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The Adventures of Julius Chancer: Volume One (The Rainbow Orchid) Paperback – October 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This droll and beautifully painted adventure plays on the Tintin canon while offering an original adventure tale. A large cast of characters is brought together in a Roaring Twenties England by the promise of a fortune to be won in an orchid competition. A Hollywood actress, her agent, an antiquarian, an overeager reporter, a scholar and his assistant (Julius Chancer), and a number of evildoers with vaguely Russian names seek the titular flower while trying to elude and outpace their competitors across the Channel and into Europe toward India. Many tongue-in-cheek references to Tintin appear but in no way hobble the energy and drama of this tale: the indefatigable but crude reporter; identical twin daughters of a stunt pilot; and the apple-cheeked Julius, whose black hair lies pasted in an unstirringly dead quiff to his forehead. There are also sly, and very funny, references to social-class oddities, sexual orientation, and even clowns. While this is a perfect combination of send-up and memorial to Hergé, it’s also a strong work even for those have managed (how?) to have never met Tintin. --Francisca Goldsmith


"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

"...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 International

"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!" --David Morris, Mirabilis

"Engaging characters, exciting old-school adventure [and] fluid storytelling . . . one of the best graphic novels of the year."  —Brian Talbot, author, Alice in Sunderland

"While this is a perfect combination of send-up and memorial to Hergé, it’s also a strong work even for those [who] have managed (how?) to have never met Tintin." — Booklist

"This book mixes adventure, legend, history and fun and comic book lovers won't be able to get enough of it." — [Uniontown, PA] Union-Standard

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Series: The Rainbow Orchid (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont UK (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140524853X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405248532
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garen's love of drawing and writing goes back to when he was very young, and had to spend a lot of time in hospital, so his mum supplied him with plenty of comics to read, and pencils and blank paper to draw with, and he's been making comics ever since! Other jobs have included working at a mushroom farm, an airport hotel, a software company and doing loads and loads of illustrations for books, magazines, t-shirts, theatres and newspapers. He's been the editor of a local entertainments guide (5D) and a comic strip anthology (Cosmorama). He's adapted Shakespeare's The Tempest into a comic and is the writer and artist behind The Rainbow Orchid. He's an expert on the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-1880, he's half Scottish, one-sixteenth Romany Gypsy and plays bass guitar and does karate (though not at the same time).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kitschy VINE VOICE on October 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
A blatant throwback (homage, perhaps) to the Tintin/Asterix era - but hot off the presses, and from an English-speaking country, no less.

Garen Ewing's new series, The Adventures of Julius Chancer, is an auspicious start. The brave young Chancer is suddenly entangled in the search for a legendary orchid -a genial (if pompous) British lord has inadvertently gambled his family legacy against a sinister flower collector, and Chancer needs to bail him out. He scampers about the English landscape with an equally fearless actress in tow. The art is extremely reminiscent of the Tintin volumes, as it captures that same charming air of innocence.

If anything, this volume is too short. It also may be a tiny bit juvenile, but that doesn't make it any less fun. A quick read, but an engrossing one. Ewing's next two volumes are keenly awaited.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles on August 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say I had high expectations. It seems an almost impossible task to evoke the ligne claire style without becoming derivative and flat. Nonetheless pleasantly surprised. The author/artist did remarkable job of creating a fun and engaging story within this genre. The attention to detail is visible everywhere and the book is a pleasure to read. The only critique I might have about the lettering - it isn't done by hand. But I doubt most will notice this, and I certainly stopped noticing it after a few panels.

The Guardian did a great short review of the book:...apparently you can't add weblinks to amazon reviews. Should be the first hit if you google "guardian rainbow orchid".

Book 2 and 3 are currently available on amazon and a book containing all three stories should be published ~Sep '12. The author hits his stride in books 2 and 3. Well worth reading the whole series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really excellent stuff. This trilogy, while reminiscent of everyone's favorite Belgian reporter, stands well on its own merits. The characters are every bit as colorful as those of Herge, the story builds and becomes more interesting as it progresses, and the artwork is absolutely superb. Being raised on all types of comics, from American superheroes to Japanese manga, the "ligne claire" or clear line style developed in Belgium and championed by Herge has to be one of my favorites and Garen Ewing is a master of the form.
There is plenty of danger, mystery, discovery and laughs to go around. Although some may be turned off by the sometimes slow pacing, or by villains who are often more comical than menacing, fans young and old should delight in sharing a rousing adventure across the globe with Julius Chancer in search of..... the Rainbow Orchid.
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