The Rainbow Orchid: Adventures of Julius Chancer v. 3 by Garen Ewing
|The Rainbow Orchid: Adventures of Julius Chancer v. 3 by Garen Ewing|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The concluding third of this net comic shows off the intrigue, action and old-fashioned charms yet again.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 48||Date: April 2012|
Here we are, then, ten years after the debut of this graphic novel on the Internet, and finally the print trilogy is complete. At last we can see if our hero Julius, his chums, the shady Government people, and his enemy’s beautiful assassin aide who remains impossible to shrug off, manage to get anywhere near the fabled titular plant in its secret Himalayan location, and just how important it has been for all those many people left back in England. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, and it’s been worth it.
I’m sure the series has had its detractors. It can easily be said this is Tintin but with an older hero, and minus the dog. Certainly 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. There’s a wonderfully amusing masked cult here, vainly trying to work out who’s saying what to whom through their disguises.
To cover the other flaws, there’s too much of the obscure foreign language, which overly disrupts our reading rhythm. And while this is defined by the publishers as a graphic novel for children, I still think it could be too convoluted for the young. Also it’s hard to see how the Internet version was structured, for there are fewer cliffhanger moments than one might expect.
But this is still a lot more than old-time charm for the genre fanatic. The story has been very strong, the characterisation fine – considering how many participants there are all-told – and this print version shows the series has been a rich delight in either format. The long-promised 3-in-1 edition should be a very eagerly awaited purchase. Before then there are three detailed yet snappy, fun yet serious, modern yet timeless sections to buy.
We first met the series with book two.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Rainbow Orchid: Adventures of Julius Chancer v. 3 by Garen Ewing at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Rainbow Orchid: Adventures of Julius Chancer v. 3 by Garen Ewing at Amazon.com.
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