Incredible find in a random drawer of my maternal grandfather’s stuff: a roll of unexposed Kodak Ektachrome E135 slide film from the late 1950s.
Gonna have to research how to expose this and figure out something special to shoot with it. There’s a piece of masking tape on the can marked “ASA 32.” If I did the typical thing of overexposing a stop per decade, I’d have to shoot it at ASA 1/2, ha ha!
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!
Hey, friends! Hope you’re all doing well as the year closes out, and huge thanks to everyone who’s supported my latest crowdfunded project — 35mm Love Letter, a memoir and guide to the glories of analog film photography!
So with just four days left in the 35MMLL campaign, I have a big stretch goal I’m thrilled to share today! If we hit 200 backers before 11:59 pm PST this Friday night, I’ll organize and deliver a live, 90 minute online class in analog photography for all backers in 2023! It’ll be a fun, lively, practical deep dive into the basics of analog photography from both a technical and creative perspective and we’ll have plenty of time for questions.
Of course, folks who want an even deeper educational experience should definitely sign up for the three session online photography class reward — that will be much more personalized and intense in a great way, with plenty of time for students to go shoot and come back with photographs for individual feedback. So please do check it out!
But if we hit 200 backers, EVERY backer can get a fantastic, fun introduction in a single online class to everything you need to know to get started with analog photography!
If this sounds cool to you, please do feel free to back the campaign today! And please do feel free to share the campaign with your friends in these last few days and encourage them to back at any level! Here’s that handy link:
Hey, friends! I am absolutely thrilled to reveal a brand new passion project — 35mm Love Letter, a memoir and guide to the glories of analog film photography!
Like my previous how-to book Cooking Will Break Your Heart, 35mm Love Letter will be packed with incredibly practical information about a subject near and dear to my heart — and it’ll be a tribute to another aspect of my brilliant mother, Jane Pak.
My mother was an incredible amateur photographer who took hundreds of luminous black and white photos of her family and community when I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. She taught me how to shoot and develop black and white film and gave me her Canon FTb when I was in high school, and photography became a huge part of my life. I started shooting film again after my mom died in 2021, and I do not exaggerate when I say that analog photography helped save my heart and soul this year.
So 35mm Love Letter is exactly what it says on the tin — a love letter to analog photography, celebrating both its glorious aesthetic look and feel and the slower but creatively inspiring process that it requires.
If you’re already an analog photographer who wants a little fellowship and inspiration from another shooter, this book is for you!
And if you just love a good story and want to know how film photography and the ethos of quiet observation taught by Jane Pak has guided the life of her son, this book is for you!
Please do check it out and back the project today! In addition to the digital how-to book itself, you can order physical copies of some of my previous books, or even pick up a vintage 35mm camera cleaned and tested by yours truly, or sign up for a three session online photography class!
Thank you so much as always for your interest and support. I literally could not make these projects without you, and I appreciate you so much.
I leave you with just a taste of some of the photos from the past four decades that may make their way into the book.
Writer of over 500 comic books, including PLANET HULK, MECH CADET YU, FIREFLY, and DARTH VADER