It’s an early run for Striker Volume 21!

The ongoing project to collect every episode of the long-running Striker strip has cranked up the pace of release a little, with Striker: The Complete Collection Volume 21 available to pre-order now.

Creator Pete Nash has been releasing the football strip that first featured in The Sun, but also appeared in its own comic, twice, and other publications, in sumptuous hardback volumes. In total, a set of 25 books is planned, with Volume 21 now available to pre-order now, in an effort to beat postal strike snarl ups this month.

Volume 21, a whopping 256 page collection, spans Striker stories published in 2016, and includes an extra serving of gripping drama, as well as the usual dose of laughs. And life is just as dramatic in creator Pete Nash’s foreword, as he recalls the extraordinary behind-the-scenes events of 2016, which included the launch of the Planet Striker YouTube channel, and the release of the very first volume of Striker: The Complete Collection.

Volume 21 costs £28 or £32 for a signed book, including UK delivery.

Striker first appeared as a daily comic strip in The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, on 11th November 1985 and is owned by its creator Pete Nash, a former Fleet Street journalist. The strip has followed the adventures of its hero Nick Jarvis from his debut as a 20-year-old footballer to his present day role as the billionaire owner of fictitious football club Warbury Warriors.

Striker is unusual for a comic in that it is followed by a predominately adult male audience, with nearly 40 per cent in the 18-36 age group. Another feature that sets it apart from other strips is that its characters age in real time.

Striker: Complete Collection Volume 1
Striker Volume One - Sample 1

From its raw beginnings a hand-drawn, black-and-white comic strip, initially written and drawn by Pete himself, then drawn by John Cooper, its style of artwork changed noticeably over the years until, in 1998, Striker became the first comic strip in the world to be created entirely in 3D animation software. This was done with the intention of laying the foundations for a transition to full animation at a later stage and enabling multiple artists to work on it without changing its style.

The new realistic look of Striker in conjunction with its core football theme also made it commercially viable to attract corporate sponsorship – and in 2001 Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile became Striker’s first sponsor, paying to have its brand on the Warbury kits seen in the strip and on the printed strip in The Sun. Virgin Mobile described it as one of their most successful sponsorships ever and renewed their option to extend for a second year. Other sponsors have included Talksport and Gillette.

Striker Volume 20 Promotion

From late 2003 to mid-2005, Striker was published as an independent weekly comic, helped by the support of fans who raised nearly £200,000. In 2013, Striker’s increasing popularity was reflected by The Sun increasing both its size in the paper to nearly half a page and its frequency from six to seven days a week.

Although the strip is no longer running, at present, at least, it continues to enjoy a loyal following – and Pete still has plans for the project.

Christmas 2016 saw the release of the first book of Striker: The Complete Collection – a 300-page A4 hardback featuring all the black-and-white Striker stories from 1985 to 1990.

Every volume of Striker is still in some stock, from volumes including its early days as a black and white line art strip drawn by Pete Nash himself, and John Cooper, but do note there’s limited availability of initial collections. if you want those, get them fast!

Pre-order Striker Volume 21 here from the official website site

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Collections, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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