What is The Brambletye Box ?
The Brambletye Box is a new Julius Chancer adventure, with serialisation beginning online in 2022. It takes place directly after The Rainbow Orchid and it can be read here.
How often will The Brambletye Box be updated?
There is currently no schedule for updates. The strips will be published as and when they are ready, all subject to how busy I am with other work - but I'll do my best to keep things going!
Will there be a Brambletye Box book?
Yes, but I can't confirm any details just yet - keep watching this space.
Why aren't the full Rainbow Orchid or Secret of the Samurai stories online?
I can't publish the complete comics online as they are still in print in some places, and it would not be fair to the publishers. When the time comes that the books are no longer available they could be made fully available online once again.
Is The Rainbow Orchid still available?
The English language editions came out from 2009 to 2012, so are generally no longer currently stocked by booksellers. But you can still find them around, either second-hand or as unsold stock - they were distributed in the US as well as the UK. Volumes 1 and 2 sold out but were reprinted, and while volume 3 is now quite scarce, the collected edition can still be found. Check Amazon, eBay, AbeBooks or ask in your local independent bookshop. I sometimes have them for sale in my online shop. For the European editions you will have to visit their websites - see the online shop for links.
What's the difference between the three volumes of The Rainbow Orchid and the collected edition?
The Rainbow Orchid is available in two formats: as three separate volumes or as a single complete edition (the latter only in English and Spanish). The complete edition has the entire story as a single book, under one cover - the same as all three volumes together. The English complete edition also has 17 pages of bonus material in the form of notes, sketches and research. The Dutch, French, German and Danish editions are only available as three separate volumes. See the book section for more details.
Is the Secret of the Samurai available?
This story was originally published in 2013 in four parts in the British weekly comic, The Phoenix, and has since sold out. In 2020 the Belgian publisher BD Must produced a number of editions (French, German, Dutch, Spanish and English) in a small print run - these are hard to come by, the English one especially! The best I can say, for now, is to contact BD Must for more information.
What age group are the Julius Chancer stories 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 child-friendly - there is a little violence, but nothing of a sexual nature. The plot has quite a few strands to it, and there is the occasional wordy scene, but children are perfectly capable of rising up to meet these challenges and expand themselves. I get emails from 8 year olds saying they love it, and from 50-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.
How do you make comics?
This is a bigger subject, but I have a dedicated section of the website with more information on this - have a look here.
It reminds me of Tintin!
I wanted to invoke the atmosphere I loved from European adventure albums such as Hergé's Tintin, Edgar P. Jacobs' Blake & Mortimer, Yves Chaland's Freddy Lombard, and Tardi's Adele Blanc-Sec, 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. 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.
Is Garen your real name?
It is indeed. If you really want to learn more about my name, click here.