German author Ralf König is still too rare in English, so we can thank Ignite! Entertainment1 for publishing a new, revised translation of 1987 Kondom des Grauens (The Condom of Horror), first published in English back in 1992 but long out-of-print.
But let’s see what this is about: in a rather squalid New York City, a man brings a (female) hooker to a hotel, starts doing his business…and then blood pours out of his lower body, his cock neatly cut off. Rest assured this isn’t a story of Vagina Dentata, as detective Luigi Macaroni (König isn’t always very subtle), who’s in charge of the investigation, soon realises when he decides to enjoy the hotel’s limited charms in the company of a young man of low morals but (hopefully) high sexual skills. The fun stops when a very aggressive and very long-toothed condom launches itself toward Macaroni’s good-sized cock. At which point the reader can wonder what König has been smoking all those years and whether he still has a stash of it. But I digress.
Macaroni escapes having to change career from doing police work to singing falsetto, but he’ll be closely shadowed both by the killer condom and by the young man he almost got off with at the hotel, who seems to have a thing for hairy, older Italians. And who doesn’t.
The inspector’s problems go even further than that: how could his colleagues take him seriously when he claims there’s a castrating condom on the loose?
König expertly weaves all his subplots together, and even builds a sympathetic portrait of his hero, which is no small feat since Macaroni first appears as a macho, gay version of Joe Sixpack, if that makes sense. The fact is that König doesn’t try to draw a cute guy in any way at all, but then his Big Nose style, which he refined over the years, lends itself more to caricature than Greek-style beauty (though he can and does draw raw masculinity quite well, as can be seen in Bull’s Balls).
By the end of the story, a number of questions remain concerning the killer condom, though Macaroni seems to have reached a happy place, and I’m not only talking about his new boyfriend’s ass. It’s a good thing, then, that König wrote a sequel in 1990, also starring Macaroni and greatly expanding on the first story. Let’s hope that Ignite! will give us an English version of that even better book. In the meantime, enjoy this opportunity to get into the head of Europe’s most famous gay cartoonist.