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Angelface by Benoît Prévot for Class Comics (image supplied) Angelface by Benoît Prévot for Class Comics (image supplied)

Arts & Culture

The loose morals of the Prohibition-era

Angelface by Benoît Prévot for Class Comics (image supplied)

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One of our favourite series from Class Comics is Angelface.

Written and illustrated by Benoît Prévot, Angelface is set in the early 1920s, and tells the story of Alan and Red.

After Alan double-crosses Red, Red pursues Alan from London the America and their adventures begin. Three volumes of Angelface are currently available.

There’s plenty of man-on-man action in Angelface, but Prévot by immersing his characters in the loose morals of Prohibition-era America, he gives us a story that elevates this work — it’s intelligent gay erotica at its best.

I caught up with Benoît Prévot for a behind-the-scenes look at the story.

What was your inspiration for the Angelface characters and their story?

The idea was to create en erotic story in which the plot would be as important as the porn scenes. As I love the beginning of the 20th century, I thought it was a good period for a gangster story. I also wanted characters with sentimental interaction and where the sex scenes could be an action in themselves — like a fight or a dialogue.

I also really wanted to have a real redhead, with floppy ears and freckles, because they’re physical characteristics that I find very appealing. Red’s the character with whom I’m most connected.

Was the 1920s a time period that you were fairly knowledgeable about, or did you need to do much research?

I needed to do a little research for some specific details, but I had a broad understanding of the time period and the fashions.

Sometimes I lose myself when I do too much research. I did a lot of research so that I could draw the Pulitzer Fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel how it was in 1924. That’s probably too much detail for a porn story.

What was the creative process to create the three volumes that have been published so far?

The story has always been written for four volumes of 24 plates. But the first version of the complete story was a bit different — in fact, I rewrote everything after that one was published. I wasn’t very satisfied with the first one, I thought the story was very light.

The adventure is over after the end of the fourth volume. There are options to continue the story, but I’m thinking of perhaps creating a prequel for one of the three main characters.

What sort of response have you had to the Angelface story?

There a long period between the second and third volumes, but it’s had a good response. Sometimes people mention that there’s a lot of text to read.

If you were going to turn Angelface into a movie, do you have any actors in mind for the characters of Alan and Red?

Perhaps a young Jude Law for Alan, and a young Jesse Plemons for Red.

What do you hope that people feel when reading Angelface?

I ‘d like them to have empathy for the characters, and that they like the story-line as much as the sex scenes.

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Arts & Culture

Hoxton Street

London. Life.

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“I watched the RuPaul Christmas special last night…” said Charlie, as they slid into a booth at Monty’s. “What on earth was that gay nonsense?”

“Didn’t that air last week?” asked Kellen, unwinding his scarf and taking off his bobble-hat.

“I watched it on Netflix last night…” shrugged Charlie. “I needed a break from the wall-to-wall coverage of Theresa May winning the vote to continue leading us off a cliff.”

“The RuPaul thing wasn’t that bad, was it?” suggested Kellen. “It’s great that drag is mainstream enough to have a Christmas special like that.”

“That’s total bullshit!” dismissed Charlie. “I’m pleased that some drag queens are making some money, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t call them out when they make rubbish television!”

“That’s homophobic…” replied Kellen.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” laughed Charlie. “I’m gay. I can’t be homophobic!”

“It’s your internalised homophobia speaking…” explained Kellen. “Or, as RuPaul would say – it’s your inner-saboteur.”

“What can I get you guys?” interrupted the waitress, coming over to take their order.

“Um… I’ll just have a Reuben…” decided Kellen, quickly looking at the menu. “And a black coffee, please.”

“Just a coffee for me, thanks…” added Charlie. “Black.”

“You’re not eating?” queried Kellen, as the waitress headed off to place their order.

“I’m not that hungry…” shrugged Charlie. “Anyway, I thought I’d share some of your Reuben – they’re enormous, and you never eat it all. They haven’t the caught the guy who shot up the Christmas market in Strasbourg, have they?”

“No, but I saw on the news this morning that they’ve released details of the suspect that they’re looking for…” replied Kellen. “Horrific. Imagine being there.”

“I know, right?” agreed Charlie. “Brings back all the memories of the attack on Borough Market. I’ve never been to Strasbourg. Have you?”

“No, but I’ve heard that the Christmas markets are worth a visit…” replied Kellen. “Just not this year, I guess.”

“I’ll put it on my wish-list…” grinned Charlie. “For when I win the lottery.”

“How’s work going?” asked Kellen.

“Busy!” nodded Charlie.

“So, what are you working on today?” asked Kellen.

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“Oh, just some longer-term projects…” shrugged Charlie. “Putting together some pitches for next year, that kind of thing. You know how things are when you’re freelance.”

“When you say ‘freelance’…” began Kellen. “Are you using that as code for unemployed?”

“That’s a bit offensive!” laughed Charlie. “I have clients! I’m working!”

“Sure…” shrugged Kellen. “But is anyone paying you?”

“Well… It’s early days…” admitted Charlie. “I’m definitely making some good progress.”

“Charlie, how are you paying the bills?” pushed Kellen.

“Um… Things have been a bit tight…” acknowledged Charlie. “But I’ve got to make this work.”

“How about I buy you a Reuben?” offered Kellen.

“That would be a Christmas miracle…” smiled Charlie. “I promise I won’t ever again criticise RuPaul.”

This is the second episode of the serial, Hoxton Street.

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