I have just discovered my new favourite graphic novel – The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing. It’s an old-style graphic novel, similar in style to the Tintin comics by Herge, with loads of action and adventure, and that’s the reason I love them.
Set in Britain in the 1920s, The Rainbow Orchid is the story of the search for a mythical flower that was last mentioned by an ancient Greek philosopher hundreds of years ago. There is a huge cast of quirky and sinister characters but the main story centers around Julius Chancer, the assistant to the great historical researcher, Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey, who sets off on a quest to find the Rainbow Orchid which lies somewhere in the mysterious sub-continent of India. However, there are others willing to stop at nothing to make sure Julius doesn’t get his hands on the orchid, including the slimy Urkaz Grope and his sinister personal assistant, Evelyn Crow. Their journey starts in Volume 1 and continues in Volume 2 with Julius and his companions in India, with Volume 3 is due out next year.
If you love old-school adventure stories, with detailed illustrations, quirky characters, narrow escapes and car chases, then you should try The Rainbow Orchid. Garen Ewing also has a fantastic website where you can learn more about the characters and find out what it takes to create a graphic novel.