Comic creator Garen Ewing was mixing with other British artists and writers at top London bookshop Foyles on Monday night to celebrate the launch of the first volume of his three-part adventure story, Rainbow Orchid.
An original, award-winning 1920's mystery tale of Julius Chancer's search for a mythical flower mentioned by the Greek philosopher and botanist, Theophrastus, the first part of Rainbow Orchid has just been published in full colour in a stunning edition by Egmont Books and is available now in all good bookshops.
Initially published in Jason Cobley's Bulldog Adventure Magazine, the first chapter was then published as a small press book, before gravitating onto the web, where it picked up a considerable following.
Rainbow Orchid is very much in the spirit of European adventure stories, with Herge's Tintin a major influence, so, as Ben Dickson points out in his interview with Garen Ewing for the new digital edition of Redeye magazine, to find itself at Tintin’s English language publishing house is a major coup, and a clear indication of the story’s quality.
Welcoming the book's publication, Garen, who admitted he was initially wary of working with a big company on the collection, enthused about Egmont's commitment and support for his work, which sees the first volume of the story on sale now and will be followed by the second chapter early next year.
The first volume is a sumptuous re-packaging of the initial story, a version which Garen has spent some time "cleaning up" for this edition - including re-lettering the balloons and some artwork changes. The colour work throughout is simply gorgeous, lifting further Garen's finely-honed, detailed inks, his technical skill never detracting from the skilled storytelling as Chancer and gang in planes, trains and beautifully-realized 1920s automobiles.
With a complex, intelligent but far from bewildering script and a cast that includes adventerers, film stars, a femme fatale and scheming masterminds, it's great to see a title as enjoyable and finely-crafted tale as Rainbow Orchid leap from digital media back to the printed page in such style.
Roll on 2010 for Volume Two!
• Pictures from the event by Tripwire editor Joel Meadows to follow!
• Official web site: www.garenewing.co.uk/rainboworchid
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