The quick and dirty adventures of Zahn? Winter has never looked so good!
If you’ve ever dipped your toes into the universe of erotic fantasy specialists Class Comics, then you’ll probably be familiar with the character of Zahn. A well-endowed, god-like barbarian, Zahn is the Son of Winter and he’s on a quest to save his world of Varda.
So far, there’s been three main issues in the saga of Zahn – each of them a quality read and about as good as erotic comics get.
Along the way, Zahn has also appeared in lots of side stories and short escapades – not chronicled in the three main issues but published elsewhere in the Class Comics canon.
Helpfully, these side-adventures have now been compiled into Zahn: The Son of Winter Saga #1. While the narratives between the stories don’t necessarily connect, it’s a bumper publication rammed with one lusty adventure after another.
Highlights include Size Matters, The Games of Triska, The Altar of Zsabarnak, Blood Oath, and all of Zahn’s Stripshow appearances.
As an extra bonus, this collection features a preview of what’s in store for us in Zahn #4. It’s hot. It’s all so wrong it just feels right.
One of the interesting aspects of bringing Zahn’s side-stories together in a collection such as this is that we get to see how different artists interpret the character. As well as Patrick Fillion – who created the character – the illustrators featured include Logan, Jacob Mott, Adam Graphite, JC Soto, Leon de Leon, Richie, PPMAQ, Jezza Smilez, Nico Brunet, and HvH. That’s a pretty impressive roll-call of some of the biggest names in gay erotic art.
Treat yourself to a bit of quality me-time. Wrap up warm and submit to the Son of Winter.
Who are Class Comics?
When it comes to erotic fiction, Class Comics are the guys that create the kind of graphic art filth that makes all my geek-boy wet-dreams come true.
Patrick Fillion and Robert Fraser are the creative geniuses behind Class Comics. The couple have been publishing together since 2002.
We caught up with Patrick and Robert for a behind-the-scenes look at the business of erotic comics and the timeless appeal of their intensely sexual stories.
Hooked on comics
“I was around five-years-old when I first saw a Spider-Man comic – I really enjoyed the format, but it wasn’t until I discovered the Uncanny X-Men that I truly fell head-over-heels for comics…” remembers Patrick. “It was issue #160. Storm and Nightcrawler were on the cover, and I was in heaven. From that point on I couldn’t get enough, and spent almost every penny I had as a kid buying comics.”
“I remember picking up Archie digests in the superstore lineup before reading any super-hero floppies…” says Robert. “Eventually, I was a DC kid who longed to join the Legion of Substitute Heroes. I still have a thing for red-heads. It wasn’t until I met Patrick that I rediscovered my enjoyment of the genre. Comics give you what you need at the time you read them.”
The origin story
“My Mom says I was born with a pencil in hand, which is just to say that I’ve been drawing forever…” explains Patrick. “I preferred drawing to playing with the other kids, and I really wanted to get better. I focused on learning anatomy, technique, and sequential layout pretty early on.”
“In grade school, I would draw comics and bring them to school so the other kids could read them…” continues Patrick. “That’s how the name Class Comics came about, because the kids read them in the classroom.”
“Patrick and I met on a blind date…” remembers Robert. “We were set up by a buddy who thought I might like the ‘cool gay guy’ he knew. The first time Patrick phoned me, I told him I couldn’t talk because Buffy was on. While I thought it was sealing my doom, it actually thrilled him, since he’s a Buffy fan.”
“When Robert and I met in 2002, we quickly realised that we had a lot of complementary skills…” says Patrick. “It made so much sense to go into business together. We were already dating, and that was going great, but I don’t think either one of us could have imagined what a fantastic business team we’d make. That’s pretty much when the Class Comics of today was born. It truly is our baby.”
“He was doing way too many things that kept him from drawing…” adds Robert. “I took on anything that didn’t require me putting a pencil to paper.”
Who reads this stuff?
“Gay men are our core audience…” says Patrick. “Either they come from a love of comics or a love of adult entertainment, and they enjoy that we solidly deliver both. But there are also a number of straight women who follow our titles religiously, which is so cool.”
“We create comics that deliver solid and engaging story-telling with compelling characters and throw in a healthy amount of gay sex and nudity…” continues Patrick. “It often surprises first-time readers that our comics are so intensely sexual but also contain such engrossing stories. They want to know what happens next at the end of every issue. Often, they’re hooked after the first taste.”
“I like to think that we make comics for Gay Geeks, however the reality is that we make comics for a huge cross-section of individuals…” adds Robert. “While Bent-Con was running, we had the privilege of meeting our readers face-to-face and they’re as diverse as our characters. Ultimately, it’s the comic book reader who knows that there’s something huge missing from the mainstream comics.”
“We make comics that reflect the ‘what if’ idea that sex was culturally normalised, risk free, and more fun than you could ever imagine…” continues Robert. “Sometimes we’re making naughty comics, sometimes were making thrilling adventures, and sometimes we’re blending the two so much that we don’t know where we stand.”
Bringing to life the sexed-up superhero fantasy
“So many of us were bullied as kids, or just had a difficult time figuring ourselves out and growing up…” says Patrick, reflecting on the popularity of their stories that feature lusty super-heroes. “Superheroes resonate strongly with many gay men because they allow us to reclaim some fraction of the power we may feel we lost growing up.”
“They’re a wonderful form of escapism and can be quite cathartic…” continues Patrick. “Beyond all of that, though, there’s the fact that your average superhero looks amazing in tights and form fitting uniforms. As gay guys, I think we can appreciate a great ass in a spandex costume.”
Reclaiming the power
“All of my characters are about claiming one’s own power, whether it’s sexual or personal in some other way…” explains Patrick. “One thing that often comes up, for example, is how Deimos hates to get fucked. But the truth of it is that he’s actually scared to get fucked. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy it – quite the contrary – it’s that he’s scared to lose his power. But almost every time it happens, he reclaims his love of bottoming. I think that’s quite empowering, because a lot of guys go through this sort of thing.”
“But it’s not all about sex…” continues Patrick. “Flamer, for example, is shown to be bullied quite badly in his origin story. He grows up in a small town and is beaten and constantly harassed and called all kinds of demeaning things. One of the names he’s called is ‘Flamer’. When he’s given the chance to essentially escape his small town and choose a new identity, he calls himself Flamer, choosing to let the word empower him rather than degrade him. By reclaiming the moniker in this way, he’s essentially removing any negative power it once held over him.”
Spicing up the sex life
“Creating comics has always been a great means for me to express many of my own personal fantasies…” explains Patrick. “These aren’t always fantasies I necessarily want to live out in real life, so exploring them in my comics is a really great way for me to experience them. I’ve become much more comfortable with that over the years, and I love that I now feel perfectly at ease sharing this stuff with my readers and fans.”
“I can neither confirm nor deny which elements from our comics make it into our bedroom!” says Robert. “What I can say is that I’m always surprised how much of our personal life, events and conversations somehow pop out of our recent issues. I used to be much more reserved than I am now, and more restricted in what I would consider normal.”
“After all this time of working and living together, I think we’ve become pretty accustomed to expressing our sexuality and exploring our fantasies with one another…” confirms Patrick. “When sex talk is part of your day-to-day work, you stop feeling shy pretty quick. If anything, working together on sex comics has opened us both up in some really amazing ways.”
Bringing the fantasies to life
“I love the idea of seeing our characters brought to life on screen…” says Patrick. “The right porn production company to partner with is what’s needed. I wonder if François Sagat would be interested in playing Deimos?”
“It would be a dream come true to have Jay Landford to play Isaiah Shade…” adds Robert. “I also think that DeAngelo Jackson would make a perfect Space Cadet.”
Edging towards that happy ending
“Ultimately, I want people to have a well-rounded, overall experience…” says Patrick. “Sure, I want them to get off, but more than that actually, I hope that they enjoy the story and characters.”
“Beyond the biggest cum shot that they’ve ever released, we want to give our readers a sense of inclusion and representation that they’ve not found in most comics before…” adds Robert. “The representation of LGBTQ people in comics is growing in the mainstream, but it’s always destined to be a very small part of it. That’s not the case with Class Comics!”
“Sometimes, people can sell adult comics a bit short…” continues Patrick. “It’s always my goal – and that of everyone who contributes to Class Comics – to deliver characters you can fall in love with, lust after, and maybe even relate to or learn something from. If we accomplish that and give the reader a great orgasm, then that’s something I think we can be pretty proud of.