3 Geeks Is Awesome

I mentioned last week how much I like Rich Koslowski‘s 3 Geeks comic which got me thinking that I should read the two trades I have here in New York and give you guys a review. Unfortunately, I have a much bigger 3 Geeks collection back home which, I think, includes all 11 issues from the self-published 3 Finger Prints run and most-if-not-all of the 3 Finger Prints/Image Geeksville issues. As far as I know, I haven’t read any of the one-shots and I had no idea there was a three issue miniseries this year called Slab Madness, so I’m hoping for another trade with all of that stuff in it at some point, but I’ll work with what I’ve got here.

3 Geeks follows three comic-loving friends and their misadventures when it comes to that love. You’ve got Allen, the chubby completist who insists on talking like Thor, Jim the squinty Punisher fan and Keith the most normal and democratic of the bunch. You get all their thoughts on collecting and whatnot, but Koslowski doesn’t use actual names, which can be a little annoying, like called Stan “The Man” Lee, “The Man” Stan.

THE 3 GEEKS: GOING TO THE CON (3 Finger Press)
Written & drawn by Rich Koslowski
Like I mentioned in my previous post I actually read these three issues in issue form on my way home from a comic convention in my younger days. I’m sure it hit home then, as I distinctly remember taking a box of comics to get signed by John Byrne only to discover that his line was huge, he had a limit of 3 or 5 books and he charged (I think). That’s when the illusion started to break as you can see it doing in this comic. It’s the guys’ first trip to a big con. Each issue corresponds to one of the days of the show, with the first focusing on getting comics signed, the second on thrifty buying and the third for a costume contest and art auction.

If you’ve ever been to a convention anywhere other than a church basement or Holiday Inn conference room, then there has to be something you can relate to here. The disdain between Trekkies and comic fans? Yup. Stupid questions/pointless gushing at a Q&A. Paying way too much for a comic you REALLY want. Realizing it’s not as easy to break into comics as you might have expected. All of them and others are in there. Reading it again, there were plenty of experiences I could relate to on a whole different level after working at Wizard for as long as I did. The trade comes with a letter from Koslowski in the beginning and some extra pages at the very end that poke fun at trades that include a few extra pages to sucker people into buying material they already have. Heck, I even got a chuckle out of that.

THE 3 GEEKS: AN ECLECTIC POTPOURRI OF READING PLEASURE (3 Finger Prints)
Written & drawn by Rich Koslowski
The next trade covers issues 4-7 which opens up the 3 Geeks’ world a little bit more, something that Koslowski would keep doing through the rest of the series. #4 offers up a potpourri in and of itself with a Jim vs. Superheroes dream sequence, a tip to collectors on how to avoid getting your good comics thrown out by your parents and Allen dealing with the ramifications of Batman & Robin. There’s also an issue where Keith and the guys go to a party at his cousin’s house, a look at their comic book club and Jim and Keith teaming up to get a confiscated comic back from a vengeful teacher.

I like all the stories herein, but I personally love getting a look at Allen’s comic book man cave in #6 (it truly is a glorious thing) and watching the action-packed shenanigans go down as Jim shows Keith his secret headquarters inside the school in order to get the comic book back. Again, I can’t recommend this trade or the other one more than I do. You will not be disappointed. I was lucky enough to get these two trades off of SequentialSwap and I think they’re sold out on Koslowski’s website,  but I think you can still get them on Amazon. I’m looking to add the other two existing trades to my collection, like When The Hammer Falls (which collects 7-11) and The Geeksville Years (collects the 3 Finger Prints/Image stuff). So if you’re looking for a Christmas present for me, those would be great.

JIM’S JERKY (3 Finger Prints)
Written & drawn by Rich Koslowski
I guess I misspoke a bit earlier when I said I hadn’t read any of the one-shots because I have indeed read this mini-comic that Rickey picked up for me in one of his many trips to cons. This roughly 3×3 comic from 2006 actually came with a little bagged piece of jerky that I ate about a year later and wasn’t so good. Unlike the jerky, though, this comic is great. It picks up pretty soon after Geeksville, which ended in 2001. Luckily, since I had forgotten a lot of stuff, there’s a pretty great catch-up page on the inside cover that gave me everything I needed to know to follow this story about Keith assisting Jim in his endeavor to beef up (heh) the butcher shop’s menu. It reminded me of the last story from the previous trade with all of Jim’s wheeling and dealings, but in a good way. Like I said, I hope Koslowski collects this along with the one-shots like the original 3 Geeks story How To Pick Up Girls If You’re A Comic Geek, Full Circle, the Swimsuit Special and the three issue Slab Madness series. I need those in my life!

In closing, here’s a rad sketch that Rich Koslowski did for me at, I believe, the 2000 Mid Ohio Co. I’m not sure why I had him do Allen as he annoys me (like he does the guys in the book). I probably just freaked out and named the first Geek that came to mind. Maybe next time I’ll get him to add one of the Geeks to my fledgling Green Lantern sketchbook.

The 3 Geeks’ Allen by Rich Koslowski (2000)