Shoot Shot Down

IPC Media has announced the closure of Shoot! after 40 years, a victim of stiff competition from rivals.

The Guardian reports the cancellation of the IPC Media title, which once rubbed shoulders with sports-dominated comics such as Roy of the Rovers and Tiger, has been unable to compete with rivals such as market leader Match, BBC Magazines’ Match of the Day (which launched in March and features a popular comic strip drawn by Martin Baines) and new challenger Kick!.

The closure comes four months after Shoot! relaunched it as a weekly, a status it had enjoyed from its launch in 1969 and was a weekly until 2000.

In addition to stiff competition in the sector, Shoot!‘s higher cover price (£1.80 compared to 95p for top rival Match) also appear not to have done the title any favours.

“It is with great regret that we have had to make this decision,” said Paul Williams, the managing director of IPC Inspire, the Guardian reports. IPC are now in exclusive negotiations to sell the Shoot! trademark to Pedigree Books, which publishes the Shoot! Christmas annual and other books.

Shoot! sales figures were around 35,000 an issue, still much higher than those of the last football comic, Striker, which sold some 29,000 copies on launch but whose sales declined slowly over 87 issues — still an impressive run for an independent title (as Striker owner Pete Nash recounts here on the official site).

Ironically given the cancellation of Shoot!, potential investors advised Pete to make his title more of a magazine to raise its profile and opportunities for investment. (Striker now runs in The Sun where it began back in 1985).

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.

2 thoughts on “Shoot Shot Down

  • June 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks, Andy – folks, check out Andy’s blog, he was editor of Shoot and notes in his comments on the magazine’s passing ( that there was a comic in the title.

    “I commissioned a regular weekly cartoon called Shoot! FC from an artist called Rob Davies. Rob, it turned out, had drawn Roy Of The Rovers (the period when Roy Race only had one foot) and had also done stuff for 2000AD, including (I think) Dredd. I lost touch with Rob after leaving Shoot! and a Google search has produced nothing about his current whereabouts. Anyone out there remember him and know what he’s up to these days?”

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