What is the difference between the three volumes of The Rainbow Orchid and the complete edition?
The Rainbow Orchid is available in two formats: as three separate volumes or as a single complete edition (in English*). The complete edition has the entire story as a single book, under one cover - the same as all three volumes together - plus 17 pages of bonus material in the form of notes, sketches and research.
* The Dutch, Spanish, French and German editions are only available as three separate volumes at the moment.
Where can I get The Rainbow Orchid?
In the UK it can be found in various bookshops, including places such as Foyles and (some) Waterstones, as well as many terrific independent bookshops - if they don't have it on the shelves it can be ordered. A number of friendly comic shops also stock the book. Online it can be ordered from most places, including Amazon and the Book Depository. You can also buy signed and sketched-in editions from my own online shop (where you'll also find links to the foreign language editions). It is available in the US from a few bookshops, including Barnes & Noble (see this useful stock resource by Linda Wada) and other places online (including Amazon). The Rainbow Orchid is also available for iPad on Panel Nine's Sequential platform.
Who publishes The Rainbow Orchid?
The English language edition is published by Egmont UK. In Dutch it is published by Silvester Strips, in Spanish by Netcom2 Editorial, in French by BD Must Editions, and in German by Salleck Publications. It is represented by my agent, Oliver Munson at A. M. Heath. See the contact page for details and links.
What age group is The Rainbow Orchid aimed at?
The only audience I've had in mind all along has been me, and I was in my late twenties when I started writing the book, finishing it in my early forties. Having said that, I was probably writing it for the 8-12 year-old in me, who hasn't really gone anywhere!
it is totally 'kid friendly' - there's no extreme violence, sex or nudity. The plot has quite a few strands to it, and there is the occassional wordy scene, but I don't believe in 'writing down' for children, they are perfectly capable of rising up to meet any challenges to expand themselves. I get emails from 11 year olds saying they love it, and from 40-somethings saying they love it, and even older and younger than these. I hear from a very pleasing mixture of both male and female readers.
In 2013 The Complete Rainbow Orchid won the Young People's Comic Award at the British Comic Awards, which was voted for by children at a number of schools across the UK.
Will there be more Julius Chancer adventures after The Rainbow Orchid ?
Yes. A short (20-page) Julius Chancer story called The Secret of the Samurai was serialised in the weekly comic, The Phoenix (issues 75-78, Jun 2013) and work has now begun on a second full-length book (a single volume of 60-80 pages in length).
It reminds me of Tintin!
I wanted to invoke the atmosphere found in European adventure albums such as Hergé's Tintin, Edgar P. Jacobs' Blake & Mortimer and Yves Chaland's Freddy Lombard to name just a few. Most British readers cite Tintin because not many other ligne claire comics have made it over from France and Belgium, but it is an entire school of comic strip storytelling with many creators working in the style, just like manga often has a certain look to it, or the recent popularity of an 'animation' or Disney style in comics. The Rainbow Orchid has been compared stylistically to Floc'h's Trilogie Anglaise or Jacob's La Marque Jaune. The better you know Tintin, the more apparent the differences, but I don't refute the similarities - it was a conscious desicion. Related blog entries here and here.
click the image to see examples of strips in the ligne clair school of comics
Is Garen your real name?
It is indeed. If you want to learn more about my name, click here.