July is shaping up to be a frantic month as we prepare for the release of three new publications. Here's the latest news:


STRIKER: THE FINAL WHISTLE

The final episode of Striker will be featured in a commemorative 52-page collectors' edition of the comic titled Striker: The Final Whistle. Priced at £4.95 with a perfect bound gloss cover, it will go on sale at our online shop from Thursday, July 4, and will be printed around the middle of July (exact date to be confirmed shortly).


We're working with our distributors to make the comic available in as many newsagents as possible - but the quickest and easiest way to ensure you don't miss out is to buy from our shop and have it mailed to you direct from the printing house. If you haven't done so already, sign up and register at the bottom of our home page to make sure you receive email notifications from Striker HQ.


A digital version version is also being considered.  


At least 33 pages of The Final Whistle will be all-new comic strips, picking up from where issue 24 left off and bringing Striker to a fitting finale after 34 memorable years in print.


There will also be a frank and revealing interview with the original 'Mr Striker' Nick Jarvis, plus a special Nashy's News column from Striker creator Pete Nash. He explains that while Striker is coming to an end as a comic and newspaper strip, there will hopefully be a new future for Striker in a different format.


Comics guru John Freeman from downthetubes.net will be writing about Striker and the state of the UK comic industry - and there will be a special Fanzone section.


PSYCOPS: ALL 18 EPISODES IN ONE MASSIVE BOOK

It's an open secret that Pete Nash - under the pseudonym Wilbur - created another serialised comic strip called Psycops that ran in The Sun alongside Striker from July, 1994, to the start of 1999. The adventures are being reprinted in their entirety for the very first time in a 304-page book available as a softcover version and a limited edition of 250 signed hardbacks. Prices will be announced shortly.


An outlandish mix of The Fugitive, The X-Files and Starman, Psycops follows the adventures of feisty British private eye Charity Wilde who is forced to go on the run from the CIA with a human-like alien she nicknames Gabriel. Using Gabriel's unique mental ability called Psysight, the odd couple travel the world incognito as private eyes investigating strange mysteries.

As the cases they investigate become ever more bizarre, Charity is tormented by a burning question: why did Gabriel come to earth  - and can she really trust him?


All 18 episodes are written by Pete Nash, who also drew the strip for the first 18 months. It was then briefly drawn by the late British comic artist John Cooper before the artwork was passed on to John M Burns, one of Britain's most talented comic artists. Some sample strips will be uploaded to this website in the next few days.


Psycops will be available to buy exclusively from our online shop from early July.

STRIKER: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION - VOLUME 8 AND BEYOND

With a scheduled release date around the end of July, Volume 8 of the complete Striker collection is giving creator Pete Nash a major headache. This book covers the start of the first comic era - and he's grappling with what to include from those first comics and what to leave out.


The most likely outcome is that the period covering the 87 weekly comics that were published between 2003 and 2005 will be compiled into at least three volumes. All the Striker comic stories will be included, along with some of the football action strips and selected comic covers. But there's unlikely to be any room for the features and interviews, other than the odd stand-out few.


Pete said: "Once the last comic and the Psycops book is out of the way - and with no more new Striker strips to work on after mid-July - I'm hoping I'll have the time to fully focus on Volume 8. It's possible we could miss the end-of-July target by a week or two, but the lighter workload means subsequent books will be able to come out more regularly - about every three months or so.


"As long as the demand is there, I will continue to publish the books until the last volume, which would take us to where we are now."


Stay tuned for for more updates on all these titles very soon.

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By Striker creator PETE NASH

Fans were understandably disappointed with my announcement last week that Striker is to end as a comic and newspaper strip after an amazing 34 years – but if you think the game’s all over, it most definitely isn’t.


Firstly, there’s the commemorative final edition of the comic to publish. Orders can be made from the shop on our website from Monday, July 1, with an expected publication date of July 17. Sporting a gloss card cover, it will be a bumper issue of at least 52 pages, bringing the epic Striker saga to a fitting conclusion.


Those buying the comic from our website will have their issues delivered by mail. I am hoping that the comics will also be available in as many newsagents as possible – but the safest bet will be to buy online. The comics are likely to sell out and there will not be a second print run.


For fans who have been asking if the Complete Collection books will continue, the answer is yes - as long as the demand continues. And in the absence of new strips to produce, I should be able to publish a new volume every three months.


Volume 8 will hopefully be on sale before the end of July.


In the meanwhile I will be publishing a very different book – a 300-page volume of all my Psycops comic strips that ran in The Sun from mid-1994 to the end of 1998. There will be two purchasing options – a cheaper softback edition and a signed hardback edition. Estimated on-sale date is the end of June. More on this in a separate update in a week or two.


Also on the agenda is a commemorative Striker poster in A3, A2 or A1 sizes that would feature all the principal characters from 1985 to date.


Finally, I’m giving a lot of thought to the best approach to the re-telling of the Striker saga. I mentioned in my last update of my intention to write a pilot screenplay for a possible adaption into a TV series. That would involve sending the finished script to an agent or production company in the hope that it would be commissioned and developed.


But there may be a better way forward. I’m thinking about pre-empting the screenplay by writing a series of Striker novels that would start with Nick’s move to Warbury in 1994. The advantage of this is that the fans would be able to enjoy the re-telling of Striker in a new format of ebooks and paperbacks that I would write in the style of the envisaged TV series.


The stories would have the same essential ingredients of comedy and drama, but with a more realistic feel - and clear variations to the plots.


These books in themselves could lead to a film or TV series being optioned, while simultaneously keeping Striker going for the fans in a brand new format. If I go ahead, the first book could be ready by the end of the year.


I’d love to know what you think and look forward to your views on the Strikerworld Facebook and forum.

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Updated: Sep 3, 2019

By Striker creator PETE NASH

It’s with sadness but also optimism that I have to announce the end of Striker as a comic and newspaper strip after 34 memorable years. I made the decision after The Sun explained that while they were happy to keep Striker, they were unable to increase their fee to a level that would have made continued production worthwhile.


There was an offer from another newspaper group but it fell short of what was needed.


Despite two successful crowdfunding campaigns to re-launch Striker as a weekly comic, retail sales failed to reach our required target, mainly due to a lack of capital but also because many fans were unwilling to buy the comic when they were getting Striker free in a newspaper.


Potential investors were waiting in the wings - but they were more excited by the animation possibilities of Striker rather than a comic.


For a while, things looked promising when we partnered with a gaming company to show the football in Striker as animated weekly highlights. But the animation wasn’t well received - and the partnership has now ended after the gaming company sold its assets.


Final edition


While a few people may feel Striker should have ended before now, I know most of you will be wondering if there is some other way to keep Striker going. But given the circumstances, I believe the time is right to finally bring the curtain down on the comic and newspaper strip.

I’ve done my best to make it work, but when the writing is on the wall after so many stops and starts, it’s important to read the signs. In the absence of sufficient funding, it’s far better to go out on a high than try to manage an inevitable decline.


And go out on a high we will. I’ve decided to give the 34-year saga a fitting end by publishing a 52-page commemorative issue next month called Striker: The Final Whistle. More on this very soon.


Psycops


There’s another silver lining in the cloud. Now that I’ll have some time on my hands, I’ll finally be able to publish a complete compilation of my Psycops comic strips that were featured in The Sun between 1994 and 1999 and have never been seen since. There are 18 adventures from start to finish that will easily fill a 300-page book.


I mentioned in my intro that I was optimistic despite the decision to end Striker. That’s because I have no intention of putting my feet up. Striker will have run its course as a comic strip but I will be writing a screenplay in the hope of turning it into a TV series that would start with Nick’s move to Warbury in 1994.


The comedian Jim Davidson hired a couple of writers to try and bring Striker to the small screen back in 2003, but I didn’t feel the script was right. This time I’ll have a crack at it myself and hopefully find a production company to push it.


There is no guarantee the script will be commissioned, but it’s the first thing I will be working on after the publication of Psycops and the last Striker comic next month.


Thank you to the fans


Before signing off, I'd like to make another appeal to the VIP Kickstarter backers who didn’t respond to our emails asking for their reward preferences. Your generosity is much appreciated but I would feel a lot better if I could do something in return before Striker ends, so please get in touch.


I seem to recall a VIP backer saying on Facebook that he did respond, but unfortunately we didn’t receive his email. I think he wanted an ad for his business, so please get in touch so I can fulfil that request for the final issue.


So a final word for Striker’s loyal and patient fans: you haven’t just followed Striker, you’ve been a part of it and done everything you can to support it and keep it going, for which I’ll always be grateful.


I’m sorry I couldn’t bring you better news, but I promise to keep you updated on any developments with the screenplay. Thanks again for all your support.

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