More books by Garen Ewing
PublisherEgmont Childrens Books
Publication date4th August 2009
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The Rainbow Orchid: The Adventures of Julius Chancer - Vol One
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Julia Eccleshare's comment:
The Rainbow Orchid is an ambitious blend of classic storytelling and cinematic artwork in which adventure, historical drama and legend are seamlessly intertwined. If you like your comics full of mystery and adventure and you love the worlds of H. Rider Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Edgar P. Jacobs and Hergé, then you'll love this. The Rainbow Orchid is traditional adventure at its best. It will be enjoyed immensely by readers of all ages and both sexes.
The Rainbow Orchid began life as a web comic and is now one of the most acclaimed online comics ever. It first appeared online in 2002 and has since had millions of hits. The Rainbow Orchid story will publish in three volumes beginning with this one. Volume 2 was published in 2010 with Volume 3 to follow.
Who is Julia Eccleshare ?
SynopsisThe Rainbow Orchid: The Adventures of Julius Chancer - Vol One by Garen Ewing
Julius Chancer embarks on a hazardous quest for the rainbow orchid - a mythical flower last mentioned by the ancient Greek philosopher, Theophrastus, and steeped in legend. His epic journey takes him from 1920s Britain to the Indian subcontinent and its mysterious lost valleys.
"Tightly-plotted, well-researched and beautifully drawn, this book is a real delight. Garen Ewing's mix of engaging characters, exciting old-school adventure, attractive ligne claire artwork and fluid storytelling makes The Rainbow Orchid easily one of the best graphic novels of the year." - Bryan Talbot
“The art is wonderfully attractive but what impressed me the most was the slow-burning, exquisitely constructed plot." - Comics International No. 166
“Garen Ewing captures the spirit of classic Tintin, but provides a deeper story with broader influences and a memorable cast. Supremely realised..." - Comics International No. 171
"The story is a thoroughly charming slice of nostalgia-tinged British adventurism. The dialogue sparkles, a mix of equal parts Boys Own romp, literary and mythological allusion and surprisingly well-researched botany. The characters are vibrant and thoroughly likeable... his art is a fluid blend of intricately observed detail and perfect, pared-down cartooning." - Unified Review Theory
"The plot is like a Faberge Egg, beautiful to behold even at the most superficial glance, but so exquisitely intricate that the closer you look the more you see."
- Silver Bullet Comics
"The characters are real, the setting is authentic, and this opening chapter hints at many plot strands. It's got depth, charm and real polish." - The Review Sheet
"I fell in love with The Rainbow Orchid from the very first page. Garen Ewing's wonderful artwork blends elegantly realised period detail with fresh and utterly charming cartooning, while his apparently effortless grasp of storytelling keeps the reader enthralled in this thrillingly grounded-yet-fantastic tale. This comic manages to simultaneously evoke nostalgia for long childhood afternoons spent poring over Tintin volumes, and huge excitement for the future of British comics."
- Neill Cameron
"A cracking adventure tale set in the 1920's with exquisitely drawn period detail, a book bursting with surprises and brilliant characters... what more could any reader want?" - Sarah McIntyre
"When I discovered Rainbow Orchid online I was immediately transported back to the rainy Saturday afternoons of my childhood, sitting by the radiator reading my favourite comics with a cup of cocoa. Garen Ewing has that kind of magic touch, and as soon as I get my hands on the collection, I'll be putting a saucepan of milk on the stove and hoping for rain..." - Richard Starkings
About The Author
Garen's love of drawing and writing goes back to when he was very young, and had to spend a lot of time in hospital, so his mum supplied him with plenty of comics to read, and pencils and blank paper to draw with, and he's been making comics ever since! Other jobs have included working at a mushroom farm (he's a qualified fork-lift truck driver), an airport hotel, a computer software company and doing loads and loads of illustrations for various books and magazines. He's been the editor of a local entertainments guide (5D) and a comic strip anthology (Cosmorama). He's adapted Shakespeare's The Tempest into a comic and is the writer and artist behind The Rainbow Orchid. He's an expert on the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-1880, he's half Scottish, one-sixteenth Romany Gypsy and plays bass guitar and does karate (though not at the same time).
Q&A with Garen Ewing
What age group is The Rainbow Orchid aimed at?
The only audience I've had in mind all along has been me, and I was in my late twenties when I started writing Orchid, and have continued it on and off, whenever able, throughout my thirties. Having said that, it is totally 'kid friendly' - there's no extreme violence, sex or nudity. The plot has quite a few levels to it, and there is the occassional wordy scene. I'd have loved it when I was 8, and when I was 12, and it's right up my alley as I write this in my late thirties. I get emails from 11 year olds saying they love it, and from 40-somethings saying they love it. I hear from a very pleasing mixture of both male and female readers.
Will there be more Julius Chancer adventures after The Rainbow Orchid?
I hope so. I have many story ideas bouncing around, and if The Rainbow Orchid is a success, then I would certainly like to continue his adventures. The next one already exists as a series of rough notes and a title, and takes place entirely in Britain.
Will Tintin fans enjoy Rainbow Orchid?
I wanted to invoke the atmosphere found in European adventure albums such as Hergé's Tintin' Edgar P. Jacobs' Blake & Mortimer and Yves Chaland's Freddy Lombard to name just a few. Most British readers cite Tintin because not many other ligne claire comics have made it over from France and Belgium, but it is an entire school of comic strip storytelling with many creators working in the style, just like Manga has a certain look to it, or the recent popularity of an 'animation' or Disney style in comics. The Rainbow Orchid has also been compared stylistically to Floc'h's Trilogie Anglaise or Jacob's La Marque Jaune. The better you know Tintin, the more apparent the differences, but I don't refute the similarities - it was a conscious decision.
How did Rainbow Orchid take shape as a comic strip with you?
Everyone has their own way of creating a comic strip, but this, generally speaking, is how The Rainbow Orchid takes shape...
Before I start drawing, I need a script, but before I write the script, I need a plot. Story ideas are seldom delivered fully-formed. The rough shape will come first, perhaps as a result of several months' worth of disparate ideas coming together while I'm in the shower, or perhaps because I sit down in front of a notebook with just a single scene in my head, and start conjuring up characters for it to see what they get up to. Often a bit of both.
Even then it will only be a prototype. I find my stories need a few weeks (or months) of slow cooking and problem solving before I can start outlining the plot in any detail. And that's what happens next. By now I'll have accumulated quite a few pages of notes. Handwritten jottings tend to be the work of white flashes of inspiration or some dedicated free-form thinking, but there'll also be an assortment of pages typed up on the computer featuring more solidified ideas in various stages of progress. Gradually, problems are solved and the story takes shape.
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