This piece originally appeared as part of my weekly newsletter, The Full Lid . If you liked it, and want a weekly down of pop culture enthusiasm, occasional ketchup recipes and me enjoying things, then check out the archive and sign up here.
This is The Tundra Project. Put together by friend and evil genius Zalia, it’s a collection of fan art, fiction and pod fiction about my Magnus Archives character, Peter Lucas.
That sounded nice and professional, right? Great. *deep breath*
OH MY GOD ACTUAL ART MAGICIANS HAVE MADE ART TO SAY THANK YOU TO ME FOR PLAYING A CHARACTER WHO WAS VAST AMOUNTS OF FUN TO BE.
It’s ALL THIS GOOD. Artwork, a zine (A ZINE. Y’ALL!) and dozens of heartfelt messages and pieces of fiction thanking me for playing Peter. It…I can’t describe it. I can’t describe what receiving an item like this makes me feel. So, of course I’m going to try.
I am professionally invisible and that is often both a choice and a necessity. A journalist has to be transparent to let the story be told. A podcaster is usually a disembodied voice behind a microphone, an RPG writer never normally gets name-checked and sometimes not even on the book. Sometimes laboring in the dark is useful. Sometimes it feels like being overlooked.
This, and this is also a #LonelyEyes gag as well being true, is feeling seen.
I am an actor the same way Henry Rollins is; enthusiastically and with almost no training. The astounding scripts of Alex and Jonny, the production genius of Lowri and Alex’s on-the-spot direction all combined with that raw enthusiasm to create a character who is both instantly likable and instantly disconcerting. He’s the hero of his own story. He’s the terrible old man. He’s the love of Elias Bouchard’s lives. Not that he’d ever say that out loud.
Peter was great fun to play and… perhaps may be again. He’s my oft-cultivated outsider survival instinct taken to it’s logical conclusion. A man made monstrous by his own hubris and inability to see how big the game he’s playing truly is. I miss him, just a little. Works of art, and kindness, like these remind me others do too. They also make me think that somewhere, Peter knows that.
And it ENRAGES HIM.
And remember, that’s what we want.
So, to Zalia and everyone who contributed to The Tundra Project, my awestruck, heartfelt eternal gratitude. Thank you all so, so much.
The Magnus Archives is available now and is one of the best horror podcasts in the world. Go listen.
Editor’s note: Many of these pieces and much more Peter Lucas and #LonelyEyes fan art can be found on Tumblr. You’re the best, Zalia.