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Toonhound presents...






British Comic Strips
  "The Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid - Volume One"  coming very soon from Egmont Publishing!

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  The Adventures
    of Julius Chancer:

The Rainbow Orchid
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        artist/creator: Garen Ewing

     1st appearance: Imagineers #3
                              Spring 1999


   Julius Chancer is a tenacious and adventurous young man.
He's the able
    assistant to historical researcher Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey, and in this, his
    first globetrotting period romp, he embarks on a quest to find the mythical
    Rainbow Orchid. This priceless flower, referenced by the ancient Greek
    philosopher and botanist Theophrastus, is the subject of a sizable
    wager between Lord Reginald Lawrence and his scheming
    Urkaz Grope. Lord Lawrence will lose his fortune and titles, unless Julius
    can save the day. And to do this, our hero must travel from Blighty
    to France, before heading to Karachi and the mystical Indus Valley, with
    Eveyln Crow - Grope's hired muscle - hot on his heels with her cronies.

    Fortunately, our young adventurer has some friends of his own on hand
    to help thwart his pursuers
, in the shape of Lord Lawrence's actress
    daughter Lily Lawrence, her American agent Nathaniel Crumpole, and
    Tayaut, a loop-the-looping French stunt-pilot. But who will get to the
    Rainbow Orchid first. And does it even exist at all...?

    The next time you hear someone announce that they don't make 'em like
    they used to, you can tell them they most certainly do. And you can hand
    them this fantastic, frenetic three-part adventure as proof. The Rainbow Orchid
    promises barnstorming thrills and rough-and-tumble delights. And it delivers
    on them, in spades. Garen Ewing's artwork takes its cue from the ligne claire or
    clear-line style that's so prevalent on the continent (see the cinebooks range
    for more). Think Herge or Edgar P Jacobs, if you like, for their creations are
    the ones best known to a general readership in the UK. But Garen's
    creation is absolutely not a cuckoo. His plot has it's own tangling complexity,
    his characters have their own unique nuance. There's an awful lot happening
    on each page, right down to the colour palette, which was originally based
    on a precise period paint range. The strip is infused with similar period
    detail - it's there in Lilly's theatrical film posters and photo assignments,
    in the Russian flyers, the clothes, the cars, the fonts and shop livery -
    clearly, the author has spent time researching this thing, and by golly,
    it's paid off...

    Over the rainbow
    Most folks will get their first taste of this grand adventure via the glossy
    volumes currently being published by Egmont, but the strip has actually
    been in development for the best part of twelve years. Garen began
    working on it way back in 1997. The first three pages subsequently
    made their printed premier in Spring 1999, in Cherokee Comics' small
    press magazine, "Imagineers". And from there - well - Garen has put
    together a very handy timeline of events on his web site, detailing
    the strip's appearances in BAM! magazine, etc., as well as the special
    stand-alone publications he's put together over the years...

    Actually, Garen's web site has proven to be a very handy tool for
    him, acting as an online hub for news and info on the strip's development
    during it's protracted birth and gestation. Prior to his deal with Egmont,
    Garen presented his magnum opus on there, for the world to read - in
    black and white, at first, before he dipped it in all that magnificent
    rainbow colour.

    "The Rainbow Orchid" collector's edition from 2008
    A very special Orchid

    Now here's something super rare and collectable. It's a special edition
    hardback of part one that Garen put together in November 2007, prior to
    his Egmont deal. Each copy was signed and sketched in, and the run
    was restricted to just 52 desirable editions. These are rarer than orchids,
    they really are...

    As for that Egmont deal, well, they are releasing The Rainbow Orchid
    in three volumes. The first was published in August 2009, and part two
    followed in 2010. Part three, and a final collected edition featuring all
    three cliffhanging volumes are coming very soon.

    Garen has more adventures planned for Mr Chancer, of course, and when
    these come to fruition, this here Toonhound entry will be re-titled and
    updated accordingly. But for now, Julius and Garen have quite enough
    to contend with, as they unravel the mysteries of that fiendishly
    unobtainable orchid!


    Orchid prequels

    Garen has also put together two Rainbow Orchid short stories you might
    want to track down:

    The Girdle of Polly Hipple
    published in Twelve (an anthology) / Accent UK / May 2005

    This anthology includes a four-page tale which details the very first
    reporting job of William Pickle...

    The Sword of Truth
    published in The Girly Comic #5 / Factor Fiction Press / May 2004

    In Garen's six-page contribution, two actors struggle for Lily Lawrence's
    affections as she makes her first stage appearance...


    Get reading!
    The Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid v.1
    Egmont Books / August 2009 

    The Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid v.2
    Egmont Books / July 2010 

    The Adventures of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchid v.3

    Egmont Books / September 2011


     On the web

The Rainbow Orchid

     Garen's official site, with stacks of info about the strip, its development,
     extra notes, a web store with signed editions and prints, downloads
     and much, much more...

     Garen's UK publishers...

     An excellent interview by comic compatriot David O'Connell...

      index »    previous »   next »

© Garen Ewing / F2011