Kickstart the Week(end) with Voyage: An authentic Sci-fi comic following the beginning tale of Sonderon, an intergalactic space explorer!

By: Nicole D’Andria

Sci-fi fans should consider checking out the Voyage Kickstarter. This campaign kicks off an ongoing series featuring Sonderon, an intergalactic space explorer, who has been seen in previous Voyage Kickstarter campaigns.

Voyage is a 48-page fully colored comic featuring two stories centered on the purple Kemeten called Sonderon. The main story is about Sonderon’s first adventure after getting kicked out of his own star system. Although it was just supposed to be a relaxing day on Alcenar 8, the Kemeten gets suckered into a rescue mission, opening up a whole new can of worms—and questions—about his ancestral past and his secret quest for the Sphere of Nod. The second story is an eight-page short called “Forceplay” about three bounty hunters, Drainer, Irene, and Coral, who are after Sonderon because of a precious artifact.

The Voyage project is helmed by creator and artist Zackary Marois, a former student at the Joe Kubert School of Art. He’s been hard at work on the Voyage universe. His first Kickstarter for the Voyage Anthology was successfully funded, and this will be his third campaign focused on the sci-fi misadventures of Sonderon. The rest of the creative team includes co-creator/writer Brett Melograno, inker Ethan Farina, colorist Nick Caponi, editor Vaughn Coleman, and letterer Ken Nsiidnanya.

The Kickstarter is seeking to raise $8,300 by May 31, 2023, at 12:59 PM EDT. Rewards include a digital ($5) and physical ($10) copy of the issue along with previous digital issues from the Voyage catalog ($15), a Chris Campana ($25) variant cover, and a Sonderon art print ($35). These are just a few of the reward tiers. You can check out the rest on the official Kickstarter page. UPDATE (3/17/24): The campaign was initially unsuccessfully, however, Zackary revamped and relaunched the campaign in February 2024, which was successfully funded (hitting 100% IN ONE DAY!) thanks to the efforts of 59 backers pledging a total of $2,066.

I’ve previously talked with Zackary about his second Kickstarter campaign, a Voyage anthology. And if you want more information about his current campaign that you can’t get there, check out my second interview with creator/writer Zackary Marois below:

Zackary Marois

Nicole D’Andria (ND): Can you tell us a bit about some of the science fiction elements present in Voyage that sci-fi fans will enjoy?

Zackary Marois (ZM): One of the biggest science fiction elements I bring into the Voyage comic is diversity. Believe it or not, many sci-fi comics out there fall into this loop where the main character is a human flying in space, and there are not many aliens around. It’s as if, to me, they feel afraid of having an alien be the main character and conveying human emotions through them. A few characters that are successful in doing this are Zen the Intergalactic Ninja, Sen from Voyagis, Resident Alien, and Cyberfrog.

ND: This is your third Kickstarter campaign related to Voyage. How has the project evolved over the course of these campaigns?

ZM: To answer that honestly, it’s evolved more so behind the scenes. Networking, podcasts, acquiring a following, and paying to promote yourself. When it comes to the story, I’ve always known the direction my character Sonderon will go in. That was always easy, but the behind-the-scenes work to get a project out is never a 1-2 step manual.

Voyage Mock-Up (Not Final)

ND: What are some of the planets and places that you’ve created, which will be explored in Voyage?

ZM: Damn! I love this question!!! I have quite a few. Sonderon in this issue will be traveling to a planet called Alcenar 8. It’s a Mos Eisley type of scenery. But! He will be traveling on planets and places like the Cosmic Causeway, Asteroid Fixmauhlt, and Nitzen 12. Some of these places are going to be keystone places for crucial plot points.

ND: A big part of the first story involves the Sphere of Nod. Can you tell us a bit more about this artifact?

ZM: The Sphere Of Nod is an ancient artifact that is as old as the universe itself. There are fractured pieces all over and Sonderon has to find them all to unite the universe once more. Sonderon’s ancestors didn’t fulfill their promise to the god Rythar, so he came down and smashed the planet into four quadrants. The sphere was a weapon that Rythar gave them to stop his corrupted son Mondor. A promise was made by Sonderon’s ancestors, which was broken by them. The tale says that if the pieces were united once more, Rythar would come down and restore the universe from its broken state.

Voyage “Forceplay” Short Story

ND: The backup story features the likes of Drainer, Irene, and Coral. Can you tell us a bit more about these characters?

ZM: Drainer, Irene, and Coral are bounty hunters that are after Sonderon for an artifact that both sides got paid to get. It’s definitely a conflict of interest for sure. Irene is an iguana type of lizard with very little brains. Coral is good friends with Irene. Drainer is a cold-blooded parasitic hitman. He’s as brutal as they come in his field. No mercy is shown when it comes to him.

ND: If you could spend a day in the world of Voyage, what planet would you spend it on and what would you do?

ZM: Oh hell, I would spend it on the Cosmic Causeway! The Cosmic Causeway is a Broadway strip in the universe that acts as a highway that can take you to your destination faster. There are three populated massive asteroids on this highway strip. I would be there partying up, gambling, fighting, you name it. Be a space degenerate.

ND: In the same vein, if you could hang out with your host, Sonderon, for a day, what would the two of you get up to?

ZM: If I was with Sonderon, I would hang out with him on his ship. Honestly, I wouldn’t know the details. That would be an insane moment in my life if that would happen. I wouldn’t forget it!

Voyage Pages 1-2

ND: What is the number one reason why you think backers should pledge money to your anthology?

ZM: It’s the same reason I would. It’s new and indie. In the indie game, I’ve seen so many amazing books that, in my opinion, embarrass the mainstream comic industry. The talent is raw. We have no one holding us back! Guys and gals, there’s a 7’3 tall alien being cool and kicking ass! What other reasons should I give?

ND: Can you tell us how you came up with the idea to do a Sonderon Art Contest?

ZM: The Sonderon Art contest was something new I haven’t done yet, and it was suggested by my friend Vaugh Coleman to help entice more backers. I’ve gotten quite a few submissions so far which is awesome, and it really touches my heart when I see people I don’t know draw a character that is dear to me.

ND: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers and artists?

ZM: Everybody—for you all trying to get in, understand this industry will chew you up and spit you out. You need to be relentless and work your butt off. Network and connect with editors. Build a following! Launching a campaign is by far the furthest thing from easy, but it will help if you have 1. good art; 2. a good following; 3. networked; and 4. A social media presence. Honestly, hit me up on social media and say hi! I’m always down to help you with extensive advice.

Voyage Pages 3-4

ND: Thank you for the generous offer and for taking the time to talk with me about your project, Zackary! If you’re reading this and interested in checking out some space exploration, check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe/etc. the Week?” Then message me on my website. Also, consider checking out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle.

Other “Kickstart the Week” features:

Ichabod Jones: The complete Lovecraftian dark-fantasy comic

Puppet Theater: The Fool #1

Pulp Girls: PRINCE-S STARthief 1-3

Turner Family Terrors 1-3: The Suburban Slayers Are Back!

IMPOSSIBLE 2C: IMPOSSIBLE JONES & POLECAT TEAM-UP!

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