Arthurian magic meets covert espionage in “Lucid,” the first comic book series produced by Archaia in conjunction with Zachary Quinto’s Before the Door media production company.
“Lucid” is written by Michael McMillian and drawn by Anna Wieszczyk. McMillian is perhaps best-known for playing Steve Newlin on the HBO series “True Blood.”
McMillian described “Lucid” as a “high-culture pop fantasy” in a recent conference call promoting the series.
“I grew up loving shows like the ‘X-Files’ and digging conspiracy theory and that kind of stuff,” McMillian said. “So, when Before the Door approached me that they wanted to do some comic books, I came in with this idea of a character who would have access to higher levels of consciousness, magic, and who was working for the government.”
Matthew Dee is the newly appointed “Protector of the Realm,” using his skills as a covert spy and Combat Mage to ensure America’s freedom. “Lucid” is set in a parallel universe where magic exists but is kept secret from the public.
“A lot of this has been inspired from 20th century folklore and conspiracy theory about secret projects that the government has been doing for years,” McMillian said. “It’s sort of an optimistic take in … that the government keeping magic from us, they’re doing it to keep us safe, not to sort of covet power.”
Quinto said the mixture of history, politics and magic makes for a potent story line.
“The way they tie history into storytelling is really exciting, so that also for me sets it apart,” Quinto said.
McMillian said “Lucid” is his reaction to the world we live in, mixed with 31 years of fantasy and sci-fi.
“Really what I wanted to do with ‘Lucid’ was to make a comic book that I would want to read, that I would really enjoy and that really captures the heart of the stories that I love,” McMillian said. “Everything from H.G. Wells to Indiana Jones to James Bond, and at the same time see if I could create a bold new contemporary world to set it in.”
Quinto said McMillian’s enthusiasm for comic books, vivid imagination and capacity for storytelling made him the perfect choice for the first comic book from Before the Door.
“As the story unfolded, and we realized it was really exciting, and the partnership with Archaia presented itself, everything kind of fell into place,” Quinto said. “It made a lot of sense to lead with this one.”
McMillian said he hopes to make “Lucid” explore the idea of magic on a contemporary level.
“I think the difference, even on an immediate level with something like Harry Potter, the characters are older, it’s not a world where centaurs and trolls and elves exist,” McMillian said. “So, we’re dealing with human people with magic abilities. And there are paranormal creatures of sorts, but they’re sort of presented in a somewhat different light and a somewhat less literal light than a lot of fantasy that’s come before.”
- By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman