How can I read The Secret of the Samurai?
You can take out a subscription to The Phoenix here. Alternatively, if you have an iPad, you can get the digital version with The Phoenix app. You can also wait for the individual issues to become available in the back-issues section of the online shop and buy them there (The Secret of the Samurai will appear in issues 75 - 78). The Phoenix is available across the UK in various book and comic shops, as well as many branches of Waitrose - find a stockist here (there's even one in Dublin). If you're in the US then you can contact Big Planet Comics who will order The Phoenix in.
Update: There is now a Samurai bundle available at the online shop.
Will The Secret of the Samurai be available as a book?
That is my intention, but as Samurai is just a 20-page story I have a 'stand-alone sequel' in mind to join it in order to make a complete album. This means a book will be some time off yet. Samurai will not be the next book - that is already planned and I will be starting it soon.
Will The Secret of the Samurai be available as a webcomic?
I'm hoping to make the first couple of pages available as an online preview, but I doubt it'll be much more than that. Its main home is The Phoenix and I do urge you to try and read it there - you'll discover a whole host of great British comics alongside Julius. Don't worry though, there are plans afoot for new Julius Chancer online.
Update: A preview is now available online.
Does The Secret of the Samurai have all the old characters again, Lily, Nathaniel, Evelyn Crow etc?
No - this story takes place a couple of years before the The Rainbow Orchid. The only characters you'll recognise are Julius Chancer, Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey, and Charlotte, the housekeeper.
What is The Secret of the Samurai about?
I don't want to give too much away, but I will say it has a bit of a detective story feel to it, a dash of mystery, and - of course - some good old historic artefact adventure! Locations include the Victoria and Albert Museum, an old library, some cavalry barracks, a women's ju-jutsu class, and a misty forest. All in twenty pages!