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Image collects "Small Gods" this January

Official Press Release

ORANGE, CA -- October 15, 2004 -- A new chapter begins this November forImage's latest hit, SMALL GODS, as the critically acclaimed series beginsits second story arc with "Dead Man's Hand," in SMALL GODS #5.

And for those who haven't been able to track down the sold out early issues,a trade paperback collecting the first arc, "Killing Grin," is due inJanuary.

"Our sell-through has been very gratifying," says series creator and writerJason Rand. "The first three issues are sold out (although some shops maystill have copies). In fact, the third issue nearly sold out before it hitthe shelves, and the initial orders on #4 were similar enough that I'd bevery surprised if the trend doesn't continue there. It's very pleasing, butit makes it tough for people just hearing about SMALL GODS now to get onboard. So having the trade out fairly quickly is good. And we're pricing itto attract new readers, as well."

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SMALL GODS: KILLING GRIN is 128 pages, and will retail for just $9.95.

SMALL GODS tells the story of an Earth on which an estimated 1% of theworld's population possesses psychic abilities. The book follows theexperiences of a variety of cops and criminals, as well as "regular" people,who try to live "normal" lives in a not-quite so normal world.

The new storyline, "Dead Man's Hand," revolves around Bobby Pope, a pettycon man and low-level empath and telepath. Bobby's abilities let him bothsense what people are feeling and see what's in their minds, in essenceallowing him to build up a mental picture of what they're going to do in thenext few seconds.

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"Just like Owen Young in the first arc, it's these very abilities that getBobby into trouble," says series creator and scribe, Jason Rand. "Seeing thefuture is a common ability in SMALL GODS - but the abilities of precogs likeOwen are entirely unconscious. Being able to predict the future on demand,even if it's only a few seconds in advance, can be very useful to somepeople."

In Bobby's case, those people are a group of crooked narcotics officers, ledby Theodore Irvine, a character who made a cameo appearance in the first arcof SMALL GODS.

"I like doing that, putting little links between the different arcs," saysRand. "In fact, the plan is that every story will feature at least onecharacter from the next arc, usually in a minor role. The idea is to buildthe sense of SMALL GODS as a unified world. It's not essential for thereaders to get each story in order to understand what's going on in theothers, but those who do will be able to see that world take shape."

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While "Killing Grin" is as much a character drama as a cop story, "DeadMan's Hand" promises much more action.

"The second arc has a lot in common with action and chase movies," saysRand. "It's still got the deep characterization that I think is important inany story and that really seemed to strike a chord with the readers in thefirst arc.but there's plenty of action for people who like that kind ofthing, and at a pretty frenetic pace, too. Shootouts, car chases, martialarts mayhem - about the only thing we don't have is a full-scale militaryassault. Guess you'll have to wait for the third arc for that."

SMALL GODS #5 is in stores November 24th.

SMALL GODS: KILLING GRIN is solicited in the November PREVIEWS and will goon sale January 19.

Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by acollective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on tobecome one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There arecurrently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, MarcSilvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into threemajor houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions and ImageCentral). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre,sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror,crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists andwriters working in the medium today.

Visit www.imagecomics.com for more information.

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