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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)



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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Beach Boys in the Buff



Antonio En La Playa by Marc DeBauch (image supplied)
Antonio En La Playa by Marc DeBauch (image supplied)

I caught up with artist Marc DeBauch to look at his series of work titled Beach Boys.

When did you discover and start to explore your passion for art?

I started drawing and painting when I was three years old. Before I was five, I remember creating a crayon drawing of the Sinking of the Titanic on the rough plaster of the living-room wall of my parents’ house. It was impossible to remove — my parents weren’t happy with me, but after that they provided me with enough art materials to pursue my creative interests without destroying their home.

Lonnel on the Beach by Marc DeBauch (image supplied)

When did you start specialising in painting naked men and creating erotic art?

It was 36 years ago when I started painting male nudes and selling them in a local gay book store. Then, in 1995, I entered two paintings in the Tom of Finland Foundation’s Emerging Erotic Artists Contest. I was won first place, which opened the door for my art career, as I was immediately approached by galleries and magazines that wanted to feature my art.

This gave me the confidence and notoriety to exhibit and sell my work at erotic art fairs and gay events. At that time, the internet was just emerging, so my friend Andrew created a website for me, which was a fantastic tool to get my art out to people around the world.

Aussie Boy by Marc DeBauch (image supplied)

You’ve written that Tom of Finland is one of the major influences on your work — when did you first encounter the work of Tom of Finland?

I remember seeing Tom of Finland’s art in a porno magazine my friend had in high school. I was just amazed at the sexual tension, outrageous anatomy, and attention to detail in Tom’s art.

This was back in the early 1970s, so gay porn was just emerging legally in magazines and films. At the time, I wasn’t talented enough to draw the human figure accurately. But, I was fascinated enough to want to try. My sister’s boyfriend was a photographer, and he gave me his dark room equipment — back then you actually had to develop film, as there were no digital cameras.

I talked a friend into posing naked for me while jacking off, and I developed the film and made some prints. I was 14 years old, photographing another 14-year-old boy. It was very exciting creating my own porn! Unfortunately, my dad — being supportive of my art — wanted to see the photos, and of course I couldn’t show him. Not only did he not approve of gays, he didn’t want his son to be gay. He would have probably hit me if he knew I was a homosexual creating gay porn! So, I destroyed the photos almost in front of him, while saying — “The photos didn’t turn out and I would show him better work at another time.”

I was scared and freaked out. I knew I was self-censoring. But I also realised that if I was going to create erotic art that I would have to do it in secret. When Tom of Finland began drawing naked men, he also had to make his art in secret. I think most erotic artists learn to be very careful about choosing the right audience to exhibit their work to.

Trevor on the Beach by Marc DeBauch (image supplied)

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from people I know. I’ve been fortunate to see and meet many beautiful men in my life. Capturing their beauty and illustrating them in a unique way, is my goal.

What’s your creative process?

My creative process is different every time I paint. Sometimes an idea for a painting just pops in my head and I try to find model to pose for a photo to match my vision — that’s often the easiest route.

I rarely work from a live model. My paintings take so long to create — I often work all night on a painting — so, finding a model to sit for that long of a period and whenever I want them, is impossible. I use the photos of my models as reference.

Often, I look through hundreds of images and piece things together in a collage. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle — lots of pieces missing, and my mind fills in those missing pieces with an arm from this model, the chest from another, the dick from another, the face from another, and so on, until I have the entire figure. But then I have to decide how the light and setting will pull all of those puzzle pieces together.

I have dozens of photos that are my references for every detail of plants, animals, rocks, furnishings. I sort through a constant mess of photos — gradually eliminating those references as my brain digests the information and my brush puts it on the canvas or paper.

The paintings that form the Beach Boys series are beautiful — what are some of the challenges in creating beach scenes like this?

Trying to find a balance between the setting and the model is always a challenge. I don’t want the model to overpower the beach, or the beach to feel more important than the model. I want my paintings to have a natural feeling, like you could be at the beach with my models.


Who are the men featured in the paintings of the Beach Boys series?

The men in my Beach Boy series are mostly friends that have modelled for me. Sometimes I find a photograph of a model that someone else has taken, that inspires me to use it as a reference pose to work from, then I find one of the photos of a beach that I’ve visited and I try to recreate a similar pose in a drawing that will eventually become a painting.

What do you hope that people feel when they look at your work?

I don’t want to just give the viewer of my art an erection, I want them to feel like they’re part of the painting, that they want to invite the men in my paintings into their homes, their beds, their dungeon, their car, their locker room, or the bushes for a hot fuck, butt licking, cock sucking, ass spanking good time.

I hope to excite the viewer visually, emotionally as well as spiritually. It’s my goal as an artist and sexually active gay man to paint erotica that continually challenges the views of people who oppose sexual freedom. If my paintings assist the viewer in discovering where they are in the spectrum of human sexuality, then my aim is reaching its target.

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After the Swim by Marc DeBauch (image supplied)

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