As it currently stands, September is the correct publication date for volume 3. Yes, that's a long way off, and yes, I know for much of 2009 I have been telling people it was to be April or May. So why has the date changed? It's simply because I have taken longer on volume 3 than expected - the script took longer and the art is taking longer. I've also had more interruptions - promotional events took more preparation than I thought they would, I had to take on illustration jobs to have some money coming in, I had some hospital stuff to take care of, and I've had (and continue to have) some quite big creative struggles with RO that have prevented me from zipping along as I would like.
I sincerely apologise for this - I'm very disappointed that I'm not able to be a super-disciplined page-a-day-no-matter-what man and, especially to those of you who have been following RO since the beginning, this must seem a ridiculously drawn out process for what is, essentially, not that big a book. I am so very aware of all that, I promise you!
So anyway, that's the answer - September 2011 will see the conclusion of the story published. To make it up to you, if that's possible, before volume 3 hits the shops, I will be returning Julius Chancer to the web-comic format, possibly sometime in April or May - so there will be new and free material for you to read online well before September. And looking ahead, early 2012 will see publication of The Rainbow Orchid in one complete volume, as always intended.
Working on The Rainbow Orchid over the past 10 years has meant changing some of my ideas and focus, but also keeping to a plot that I created a long time ago and having to see it through to the end. I'm very proud of the work I've done (and am doing) on RO and have learnt a lot about writing and drawing comics in that time, but I don't see it as the pinnacle of my work by any means. The next Julius Chancer book (which will not be in three strung-out parts!) will reap the benefit of my experience thus far and I'll keep learning and growing as I get better and better at what I do.
So here's to 2011, a very happy new year to you, and a big fat thank you for all your support so far - it means a lot and keeps me going.