Meet Arni – Star of The First 5-Second Comic Strip for People On The Move, created by Garen Ewing

Arni's Epic Adventures Episode 1

The story of a small Norwegian bird called Arni is set to add enchantment to the Christmas rush this year, as digital screens across the UK will be transformed into a giant comic strip, the work of Garen Ewing, bringing the latest action-packed instalment to the public each day.

Arni’s Epic Adventures will be broadcast across mall, rail and roadside screens from 2-30 November. Arni will also be tweeting updates via @ArniBird.

This is the first graphic arts story commissioned for digital screens, and features the adventures of Arni, a baby Norwegian Pine Gros who is swept away when his tree is felled. The tale will unfold one day at a time, showing the little bird’s perilous journey clinging on to his tree, via landmarks such as the Angel of the North until he arrives in London in time for Christmas.

The project – the first of its kind – was commissioned by the Editorial division of Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux, working with the award-winning comic book author and illustrator Garen Ewing.

Arni By Garen Ewing
Arni designs by Garen Ewing

Garen Ewing, whose work, The Rainbow Orchid won the British Comic Awards in 2013, created ‘Arni’s Epic Adventures’ specifically for the screen network. Each day’s creative has been designed to be viewed by audiences for 5, 6 or 20 seconds at a time

Arni's first adveneture as it appears on the digital posters, spotted by Richard Sheaf
Arni’s first adventure as it appears on the digital posters, spotted by Richard Sheaf

“It’s not every day that you get a brief to create a new character, that’s got to be engaging in 5 or 6 second bursts, but doesn’t lose people if they miss one or two installments,” says Garen. “I’m very proud to have created the first comic strip designed for digital screens and as an artist this is a powerful platform for my work. I think Arni is a universal story of endurance and triumph over the odds, which will particularly resonate with the travelling and shopping public during the festive period.”

JCDecaux is the UK’s leading Outdoor advertising company and the market leader in digital outdoor, reaching 50 per cent of the UK population through screens in roadside, retail and rail locations. Beframeus is the company’s Content division, bringing the first editorial to the national digital network.

Russell Gower, Creative Director of JCDecaux’s Content Division explained: “This is a world first – creating a comic strip narrative that develops day-by-day across our digital network.

“This is the first comic strip designed to entertain busy people on the move and we are delighted to have secured the talents of artist Garen Ewing.  Because our screens reach 50 per cent of the UK population, we knew we had the opportunity to try something completely new that we hope will capture the imagination of the public.”

The first instalment of the story appeared on screens on today and was immediately spotted by one of our roving reporters, Richard Sheaf, in London. The editorial will run across landscape and portrait screens in rail stations, malls and on roadside screens nationwide, including all major rail hubs – Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, St. Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo in London as well as Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street. Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, York to name but a few.

It will also be showcased across retail screens UK-wide including major shopping destinations such as Bluewater, Intu Lakeside, Bullring (Birmingham), St David’s (Cardiff), Liverpool One and Eldon Square (Newcastle) and Brent Cross (London).

• Fans of Arni can catch up on any missed episodes by checking out Beframeus on Facebook or @Beframeus hashtag #Arni

• Check out Garen’s work, including the brilliant Rainbow Orchid at www.garenewing.co.uk

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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