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A Major Announcement; SEE PAGE 14 FOR NEWEST UPDATE!
Topic Started: Nov 25 2017, 01:34 AM (30,856 Views)
Pete.Nash
Advanced Member
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As I think you all know by now, it's been a tough two years since the new editor at The Sun decided to end Striker (and Hagar!) only to then ask for it to come back 10 days later after fans complained.

The new deal resulted in a much lower fee from The Sun - not even enough to cover production costs Ė but enabled me to advertise merchandise from the strip and take the revenue. And it's the revenue from the sales of the three books released so far that has kept Striker going, so once again, a massive thank you to everyone who has bought one or more copies.

There are two lessons from that turn of events: firstly, I can no longer depend on The Sun, and secondly, neither can I take continuing good sales from the books for granted.

One interesting observation that has materialised in the last few days is that even though the mugs we've just released are a third of the price of the books, it's the books that are the biggest sellers. The mugs are fine but people like Striker because of the stories and the ability to engage with them.

So where does Striker go from here? Well, that is going to be entirely up to what you guys do in the new year.

My intention is to launch a new weekly publication that will be printed and sold through subscription and in the shops for around £2.50. There would also be a cheaper online edition.

Before I go any further, let me make this clear: I lost a six-figure sum on the comic and the fantastic fans who bought shares didn't see a return on their investment (aside from the exclusive shareholder prints). For that reason, I won't be seeking investment and neither will I be risking what money I have left because I can't afford to lose it! But there is a way to do this Ė and to do it in a way that avoids the mistakes of the past.

I will describe this proposed publication shortly, but let's focus for a minute on why I would be crazy enough to consider something like this, given the failure of the comic. In a nutshell, we had these problems:

* Overheads were too high because we were still pioneering the 3D art and it was a nightmare finding and training specialised artists.

* We couldn't afford to advertise (do you remember The Sun pulled our planned ads on the day before launch?)

* We were trying to please people of all ages (like our fan base in The Sun) rather than focus on our core readership of adults.

* It was too Striker-specific. We tried introducing vintage strips like Billy's Boots, which people liked, but there wasn't enough variety.

So what's different now?

* For a start, overheads are far lower. We're operating on a shoestring at the moment, and I'd like to change that, but staff costs would still be far cheaper because our 3D style is now more established.

* We could advertise from the Striker strip in The Sun.

* Adults would be our target audience.

* And here's the really big deal... this would not be a Striker publication, but a publication with Striker in it.

I have the title of the publication and I know the content, but I don't want to reveal that until I know whether this is definitely going to happen. But essentially, each week there would be:

* Seven or eight pages of Striker - the same storyline as The Sun but more detailed. Plus the kind of character interviews and features we did in the comic, and match reports etc.

* Approximately six pages of a new weekly serial, created and written initially by me but drawn by a good 2D artist. Ultimately I would need to hire writers who could contribute to Striker as well as the new serials.

* Around six pages of a serial based on a classic movie - in fact it would almost be like watching the movie in print. I would love to go into detail on this but I can't yet. Suffice to say, I have created some mock-ups and they are amazing.

* Two or three pages of my Psycops strip which ran in The Sun from 1994 to 1998 and has never been republished.

* I would also like to do a strip by another creator. This could be tricky to get past my built-in quality control because there's a lot of crap out there, but I believe it can happen.

* There might also be a text serial that would be illustrated by three or four images each week.

So how could this come about? That's where crowdfunding comes in. I will go into much more detail on this after Christmas, but let me explain a few things first.

By crowdfunding, I don't mean just asking Strikerworld members to buy a weekly subscription - whether print or online - though I would dearly like them to! I am talking about extending this offer to the widest possible audience, which crowdfunding and social media marketing makes possible.

Briefly, people will be invited to purchase one or more "rewards", and the money raised (if we hit our target) will be used to fund the first three months of the publication. The most obvious of those rewards will be, say, £27 for a 12-week print subscription (delivered to your door every week) or perhaps £18 for a 12-week online subscription.

In addition - or perhaps even instead of - people will be able to buy Striker merchandise that has so far been produced, either individual books or the set of four that have been published so far for a special price. There are even some T-shirts and Gillette Striker football shirts. Whatever we can sell, the money will fund the publication.

To make this work, I would need a minimum of 1,600 people to pledge to buy a 12-week subscription, or other equivalent purchases of merchandise. That would provide just enough to cover costs for that period to ensure we could print a minimum of 12 issues.

In addition to the subscriptions, the publication would be sold in newsagents (we have two distributors keen to handle this).

If shop sales are strong enough (we only need to sell a few thousand) and enough people renew their subscriptions, the publication will continue beyond the 12 weeks.

The beauty of all this is that nobody will part with any money up front. Instead they make pledges - and the crowdfunding trustees only accept the money if the target we have set has been reached or exceeded. If it falls short, no money is taken and the proposed publication will be consigned to the dream bin.

This post is already way longer than I intended it to be but it's hard to be brief with such a big concept. I hope I've managed to convey the gist of it though.

My reason for revealing the plan now is to invite your views, be they positive or negative. I appreciate there is very little detail about the content but I would hope you would have an idea after 32 years of Striker of the kind of quality to expect.

Before signing off, I will address a question that Mick recently asked in relation to crowdfunding and merchandise. He said he would prefer to see Striker raise money by doing commercial tie-ins (like a big food or drinks company bringing out a Striker-themed product) than embark on a crowdfunding campaign.

That's a sound suggestion but I would say two things. Firstly, we tried that before with the comic when we did a tie-in with a company that brought out a Striker spirits range. We sold a few but not enough to get drunk on. Striker is big but it needs to be bigger to take advantage of licensing opportunities.

And while merchandise can be a good earner on the side, the core product will always be the story-telling and the community spirit of the audience that builds up around it.

Crowdfunding, if successful, will help to promote Striker while simultaneously raising revenue. It will enable us to reach out to people who may have heard of Striker but don't read The Sun, or never saw it on YouTube. If people like what we're doing and what we're trying to achieve, they'll get on board and enjoy the ride. If they don't, the train won't leave the station.

So over to you guys. I'm really interested to hear your views, suggestions or questions, particularly from people who rarely post or who have never posted on Strikerworld before...
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Paul Bradley
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I would absolutely be up for the 12 week subscription thing.
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Mick
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Uncle Joshuaô
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Pete.Nash
Nov 25 2017, 01:34 AM


* I would also like to do a strip by another creator. This could be tricky to get past my built-in quality control because there's a lot of crap out there, but I believe it can happen.
This bit is of great interest to me... What kind of strip would you be looking at? Two of my nephews (adults) Draw strips.

Pete.Nash
Nov 25 2017, 01:34 AM


Before signing off, I will address a question that Mick recently asked in relation to crowdfunding and merchandise. He said he would prefer to see Striker raise money by doing commercial tie-ins (like a big food or drinks company bringing out a Striker-themed product) than embark on a crowdfunding campaign.

That's a sound suggestion but I would say two things. Firstly, we tried that before with the comic when we did a tie-in with a company that brought out a Striker spirits range. We sold a few but not enough to get drunk on. Striker is big but it needs to be bigger to take advantage of licensing opportunities.

And while merchandise can be a good earner on the side, the core product will always be the story-telling and the community spirit of the audience that builds up around it.

Crowdfunding, if successful, will help to promote Striker while simultaneously raising revenue. It will enable us to reach out to people who may have heard of Striker but don't read The Sun, or never saw it on YouTube. If people like what we're doing and what we're trying to achieve, they'll get on board and enjoy the ride. If they don't, the train won't leave the station.


I actually meant doing deals with smaller companies, IE: Getting a local mirco brewer to relabel existing brews..There are a few northern micros based on farms now that would fit well with Eric's involvment in The Slappers. or clothing manufacturers to produce items on a share of profit basis.

I think both ideas could coexist and both have their values.

Pete.Nash
Nov 25 2017, 01:34 AM
who have never posted on Strikerworld before...
You got your wish... Kevpk must have been here 4 years but hasn't posted until tonight.
Edited by Mick, Nov 25 2017, 02:38 AM.
Posted Image

The Song Warbury run out to on match days
Chumbawamba Tubthumping.
https://t.co/cnR7fny0oH


surgemus Warriors (From ashes we rise)


Warbury Warriors fight
And win the battles
They know the taste of victory



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wgw2007
Advanced Member
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Iím in for a 12 weeks subscription, well actually Iím up for a subscription for as long as it goes be it weeks, months, years. The main other thing that would interest me is some signed art work. I think a real cool concept for that would be a modern day strip drew in the original hand drawn style with the modern day strip alongside it. Maybe side by side in a frame. The cost could take into consideration the amount of work it would take. May I also suggest a subscription for 12 issues that could include some form of folder/binder/storage that the 12 issues could go into. A bit like we used to have with the comics. This could be for an extra cost of course or you could possibly offer a longer subscription for this option depending upon if thatís viable.

In other news it would be really interesting to have another strip in it with a different sport, sitting here watching the ashes I think cricket would be amazing but any other sport would be fun.

Other than that, best of luck really hope it gets off the ground.
Edited by wgw2007, Nov 25 2017, 02:14 AM.
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beanybishop
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Sounds great to me I've not bought sun since mucking you about. Happy to subscribe for physical or online content and then buy book for physical copy " long live striker "
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kevpk
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Sounds good to me, I like the idea of aiming at the more adult audience, and a mix of different stories in the comic also sounds good and I would definitely be up for the subscription idea. Crowdfunding is something I know very little about, but I have used it once and it worked ( a cd made for a band I like) . I hope there is enough interest because itís something I would definitely be involved in
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Mick
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Uncle Joshuaô
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wgw2007
Nov 25 2017, 02:13 AM
The main other thing that would interest me is some signed art work.

You should enter our cap comp...


http://strikerworld.co.uk/topic/30375604/3/#new
Posted Image

The Song Warbury run out to on match days
Chumbawamba Tubthumping.
https://t.co/cnR7fny0oH


surgemus Warriors (From ashes we rise)


Warbury Warriors fight
And win the battles
They know the taste of victory



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wgw2007
Advanced Member
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Mick
Nov 25 2017, 02:56 AM
wgw2007
Nov 25 2017, 02:13 AM
The main other thing that would interest me is some signed art work.

You should enter our cap comp...


http://strikerworld.co.uk/topic/30375604/3/#new
hadnít noticed it, had a try, thanks.
Edited by wgw2007, Nov 25 2017, 03:22 AM.
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DJ Snake
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So many words but simple question (i guess not answered yet)

Does Strikerworld go OFF the Sun again?
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Terry
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Being a typical Scotsman, not having to part with cash at first is something I like :tongue: joking aside I like the plans and defiantly would take a subscription, the mixture of different stories is a good idea, old and new, Phycops for example would be a big favourite as you know a few members have been asking to see it in some form again, maybe the possibility of running with Winger in the publication as well? Reading your post has again made me think about doing the agent bit from the comic days again, and I think it may be an idea to do this again, maybe some of the folks that pledged can take an couple of hours or so weekly to do this, anyway look forward to future developments and I'm in
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Terry
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DJ Snake
Nov 25 2017, 06:42 AM
So many words but simple question (i guess not answered yet)

Does Strikerworld go OFF the Sun again?
If you mean Striker the strip? Pete has said the new publication will run along side the strip in the Sun
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stevenUK1
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I'd be very happy to pay for a 12 week subscription, even more so with it being delivered to my door. I don't have what you call a "local" store near me so it's a massive selling point for me.

I'd love to buy a shirt, so really looking forward to them being released again.

I see that you want to push everything towards the more adult area as that is your main core of fans. Will there still be something for the teenage area too? I remember when I first got in to Striker and would hate for Striker to lose newer fans coming in because it's too focused on adults?

EDIT: You mention that the strip in the new weekly will follow what happens in The S*n, but will the strip still be added to Planet Striker?
Edited by stevenUK1, Nov 25 2017, 08:13 AM.
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Karlos Fandango
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I know I havenít posted in years but I was onl6 thinking recently about why hasnít there been a Patreon subscription service for striker, with tiered levels depending on how much you donate. Iíd very much be up for crowdfunding subscription and would sign up now if you get a link online.

Also looking forward for volume 4 coming through my door soon.

All the best

Karl
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Scotthedog
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I think the crowd funding is a great idea - you see it work all the time with other projects and I'm up for the 12 week idea
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mrjvs2005
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I presume the difficulty will be keeping people interested and subscribing over a longer term when the main story content is available elsewhere for free. I see the point that those who really want to see more would purchase, it just depends on how many are that keen. It definitley seems to appeal more to the hard-core element of striker fans though so hopefully that's enough to keep it going in a tough and competitive environment. I'd certainly be up for subscribing initially at least for the first 12 weeks to see how it looks and takes shape. I do wonder where the new fanbase will come from but that's a more complex question which I have no idea how to answer myself. Hopefully this is a positive step for Striker.
Edited by mrjvs2005, Nov 25 2017, 10:27 AM.
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LeighLorriman
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I'm definitely in for this idea. 12 issues then a rolling renewal would suit me fine.
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Simon.Bisson
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I would give it a go
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Spsparrow
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Iím definitely up for the 12 week subscription! I love my striker, you guys do a great job
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Deano
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I think that the subscription part is the key to the survival of Striker, But also the work in spreading the word online across all social media platforms.

Crowdfunding, if run with ongoing drive, can work. I'm running a small football team here in Sweden and used Crowdfunding last season to get all to pay in return for sponsorship endorsements. It worked well and we only just missed our crowdfund total.

Being overseas I would certainly book up for any online related content.
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deepex
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Hi, this is something that would really interest me. Not a fan of the Sun and mainly read the strips on the website when I get a chance so I am not really up to date on the world of striker. A weekly comic is something I would buy and a subscription that gets it delivered to my door is perfect. My local newsagents love to start selling a comic/book but then stop getting it after a few weeks so a subscription saves alot of hassle.


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