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Thursday, 7 February 2013

Striker creator Pete Nash still hopes for TV series

Striker © Pete Nash
Pete Nash, creator of the long-running football strip Striker for The Sun newspaper, still has hopes the strip will jump from the printed page to TV.

Answering fans questions on the StrikerWorld forum (membership required to view), Pete, who successfully secured sponsorship for the strip in the past, said that in order for Striker to be a real success, it needs to evolve from being just a newspaper strip.

"It has been produced with 3D animation software since 1999 because I believe animation is the future for Striker, whether as a TV series or film," he said. "The costs are significant but I am optimistic it will happen before I kick the bucket!"

Pete Nash has been writing Striker since 1985, first as a line art strip for The Sun, then moving to its current 3D presentation. In 2003 he withdrew the strip form the paper following a dispute over intellectual property rights then launched Striker comic, which closed after an impressive 87 issues in 2005.

Striker returned to the pages of The Sun, but it was dropped in 2009 and found a home in Nuts, then eventually returned to The Sun earlier this year.

It's clear from questions asked that many fans of Striker were supporters of his attempt to turn it into a news stand comic and hanker for its return, but Pete knows this would be no easy journey, even with the ability to promote such a title through social media and with the online support and promotion by the stripe's many fans. 

"Production costs would only be lower if we operated as an online comic without a print issue," he argues. "Would an online comic have been profitable, or could it be? Who knows. The Dandy has ended its print run after 70 odd years but only time will tell if it will thrive online.

"Having said that, the online platform does offer opportunities in the areas you've suggested - for instance, one activity that will be launched in the near future is an iPad app and mobile app for past issues of the comic and newspaper strips. The overheads are quite low so hopefully this can generate some reasonable revenue, but we will have to see how they sell."

At present, it seems really promoting the title online is a little hamstrung: Pete revealed "certain contractual issues"currently prevent him from forming an official website and Twitter feed or Facebook page –  "but at least Striker is back in the country's biggest-selling paper and being enjoyed again by millions of readers.

"One interesting aside about Facebook and Twitter is that Striker's return to The Sun generated thousands of posts and tweets around the country," Pete revealed. "It certainly shows the strength of Striker's appeal and following but it's frustrating that it's been so difficult to reflect that popularity with the emergence of spin-off activities. We must keep the faith, though!

"For Striker to evolve creatively, more money needs to be generated. The Sun will be trying to generate extra revenue through new opportunities and possibilities so we will have to see how these develop."

Pete also says he still hopes the whole strip will be collected, perhaps aiming for release in time for the strip's 30th anniversary in November 2015. Meanwhile, plans are afoot for new merchandise.

It's clear he is still thinking long term about Striker, in terms of the strip and its possible adaptation in other mediums. Clearly a man who has fought long and hard to make the best of his creation, we wish him every success.

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