35MM LOVE LETTER and why this book about analog photography is entirely relevant for comics creators

Italy, 1985. 35mm photo taken by Greg Pak.

So here we are in the last 12 hours of the 35mm Love Letter campaign, and I’ve been thinking about this analog photography memoir and how-to book and why it might be relevant for my fellow comics creators and readers. And I have some big ideas!

35mm Love Letter will tell the story of how I developed (and continue to develop) my eye for images and story through analog photography. And that means the analysis of individual images in the book will be entirely relevant to anyone interested in reading or making comics.

35mm still photography is often compared to movies because of the shared aesthetics of the physical medium of film. But I’d argue that the act of capturing a story in still images with a 35mm camera is actually more akin to comics than moviemaking.

Check out the image above — a picture I took as a teenager in Italy in 1984 or so. I love this image for several reasons that relate directly to comics.

First, the framing is just great visual storytelling in a single frame — working as a wide establishing shot with the building and street in the background while also placing characters and action in the foreground that move the “story” forward.

There’s also great use of secondary figures on the left and right to fill out the scene and add dimension and character without distracting.

And finally, the motion blur from the low shutter speed on the foreground characters sells ACTION and MOVEMENT in a still image.

All of these elements work tremendously well in photography and comics. So the thousands of 35mm photographs I took over the years helped train me for comics, and all the photos I’m taking these days further develop my eye and expand my notions of what’s possible.

So yeah, I’ll be writing about this kind of stuff in the book. So if you’re interested in comics, I’ve got a strong feeling that this book will be right up your alley.

I’d be honored for you to check it out and back it. Here’s the link — thanks so much for your consideration!