Striker, The Sun’s comic strip, is leaving the paper after 18 years to launch as a standalone weekly comic next month.
It is believed to be the ?rst new weekly comic to be published in the UK since the relaunch of Eagle in 1982.
Aimed at men aged 16-24 and the 3.9 million Sun readers who follow it on a daily basis, the 32-page full-colour title will feature football coverage and a serialised storyline on the private lives of the characters from the cartoon strip.
Backed by a £250,000 advertising campaign, it will be published independently by Striker 3D, the company set up four years ago by creator Pete Nash. An of?cial website, www.striker3d.net, is planned to coincide with the launch.
Nash gave 12 months’ notice to terminate the £500,000-ayear contract with The Sun last September but talks to run the comic in conjunction with the newspaper strip broke down last month after the paper insisted on ?rst rights.
“The Sun wasn’t prepared to run second-hand material from the comic and we don’t yet have the resources to create fresh material for both the comic and The Sun,” Nash said. “We also had talks with Richard Desmond, who was prepared to accept second rights and run Striker in the Daily Star and Daily Express – but he also wanted to publish our comic and pay us a royalty, which would have compromised our freedom and independence.”
“We’ve had a long and rewarding relationship with The Sun, but Striker has come of age and it’s time to stand on our own. It’s scary and it’s risky because I’m putting my house on the line – but I want to make comics great again and that means putting my money where my mouth is.”
The ?rst issue of Striker is due out 28 August, priced £1.
By Ruth Addicott