"The Rainbow Orchid" is a comic written and drawn by Garen Ewing, the first of a series of Julius Chancer books. It is set in the 1920s and follows Chancer's expedition to discover the mythical 'Rainbow Orchid'. Starting in England, the adventure takes the characters first to France, then Karachi in India and into the Indus Valley. It is drawn in the ligne claire style and published in English by Egmont, in Dutch by Silvester Strips, in French by BD Must Editions, in Spanish by NetCom2 Editorial, and in German by Salleck Publications.
In this spectacular epic featuring story, the hero "Julius Chancer", the adventurous assistant to historical researcher "Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey" embarks on a hazardous quest for the legendary, rainbow orchid, a mythical flower steeped in legend that was last mentioned by the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus. A genial British lord has inadvertently gambled his family legacy against a sinister flower collector, and Chancer needs to bail him out.
Julius' epic journey takes him from 1920s Britain to the Indian subcontinent and its mysterious lost valleys. He scampers about the English landscape with an equally fearless actress in tow. The action, the old-fashioned scenery, the clear line drawing - everything is praisworthy and wonderful. It's nice to see a comic steeped in the 20s or 30s, without computers or superpowers, and the story was compelling. The art is extremely reminiscent of the Tintin volumes, as it captures that same charming air of innocence.
This story grabbed me from the first pages, and held my attention with plenty of chuckles and grimaces all the way to the end. If anything, this volume is too short, and may be a tiny bit juvenile, but that doesn't make it any less fun.
The author/artist did remarkable job of creating a fun and engaging story within this genre. The attention to detail is visible everywhere and the book is a pleasure to read. The only critique I might have about the lettering - it isn't done by hand. But I doubt most will notice this, and I certainly stopped noticing it after a few panels.I just wish it hadn't ended so quickly! If you love Tintin, you'll adore Julius Chancer.
Who is Garen Ewing?
Garen Ewing (born 1969, England) is an illustrator, designer and most notably a comic creator, being the writer and illustrator of "The Adventures of Julius Chancer - The Rainbow Orchid". As an aside, Ewing is a part-time researcher and writer on the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-80) - he was interviewed on BBC Radio for 'Making History' program in this capacity in October 2004.
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, an airport hotel, a software company and doing loads and loads of illustrations for books, magazines, T-shirts, theaters and newspapers.
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).
Read here one of the adventures of Julius Chancer.