My chum-in-comics Garen is 40 today. Nothing so odd about that, of course, people turn 40 all the time. I did it myself just a week ago and don't feel remotely soiled or grubby. Anyhoo, to mark the occasion Garen asked if internetty-pals like me could big up his rather splendid comic The Rainbow Orchid, due to arrive in a book shop near you on the 4th of August. That's right, book shop, for The Rainbow Orchid is being published by Egmont, who also publish Tintin in the UK. It's available for pre-order on Amazon for a frankly ridiculous £4.19, so why not nip over there now and order a copy. In the two months between now and then, you can forget all about it and when it arrives it'll be a lovely surprise present. From yourself, mind, but a present nonetheless. Perhaps you should get two, one for the kids and one for best. Lacking children, perhaps one for the lounge and one for the kitchen. Am I pitching too hard? You don't have to trust me when I say it's jolly good, because there's a hefty chunk for your reading pleasure right here. Go look, and then never doubt me again.
Clearly, I'm rather looking forward to it, not only because it's a terrific comic, but because I can smile smugly and pat myself on the back. Reviewing the first part in 2002 I wrote
Garen's a big Tintin fan, and it shows in both story and art, but this is no mere pastiche. 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. Read it now, before he gets signed up by Casterman and becomes a big star in France.Later, I wrote
This issue's stand out strip is Garen Ewing's Rainbow Orchid, a 1920s set high adventure. It's just so complete - everything about it is good and all fits together wonderfully. If there's any justice you'll see this turning up in local Waterstones on that spinner with the Asterix and Tintin books in.
Look at that. I made a prediction and it's going to come true. Go me. Go Garen. Go The Rainbow Orchid.