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The Black Coat rides again in a new graphic novel full of action, adventure, espionage, and monsters!
Created by

Ben Lichius

292 backers pledged $17,332 to help bring this project to life.

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MechRunner - A New Kickstarter from Ben's company, Spark Plug Games

Hey All,

Some of you know that, when I'm not making comics, I work for Spark Plug Games making all manner of video games for people to enjoy. If you happen to enjoy games, specifically fast-paced mech games, then you're in luck! Spark Plug has just launched a Kickstarter for a new game called MechRunner that goes live in July of this year. The game features some pretty amazing artwork and some awesome action (If you're into that kind of thing.) and the campaign has some pretty sweet rewards that you won't be able to get anywhere else.

Anyway, here's a link to the game. Thanks for checking it out! :)

-Ben

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sparkpluggames/mechrunner

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!

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It's Done! (Thank You!)

There are just a few outstanding backers whose addresses I still need in order to close this baby out (you know who you are!), but for all intents and purposes, this Kickstarter campaign has reached its end! Whoohoo!

I want to thank EVERYONE involved. It took a few extra months to cross the finish line, but you have been a generous, patient, and gracious community of supporters and so, again, for me, Dean, Diego, Deron, and the folks at Ape: THANK YOU! 

If you haven't received your reward package yet, you should receive it in the next couple of days - they have all been mailed out. (I know because my office is now magically 3 times the size it was last month.) I sincerely hope that everyone enjoys reading the new book as much as we enjoyed making it.

I'll be sure to post updates here from time to time as new developments happen. Until then, feel free to follow The Black Coat on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackCoat.

You guys rock!! :)

-Ben

The Books Have Arrived!!

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Hey everyone!

It's finally happened! The books arrived at my doorstep this afternoon. Don't believe me? (If not, I don't blame you, but...) Here they are!

 I'm very excited to tell you that the books turned out great. And I'm very happy with the quality. I hope you all will be too. I'm going to be getting them in the mail to everyone as soon as I can.

On a related note: I will be at the Comics and Collectibles show at the Clearview Mall in Butler, PA tomorrow (Saturday 2/1/14). I'm excited about the show, but I'd rather be packaging up Kickstarter Rewards. But, hey, what would this process be without just a little more bad timing? :)
So if you are local and would like to pick your copy up ahead of time, drop me a line or come by and see me. I know it's short notice, but I wanted to have them in my hands before promising anything. (When I signed up for the show several months ago, my intent was to have everything mailed out before doing any shows, so I apologize for the timing of things this weekend. I'll be taking some time off from work to get as much done on the mailing front as possible first thing next week.)

Thanks again everyone! We're in the home stretch!

-Ben 

Ape Entertainment Update

Hey everyone!

I know it's been a long time since our last update. I'd been waiting until we had some more factual information to share about shipping, etc. and I've been told that the information is coming very soon, possibly later today. In the meantime, however, I can discuss a little bit about what's been going on for the last few months that should shed some light on why the books are running behind.

First, I want to thank everyone for their patience. Independent comic book publishing is always a tricky business and, every time you think you've got a handle on things, something comes up to prove you wrong. In our case, the production of the book went very smoothly, but as things turned out, our timing for printing and distribution could not have been a lot worse than it's been. 

Some of you with your finger on the pulse of the comic industry may already know this but last fall the CEO of our publishing company (and BC backer!), David Hedgecock, left Ape to take a position as Managing Editor at IDW. This was a great move, so we're very happy for him, but at the same time it began a period of reorganization at Ape  - and this has had a direct impact not just on our book, but Ape's entire lineup of books over the last few months. 

Yesterday, an article went up on ComicsBeat.com questioning if Ape was going out of business (link), but COO (and BC backer!), Brent Erwin, posted a reassuring reply that I'll quote here (link):

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"As Mark Twain said “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. As you know our business partner David Hedgecock left Ape very late last year to pursue an opportunity as a Managing Editor at IDW, we wished him well and hope nothing but success for him. At the time of David’s departure my other partner and I decided to take the opportunity to reorganize and stream line Ape which we are still in the process of doing.

We recently worked with Diamond to cancel outstanding orders on product that was beyond its normal shipping window. We didn’t want old orders hanging out there for retailers to have to deal with. We do plan to resolicit certain books at a later date, it just doesn’t make sense to announce that until we know exactly when we will. We have a lot of great product ready to launch.

We are currently planning the release of our “Fruit Ninja” comic app at the end of January for Chinese New Year along with other digital initiatives. We have also been in talks with Hollywood about a few of our properties so we have been keeping very busy."
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So the good news is that everyone here and at Ape is fully committed to The Black Coat and Brent is personally overseeing the printing/shipping process for the new book in an effort to get everyone their copies as soon as possible! I'm hoping to have more definitive information about it very soon so thanks again and stay posted!

Best,
-Ben

Shipping Update

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Hey everyone!

Well, I've got the shipping supplies. I've gathered the rewards. And I've even got the shipping labels all printed up. I hate to bring bad news at this time of year, but the only thing I don't have right now are the books from the printer. :(

I've been told they are en route and should be arriving soon. As soon as they do, I'll be busy getting them in the mail. Of course I realize that we are a couple of months behind so I want to apologize again to everyone for the delays and I'm also very sorry that looks like the books won't be in the mail for Christmas. I hope it has not inconvenienced any of you. If it has, please let me know if there's any I way I can help and I'll do my best.

In the meantime, I truly do hope that this holiday season finds everyone happy and healthy and thankful for their many blessings. 

Many, many thanks your patience and your support!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

-Ben

PS - If you haven't read the PDF version yet, enjoy a few pages from the new book!