Ralf König

I was pointed to a classic gay comic by the bibliography in the entertaining and informative The Dick Book: Tuning Your Favorite Body Part (Micha Schulze & Christian Scheuss, Bruno Gmünder 2013, translation of Das Schwanzbuch. Tuning für dein bestes Stück 2008): Ralf König’s The Killer Condom (2009 Ignite! Entertainment (rev. ed.); 1992 The Killer Condom Catalan Communications, translation from German by Jim Steakley of 1988 Kondom des Grauens [‘Condom of Horror’] Edition Kunst der Comics/Ralf König). Aside from the pleasures of the story, there’s some snowclonish interest.

The cover:

(All the characters have big bulbous noses. Get used to it.)

The guy with the gun is Lieut. Macaroni, of a tough, nasty city much like New York. The young man on his knees worshiping his dick is a (never-named) kid Macaroni cruises on the street and takes to the Hotel Quickie for a quick trick. (Eventually they fall in love.)

From the back cover:

It looks like a condom.
It feels like a condom.
It fits like a condom.

But it’s no ordinary condom – it’s a killer!

This is an instance of the Duck Figure, which apparently started as a quotation converted into an idiom:

If it looks like a duck and walks/quack/flies etc. like a duck, it is a duck.(humorous)
used to say that something is probably exactly what it seems to be and we should trust our judgment about it They’re calling it a clinic, not a prison, but if it looks like a duck and swims like a duck, then it is a duck, I think. (Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. 2006)

and then varied in snowclone style, giving that quotation on the back cover of the book (where the expectation of duckhood is subverted) and in one passage from the book (where it’s used positively):

(The first two panels here are in the elevator going up to room 408 for their assignation.)

Wikipedia has an account of the history, which I’m not in a position to examine critically:

The duck test is a humorous term for a form of inductive reasoning. This is its usual expression:

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

The test implies that a person can identify an unknown subject by observing that subject’s habitual characteristics. It is sometimes used to counter abstruse arguments that something is not what it appears to be.

History: Emil Mazey, the secretary-treasurer of the United Automobile Workers for 33 years, said at a labor meeting in 1946:

I can’t prove you are a Communist. But when I see a bird that quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, has feathers and webbed feet and associates with ducks—I’m certainly going to assume that he IS a duck.

Back to the killer condom. Before Macaroni heroically takes it down, it has chomped off sixteen dicks and one ball (Macaroni loses one of his testicles in an encounter with the beast). Close to the end of the story, Macaroni is on the phone to boyfriend:

And then the snarling toothy beast appears —

— only to be defeated by Macaroni.

Well, yes, this is a condom version of the vagina dentata story (and Macaroni mentions castration anxiety explicitly in the book):

Vagina dentata (Latin for toothed vagina) describes a folk tale in which a woman’s vagina is said to contain teeth, with the associated implication that sexual intercourse might result in injury or castration for the man.

Such folk stories are frequently told as cautionary tales warning of the dangers of sex with strange women and to discourage rape. (link)

Of course any man who’s fellated is confronted with actual teeth, and they could in principle (and sometimes do in actual life) bite off his cock.

It turns out that there are also folk stories in a number of cultures of the anus dentatus, so gay tops have something else to worry about when they fuck.

Not to mention worrying about being jacked off by Edward Scissorhands.

But *condoms*! Who imagined?

A note on the artist, from Wikipedia:

Ralf König (born August 8, 1960 in Soest, Germany) is one of the best known and most commercially successful German comic book creators. His books have been translated into many languages. He has resided in Soest, Dortmund and Berlin and now lives in Cologne.

He’s written a great many books, and attracts a straight audience in addition to his natural gay audience. One more panel from him, yet another take on Saint Sebastian (who comes up here regularly):

(Not only the characteristic nose (and big feet), but also the characteristic vegetation.)


4 Responses to “Ralf König”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Dean Allemang on Facebook:

    I used his comics to learn German. My vocabulary was a bit . . . unprofessional.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Two Saint Sebastian postings: “Saint Sebastian”, “Sticking it to Saint Sebastian”.

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Chris Waigl on Facebook:

    Thanks for reminding me of Ralf König. It’s true that his appeal includes the straight mainstream as he does fit into the recognisable genre of rather crass, satirical humour that’s widespread in Germany, even though he’s a lot more layered than most of that stuff.

  4. More news for penises | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] of this year’s HPs. (Some Facebook commenters were disturbed by the giant teeth — see my posting on Ralf König and the Killer Condom — and one remarked that trouser snakes are traditionally […]

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