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    The Black Coat is America's first superspy! Set in New York City in the days before the Revolutionary War, The Black Coat fights against the British and forces of the occult to protect the burgeoning nation. It's action packed fun that Chuck Dixon calls " kind of comics!"

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May 2013
Black Coat Launches Custom Comic App!
Posted in by ben at 9:03 am | No Comments »


Icon_256Thursday May 16, 2013
For Immediate Release:
The Black Coat Goes Independent (Again) with Custom Comic App

America’s first superspy, the Colonial swashbuckler known as ‘The Black Coat’ has been featured in print comics since 2006 but the entire collection of Black Coat comics has gone digital in a newly released custom app that went live this week.
“I think this is the next step for independent comic creators.” said series co-creator Ben Lichius. “I’ve been looking at ways to make the Black Coat available digitally for a few years now, but distribution through a digital comic store has its drawbacks. A custom app like this allows Black Coat fans to have a tailored reading experience and allows me greater control and, hopefully, more profit from sales of the books.”
Ben is also Vice President of Spark Plug Games in Cary, NC who developed the technology for the custom app. It was built specifically for reading comics but designed for use in their other products as well. “The basic mechanics lend themselves well to things like game cinematics or document readers in serious game applications.” said SPG President John O’Neill. “It’s a versatile tool that we hope to build on and hope will open new marketing opportunities for other independent creators like Ben.”
“I like the control.” added Lichius. “People that download the app will obviously get to read all of the comics and view custom menus, but if I want to I’m also able add music, extra content, links to other sites, video, animation, 3D models, almost anything…”
There are advantages and disadvantages to cutting out the middle man, but there’s one financial benefit that Lichius sees right away: “When you sell print comics and distribute through Diamond, they take a rather large percentage of your profits right off the top. Digital distributors aren’t much better. Comixology takes 50% per book -and that’s after Google and Apple collect their fees. A custom app takes some time and investment to set up, and the app costs money to build, but the payoff is that the profits on the back end are higher because I don’t need to pay a distributor. I look at it as the digital equivalent of printing my own comics and selling them at conventions – but in this case, anyone in the world can download the app.”
The new Black Coat app is free to download and includes the entire first issue, “A Call to Arms” #1. Ten other issues are already available for purchase ranging in price from $.99 to $2.49. The upcoming trade paperback “The Blackest Dye,” now in production thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, will also be sold through the app later this year.
The app is available for Android devices and will be available soon for iOS and Kindle. It can be downloaded here:


For More Information:


About Spark Plug Games
Spark Plug Games is an awesome independent games developer focused on creating interactive products for social, mobile, tablet and console markets. The team embraces the slogan “We ignite fun!” which expresses a desire to create high quality products with strong entertainment value and a passion for game development. Founded in 2008 and based out of Cary, North Carolina, the SPG team has already built over 50 products and continues to develop new brands while working with leading industry partners. For more information, please visit

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