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Bull's Balls


A 140-page graphic novel, MännerschwarmSkript Verlag, 2000.
Available from this German online gay bookshop, or from Amazon.

Category: humor, slice-of-life.

Author(s): Ralf König.
Website: http://ralf-koenig.de.

Ramon & Paul, with Conrad in the kitchen

Ralf König has written a half-dozen graphic novels involving Paul and Conrad, a gay couple made up of two very different men who, as unexpected as that might seem, love each other very much even after a decade of diverging weltanschauungen.
Bull's Balls is probably the most famous of the Paul & Conrad books, and it's a very good introduction to König's world - it's not like there have been of lot of his books translated in English, anyway. This one is published by his German publisher, but it's all in English.

Conrad is a classical music lover who teaches piano, a househusband who's not into cruising or leather... contrary to Paul, a very gay and very horny guy constantly looking for tricks. In this story, Paul meets Ramon, a supposedly straight construction worker built like, well, a bull, who exudes raw masculinity like Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous exudes sluttiness, while Conrad falls slightly in love with his teenage piano student.

König's art style couldn't be further from what comics reader usually see, but it does have roots in European comics and strips (the "big noses" tradition). His characters are round and sometimes more sketched than drawn, but that doesn't prevent him from giving them a lot of personality, through facial and body language. He also doesn't shy away from drawing explicit sex scenes, and some of the spats between the two main characters reach an hysterical level which is very funny.
In fact, most of his stories and characters are a balance between a broad and bawdy humor, and a use of realistic settings and situations. Depending on the albums, the balance is more toward the former or the later.

In Bull's Balls - as in most of König's books, everybody is obsessed with sex and love, which, we must admit, is more realistic than characters being obsessed with world-conquest and multiversal destruction. But I digress.

It's a pity that the printing on this book isn't very good, but that won't prevent you from enjoying Conrad and Paul's trip to lustland. And a book which has a character sporting a large erection can't be bad, can it?


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