"I once took part in an orgy like the ones I draw," says French-Canadian illustrator Patrick Fillion, whose Class Comics has been delivering rock-hard cock and ripped physiques to Superhero fans for the last three years. "But I decided I was more into the 1-on-1 stuff than the 1-on-5."
At 32, Fillion is poised to become the Stan Lee of gay comics. This June, he debuts his first all-color comic, The Rapture, which will feature not only his own work but a stable of artists, colorists and writers that might rightly be called the School of Patrick. They will be working in the illustrator’s trademark style, spotlighting his trademark characters, like Naked Justice (the redhead in the red mask, above), Ghostboy (the Kabuki-masked stud in blue) and Deimos, a fallen angel with devil horns and goatee (left) who, whether in Heaven or Hell, just can’t help being very popular.
Fillion, who never uses models, never went to art school either. “I applied to Emily Carr here in Vancouver. They turned me down and told me that I could teach cartooning!” He subsequently taught himself anatomy by studying “tons of muscle-building magazines" (a pastime we’re sure our readers are familiar with.) "I prefer to work without a net," he says of his decision not to use models. Actually, a mere human body would only slow his imagination down!
But it’s not just his understanding of the body that is amazing, his backgrounds are beautifully nuanced, as well. Note, for instance, the moody window shadows in the Deimos picture, above, the tense wrinkling of the red sheets, the restless folds of the pillow. There’s nothing remotely Mickey Mouse about the art of Patrick Fillion.
"I’ve always felt that the erotic should be unusual, never ‘normal,’" Fillion says of his subject matter. "Locus, my bug boy, is erotic because he’s exotic. He’s the unknown to us, the mysterious, the fantastic. What would his skin feel like? What would it be like to kiss a boy with green skin and antennae? It’s a mystery, and it’s exciting."
Another unique signature of the Patrick Fillion Superhero is that he’s usually a bottom (or as we modern guys say, "versatile.") "Sure, my Superheroes are sexy and hung like horses,” he contends, “but the bottom side of them allows me to tell a more emotional story. However, I wish to point out that my tops are just as sweet!"
The illustrator admits that occasionally his fans get carried away. "Sometimes, I receive fan mail that makes me blush!," he says. "Certain fans have pretty interesting notions about the type of person I am! But truth be told, I am a one-man guy, very romantic and very devoted." Patrick, in fact, is business-partners with his long-term boyfriend, Fraz. "I think for me, certain fantasies are best left on paper!"
Still, so powerful are his fantasies that they began expressing themselves before he was quite old enough to do anything about them. "By the age of 11, I was drawing naked guys, unsure of what it all meant. My characters were leading double livesâ€¦ in one life they had regular adventures, which I shared with friends and family, and in another, they were having Superhero adventures in the buff."
Patrick soon figured what was up when he kept re-reading a comic where Spiderman got stripped by a mob of hypnotized villagers. "They tore at his costume and shredded it until only little scraps were left to cover the poor hero. I remember cherishing that issue of Spider-Man and pulling it out often, to relive the shredding of the costume. Spidey just seemed so beautiful to me, and so noble, willing to endure so much harm so as not to hurt the innocent, mind-controlled people "
Below, Patrick stands with his Superboys, most notably Camili-Cat, the "Felinoid" he first drew when he was 12. (The cat boy seems to be a bit of a self-portrait, huh, Patrick?) As for his lifelong attraction to fantastic Supermen, Patrick believes it has a lot to do with growing up gay:
"You can feel pretty alone and lost as a gay child. Sometimes having a safe fantasy place to escape to is very healthy. As a child, science fiction permits you to let your mind go nuts and have a bit of fun. As an adult, it’s important to remain young at heart. Letting yourself enjoy fantasy material is a great way to do this, in my opinion."
You can purchase Patrick Fillion’s comics or his new line of Superhero T-shirts, mousepads and boxer shorts at Class Comics on the web