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Small God of Small Press

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I had first encountered Jason Rand on the Rex Mundi forum of the Image Message Boards under his nom de guerre of docwagon. Little did I know that this Sydney resident would soon come out with a comic book that would send ripples through comicdom with the Image ongoing title Small Gods.

For those unfamiliar with it, the book examines how individuals with the so-called “sixth sense” could conceivably live around us everyday. Rand places these mentally gifted characters in varying situations which mirror reality and examines how their lives could be. The first arc dealt with a psychic detective who has a secret that could literally destroy the department should it come to light while the just-started second arc spotlights a con artist with the unique ability to see split seconds into the future.

But what makes Rand the best among small press writers as far as Broken Frontier is concerned? It is the fact that for a first-time comic book writer, he has come up with a tight, compelling story that belies his rookie status. From the crisp and realistic dialogue to the relationships between characters that he builds, Small Gods belongs to the rare breed of comic books that sweeps readers up from the get-go and doesn’t allow you to get off.

As this year’s writer of the year for the Small Press category, Broken Frontier caught up with Rand and asked him how it feels to finally have his first story arc under his belt.

“It's a milestone. No question about it. My first, finished, published story. Really, it was a rush and a relief to see #4 on the shelves, but at the same time I was already
looking forward to getting #5 out,” according to Rand.

He further declares, “I think the upcoming trade will be ‘it’. That'll be when I can look at this solid, finished book and think about talking to bookstores about promotions.”

As Small Gods made its debut, critical and fan acclaim almost instantly started pouring in. Various websites and comic fanzines as well as discussions on various comic message boards were mostly unanimous that this book was a must-read.

“I didn't expect (all the acclaim),” admits the Australian writer, “I was hoping the book would go over well with the fans, and I was hoping that the critics would like it, and I was hoping that the other creators, the people who really know what goes into a comic, would appreciate it. So it was very cool when it started to happen like that. And yeah, it was validation in a way.”

Finally, asked if he had any message for fans of the book, Rand said, “Thanks for reading Small Gods, guys. Really. This is a dream that would’ve gone away a long time ago without you. Keep reading, and if you like what you read, show it to someone else, too. The more readers we get, the longer this little dream will live.”

And with that, we offer our congratulations to Jason Rand for his superb work on Image’s ongoing series Small Gods.

- Jose Clemente

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