I think I first encountered The Rainbow Orchid about ten years ago (!), at a time when I was exploring the British small press comics scene. I'm not sure how I first heard of the title, or what attracted me to it; although the T word was chucked about a lot back then, I don't think that did it, as I was always more of an Asterix fan. Anyway, what I discovered was a globe-trotting adventure story with a distinctive British feel (distinguished gentlemen discussing matters of import in wood-panelled rooms), but a fair bit of pulp excess (extravagantly mustachioed French stunt pilots and a clown or two) in there too. It's a bit Herge, a bit Wells, a bit Indiana Jones, even a bit Haggard (or maybe Kipling), and all good fun.
After a while, writer/artist Garen Ewing started publishing the title online, previewing pages from the story in the run up to a more high-profile release than had been done before. It wasn't a webcomic as such, but the growing audience treated it as one, and I believe it became quite popular; there's some wisdom in there about the best advertising being the act of giving your product away for nothing. Garen put out a limited edition hardback collection of The Story So far about a year ago (which the missus bought me as a birthday present), a self-published thing which was again intended to drum up interest in the oft-mentioned professional publication of The Rainbow Orchid, and now things have come full circle with the announcement that Egmont, former publishers of 2000AD and current custodians of, yes, Tintin, are to publish Garen's comic. It's been one of my favourite titles for a while, and soon I'll be able to see how the story ends!
It's also Garen's birthday today. Happy birthday Garen!
On a completely unrelated note, I've done some more art for Fight On!, this time for the fifth issue, and I also entered an art competition the magazine was running, although I didn't win anything besides an honourable mention; the winning entries were of stunning quality though, so I don't mind losing out to them. It still feels a bit odd to be one of the regular artists for a magazine about something of which I have so little experience (Dungeons & Dragons mostly), but it's been good fun, and it's also been useful to have an actual deadline to make sure I keep drawing. I've taken the opportunity to update my long-fallow website with some of my more recent art, as well as give the whole thing a bit of a tidy. There's still a lot of work to be done, the comics and writing sections in particular, but it's a start.