Thursday 30 July 2009

The adventures of Julius Chancer

Quentin Tarantino talks about a "hang-out" movie as one you can revisit time and again because the characters are so personable and you're being told such an engaging yarn. If there's an archetypal hang-out comic it would be The Rainbow Orchid, the first volume of which arrived in the post at midday today and basically blew any chance of my getting more useful work done today.

This book has been a long time in coming and it has been worth the wait. Garen Ewing's deceptively simple ligne claire style evokes the 1920s setting with charm and verisimilitude. There's a big cast of characters but, unlike with many comic artists, you don't get confused by two characters looking the same. (Except for the identical Tayaut twins, that is.)

It's rare to talk about "voice" in comics, but I love the sparkling sense of warmth, depth, intrigue and fun in this book. You reach the final page and you think, "Wha-hey! We're on an adventure!" And then you think, "When can I get Volume 2?" (answer: early next year) and then, "Why doesn't Peter Jackson make a movie of this? (answer: he's been sidetracked by The Dambusters).

You can buy the first book in the series here. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hang out with the characters again...

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