Last fall, I spoke with "True Blood" actor Mike McMillian about his new comic, "Lucid," which follows a "combat mage" tasked with keeping the United States safe from evil forces. With the comic hitting shelves in August and making its debut at Comic-Con International later this month, I caught up with McMillian for an update on the project — and an exclusive preview of the first issue.
Written by McMillian, "Lucid" is a four-issue series published jointly by Archaia Entertainment and "Star Trek" actor Zachary Quinto's production banner Before The Door Pictures. The artist on the series is a relative newcomer, Polish illustrator
McMillian, who detailed his long history with comics in our previous conversation, explained why the new miniseries isn't your typical celebrity project, and why he hopes it leads to a long career juggling the demands of both Hollywood and the comics world.
MTV NEWS: Last we spoke, you hadn't settled on an artist yet. What should we know about Anna Wieszczyk and the preview art we're seeing now?
MIKE McMILLIAN: She's this awesome, 20-year-old art student living in Poland. The first time I saw her stuff, it really spoke to how I had been picturing this world and these characters. She has this relly wonderful animated feel that is perfect for the series. A lot of people will compare her work to anime, and though it's a good comparison, when I saw her pages for issue #1 come in, she reminded me of this classic faerie tale illustration — like artists you would've seen around the turn of the century, such as Ivan Bilibin or even Maxfield Parrish.
It's really appropriate for that sense of fantasy, and it's a bit reminiscent of Victorian-era illustrations, which I like. On top of that, it's really contemporary, too. The designs she's created for the world are sleek and cool, and definitely 21st century stuff.
MTV: Now that the series is off to the printer, what's your take on the experience? Are we likely to see your name on future comics?
McMILLIAN: I hope so! This was always something I wanted to do, and hopefully this will be the beginning of a lifelong career in comics. I'd love for that to run parallel to acting, and I assume there will be times when I'll be working as an actor that will prevent me from committing fully to writing and vice versa, but right now it couldn't have worked out more ideally. There's something so satisfactory about this. In a town where struggling writers are working on screenplays that might never see the light of the day, to be able to sit down and write a story that would be this huge blockbuster-budget of a movie, and be able to have that produced within a matter of months is really, really wonderful. It's really encouraging. I am just ready to do more of this stuff.
MTV: Are you looking beyond these four issues? Is there more to the world of "Lucid" that you have mapped out?
McMILLIAN: If the first series of "Lucid" does well, more will come. I'm sort of treating the first volume as a television mini-season in a way, where each issue is almost a standalone story. We almost follow a different mission in each issue, but there is an underlying plot that links them all. The fourth issue acts as a series finale. I think it has a lot of resolution, but at the same time, plants seeds for stories to come.
We end it on a hefty emotional note, but launch possibilities for the future. The trick was to find the balance where, if this is all the readers got, they'd be satisfied — but I think that this first volume will leave them wanting more.
MTV: I assume you're going to be at Comic-Con, making your debut as a comic creator...
McMILLIAN: Absolutely! I'll be at the Archaia booth throughout the weekend, and the panel on Friday.
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