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Reviews

2013 British Comic Awards: The Young People's Comic Award - winner
The Observer Graphic Novel of the Month, May 2012 - One of The Observer's Best Graphic Novels of the Year 2012
One of Lovereading4kids.co.uk Books of the Year 2009 - The Independent Recommended Children's Books for Christmas 2009
Fool Britannia Webcomic of the Year 2006 and Fool Britannia Small Press Comic of the Year 2003
UK National Comic Awards nominee finalist 2004 in two categories: Best Independent Comic and Best New Talent

Links to reviews

The Observer

The Observer 2

The Independent

Financial Times

SF Site

Broken Frontier

Comics Bulletin

Geek Syndicate

Read It Daddy!

Shiny Shelf

Droplets of Ink

LoveReading4Kids

We Love This Book

Bookmarked!

The Comics Journal

Write Away

Comics on the Ration

Down the Tubes v1

Down the Tubes v2

Down the Tubes v3

Down the Tubes Complete

The Phantom Zone

Blimey!

Inis Magazine

Soteria Magazine

Comics Worth Reading

Simon Cross

Shazam

Christchurch Kids

The Book Zone

Birmingham Mail v1

Birmingham Mail v2

Serienytt

Forbidden Planet v1

Forbidden Planet v2

Forbidden Planet v 3

Cherry & Cinnamon

Zona BD

Dancing With Skeletons v1

Dancing With Skeletons v2

Dancing With Skeletons v3

Comic Shop Voice

La Terrasse v1

La Terrasse v2

Mirabilis v1

Mirabilis v2

Toon Hound

Monkey On My Back

Rob Jackson

Pornokitsch

Tim Pilcher

Now Read This! v1

Now Read This! v2

Now Read This! v3

Dave West

Rol Hirst v1

Rol Hirst v2

Rol Hirst v3

Philip Womack

Alex Milway

Bear Alley v1

Bear Alley v2

The Book Bag v2

The Book Bag v3

Complete and Volume 3 review extracts

"... I couldn't like it more if I tried ... It is all so beautifully done: the historical references are spot on ... the dialogue is pitch perfect ... the result is one of the most satisfying comics around, whether you are a small boy, or a grown woman."
- Rachel Cooke (The Observer - Graphic Novel of the Month) full review...

"What Ewing has fashioned here is a rare example of that seldom seen breed: the genuinely all-ages title ... An absolute humdinger of an adventure story that will appeal to the child in all of us, its absence on the bookshelves of anyone who calls themselves a true aficionado of the medium would be a conspicuous and telling one indeed."
- Andy Oliver (Broken Frontier) full review...

"Charlotte's best bit: Fab and exciting, and plenty of awesome female characters for her to identify with as well as a no-nonsense hero that uses his brains rather than his fists. Daddy's Favourite bit: A shining example of a brilliant story that you can comfortably recommend to parents looking to introduce their kids to comics. Cannot recommend this highly enough."
- Read It Daddy! full review...

"One of the most exciting and dynamic graphic novel sequences of recent years, it is to be hoped this is the first of many, many similar exploratory adventures featuring the inimitable Julius Chancer. It is, without doubt, a triumph!"
- Jake Hope (Droplets of Ink) full review...

"... we're looking at a climax worthy of Phileas Fogg at his very best. Ewing takes everything so wonderfully exciting and entertaining in all of these influences and delivers a trilogy of graphic novels that really entertains."
- Richard Bruton (Forbidden Planet International) full review...

"His page composition is spectacular, moving the story along while keeping things visually dynamic ... It's also sophisticated enough to appeal to a slightly older audience while still more than suitable to give to a child ... Ewing has created a rich and vibrant world populated with intriguing characters, so hopefully this debut adventure of Chancer and friends won't be their last."
- Joel Meadows (Tripwire 21)

"Rainbow Orchid has always had a great approach to recreating Saturday morning cinema serials. There's dynamic action, a complex amount of characters and interactions, but a strong focus as ever on lighthearted, old-fashioned entertainment ... you should certainly consider the Rainbow Orchid series amusing, sincere and ultimately admirable entertainment."
- John Lloyd (We Love This Book) full review...

"Ewing's linge claire style is a distinctive one, not a blind echo of his famous European forebears. Overall this is a pleasure to read and look at, and one hopes many Julius Chancer adventures will follow for many years."
- Seamus Sweeney (SF Site) full review...

"The art is outstanding ... Clever, engaging comic storytelling of the highest order, the whole Rainbow Orchid saga is a treat right to the nicely biting end."
- Conor Carton (Dancing With Skeletons) full review...

"Definitely a comic to read more than once ... the first time for the excitement of the story, the second to wallow in the beauty of the artwork."
- Rol Hirst (Sunset Over Slawit) full review...

"Beautifully illustrated with classic storytelling, in a similar style to Hergé's Tintin."
- Rhys Darby (On My Radar, The Observer)

"... timeless adventure stories that fans of Tintin will adore."
- Rachel Cooke (The Observer - Best Graphic Novels of 2012) full review...

"It's a gripping conclusion, with the kind of tip of the hat to Hergé (and Haggard) we've come to expect from this wonderful ligne claire series, but with a modern take of action, adventure and intrigue that leaves plenty of openings for further adventures and returning villains."
- John Freeman (Down the Tubes) full review...

"Enchanting, beguiling, astonishingly authentic ... in these books he has managed to synthesise something vibrant, vital, fresh and uniquely entertaining for modern readers of all ages. Pure comics mastery ..."
- Win Wiacek (Now Read This!) full review... (warming: contains spoilers)

"For those seeking new comics for children I heartily recommend this as an excellent starting place! ... It's fast paced and exciting ... The imagination and attention to detail in all of this just speaks to how much Ewing loves his work - and I have a feeling you will too."
- Bridgeen Gillespie (Cherry and Cinnamon) full review...

"The standard is phenomenal ... Let's hear no more complaints about Britain no longer doing all-ages adventure strips. This is one. Right here. And the quality is as high as anything that preceded it."
- Lew Stringer (Blimey!) full review...

"... Ewing designs his plot and his artwork very much as Herge did, but here is no pastiche, no arch mimicry, nor self-aware updating. He has the same global reach in his narrative, a similar love of detail - if anything his panels are more detailed than the Belgian's - and a kindred sense of humour ... three detailed yet snappy, fun yet serious, modern yet timeless sections to buy."
- The Book Bag full review...

Volume 2 review extracts

"Ewing continues to bring his growing readership a superb adventure story that leaves you guessing wildly at how that many plot threads will be resolved in the third and final volume..."
- John Freeman (Down the Tubes) full review...

"This is a book worth a million dumbly hip, smart-aleck zombie-killer comics. Because the author takes the trouble to make his characters live and breathe, we connect with them and so we care what happens next."
- Dave Morris (Mirabilis) full review...

"... an extraordinary example of the craft of comics ... an all-ages, all-people adventure classic happening right now before our very eyes. Get on board immediately before everybody else is talking about it.."
- Paul Rainey (Comics on the Ration) full review...

"Like the work of his European influences, Rainbow Orchid is one of those stories that can be enjoyed by children of all ages, the action and humour broad enough for youngsters to enjoy and the plot complex enough for adults."
- Steve Holland (Bear Alley) full review...

"I have just discovered my new favourite graphic novel ... If you love old-school adventure stories, with detailed illustrations, quirky characters, narrow escapes and car chases, then you should try The Rainbow Orchid."
- Christchurch Kids Blog full review...

"[The] Rainbow Orchid continues to be a fantastically fun all ages, globe-trotting adventure with sinister secret societies, dashing daredevils, dynamic damsel not so in distress, fiendish femme fatales and ruthless rapscallions.."
- Barry Nugent (Geek Syndicate) full review...

"It looks lovely ... A book to share across generations, as older readers will find it as satisfying a read as younger ones."
- Melanie Gibson (Write Away) full review...

"... Ewing has managed to synthesise something vibrant, vital, fresh and uniquely entertaining for modern readers of all ages."
- Win Wiacek (Now Read This!) full review...

"It lives and breathes and stands proud on its own two feet - Garen's book deserves to win every award going for graphic novel artwork and storytelling. Truly, if you don't like The Rainbow Orchid, you don't like life!"
- Rol Hirst (Sunset Over Slawit) full review...

"... every page a visual delight ... a far better thing than any simple modern blockbuster movie in comic form that adventure works so often read as nowadays."
- Richard Bruton (Forbidden Planet) full review...

Volume 1 review extracts

"The between-the-wars setting is meticulously rendered, the storyline intricate and engrossing... Ewing has crafted something at once reverential and joyous that has a life of its own."
- James Lovegrove (Financial Times) full review...

"... beautifully illustrated ... a great example of what 'all ages' really should mean ..."
- Comics Worth Reading full review...

"Enchantingly engaging, astonishingly authentic and masterfully illustrated in the legendary ligne claire style, this is a wonderful tale that ranks amongst the very best all-ages graphic narratives..."
- Win Wiacek (Now Read This!) full review...

"...beneath the obvious beauty of the artwork is an equally great, old fashioned adventure tale. It works for children and it works for us adults. An absolutely cracking adventure story."
- Richard Bruton (Forbidden Planet) full review...

"It's rare to talk about "voice" in comics, but I love the sparkling sense of warmth, depth, intrigue and fun in this book. You reach the final page and you think, "Wha-hey! We're on an adventure!"
- Dave Morris (Mirabilis) full review...

"Without doubt, the most beautifully rendered graphic novel you'll see all year."
- Rol Hirst (Sunset Over Slawit) full review...

"The artwork throughout is clear and vibrant; simple in style, yet detailed in scope. The story carries universal appeal... marvellously entertaining stuff, and a bally good read at that!"
- David Hailwood (Down The Tubes) full review...

"... a good solid adventure story ... a cracking adventure yarn populated by compelling characters."
- Kelvin Green (Comics Bulletin) full review...

"Ewing has successfully mastered everything that makes a great adventure comic strip - engaging characters, a rattling quest with intrigue; meticulous research; and deceptively simple and communicative art style..."
- Tim Pilcher (Ilex Press)

"... a solidly constructed and meticulously researched adventure story with strong, cinematic visuals and lashings of slapstick humour ... The scope of The Rainbow Orchid's appeal is broad. Children will love its sense of fun and intrigue, while adults will love its whimsy and the nostalgia it evokes."
- Kim Harte (Inis Magazine) full review...

"This is a fantastic book. I ADORE it. The illustrations coupled with the dialogue balloons are beautifully and carefully executed as you race along the story. And it's a cracking story, too ... I couldn't put it down ..."
- Annie West (Inis Magazine) full review...

Quotes

"Tightly-plotted, well-researched and beautifully drawn, this book is a real delight. Garen Ewing's mix of engaging characters, exciting old-school adventure, attractive ligne claire artwork and fluid storytelling makes The Rainbow Orchid easily one of the best graphic novels of the year."
- Bryan Talbot (Grandville, Alice in Sunderland, The Tale of One Bad Rat etc.)

"I fell in love with The Rainbow Orchid from the very first page. Garen Ewing's wonderful artwork blends elegantly realised period detail with fresh and utterly charming cartooning, while his apparently effortless grasp of storytelling keeps the reader enthralled in this thrillingly grounded-yet-fantastic tale. This comic manages to simultaneously evoke nostalgia for long childhood afternoons spent poring over Tintin volumes, and huge excitement for the future of British comics."
- Neill Cameron (Mo-bot High, ThumpCulture)

"A cracking adventure tale set in the 1920's with exquisitely drawn period detail, a book bursting with surprises and brilliant characters... what more could any reader want?"
- Sarah McIntyre (Vern & Lettuce, Morris the Mankiest Monster)

"... I really love your Rainbow Orchid books. They fuel my hunger for classic adventure!"
- Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords, This Way to the Spaceship)

"...I was immediately transported back to the rainy Saturday afternoons of my childhood, sitting by the radiator reading my favourite comics with a cup of cocoa. Garen Ewing has that kind of magic touch..."
- Richard Starkings (Elephantmen)

"...it's as much of a joy as I had hoped it would be, as exciting as the first time I read She..."
- Alexander Caine Duncan (Fynoderee)

"Charming, Tintin-esque comic book adventure, set in the early part of the twentieth century. If ever there was a rip-rollicker, this would be it."
- Philip Womak (The Liberators)


Older reviews...

"This is a spectacular work... the art is wonderfully attractive but what impressed me the most was the slow-burning, exquisitely constructed plot."
- Comics International #166

"...major talent Garen Ewing captures the spirit of classic Tintin, but provides a deeper story with broader influences and a memorable cast. Supremely realised..."
- Comics International #171

"...meticulously scripted and drawn... simply stunning."
- Comic Expo 2005 Official Souvenir Magazine

"...the story is a thoroughly charming slice of nostalgia-tinged British adventurism. The dialogue sparkles, a mix of equal parts Boys Own romp, literary and mythological allusion and surprisingly well-researched botany. The characters are vibrant and thoroughly likeable... his art is a fluid blend of intricately observed detail and perfect, pared-down cartooning."
- Unified Review Theory

"The plot is like a Faberge Egg, beautiful to behold even at the most superficial glance, but so exquisitely intricate that the closer you look the more you see."
- Silver Bullet Comics

"The characters are real, the setting is authentic, and this opening chapter hints at many plot strands. It's got depth, charm and real polish."
- The Review Sheet

"The interplay of the two stories immediately makes this comic far superior to most. It is not just ambitious but it works, and with élan. The different levels of the story and their attendant styles lend a tremendous feeling of depth to the whole book... It has a beautiful clean line style ... possibly the most exciting comic of the year."
- Zum Reviews

Julius Chancer, The Rainbow Orchid, story, artwork, characters and website © 1997 and 2014 Garen Ewing & inkytales