We live in a world of digital entertainment. Movies, music, video games, and more are all not only widely available for digital download or on streaming platforms, but they're the preferred method of consumption making worlds of entertainment accessible with just a few clicks or swipes. When it comes to comics, however, the digital revolution has been a bit slower to take hold. While fans can go online every New Comic Book Day and get their weekly reads digitally, the comic book experience is as much about collecting as it is reading - something that has left digital comic sales as only a small percentage of overall sales industry-wide. Now, a new product aims to change that with a new way to collect comics.
Comic Tags is a new product launched in partnership with Scout Comics and Entertainment as a way to both distribute and collect digital comic books, addressing some of the biggest problems that both comic collectors and comic publishers face in terms of digital comics. Think of them as a hybrid of comic books and trading cards combining the experience and convenience of digital comics with the collectability trading cards to offer the best of both worlds. Comic Tags are limited edition collectible cards that have a unique code that allows collectors to download a PDF copy of the graphic novel featured on the card. The cards are attached to hangable backers that open and close just like a mini-comic book, with the backers featuring interiors right from the comic. It gives customers a glimpse at what they're getting with the digital PDF as well as a physical piece of art they can collect right along with that collectible card. Comic Tags are even packaged in their own bags for a true comic buying and collecting experience, just in miniature. Even the physical purchase of the cards has captured the comics buying experience with comic shops and retailers having the option to use Comic Tags display racks that are reminiscent of spinner racks.
For James Haick III, Comic Tags founder and president as well as a partner at Scout Comics, the idea for Comic Tags came, in part, from the love of collecting comics and the issues of space and storage that it can present.
"As a lifelong collector, I have dozens of comic boxes in my garage that are difficult to access and unwieldy to handle," Haick said. "I can't easily read the comics I have collected. Digital comics should solve this problem, but I never loved digital comics because I couldn't touch them or feel them - so it never felt like actually 'collecting' anything."
"I always felt like digital sales for comics were not near the numbers they should be" Don Handfield, partner and board member of Scout Comics said. "Digital comics should be for comic publishers what the CD was for the music labels or DVDs were for film studios. But digital comics sales account for less than 8-9% of overall sales industry-wide. I think this is because collectors want something they can touch and feel. Collectors want to collect."
Launching today, Comic Tags have a retail price of $6.99 each, a price that for collectors is a fraction of the typical print and digital trade paperback price which generally ranges between $14.99 and $29.99 each. The first wave of release includes some of Scout Comics' most popular series to date, including The Mall, White Ash, Mindbender, Stabbity Bunny, It Eat What Feeds It, Gutt Ghost, Solar Flare, and The Source. More titles are coming in the future, as are more publishers with Comic Tags tailored to each publisher's library with custom variants, holographic chase cards, limited edition foil, and metal cards, and even one-of-a-kind limited edition and artist signed variant covers, just like the traditional comic collecting experience.0comments
"The collectible card market is an international, multi-billion dollar business. So are comic books. By combining these two collector favorites, we not only give collectors a new way to collect and read their favorite titles but also provide a new revenue stream for both publishers and retailers," Haick said. "We are in talks with other publishers now and expect to have more Comic Tag publisher partnerships to announce very soon."
You can check out Comic Tags for yourself on their website here.