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Striker’s Future Still Up in the Air, Despite Fan Support

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The clock is ticking again for Striker, with the football strip soon to reach the end of its current adventure – and still stuck as a digital-only strip on The Sun‘s web site, despite pleas from hundreds of fans to the paper to return it to print after it was dropped from the daily newspaper in February.

Creator Pete Nash has posted the following update on the strip in the StrikerWorld forum, which, although a little downbeat, reflects his constant faith in the concept and its future, an optimism shared by many fans:

The best thing I can say about this update is the old adage that no news is good news. The Sun haven’t improved on their offer of providing a space for three panels a day in the newspaper, and the other paper that would like to run Striker is still looking at ways to fund the cost as well as finding the right slot for it.

Discussions with both papers are continuing but the clock is ticking on the countdown to the end of the current story, which is scheduled to end in the first week of April.

However, I’m pleased to say that plans for the continuation of Striker after a break are still active. Prospects for developing the games I’ve previously mentioned are looking good – including betting on the virtual football games – and I’m looking at all the options for developing Striker online.

And as I’ve said before, I’m also seriously considering launching a printed monthly comic/magazine in addition to the above.

I was interested to read the posts in Mick’s new thread about a digital subscription and I thought Deano’s suggestion about a tiered payments system – Members, Silver and Gold – merits serious consideration. An iphone app of the comic years was trialled last year but the quality wasn’t quite good enough. It’s ready to be launched again now but there’s no point in doing that until we have a blueprint for Striker’s future.

Apps are great but [in the thread about subscribing to Striker] Bumperlady makes a good point in that not all Striker fans have a smart phone – and even those who do may not necessarily want to read Striker as an app.

The first thing I need to know is whether or not Striker is going to continue in a newspaper – or at least on a newspaper website – and if so, what the agreed terms will be, as that will have a follow-on effect on all the other plans.

What all of this means is that while the waiting continues, so does the uncertainty, which I know is frustrating for you as well as me.

The latest Striker story is  finishing soon - what happens next? Striker © Pete Nash
The latest Striker story is finishing soon – what happens next? Striker © Pete Nash

One point to remember is that even if The Sun hadn’t pulled Striker from its print edition, there was always going to be a break in the story before the new era of Striker is launched. It’s now become a question of where and when that launch is going to happen.

It would be great if we could have a definitive answer to that question before the current story concludes but there’s no guarantee of that.

What I can do in the meanwhile is open a special Question and Answer thread immediately after the story finishes that could be dedicated to the story itself and my reasons for doing certain things – perhaps even going back to when Striker was re-launched back in 2013, as this has effectively been a three-year epic!

Finally, I’d like to say how fantastic it’s been to not only see that so many new members have joined Strikerworld, but that so many of you are posting your thoughts and opinions on everything from developments in the story to the next steps for Striker itself. Without the support from all of you, I wouldn’t even be thinking about any next steps!

• For the latest news and to discuss Striker join the StrikerWorld forum: http://strikerworld.co.uk

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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