Less enjoyable was Serenity, watched on DVD. I'd heard only good things about this so was disappointed to find the characters fairly clichéd action types, and a storyline where every next move was expected. I need less teeth-gritting, gun-toting characters with a dark past please. Unless done as well as Bond in Casino Royale.
"Oh and whilst I have your attention and we have been drawling on about the clean line in comics you should go and check out Garen Ewing?s amazing online comic drawn in the classic Herge style - ?The Rainbow Orchid?. This is a truly beautiful thing - a couple of parts have been self published but for now it lives online. Come on, some far sighted publisher - get this book out." - Forbidden Planet
"All comparisons to TinTin aside (I never did like TinTin), this is a deliberately paced but strangely engaging comic strip with a style that's fairly unique (amongst webcomics anyhow). The art isn't to my taste, but some of the panels are very striking, and it has some pretty good dialogue. I was surprised that I liked it, as its not what I would seek out at all, but the author really knows what he's doing. Check it out." - deviantArt
"Like a cross between Tin-Tin and Dick Tracy. Such a fun read!" - blogspot
"Ran across an online comic whose story arc I wish was published in its entirety already, but for the present is only readable online. Garen Ewing, the author, is from the same general ?clean line? school of illustrators that Tintin?s creator (Herge) was part of, so it looks very similar. In addition, it has the same sort of great plot and characterization that Tintin had. The first section of it was published, but was quickly sold out, and you can?t even find it on eBay. Sometime in the next year or so I expect the entire story to be sold in a single book, and that will be a good day." - blog
"I've recently discovered a comic that is like grown-up Tintin, the story is more cliffhanger than mystery but it does have a mysterious evil mastermind... It's really one of the best wecomics I've read, I can't recommend it enough." - blogspot
"The Rainbow Orchid is sort of a neat comic. Very skillfully drawn at the very least. In the sort of European style that most of us American types would probably recognize as "Tintin-like", and an adventurey type story that takes place in the 20s. I just wish the one American wasn't a loudmouth bumbling idjit. In my present state of mind, it makes me feel bad for daring to have been born and raised in this country." - livejournal
"The Rainbow Orchid - it's the most impressive comic that I've discovered this year. I want it in book format."
"...my vote goes to The Rainbow Orchid, but that's because I'm a HUGE fan of the European white line inaugurated by Hergé." - comixpedia
"Today I found a webcomic that I liked so much, that I want to share the link. I read it all in one sitting and I felt sorry when I reached the last panel, now I can't wait for more. It's one of the very few webcomics that I'd love to have in book format. I wasn't too sure about sharing the link here instead of just adding it to the links page, because the comic is very different from mine and you may just not like the genre - but I'm sure that at least my friends back in Rome will love it, so there, I'll rave for their benefit at least! The art is old-fashioned and clean, very much to my taste. It's like I'd like to draw if I was better at it. Some panels made me hold my breath when I first saw them, like this view of the National History Museum in London, or this crash-landing. I love the script as well. It's a good old cliffhanger story, with evil masterminds and daft American sidekicks (all self-respecting British authors use daft American sidekicks) and it's filled with funny moments, like this dialogue on a plane - I love the pilot's lines in the second panel. Bohoo, I can't wait for the next episodes now!" - The Noob
"Fantastic tale and great art! Wow... now, this is some mighty fine artwork! Not just as webcomics go, but as comics go in general!" - stumbleupon
"It's REALLY good - high adventure in the 1920's in the mold of Around the World in 80 Days or Gunga Din. The art is quite fantastic as well. I read all 193 strips in the last day or so and now I'm dying for the next one." - 606studios
"The rainbow orchid is very awesome. it's a tintin-like adventure. The art's a bit richer in detail tho, which i like." - Neil Gaiman board
"A few weeks ago I happened upon a web site containing an online comic strip titled "The Rainbow Orchid". There are 200 strips at present with most of them colorized. I found it to be very well done. It's an old fashioned comic-story based in the 1920's and reads like a good adventure and mystery story should. It revolves around a gentlemen's agreement (drunken wager), an orchid competition, and a search for a mythological orchid. It is in the style of "Tintin" or "Blake and Mortimer". I'm hooked and can't wait for more installments. The author is Garen Ewing, and I find him remarkably talented as a storywriter and illustrator." - orchidtalk
"Kurtz put up a link to a comic the other day called The Rainbow Orchid. I am in love with it. Great characters (except, perhaps, for the annoying American) and a good story. And I already dig on the time period/genre. The art style is definitely interesting, too. " - geekpreserve
"One absolutely fantastic comic is in the ligne-claire style, and has the critics raving. It is absolutely brilliant. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. It is set in the 1920s England and is about intrigue, adventure, and treasure. It is called 'The rainbow orchid' and is by the up and coming British artist, Garen Erwing [sic]. It is only the first in a series of new adventures, that could well become the modern Asterix or Tintin." - comedix
"I jeszcze jeden, troch? mniej znany - bardziej na powa?nie, ale te? bardzo fajny - szczególnie dla mi?o?ników Indiany Jonesa itp. " - bissel
"The most unique comic on the web." - dracondev
Think I'd better stop there! Apologies for the over-indulgence, sometimes you need it.
I love doing girls' comics and once submitted a sample page to Bunty after they expressed an interest. Things were looking good... until the comic folded. And 'Kick Like a Girl' for 'Sunny For Girls' was enormous fun. Rainbow Orchid has a surprising number of female readers (of all ages), and that is terrifically gratifying.
Highlights included the taiko drummers (a form that swept me off my feet at the Japan Expo in L.A in 1985), the vacuum-tube bass sounds provided by Mixed Up (a troupe who bashed kitchen sinks and shopping trolleys), Sur-Taal (sitar, and I love the sound of a drone), and the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra who really stood out. The evening ended with Land of Hope and Glory and flag-waving, not my strong-point, but I joined in, of course.
And while I'm on the subject of this type of book, also very funny is Smackheads Don't Get Fat. If you need one of those books for the bathroom 'library', the more liberally-minded waiting room, or for that extra Christmas pressie, then this is the answer. Written by a friend, but genuinely made me laugh out loud.
Today I will write a little of my gg-uncle Walter Cameron, who served in the Scots Guards in France.
Walter was born in Glasgow in 1891, and by the time the Great War broke out, he was working as a carter in Dundee (his family had moved there when he was 8 or 9 years old). In January 1915 he joined the Scots Guards, and was sent to France to join the 2nd Battalion in late October. The next few months saw him in the trenches around Ypres until July 1916 when the Guards Division was moved towards the Somme. On the 10th September his battalion was sent to Bernafay Wood and Ginchy where they assisted in the capture of the orchard and took over 70 German prisoners after advancing through shelling and machine-gun fire. It was most likely in this action that Walter was wounded by a gun shot to the chest and shoulder, and was sent back as a casualty. Walter was back in England a month and a half later, and served with the 3rd Battalion until he was finally discharged in London in February 1919. In September 1918 he had married a Brighton girl, Louise Miller.
Walter had never liked the fact that he didn't have a middle name (as most of his brothers and sisters did), as it meant his initials were W.C. His marriage certificate displays the mysterious appearance of the middle name of 'Ronald', the only time it was ever used. My great-uncle Peter told me that in his later years, Walter kept a secret whiskey bottle in the garden shed, where he would escape to when Lu got on his nerves a little too much! Walter and Lu never had any children, and Walter died in 1971, aged 80.
Of Walter's brothers, Peter (my g-grandfather) and David Cameron served as drivers in the Royal Army Service Corps, while Robert Cameron served in the Army Medical Corps - probably also as a driver (ambulance) - and was taken a prisoner by the Germans.