Volume one has two new pages in the form of extended scenes. These are the chase along the dock from the banana warehouse, and the take-off of the Breguet that ends the chapter. As soon as I had finished that take-off scene originally (back in September 2003), I knew it needed to be longer, but it was a case of having to get the comic off to the printer in time for the London comic show that year, and I was just about to shoot off for a holiday in France. It's great to finally get what I actually wanted down on paper. Here's a couple of small panels from each of those scenes to whet your appetite.
To answer the main question, The Rainbow Orchid (volume one) should be out in August 2009, and I will confirm that as soon as I'm able. Having now completed the 're-mastering' (for want of a better term), today and tomorrow I will be conjuring up some artwork for the extra pages in the book - it should be a very nice little package when all put together.
Going back to the Breguet, you may remember that my good friend Harvey put his considerable skills into making a balsa wood model of this scarce aircraft, which made the new drawings I had to do far less of a technical challenge (though drawing cars, boats and planes will never be easy!). This, in turn, inspired long-time Rainbow Orchid supporter, Linda Wada, to have a go at making her own out of cardboard (see below). Note the fact that Linda included the characters in the plane! I'm really impressed with the detail she put into these - fabulous work. Linda is the author of a wonderful book on Edna Purviance, and you can see some of her Orchid drawings in the Readers' Corner.
I will end here with the panel that closes volume one - same as the original, except now in the form of a half page splash rather than the single-tier panel it was before.
I've absolutely loved it - it started out jokey and a bit zany, and then grew darker and zanier. It's been a treasure trove of imagination, style and story. It needs to be a book! See the full archive here, and thanks for a wonderful story, Darryl.
Despite that, and the biting cold of the last few days, today the sun is out, and the air is chilly but refreshingly crisp, so the windows are open and I'm getting some life back into me. I'm currently working in super-time on the continued re-mastering of The Rainbow Orchid, the example below now including the correct uniforms for soldiers of the 60th Foot in the Afghan campaign of 1880.
Just time for one quick link at the moment, pointing you in the direction of Paul H. Birch's Speech Balloons column for the Birmingham Mail. Last week he posted my most recent Christmas card, a little strip for the Twelve Days of Christmas.