Thursday, May 1, 2014

Three Fingers - Written and Illustrated by Rich Koslowski

Comic fanboys across the intertubes are straight trippin'.

Comixology's decision to do away with in-app purchases on iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone, iPad mini, and the iToilet (after their recent acquisition by Amazon) has the digital fanboys in a tizzy.  I personally think it's a shame because those are the devices I use even though I have a Kindle Fire HD available to me.  I just don't use that Kindle Fire HD because it's clunky as hell, and the iPad puts it to shame, straight up.  There's really no competition in my mind between the two devices or any other tablet I've experienced.  Apple products just work like I want them to, without hassles or crashes.

I prefer iOS,  I prefer Apple products in general, and I will never, ever buy another PC.  Guess that makes me a Mac fanboy.  Whatever.  I'm fine with that.  Debate it amongst yourselves without me, I've got comics to read.

Back on topic!

ADD is a real thing, people, sorry.

So while everyone else is busy complaining, and posting their angry see-ya-later's to Comixology's Facebook page, I took the 5 bucks they credited to every customer's account ("to help ease the transition") and bought something nice for myself... for free.  I highly recommend it.

I had heard the guys on the 11 o'clock Comics podcast talk about Three Fingers by Rich Koslowski a week or so ago and it sounded very interesting.  I'd never seen any of Koslowski's art or read any of his work, so I made a note to check it out.  And I'm glad I took the chance and did.

Personally, some "underground" or "indy" comics can be pretty hard for me to get into.  I'm not an exclusive capes & cowls comic reader by any means, but some autobiographical comics make me want to implode into a depression ball just like the ones their authors seem to live in.  I say this fully aware that I'm a Harvey Pekar fan.  I'm complicated.  I have layers.  I'm a big ole onion.

So anyway, I decided to spend that free money Comixology ponied up on Koslowski's Three Fingers, using up every penny except one, for what turned out to be 134 pages of genuine comic book genius.  For $4.99 this is a no-brainer.  This needs to be read, and at that price you're just silly for not having it on your digital bookshelf.

The premise is simple, it's written and drawn in a documentary style that is very familiar if you're a fan of that particular film genre.  Think pastiche, not parody.  Most of the story, which basically skirts around a mystery of sorts, is told as characters answer unheard questions from an "off screen" interviewer.  This mystery is the origin of why most popular cartoon characters only have three fingers and a thumb.  And it's completely, totally fascinating to watch the story unfold in this book.  It really is engrossing, and should cause you to ease through it in one enjoyable sitting just like I did.  Me, Saturday morning, a great graphic novel like Three Fingers, and a big cup of good coffee.  Nothing better.

Koslowski's art style for this particular book is pitch perfect, riding the line between cartoony and a more realistic style.  It's cartoons imagined as real people, without makeup, showing all their age after a long career in Hollywood, and all their insecurities and foibles.  And again, these characters are the ones spinning the tale for our entertainment through first-hand recollections.

After reading this book, there is absolutely nothing you can do to keep me away from rushing right out and experiencing more from Rich Koslowski.  You should follow suit.