Oct 12, 2015
Alix and Enak: Jonny and Hadji in Ancient Rome
of Britain had it good, then France must have been a Paradise of beefcake and bonding: bandes-dessinee (hard-bound comic books) overbrimmed with same-sex couples, including Tintin and Captain Haddock, Spirou and Fantasio, Corentin and Kim, and Alix and Enak.
Alix, who premiered in 1948, was a Roman citizen from the province of Gaul (modern France) who travels through the ancient world, through Gaul, Egypt, Persia, and eventually as far afield as India, China, and the Pacific, having death-defying adventures in historically accurate settings (give or take a few hundred years) with beautifully detailed backgrounds.
Alix is blond-hared, handsome, muscular, and frequently nude.
That's right, nude.
His creator, Jacques Martin, had no qualms about introducing rear and occasional frontal nudity into his strips.
Sort of a Hadji to his Jonny Quest, or a Raji to his Terry.
In the early books, they have no interest in girls; they are devoted to each other, rescuing each other from deadly danger over and over again, saying things like "I won't leave without you!" and "If anything were to happen to you. . . ."
Thirty volumes have appeared, along with some "straight' history of the ancient world illustrated by Alix comics. They have never been translated into English, but you don't need to read French to enjoy the beautifully detailed backgrounds -- or the beefcake.