feelings once again. I meander on over the the men's room and open the door and go around the short wall where the toilets are around the other side. I turn, look, and see one urinal and one toilet there. No divider seperating the two. I look back at the door from whence I just entered. No lock. I leave. We leave.

The cramps begin to intensify both in pain and frequency. I've been crowning for almost two full days now, am at 8 centimeters and am in a great deal of discomfort. And it's freaking hot!

So we go down to the water front where we know there are many stores, restaurants, etc to continue the search for a clean bathroom. I don't even care if it's secluded anymore at all. But I'm still shooting for clean.

Attempt #3) There's a mall right down by the harbor. Nice, new, clean, in a touristy area. We go in because we promised Stella some ice cream. We find a Ben & Jerry's right away and I go off in search of a bathroom while the girls order.

Folks, this is where it gets a little crazy. I find a john on the second floor, go in, walk the short little tunnel and as I get to the end of the 12 foot long tunnel I can see the mirrors above the sinks there on the wall I'm walking towards and in the mirror's reflection I now see the two men standing at the urinals and they must have not intially heard my footsteps so therefore the man with his hands in the other man's genital area did not remove them quickly enough and I saw this in the reflection and they saw me and they bolted and my poo which had now begun to gloriously release itself from my lower intestines now freaked out just as I did and went retreating back up deep inside of me. The two degenerates left and I washed my hands and left as well.

Outside the bathroom a janitor recognized the man-whore as he walked away and we had a brief exchange where the janitor informed me that these "Utah senator" type shenanigans are a problem here but usually they work there perversions across the street at the other mall. Lucky me! I ask if it's okay if I go back in there and try again? If it's safe? He says yeah, and I go back inside figuring lightning can't possibly strike twice, right?

Well, no perverts this time but the toilet had no toilet paper!

Attempt #4) We decide to tour some of the historic boats at the harbor. There's a WWII submarine, an old freighter and a lighthouse. We do the tour and I figure the walking will help jostle the stuff that's now probably exceeding 3 pounds within my lower body cavity. It seems to be working and I spot an outdoor bathroom behind the Sea Aquarium. I open the steel door and peek inside. Big, clean, and a lock! But my friggin' window has now passed folks! My poop is so far up inside me and frightened of what might be next that it has no desire to ever exit my body again. Defeated we leave.

Attempt #5) Barnes and Noble bookstores. We go to the bookstore where it has a nice bathroom area Sandy spotted the day before. And the air-conditioning is nice. I figure the extra walking might have helped so I try again. Nothing! No weird reasons either. Just ain't happening. I think the two pervs have really scared my poopy.

Attempt #6) It's about 3 PM now and I'm really uncomfortable and concerned. We go back outside walk around some more, sightsee, and Stella's thirsty. So we go back to the Sea Aquarium and go inside to look for a "bubbler" (for you folks outside of Wisconsin that's a water fountain). We find one inside and my "feelings" are back. I've got the "Bowel Greenlight!" And the men's room is right next to the bubblers! YES!

NOOOOOOOO!

Just as I make my first step towards the bathroom a man walks out and the cleaning lady that I heretofore did not notice standing next to the aforementioned bathroom slides her cart in front of the opening, blocking it, and I see her sign reading "Temporarily closed for cleaning."

I'm not making any of this up.

I look at Sandy with horror and say, "God must really not want me to poo."

Attempt #7) The rental car return. We return the rental car on the way to the airport and I find a bathroom there. Nothing! I try and I squeeze and I sit and I'm patient and after 15 minutes I get one eensy-weensy baby rabbit turd...not even an adult rabbit size.

Attempt #s 8, 9 10 and 11) The airport. When we get there. After we find a place to sit and eat. Right after we eat. And then by our gate before getting on the plane.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. And nothing.

The flight's an hour and a half and there's no way I'm going on the plane so I figure I'm going to find glory once we're back to the real "Home Base!" No substitutes, man! I will be gloriously deficating on my own toilet in about 2 sweet hours! YES!!

Attempt #12: The final attempt) The whole plane ride was a series of mind-numbing anal aches the likes of which I'd never experienced before. We've all been there, right? The closer you get to home, the more you have to go? The little brain in you hinder knows! He knows!

So we finally get home and I have already given orders to the girls that the head is mine until D-Day has ended. They know the score and wholeheartedly agree. And this never happens. Sandy has a raisin bladder and always heads straight to the head before anyone else. But on this day of days she concedes out of pity.

I grab a comic book (always if possible) and go "home."

As I sit there going into the 20th minute I wonder why God hates me so much.

I resign myself to the fact that I may never go poo again.

I'm too tired to go to the store for the enema kit and too tired to look for the latex painting gloves to throw a few fingers up there and loosen it up so I go to bed and sleep through the continuing anal aches. Surprisingly (and frighteningly) they have subsided some.

FRUITION! I am happy to report that at 7:30 AM central time Tuesday, on this 11th day of September, 2007, I gave birth to about 4 pounds of mud.

So how was your weekend?

Word!

r

MICHAEL VICK=IDIOT!

Yes, as you may have surmised by my header, I am in the "Vick is an idiot" camp. He is. End of argument. It really makes me chuckle to hear people calling into the sports talk radio shows defending this knucklehead. My favorite argument these geniuses always trot out (thinking themselves oh-so-wise) is the, "There are murderers and rapists walking the streets!...That's much worse than killing a few dogs! So he should be let free too!"

Okay, so apparently Michael Vick isn't the only idiot out there.

Morons...can't you see how absolutely idiotic that argument is? First of all, yes, murder and rape of another human being is worse. Yes. But I'd venture to guess that in almost all the cases of these "alleged murderers and rapists" walking free they didn't CONFESS to their respective crimes. So there's that. Have these defenders forgotten the confession Michael Vick made, I wonder?

Second, in most cases of "murderers and rapists" walking free there were major problems in the cases against these people. The cases weren't airtight and so some bad person got off. Apparently not so with Mr. Vick. Apparently the prosecutors had quite a bit of evidence against him. So much so that HE CONFESSED TO EVERYTHING!!!!

Third, there's an old saying that two wrongs don't make a right. It applies here. If the defenders had it their way--rightfully placing "murder" at the top of the "bad things criminals do" list--no one would serve any jail time. Because if you say Michael Vick should go free because what he did wasn't as bad as what the "free murderers" did, then anyone committing ANY crime should also be let go according to that argument.

EVEN IF THEY CONFESSED TO THE CRIME APPARENTLY!!!

You idiots out there do realize that Mr. Vick confessed to this, right? Confessed to organizing dogfighting and viciously butchering animals.

It really disturbs me, though, when Vick's defenders try and make it an issue of race. What the hell's up with that? His being black has nothing to do with his abuse of animals. His idiocy does.

Spoiled athlete? Poor upbringing? Lack of guidance?...

Sure. Perhaps. A strong possibility.

Idiot?

Yes. Most definitely. I think the case against him on that is even more airtight than the dogfighting charges.

On a different note!...

I'll be shilling my goods this weekend at the upcoming Baltimore Comic-Con. http://www.comicon.com/baltimore

It's a grand event and in addition to selling my goodies I've also been invited to present two awards at the annual Harvey Awards dinner and banquet being held Saturday night. So spread the word! And make your travel arrangements right now!

Right now I said. GO!

Word.

r

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