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The Black Coat creator Ben Lichius hopes to see his Colonial super-spy ride again, with some help from Kickstarter. If the name sounds familiar, that’s probably because The Black Coat has appeared in a pair of miniseries and a 52-page special dating back to 2006 and featuring the talents of such artists as Francesco Francavilla, Gabriel Hardman and Dean Kotz.
In a nutshell, The Black Coat is about Nathaniel Finch, a New York City newspaper editor and budding scientist who, in the days before the American Revolution, dons a mask to protect the Colonies from the British — and the forces of the occult. And now, Finch is back in a 66-page graphic novel called The Blackest Dye, from Lichius, Kotz and colorist Diego Rodriguez, which picks up where the 2009 miniseries Or Give Me Death left off. “The new book promises lots of twists and turns, backstabbing, sword fights, New York in flames, new mysterious monsters,” Lichius promises. “… and, oh yeah, George Washington!”
The news broke Sunday on the Two-Headed Nerd podcast that Ape Entertainment is relaunching Poison Elves, the fantasy series by the late Drew Hayes that ran from 1991 to 2004. Now in an interview with Robot 6, Ape CEO David Hedgecock discusses his plans for both new comics and new editions of the older material, and provides an exclusive look at some of the art for the new series.
Robot 6: As Poison Elves has been out of print for a while, can you give us a quick idea of what it is about and why it is important?
David Hedgecock: Poison Elves is Bauhaus Tolkien filtered through a rockabilly sense of style. Poison Elves is rock ‘n’ roll comics at its finest — dirty, messy, flying in your face, all energy and heart with an innate sense of craft applied that makes you believe in magic.
Poison Elves is the story of Lusiphur, an elf with an attitude. Lusiphur is a thief, an assassin, a force of nature that will wipe you clean from the map if you dare to call him foe. He has a disdain for authority and lives by a moral code that others might question (and often do). He is also the reluctant key player in a grand tapestry of events that may very well decide the fate of his world and all those who live upon it.
Poison Elves was one of the most successful black-and-white “indy” comics ever produced. In his time the creator, Drew Hayes, produced over 100 issues worth of material. The book spawned trading cards, statuettes, spin-off titles and more. It was a seminal work of the ’90s, a modern-day Cerebus if you will.