By Alex Ness
November 13, 2023
FIRST A REVIEW
By Rich Koslowski
208 Pages, full color
Top Shelf Productions
It would be fair to say that Rich Koslowski doesn't write and illustrate stories like other creative talents. His art is distinct from other artists, but his writing is what gives the reader a different perspective and quality story. He is bright and able but more than just that, he has an outlook that draws upon the inner workings of a person of fame, and asks questions that any normal person would ask.
In his book The King he asked what the power of celebrity could lead to, and in particular, should a talent seem to be Elvis returned in the flesh, would he be treated as a celebrity, or with apt caution, assume it is a person performing in character, but by no means the impersonated celebrity. His work Three Fingers asks if Mickey Mouse could find himself depressed, unemployable, and drinking to forget what his celebrity caused him to do.
In F.A.R.M. System Rich asks important specific questions... if superheroes were real, how would they behave, how would they become famous, how might they use their fame for gain, or for others. In this work, the consequences of talents and heroism don't always lead to being a successful superhero. The idea might have been approached before, as to real world consequences and practices of a world with superheroes, but Rich makes the story an entertaining ride, with quirks and admirable efforts to make this work unique, intelligently done and worth the money.
I didn't find any notable flaws, the art was nice to look at, and the story was well done. Review grade B+/A-
NEXT A KICKSTARTER
MERCY by Rich Koslowski
"Hello everyone! It's your old pal, Rich Koslowski here! I have a brand spankin' new project I'm really excited about. Listen, I love MONSTERS! I love Horror movies and horror novels and horror comics! I also love creating and self-publishing. Therefore, I have written and illustrated my very own Illustrated Horror Novel and have decided to launch this baby on Kickstarter!
Now, let's dive right in here with a brief description of the story and all the other pertinents...
THE BOOK (as seen below being read by the Zealot):
In a universe of monsters, a hospital and its monstrous staff finds themselves swept up in a crime investigation after multiple staff members are found murdered eighteen years after a human may or may not have suddenly entered their world through a portal.
Detectives Rozanski (a Fire Demon) and Carl Woodrow (a Sasquatch) are hot on the trail of this serial killer and the insane possibility that a mythical "human" may be their culprit! Will they find the murderer before he escapes through the portal and destroys both the monster's and the human's worlds?
Mercy is a 244 page Illustrated Horror Novel, filled with 71 full-color and B&W illustrations. Mercy is filled with Horror, Intrigue, Mystery, Murder and a healthy dose of Humor!
'A spooky and fun story that reminds audiences of Halloweentown layered on top of a complex and mature crime thriller reminiscent of NCIS or The Exorcist III, this novel successfully embraces its inventive premise while offering up an ensemble of monstrous characters that appeal to a wide range of readers.'
––Jon Knecht, World Builder Entertainment"
I met Rich at a convention in Minnesota in 2006 and interviewed him shortly thereafter. We became friends, which led to his being one of the artists who worked on my first book with my name on the cover, A LIFE OF RAVENS. He did a wonderful piece, and his presence on the book helped it in many ways. Shortly thereafter we were tabled next to each other at Oconocon, a smaller con at a nice venue in Southern Wisconsin. It was fun to chat with him. While he escaped to California with his wife and child, he has since returned. Perhaps I'll get a chance to interview him, but more than that, I wanted to say, whenever I see his name on a project, I know it means it will be good.
Find Rich at his website.
CONTACTING ME FOR REVIEWS OR OTHERWISE
I can be found on Facebook, Twitter or through email Alexanderness63@gmail.com. I accept hard copies, so when you inquire at any of these places, I'll follow through by telling you my street address.If you send hard copies for review I will try to always review them, but if you prefer to send pdf or ebooks to my email, I will review these at my discretion. I don't share my pdf/ebooks, so you can avoid worry that I'd dispense them for free to others.
My Creative Blogs:
5k poem blog AlexNessPoetry.Blogspot.Com
Published works AlexNessPoetry.Blogspot.Com/2007/01/My-Work.html
All images are copyright © their respective owners, use is simply as fair use and no ownership rights asserted.