Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Garen Ewing, podcast interview about The Rainbow Orchid

Garen Ewing, the comic artist and creator of The Rainbow Orchid - the Adventures of Julius Chancer, graciously agreed to an audio interview with me (Linda Wada, researcher and founder of ednapurviance.org). I wholeheartedly thank Garen for a most enjoyable chat about his long awaited publication of The Rainbow Orchid.

"Imagination to Print"
Interview with Garen Ewing
Creator of The Rainbow Orchid
podcast host, Linda Wada

I first met Garen in the spring of 2001 and soon learned about the creation of The Rainbow Orchid.

Set in the 1920s, The Rainbow Orchid features adventurous Julius Chancer and silent film star, Lily Lawrence, along with a strong supporting cast of characters including: the devious Evelyn Crow, historical researcher Sir Alfred Catesby-Grey, Lily's publicity agent Nathanial Crumpole, mysterious Urkaz Grope and leading gossip columnist and stirrer of trouble, William Pickle. All of them are involved on an adventure to find the mythical flower last mentioned by the ancient Greek philosopher and botanist, Theophrastus. Julius agrees to help find it to save the estate of Lily's father, Sir Lawrence.

Drawn in the Franco-Belgian school of bande dessinée (a clear line style), the comic has great characters, a complex story and quality artwork. Garen's comic quickly became my favorite and I have been following the development of the story and project ever since.

You never know for sure, but I always had faith it would be picked up by a publisher one day, and that day has finally arrived.

In our interview called Imagination to Print, we start with Garen's childhood background, learning to draw, and the influences that led him to The Rainbow Orchid. We talked about the creation of the comic, development of characters, and the publication history that culminated in publication by Egmont UK.

Garen gives his personal insight on drawing and the world of publishing, (with surprises intermixed). Garen's love of silent films does play a role in the creation of his comic, as you will learn (even Edna Purviance is mentioned).

We hope you will enjoy listening to his story, and maybe gain some valuable insights through his experience in creating his comic and entering the publishing world.

This current file is the audio version of our interview. I am working toward a second version, which will be a visual addition to this audio to be ready later this summer (planning for August 3, night before the book officially releases). Update: I have completed the video version. The 12 minute video has segments from our longer interview talking about Rainbow Orchid with images from his work. You can see at this link. It is as good introduction to our longer program.

The Rainbow Orchid will be released from Egmont UK August 4th, 2009, starting with Volume 1. Volumes 2 and 3 will follow starting in 2010. It is available in the UK now, but can be bought directly from Garen starting August 4th, or via online booksellers and UK bookshops.

So, settle back with a nice cup of tea, and enjoy my conversation with Rainbow Orchid creator Garen Ewing. LINK On the podcast page is a link for information of the order and topics covered.

UPDATE June 18th: For Window users, I've placed up a new page with the audio file on Real Player.

(Self-portrait drawing by Garen Ewing)

"...it was a great interview, nice to have such a long one instead of 20 minutes, allowed for a bit more range." - Joe Gordon, Forbidden Planet International, UK

"I am very impressed at this new way of spreading the word on silent films... Keep up the great work!" - Lon Davis, classic and silent film author, USA

"It was a quality interview, you did a really good job! And it's great that someone who knows so much about the Rainbow Orchid could ask the questions." - Sarah McIntyre, Children book Illustrator, DFC Artist - UK

Latest Online chats, interviews and reviews of RO
July 1, 2009 - Now Read This by Win Wiacek
July 2, 2009 - Phantom Zone Talking 'The Rainbow Orchid' by JE Towey
Dec. 23, 2009 - Check out this list of 2009 reviews, interviews and openings for Rainbow Orchid

Friday, May 29, 2009

Things are looking 'UP'

After seeing the previews with 'Coraline' earlier this year, I am looking forward to seeing 'UP' from the creators at Disney's Pixar. In this interview with director Peter Docter, he talks with NPR's Fresh Air host Terry Gross about the creation of 'UP' and how the silent film greats like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton are an influence on this animated work. LINK

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update on the Cinema Museum in London

Thanks to Jack McInroy for sending us an update on the Cinema Museum in London. Due to research time on the Edna book project, I haven't been keeping as close of eye on it, but Jack informed me, with information and links, the Cinema Museum has been saved, for the moment. At least, it will give them more time to raise money to keep their building.

Other buildings around them are no longer there, as a new housing development has started to take over the old hospital location. The water tower still left in the photo from the link, will be remodeled into luxury flats.

Bioscopic has more about the Cinema Museum current situation, at this link. Contact the museum for more details on how you can help.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Rainbow Orchid book

Exciting to see the first printed books of The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing! All of Garen's The Rainbow Orchid fans have been really looking forward to this moment. Published by Egmont UK, Garen's book officially releases August 4, 2009.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blanche Goes to Hollywood and the Taylor Murder

If you know a younger person or know a lover of graphic novels, or like to try one yourself, for your silent film collection there is one available now, with a story centered around the silent era. It is by comic book creator and artist, Rick Geary.

'Blanche Goes to Hollywood' was originally released in 1993, but now is part of a three story series about the adventures of Blanche, as she travels to New York, Hollywood and Paris, back in the early 1900s into the 1920s.

Her Hollywood adventure covers her work in an early silent film studio as a musician. She experiences early day Hollywood, meets stars of the day (including Charlie Chaplin), and sees first hand the labor problems at that time.

While the date for when Chaplin worked at Keystone was off by one year, in general, it gives a good account of that period, all in traditional comic book form. Geary's work has been in numerous publications over the years. And he has an extensive list of comics and graphic novels he has published.

So, if you like something different for your silent book collection, or have someone you like to introduce to silent films, in a fun way, look-up The Adventures of Blanche.

Also, check out Geary's upcoming graphic novel: 'The Mysterious Death of William Desmond Taylor' due out in August 2009 (same time as Rainbow Orchid). As Edna fans know, Edna and her mother Louise, lived by Taylor at the time of the murder, so I am very interested in this graphic novel take on it. Special thanks to Garen Ewing for writing about these book.

UPDATE: June 30th, 2009 - Rick's William Desmond Taylor novel just arrived in my post today! The release date still says August 1, 2009, but I was informed this is an early copy of the hardbound book. And to answer my question above, it does feature Edna in the book. Edna and Mabel are also featured on a panel on the back jacket cover.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

'Lasting Impression' with 'Smile'

Bassist Rob Thorsen 'Lasting Impression' CD is the latest to included 'Smile' in their jazz collection. A sample can be heard at this link.

" Charlie Chaplin's beautiful “Smile,” another trio workout that features Geoffrey Keezer on piano, on a rendition that gives Thorsen another chance to take the melody down deep."- All about Jazz

Link to more about Smile...

UPDATE: I have updated my Charlie Chaplin Music page with more collections, sound samples and links to MP3 albums available. So page down to the sound sample link, start play, and listen while browsing the collection.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Opotiki's Silent Film Festival 2009

Opotiki's Mini Silent Film Festival
Opotiki, New Zealand

September 4-5, 2009
For our Australian readers or possible silent film visitors to New Zealand this September. Clara Bow, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin are just some of the 'silent film faces' being enjoyed at this New Zealand festival in September. Learn more at this link...

Future new section on Edna's home site

For along time, I have been working on more detailed information for Sea Gull book owners.

Example, one of the articles is about Josef von Sternberg's comments made about Edna in his autobiography. Because I had an inquiry about this matter again recently, I am going back to continue work on that article now, and will work on more soon.

So watch for a new section for Sea Gull book owners coming to Edna's home site that will included more details about subjects in The Sea Gull book. Including some added information about the photos and people in the film.

It won't come all at once, but grow overtime... So watch for it!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Always very nice to hear back from people who received The Sea Gull. We thank Mr. Baxter for his comment...

"Thanks for sending THE SEA GULL so promptly. It's a fascinating piece of research - particularly since von Sternberg has been almost a lifelong interest. My most sincere congratulations." - author, John Baxter

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wanted to see Edna, not just Chaplin

"Everyone wanted to see EDNA, not just CHAPLIN." - from Walk of Fame

Yes, there were many fans who came to see Edna Purviance, and not just Charlie Chaplin. Edna was a big star in her own right during her film career. Like Chaplin, she had fan letters from around the world.

Even today, she is remembered by fans, worldwide. Any country that Chaplin's films shown, Edna was gathering fans of her own. (As did other players in the Chaplin company.)

But Chaplin's shadow was so big, people sometimes forget.

Edna wasn't an independent star (like Mary Pickford), but well loved around the world, as Pickford.

But Chaplin wasn't always generous in talking about his players and people who helped him along the way. Newspaper articles and ads would focus on Chaplin, and not as much (to not at all) on the others who played with him. It was a treat to see the others mentioned and movie posters were the best at showing the other players in the films.

But Chaplin was into marketing his brand name Charlie Chaplin, and the people who worked with him, knew that. Chaplin was never into making stars, he was into making stories on films. The people who became stars after first working with Chaplin, had their own personal drive to continue on in the business. That is why some were more successful, than others.

As for Edna, she was never as interested in the 'star' part, of her career, but at the same time, appreciated her career very much.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Revised Second Edition of SG being proofed

I am officially having the revised second edition of The Sea Gull being proof printed NOW. Once everything checks out, I will be ordering the second edition for sale to replace the first edition.

The second edition is basically the same, but has some minor changes and corrections, here and there. It will have a Library of Congress tracking number (which we have been waiting over a year and a half for and one of the main reasons for the second edition) and a notice about Lita's passing in 2008.

I currently have a few first editions left, so if you like to have a first edition, last call. It will end being offered with little notice.

Looking at the printing schedule (if everything goes perfectly), the changeover looks to be in late June. Exact date to be announced.

We like to thank everyone for you support of The Sea Gull.

The first edition sold better than we expected for a niche book (worldwide), and basically only promoted off Edna's sites and from some special supporters who posted links to the book. 'Word of month' did the rest. Many thanks to all of you...


Interesting bits... Edna's home site (and blog, for that matter), had a record day this week, second biggest ever. But oddly, I can't find a single cause for it (and from the data, it wasn't twitter), since the readers came from sources all over (worldwide, but heavily from the states and Canada). Why this happen, I don't know (could be just one of those chance things, since the people came from all over), but it is fun to have Edna (who is a niche subject matter in real terms) having so many people still interested in her. Thanks, everyone...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Official... Edna is on Twitter

I have been 'twiddling my thumbs' lately and decided today to make it official: Edna is on Twitter.

I dressed up the page a bit more and after learning a bit how it works, I will be using it to help promote The Sea Gull a bit more.

Twitter may have things I don't place here (NO, I will not be posting what I am eating at the moment or what outfit to wear today, or any 'silly stuff' I sometimes read on there - well, not real silly, anyway). But I will broadcast what's on Edna's home site, Edna's .com site and Edna's Place and at times, items of interest. So, if you like Twitter, I am there. But if not, I am always blogging here and updating Edna's established sites.

And to prove I have something a bit different on each site, watch for something on Edna's home site in the coming weeks. It will only be linked off of Edna's home site.
Attention Sea Gull Book Owners
I am working on a page I will place over at Edna's home site just for you. Watch for details/link to come...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shawna Kelly book signing in Niles

May 16, 2009 - Shawna Kelly, author of 'Aviators in Early Hollywood', will be signing books at the Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California, Saturday, May 16, 2009.

It is part of the special showing of 'WINGS' at the Edison Theatre. Two showings are planned on Saturday, with the book signing between shows. If you live near the Niles/Fremont area, try to make it over...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Glen Gold 'Sunnyside' Tour

Glen David Gold will be doing his 'Sunnyside' book tour this summer in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia with his new book 'Sunnyside.' Do check the list for a location close to you.

2009 Tour Dates
Tuesday, May 19 - Elliott Bay in Seattle, WA

Wednesday, May 20 - Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, north of Seattle

Thursday, May 21 - Rakestraw Books in Danville, CA

Monday, May 25 - Vromans in Pasadena, CA

Tuesday, May 26 - Skylight Books in Silverlake, CA

Wed, May 27 - Los Angeles at UCLA Hammer Museum

Fri, May 29 - Powell’s in Portland

Monday, June 1 - McNally Jackson in Soho, New York City

Wed, June 3 - Kepler’s in Menlo Park, CA

Thursday, June 4 - M is for Mystery in San Mateo, CA

Tuesday, June 9 - Book Passage in Corte Madera

Tuesday 30th June - Brighton event - City Books Hove

Wednesday 1st July - London event at Waterstones Piccadilly

Thursday 2nd July - 7pm Bath event at Topping
Contact: Saber Kahn

Melbourne, Australia, August 25-31, for the writers festival.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Day's Pleasure First Part of Sunnyside

I had a pleasant surprise recently with the arrival of Glen David Gold's limited edition book 'A Day's Pleasure' the first part of 'Sunnyside' which was released May 5th.

This book was one of the 100 limited editions signed by artist
J.D. King and author Glen Gold.

'A Day's Pleasure' is the beginning of the 'Sunnyside' story and does introduce Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance. This is a novel, so a fictional story set around WWI.

While 'A Day's Pleasure' is not available, 'Sunnyside' is available at your local bookstore or online shops. Very special thanks to Glen!

UPDATE: Glen's book tour for the summer of 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

San Francisco 14th Silent Film Festival

July 10-12, 2009 - San Francisco, Ca. - Full program information to come, but Discounted Festival Passes are available now.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

"Junoesque" was not a favorite

I remember sitting with Lita (Edna's grand niece) in her office, sorting through photos of Edna, when the word "Junoesque" came up. It has been a word used often in describing Edna's look. Well, that word was not one appreciated in the Purviance home, in fact, it was probably one of the most disliked words in her home.

Edna was always aware of her weight and how other people saw her. It was one of the issues that cause her to 'drift away' from film making. People always focusing on it. Charlie Chaplin making hints about her weight was something she didn't enjoy either.

When Edna finally met Jack Squire, he took Edna for who she was, and didn't make any issues about weight (he was playful with her, instead, on such issues, as one of the personal films show).

So the hearing or reading of the word "Junoesque" was like fingernails on a chalkboard, you could say, in the Purviance home. People may thought it was a 'stately' word to use, but it didn't go down well.

It is something Lita clearly remembered from her time living with Edna.

(Junoesque: Having the stately bearing and imposing beauty of the goddess Juno.)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

We Found Another Chaplin Doll!

It is alway rewarding to post a story and through that, someone with a similar interest makes contact with you.

Clint Matlock, in the USA, has written about his version of the Charlie Chaplin doll we wrote about several weeks ago. He first saw one like it at a local antique shop, when he was eight years old! He never forgot the doll and now is the owner of one.

Clint is interested in discovering the history of his doll. Our earlier owners, in the UK, want to know about theirs as well.

After seeing the pictures of both dolls, it seems that Clint's doll has all the looks of being the original item. Clint said his doll is 22" tall and has a glued on hat just like the UK doll. But Clint's cloth hat is standing up, instead of looking crushed down as seen in the UK version. The images below shows the differences between these dolls.

Clint's doll clothes look to be the proper style for Chaplin too, with professional-looking sewing. Also, notice the hat on the UK doll.

• He couldn't find any markings.
(Tags, stamps, etc. to tell who the maker was.)

• It appears to be the original version of this doll.
(The UK doll discussed in the earlier blog post appears to be a 're-built' version of the original.)

• The feet appear correct on Clint's doll and professionally sew.
(The UK doll's feet appeared reversed.)

Both Clint and the UK owners are interested in learning more about their dolls. If anyone knows the maker and age, or other details about their history, please contact us here at Edna's Place or ednapurviance.org. We do not currently know anything about the value of these collectibles. Special thanks to Clint for writing in and sending in photos.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Glen Gold's Sunnyside is released today

Glen David Gold's novel 'Sunnyside' has been released today.

Update: I just received in the post a lovely limited edition book by Glen David Gold called "A Day's Pleasure" the first part of Glen's new book "Sunnyside." I will share a bit of it soon...

Update: A Day's Pleasure