Comic Tags are a new format for publishing, selling, and distributing comics, that combine printed comic books, digital comic books, and trading cards. Comic Tags are described as limited edition collectible cards sold in comic book stores which each have a unique scratch-off code, allowing the buyer to download a PDF copy of the graphic novel featured on the card. They're attached to hangable backers that open, close, and look like a mini-comic book, and contain interiors from the comic in question, giving readers a glimpse at what they're getting and an art piece to hang on to along with the card.
Don Handfield, partner and board member of Scout says "I always felt like digital sales for comics were not near the numbers they should be. Digital comics should be for comic publishers what the CD was for the music labels or DVDs were for film studios. But digital comic 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."
James Haick III, Comic Tags founder and President, and partner in Scout Comics, states that he came up with a unique solution to this problem with ComicTags. "As a lifelong collector, I have hundreds of comic boxes in my house and storage unit that are difficult to access and unwieldy to handle. 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."
Each Comic Tag is intended to look and feel like a miniature comic book, right down to the clear plastic comic sleeve each one comes with. Comic Tags also have a price point lower than buying typical print and digital trade paperbacks. Most graphic novels are priced between $14.99 and $29.99 each, but the first wave of Comic Tags have a retail price of $6.99 each.
Comic Tags first wave of releases are currently at FOC this weekend from Lunar Distributors, with eight titles in total featuring The Mall, White Ash, Mindbender, Stabbity Bunny, It Eats What Feeds It, Gutt Ghost, Solar Flare, and The Source, with more publishers joining Scout Comics in the future.
Indeed, they are promising that Comic Tags will be tailored to each publisher's library with custom special variants, holographic chase cards, limited edition foil and metal cards, one-of-a-kind limited editions and artist signed variant covers.
"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 publishers, creators and retailers. We are in talks with other publishers now and expect to have more Comic Tag publisher partnerships to announce very soon," said James Haick III.