Michael McMillian, perhaps better known for his acting in True Blood, sits down with the Outhouse to discuss his budding comic book writing career and his latest series, Lucid.
In recent years, Hollywood has been a prime talent pool for the comic book industry to search for new and exciting writers. The Outhouse sat down with Michael McMillian, an actor probably best known as the Rev. Steve Newlin in True Blood. More importantly, he's also the writer of Lucid, a miniseries published by Archaia Press and Zachary Quinto's Before the Door Imprint.
The Outhouse: For those readers who haven't been reading your series, what's Lucid about?
Michael McMillian: LUCID takes place in a world where major world powers have secret agents working for them that are trained in magic and sorcery. Each mage is known as that nation's "Protector of the Realm," and their role is to protect their country from supernatural threats. This is an art that was established before Merlin and Camelot, was lost for awhile, and then brought back into practice during the Renaissance with John Dee and Queen Elizabeth I. Matthew Dee, his descendant, is America's "Protector of the Realm," working under newly elected President Jefferson Monday.
OH: What was your inspiration for writing Lucid? What are your major influences for the series?
MM: I've been interested in magic and the Occult for a long time. LUCID is purely fictional, but it is inspired by aspects of Occult History such as John Dee or the Illuminati. I'm a bit pf a conspiracy nut as well. I wanted to create a world composed of "21st Century folklore" such as cults, secret government programs, UFOs, demonology.... all seen through the lens of magic. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison were all inspirations.
OH: With Harry Potter still looming heavily in pop culture, how do you plan on separating the magic in Lucid from other stories featuring magicians living in secret in today's world?
MM: I think the main difference between Harry Potter and LUCID is that the wizards in Harry Potter pretty much operate outside the world of humanity Harry's world is almost a parallel universe, where wizards don't have much interaction with Muggles. Matthew Dee is human, living in a human world, gifted with the ability to channel magic. He works in secret, but our world is his world, essentially. He just ventures a bit further down the rabbit hole. Also, LUCID is a more adult oriented book, so I hope that a generation who grew up on Harry Potter might like to check out LUCID for something that's a bit weirder, a bit sexier, and a bit more hyper-realistic.
OH: How did Lucid come about? How did you and Zachary Quinto's Before the Door line get together to put out a comic book?
MM: Zachary and his Before the Door partners, Corey Moosa and Neal Dodson, were my classmates at Carnegie Mellon University, where we studied acting. They knew I was a huge comic fan and wanted to break into comics. So when Before the Door decided to venture into publishing, they called me up and asked them if I wanted to pitch them some ideas for a comic. I obviously jumped at the chance. LUCID came out of that original pitch meeting; with a couple of other ideas I hope we'll eventually get to!
OH: Lucid draws heavily from Arthurian ideas set in the modern-day. Will this be the only mythology you'll be exploring in your series?
Not at all. In fact, the first issue touches upon the Daoine Sidhe, which is the LUCID-verse's version of Alien Grays. They will remain a looming threat to Matthew's world and while we won't get back to them in Vol. 1, they will turn up again don the road. I'm also very interested in Atlantis and it's relationship to the origins of magic.
OH: How does writing Lucid fit in with your acting schedule?
MM: So far so good! Writing is a great way to come down from acting gigs and a welcome creative outlet when the job front is slow. I'd like to continue doing both for a long time to come.
OH: How long do you plan on writing Lucid?
MM: For as long as they will let me! Fans of LUCID should spread the word about the book. We're depending on readership to make Vol. 2 happen!
OH: Do you have any other upcoming projects you can talk about?
MM: I'm in the middle of scripting the second series of the TRUE BLOOD comic with Marc Andreyko. I am very proud of the book so far. Alan Ball, HBO and IDW have been awesome and very accommodating with what Marc and I have wanted to do. I think fans of the show will be very, very happy and hopefully we'll attract some comic fans as well!
Lucid #1 and #2 are currently found at a comic book store near you! Lucid #3 will be out in January.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer