They always tell authors to write about things that they know. And in Johnny Graphic’s case, one of the personal interests I give him relates to an old, beloved hobby of mine: Photography.
I’ve been a dedicated lensman since I was a kid. I started out with a hand-me-down Kodak box camera (that took dreadful, fuzzy pictures). Then I received the Christmas gift of a pretty good 35mm camera. Since then I’ve owned dozens of cameras. I’ve taken tens of thousands of pictures and sold quite a few of them for magazines, newspapers, books, and advertising. I’ve put on half a dozen photo shows in art galleries.
So when I started writing down who Johnny was, I wanted him to be a real camera nerd. Not only a very precocious news photographer, but a kid who absolutely loves his gear. His Zoom 4×5 press camera is based on the famous Speed Graphic camera that you’ve probably seen in movies. Johnny’s wielding that camera on the cover of the book. It’s a great weapon, too.
In his next adventure, Johnny Graphic and the Zombie Plague, he’s moved on to a smaller, quicker camera, a twin-lens reflex that I call a Ritterflex. This is kind of what it looks like.
The Ritterflex is a lot smaller than the Zoom and it has the huge advantage of giving Johnny the ability to shoot 12 photos before reloading new film, instead of just two. It will be a boon to him as he’s hunting bog zombies in the northern part of the Royal Kingdom.
For the third book (still without a title), Johnny will be using a 35mm camera something like the old-style Leica rangefinder, which will give him even more flexibility and mobility–and let him shoot 36 pictures without reloading. This model is the Leica IIIg.
And if Johnny should live to a ripe old age, he’ll have more great 35mm cameras and digital cameras to look forward to.