Comics Alternative Kickstarter: The Secret Voice, Vol. 1

A Psychedelic Fantasy Epic

Derek talks with Zack Sot0 about his Kickstarter project The Secret Voice, Vol. 1. Zack describes it as “as psychedelic fantasy epic” filled with psychic warrior monks, wild kung fu magic battles, monsters, and even a bit of romance.

Over the coals of their conversation, Zack discusses the origins of The Secret Voice in a minicomic, its development as a webcomic and then a comic book, and its maturation as a book-length narrative. The creator describes the premise this way:

Doctor Galapagos, a goggled, bandaged mystery man is just one of many agents of the ineffable Red College that we meet in the pages of The Secret Voice. Doctor Galapagos is our hero, our mystic battle man on the spot. He seems wildly capable of facing any and all hand to hand combatants. But Dr. G isn’t just battling hundreds of angry trolls or brigands all at once, he’s also fighting an unseen, unknown, psychic menace. He’s finding his grip on reality becoming more and more tenuous, just when he needs it the most.

There are a variety of reward levels to choose from, as well, including not only the book — in both digital and hardcopy format — but swag, original art, and prints. This is a fun story that the Two Guys have discussed on a past episode of the webcomics series, so you know it’s worth checking out. So what are you waiting for? Back The Secret Voice, Vol. 1!

Cover and Sample Art


Comics Alternative, Webcomics: Reviews of The Secret Voice, Titan, and Black Is the Color

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Thanks, Ang!


On the July webcomics show, Andy W. and Derek do something different. Not only do they look at two current and ongoing series, along with one already completed title — as is their usual format — but they do so by focusing on just one specific webcomics outlet: Study Group Comics. The guys begin, appropriately enough, by looking at current work from Zack Soto, the publisher of Study Group. His comic, The Secret Voice, is a mashup of various genres, part adventure, part science fiction, part superhero, and (at least in the beginning) part Jules Verne-inspired fantasy. So far there are five Titan2completed chapters of The Secret Voice, and as the narrative unfolds, Soto is creating an ever-expanding and complex world centered around the enigmatic Dr. Galapagos. Next, the guys discuss François Vigneault’s Titan, a futuristic sci-fi drama set in an hydrocarbon processing refinery on Saturn’s satellite, Titan. Vigneault’s story is perhaps the most socially charged of this month’s bunch, touching upon class and ethnic conflicts, and even venturing at times into scientific ethics. Titan is in its fourth chapter, with Vigneault currently posting updates. Finally, Derek and Andy look at a Study Group webcomic that was completed back in 2012, Julia Gfrörer’s Black Is the Color. Her story is relatively simple and straightforward — a sailor is cast adrift from his ship and encounters a fabled mermaid — but Gfrörer’s art and pacing add a sophistication that give depth to this relatively short narrative. Black Is the Color is driven by subtleties and innuendo, ultimately embracing an ambiguity that opens up text in unexpected ways. This story was published in hardcopy by Fantagraphics in 2013, and in fact, the other webcomics discussed this month have seen printed form, and through Study Group Comics. There are two comic-book issues of The Secret Voice published so far, and one of Titan.

Listeners of the monthly webcomics series will be saddened to learn that this will be the last episode in which Andy Wolverton will serve as regular cohost. Andy will still be a big part of The Comics Alternative family of podcasts — he’s not going anywhere soon — but he’s decided to hand over his webcomic-analyzing duties to another so that he can pursue another project for The Comics Alternative. So keep your eyes open for more exciting stuff from Andy W.! Beginning in August, Derek’s cohost for the webcomics series will be Sean Kleefeld, an incisive critic and webcomics maven who is sure to inject some gravitas into the show.