Friday, June 05, 2009

What If?

Harrison Ford, even after Star Wars, was not the first choice for Indiana Jones. Instead, Tom Selleck was picked, and you can see his screen test on the fourth DVD in the Indiana Jones boxed set. I mean the special features disc, not that pap Lucas and Spielberg attempted to foist upon us last year. Anyway, Selleck dropped out in order to appear in Magnum, P.I., Ford was Indy, and all was right in the world.


On a somewhat related note, an episode of Quantum Leap was planned in which Sam would leap into Magnum. That didn't happen either.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Up Above the Streets and Houses

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.