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The Black Coat rides again in a new graphic novel full of action, adventure, espionage, and monsters!
The Black Coat rides again in a new graphic novel full of action, adventure, espionage, and monsters!
292 backers pledged $17,332 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Reward Update!

If we make our funding goal by 1/5, EVERY backer will get a FREE 14-page Black Coat digital comic written and drawn by Ben Lichius! Spread the word!

The Black Coat is America's first superspy! With his network of agents, the swashbuckling hero uses his wits, skill with a sword, and amazing inventions to protect the American Colonies from the machinations of the British and the unseen dangers that lurk in the shadows of history.

The Black Coat first saw print in 2006 with the 4-issue series "A Call to Arms." Written by Ben Lichius and Adam Cogan and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, the book received a great deal of acclaim from critics and fans alike. The first issue and trade paperbacks of the series have sold out! 

Issues 1-4 of "A Call to Arms." Art by Francesco Francavilla.
Issues 1-4 of "A Call to Arms." Art by Francesco Francavilla.
Pages from "A Call to Arms" by Francesco Francavilla.
Pages from "A Call to Arms" by Francesco Francavilla.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE FIRST ISSUE FOR FREE!

In 2008, a stand-alone 52-Page Special was published that contained 2 stories featuring art by Gabriel Hardman and Ben Lichius. An Athena Voltaire cross-over issue was also printed that year and featured more art by Ben Lichius and Athena Voltaire creator, Steve Bryant.

One-shot covers by Gabriel Hardman, Steve Bryant, and Ben Lichius
One-shot covers by Gabriel Hardman, Steve Bryant, and Ben Lichius
Pages from the 52-Page Special drawn by Gabriel Hardman.
Pages from the 52-Page Special drawn by Gabriel Hardman.

In 2009, our second full series, "Or Give Me Death" was released, again garnering critical acclaim. OGMD was written by Ben Lichius with art by Francesco Francavilla and Dean Kotz. 

Issues 1-4 of "Or Give Me Death." Art by Dean Kotz.
Issues 1-4 of "Or Give Me Death." Art by Dean Kotz.
Pages from "Or Give Me Death" by Dean Kotz.
Pages from "Or Give Me Death" by Dean Kotz.

CLICK HERE FOR A 30-PAGE PREVIEW OF "OR GIVE ME DEATH"

"When is the next series coming out?"

We hear this all the time. Well, this is it! We want to produce a 66 page graphic novel that will continue the ongoing story of The Black Coat. Ape Entertainment has already agreed to publish the book once it's produced. Ben is handling all of the writing duties and we intend to print the book in full color with the help of uber-talented Diego Rodriguez. Artist Dean Kotz is clearing his schedule and ready to get elbow deep in tri-corn hats and monsters. In fact, if we're successful, this book is next on his plate - which means we'll be able to go into full production immediately after the campaign is finished!

Leaving time for coloring, lettering, solicitations, and printing, we plan to have the new graphic novel complete and back from the printer by October 2013 if not sooner.

Art by Dean Kotz (left) and Ben Lichius (right).
Art by Dean Kotz (left) and Ben Lichius (right).

We'll keep things spoiler free here, but story-wise we'll be picking up where things left off at the end of "Or Give Me Death" and moving ahead to the American occupation and subsequent retreat from New York City - a turbulent time to say the least. The new book promises lots of twists and turns, backstabbing, sword fights, New York in flames, new mysterious monsters... and, oh yeah, George Washington!

We know we'll have a blast making this book and sharing the whole process with everyone who contributes, so check out the rewards below and to the right and see if there's anything that strikes your fancy. Many, many thanks to everyone in advance for your support. We're excited to have everyone along for the ride!

Cover for the new book by Dean Kotz and Diego Rodriguez
Cover for the new book by Dean Kotz and Diego Rodriguez
  • “Black Coat is an awesome book. You guys present an earnest, period adventure with everything I like and no “decompressed” padding.
    My kind of comics!”  
    -Chuck Dixon (Writer -Detective Comics, Savage Sword of Conan)
  • “Black Coat has both feet firmly planted in traditional swashbuckling adventure and original vision- a great looking book!”-Mike Oeming (Powers artist, Marvel writer)
  • “The Black Coat is one those amazing and unique books that I truly recommend for everyone – especially those who maybe aren’t normally into the comic scene.”
    “This is stand out writing that dwarves most of what passes in the mainstream comic industry.”
    “The Black Coat is part of the upper-echelon of family-freindly independent comics available!”
    -ThePullbox.com
  • “The Black Coat is by far one of the best period comics I have ever read! If you love the rich settings and the swashbuckling action of Pirates of the Caribbean then this book is a dream come true.”-Chris McCroskey (Komikazee.com)
  • “Anyone that likes good action/adventure comics should give this a chance, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.”  -Ron Miller (Indy Comic Review)
  • “The Black Coat is a fine addition to pulp tradition and buccaneer fiction.” -Ray Tate (Silver Bullet Comic Books)
For more reviews, check out the website: www.the-black-coat.com!

Any funding we receive beyond our goal will go toward advertising and promoting the book (convention appearances), but should we hit a few plateaus, we have more Black Coat goodness up our sleeves and would love the opportunity to put it into action.

  • $24,000  - We'll add 22 pages to the new Graphic Novel, extending the story and allowing us the chance to dig deeper into the characters and themes of the new book! 
  • $30,000 - LOCKED!
  • $45000 - LOCKED!

For more information about The Black Coat, check out the website, visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

For more information on our publisher, Ape Entertainment, you can check them out online at:

The Black Coat was created by Ben Lichius and Francesco Francavilla.

Risks and challenges

Each member of our team has worked on a number of published comics and fully understand the unique challenges present in the comic production process. Most importantly, we've all worked together in the past and know each other's strengths and weaknesses - and we're excited to get this new book underway.
That said, the majority of our challenges are financial and that's why we're here. Printing costs alone can derail independent efforts to produce a book like this. And even though our team is willing to make sacrifices - and already have - for the book, we want to make sure they can focus their time and efforts on producing the best work they can without the distractions of juggling a host of side jobs to make ends meet. Being able to dedicate ourselves to this project will mean a higher quality book that we can deliver on time.
Thank you to each and every fan, backer, supporter, friend, friend-of-a-friend, partner, and collaborator for helping us make this happen!

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FAQ

  • No charts or graphs, but here are all of the rewards in long form:

    $5 -- A set of 3 desktop wallpaper images. Only available to Kickstarter backers.

    $10 -- 3 Desktop Wallpapers PLUS a PDF of the new book, 'The Blackest Dye,' when it is completed.

    $15 -- 3 Desktop Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, PLUS the printed copy of the new book.

    $20 (Signed) -- 3 Desktop Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, PLUS the printed copy of the new book signed by Ben and Dean.

    $25 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, PLUS your name in the acknowledgements section of the new book AND a copy of the exclusive Kickstarter sketchbook.

    $30 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, PLUS your name in the acknowledgements section of the new book AND a copy of the exclusive Kickstarter sketchbook. Both books are signed by Ben and Dean.

    $30 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, a copy of the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, PLUS a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print AND a Black Coat sketch card with an original sketch by co-creator Ben Lichius.

    $35 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, a copy of the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, PLUS a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print AND a Black Coat sketch card with an original sketch by co-creator Ben Lichius. The books are signed by Ben and Dean.

    $35 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, a copy of the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, PLUS a printed copy of the second series trade paperback 'Or Give Me Death'.

    $40 -- 3 Wallpapers, PDF copies of the new book, the exclusive Kickstarter sketchbook, the entire first and second series, and the 52 page special containing 2 stand-alone Black Coat stories.

    $45 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, a copy of the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, PLUS a printed copy of the second series trade paperback 'Or Give Me Death'. All books are signed by Ben and Dean.

    $45 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, PLUS all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series 'A Call to Arms' (Including an exclusive reprint of the sold out first issue).

    $50 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, a copy of the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a Black Coat sketch card with an original sketch by co-creator Ben Lichius PLUS a Black Coat t-shirt.

    $55 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, a copy of the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a Black Coat sketch card with an original sketch by co-creator Ben Lichius PLUS a Black Coat t-shirt. All books are signed by Ben and Dean.

    $55 -- 3Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, PLUS a printed copy of the 52 page special with 2 stand-alone BC stories.

    $65 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, PLUS all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series 'A Call to Arms' (Including an exclusive reprint of the sold out first issue). The new book, sketchbook, and TPB are signed by Ben and Dean. All 4 issues of the first series are signed by Ben.

    $75 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, PLUS an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by series artist Dean Kotz.

    $80 (Signed) -- 3Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, PLUS a printed copy of the 52 page special with 2 stand-alone BC stories. The new book, sketchbook, and TPB are signed by Ben and Dean. All 4 issues of the first series are signed by Ben. The 52 page special is signed by Ben and Gabriel.

    $100 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, PLUS an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by series artist Dean Kotz. The new book, sketchbook, and TPB are signed by Ben and Dean. All 4 issues of the first series are signed by Ben. The 52 page special is signed by Ben and Gabriel.

    $150 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by Dean Kotz, PLUS an original page from the second series.

    $175 (Signed) -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by Dean Kotz, PLUS an original page from the second series. The new book, sketchbook, and TPB are signed by Ben and Dean. All 4 issues of the first series are signed by Ben. The 52 page special is signed by Ben and Gabriel.

    --- All comics will be signed for reward levels $200 and up ---

    $200 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook, a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by Dean Kotz, a piece of original page art, PLUS your face in the book as a background character. (If we can, we'll try to make sure your page art is the page in which you appear.)

    $300 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by Dean Kotz, a piece of original page art, PLUS your face in the book as a supporting character. (If we can, we'll try to make sure your page art is a page in which you appear.)

    $450 -- 3 Wallpapers, a PDF of the new book, a printed copy of the new book, your name in the special thanks section of the new book, the exclusive kickstarter sketchbook a signed 5.5x8.5 promotional print, a sketch card with an original sketch, a printed copy of the second series trade paperback, all 4 issues (floppies) of the first series, a printed copy of the 52 page special, an original 8.5x11 black and white drawing by Dean Kotz, PLUS one of the only 3 original covers from the second series by Dean.

    $5K -- At this level, your basically getting everything we have plus an overnight trip to NYC (travel, lodging, and lunch with Ben and Dean included). If you're considering this option just write to me and we can set up a call. I'll go over it all with you on the phone. :)

    If you have questions or would like to add elements to anything, just send us a message and we'll do our best to work things out.

    THANK YOU!

    Last updated:
  • For those choosing the $300 reward level, we will do our best to make this happen and, if you choose, get you a page with your face on it. For those at the $200 level, we will certainly try to space things out as we create the book, but it's possible that more than one backer could end up on a single page, so the best answer we can give right now is a firm "maybe." If we cannot, we'll do our best to make sure you get another page of your choosing.

    Last updated:
  • Upon successful completion, our plan is to post images of all the available page art for backers at these reward levels to look over and select the pages they are interested in in order of preference. From there we will give you whichever pages are still available from what we have left. All page art will be first come first serve, so get in early!

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    BLACK COAT WALLPAPER REWARD:
    Get 3 exclusive Black Coat desktop wallpapers featuring artwork by Ben Lichius, Dean Kotz, and Gabriel Hardman!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BLACK COAT DIGITAL FAN CLUB: Get in on all the action, the desktop wallpapers, AND a PDF of the new graphic novel for just $10!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PRINTED WITH "THE BLACKEST DYE":
    You want the physical book? Here you go! Along with the previous rewards, the new graphic novel will be mailed to your door, hot off the presses!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    PRINTED WITH "THE BLACKEST DYE" -- SIGNED: You'll get everything at the $15 reward level AND your book will be signed by Ben & Dean!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EXCLUSIVE SKETCHBOOK REWARD:
    Get all the previous rewards AND you'll also get a special acknowledgement in the new book! PLUS, you'll get the EXCLUSIVE Black Coat Kickstarter sketch book created just for this campaign!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    KNIGHTS OF LIBERTY REWARD:
    Added to the growing list of BC goodies, you'll also get a special Black Coat sketch card with a unique sketch AND a Black Coat 5.5x8.5 full color promotional print, signed by BC co-creator, Ben Lichius!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    EXCLUSIVE SKETCHBOOK REWARD -- SIGNED: Get everything at the $25 level AND your new books will be signed by Ben and Dean!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    BLACK COAT COLLECTOR REWARD:
    For just $5 more you can add the trade paperback of the Black Coat's second series 'Or Give Me Death.' Together with the new book and the exclusive sketchbook, that's over 180 pages of swashbuckling action!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    KNIGHTS OF LIBERTY REWARD -- SIGNED: Get everything at the $30 level including the wallpapers, new book, sketchbook, sketch card and promotional print AND your books will be signed by Ben and Dean!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    ALL DIGITAL, ALL THE TIME REWARD:
    You want to read all of The Black Coat's adventures, but you want to save a few trees in the process? This reward level is perfect for you! You'll get the 3 desktop wallpapers PLUS PDF versions of the Exclusive Kickstarter Sketchbook, the new graphic novel, the entire first and second series, as well as the 52 page special!
    (Other than the new book, the PDFs are not included with other reward levels. If you'd like to add them to another reward level, just drop us a line.)

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    SUPER COLLECTOR REWARD:
    At this reward level, we'll toss in issues 2, 3, and 4 of 'A Call to Arms' along with a special copy of the SOLD-OUT first issue - reprinted just for this campaign! Your BC collection is now over 240 pages!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    BLACK COAT COLLECTOR REWARD -- SIGNED: Get everything at the $35 level including the wallpapers, new book, sketchbook, sketch card, promotional print and the TPB of "Or Give Me Death" AND all of your books will be signed by Ben and Dean!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BLACK COAT T-SHIRT REWARD: You like to read new Black Coat stories but you're tired of doing it topless? Get yourself decent with a Black Coat t-shirt! At this reward level you'll get everything through the $30 rewards PLUS an awesome t-shirt featuring designs by Dean Kotz.
    (The t-shirt is not included in other reward levels. If you'd like to add a t-shirt to another reward level, just add $20 and send us a message stating that you want a shirt.)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    I WANT IT ALL REWARD:
    You'll get the entire first and second series, the new graphic novel, AND the 52 page one-shot containing 2 more Black Coat stories - over 290 pages in all - along with all previous rewards!

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    BLACK COAT T-SHIRT REWARD -- SIGNED: At this level you're getting everything at the $30 Knights of Liberty reward level PLUS a t-shirt AND your books will be signed by Ben and Dean!

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    SUPER COLLECTOR REWARD -- SIGNED: Get the wallpapers, new book, sketchbook, sketch card, promotional print, and the TPB of "Or Give Me Death" signed by Ben and Dean AND issues 1-4 of "A Call to Arms" signed by Ben!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ABOVE AND BEYOND REWARD:
    At this level, you can add an original 8.5 x 11 character pinup by series artist Dean Kotz to your ever growing pile of BC schwag! Sweet!

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    I WANT IT ALL REWARD -- SIGNED: At this level you're getting the wallpapers, new book, sketchbook, sketch card, promotional print, and the "Or Give Me Death" TPB, all signed by Ben and Dean, as well as issues 1-4 of "A Call to Arms" signed by Ben AND the 52 page special signed by Ben and Gabriel Hardman!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ABOVE AND BEYOND REWARD -- SIGNED: Along with your 8.5x11 character pinup by Dean, sketchbook, sketch card, promotional print and wallpapers, you'll also get your new book and "Or Give Me Death" TPB signed by Ben and Dean, issues 1-4 of "A Call to Arms" signed by Ben, and the 52 page special signed by Ben and Gabriel Hardman!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A PIECE OF THE ACTION REWARD:
    Being inundated with Black Coat comics isn't enough for you. You want a piece of the book itself! You want original page art! Well, at this level that's just what you get! In addition to previous rewards, we'll add an original page from BC's second series, 'Or Give Me Death', by BC artist Dean Kotz!

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    A PIECE OF THE ACTION REWARD -- SIGNED: Along with your oringal piece of Dean Kotz page art, you'll get the wallpapers, sketchbook, sketch card, promotional print, 8.5x11 pinup, new book, "Or Give Me Death" TPB signed by Ben and Dean, issues 1-4 of "A Call to Arms" signed by Ben, and the 52 page special signed by Ben and Gabriel Hardman!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    BE IN THE BOOK REWARD #1:
    This is your chance to get your face in comics! In addition to all the books (all signed), the promotional print, the sketch card, the 8.5x11 pinup, and a piece of original page art, you'll have a featured cameo appearance in the new graphic novel! Say Cheese!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ULTIMATE PIECE OF THE ACTION REWARD: Get one of only 5 remaining pieces of original Black Coat page art by elite comic artist Gabriel Hardman! Before working on Hulk, Agents of Atlas, and Planet of the Apes, Gabriel made his comeback to comics by working on The Black Coat - and you can own a piece of it! This reward level includes all the books, the sketch card, print, and 8.5x11 pinup.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BE IN THE BOOK REWARD #2:
    When we've done this before as a contest, previous winners' characters have gone on to be major players in the book so don't miss out on your chance not just to make history, but to become a part of it as well. You'll become a full blown supporting character in the new graphic novel!

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    COVER TO COVER REWARD:
    We have a limited number of pieces of original cover art, and now you can own a Dean Kotz cover from the second series, "Or Give Me Death", in addition to all rewards through the $75 level!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    RETAILER SPECIAL REWARD -- Dean and Ben will appear at your store for a special all day signing event! This can take place whenever or wherever you choose (Continental US only). In addition to the visit, we'll also bring along piles of signed books, signed prints, t-shirts, and other Black Coat goodies. You'll also receive a special 5' tall Black Coat stand up to place in your shop!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    MEET, GREET, AND EAT REWARD:
    Lunch at Fraunces Tavern in NYC with Black Coat co-creator Ben Lichius and BC artist Dean Kotz! This is one of the last remaining colonial-era buildings still standing in the Big Apple and it's ripe with history! (The food is great too!). For being such an AMAZING benefactor, you'll have the chance to meet Ben and Dean, have a package of BC goodies hand delivered (including rare BC books from Ben's personal stash and an original 11x17 pinup by Dean), get all your Black Coat questions answered, and have a fantastic meal as well. You'll also be the proud new owner of the original artwork for the cover of the new graphic novel. And to top it all off, the event will be featured in a full page spread in the new book!

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Funding period

- (33 days)