It’s not so much the fact that the cover features a man standing naked, attempting to cover himself with his arms and legs, but that this man has a tan-line that indicates he wears a Speedo at the beach. It certainly demands attention, to say the least. His red face also implies a certain amount of embarrassment, but at what? His naked body? The viewers? And just what can be discerned from a title like Maybe…Maybe Not?
Welcome to the life of Norbert, Waltrina and their collection of idiosyncratic drag queens in Germany. When Waltrina is invited to a sensitive men’s group to discuss his lifestyle, he meets Axel, a recently-dumped man. Alex’s depression is so overwhelming, he doesn’t attempt suicide but instead almost perfectly fakes a suicide attempt, hoping to win back his ex-girlfriend with pity. Like all insane plans, it works, but only temporarily. Thus Axel finds himself back with the group under the watchful eye of the drooling Waltrina, who has decided to make Axel his conquest, despite the fact that Axel is not gay.
As Axel spends more time with Waltrina, his strong hetereosexual disposition becomes questionable. Waltrina and eventually Norbert believe that he can be converted, or that Axel may be a bit more bisexual than he lets on. However, their plans are foiled at least temporarily when Axel’s ex-girlfriend, Dorothea, comes back into the picture.
Both volumes are filled with double-entendres, vulgar jokes, and hilarious antics. The second volume, Maybe…Maybe Not Again!, picks up shortly after the end of the first and delivers the same level of amusement and enjoyment. Some of the positions, personalities and comments may seem trite, politically incorrect, or ignorant. Yet given that this series was originally published in the 1980s, they are fairly progressive.
Both volumes can be easily read alone, but who wants to do that? Konig provides fantastic tales about life outside the closet in Germany that parallels as well as bring to light aspects of sexuality in America. Jeff Krell’s attention to detail as translator seems flawless, leaving no joke or comment being misunderstood.