If I’ve had one primary complaint when it comes to gender transformation comics, it’s how lightly they treat the experience of waking up and finding that your body, your very identity, is no longer your own. To be honest, this works both for gender transformation comics and for body-switching/face-switching comics, but there is a greater level of horror attributed to being in a body that is alien to what you fundamentally are. Mind you, I’m not claiming men are better than women, or women better than men. But the truth is, we’re familiar with our own bodies. Waking up not only as someone else… but as the opposite gender? For all it’s played for laughs, when you get down to it, it’s a thing of horror.
That’s not to say there are no comics that touch on this horror theme (amusingly enough, one of the biggest offenders of the gender-switch-for-humor theme did briefly give us a glimpse of the less pleasant aspects of gender-swaps). Unfortunately, I can’t give a full review on She !s me! (Oh no! I’m a girl!) for one fundamental reason: the comic is in German. And my grasp of the German language is limited to a bare dozen words (considering I flunked out of it in high school, along with Spanish, French, and eventually Latin). Fortunately, the first seven chapters have been translated into English, for those of us who either proved inept at learning German, or who never had the opportunity.
The comic itself takes a refreshingly honest look at the psychological aspects of an unwanted gender change, and as more than just the psychology of transsexualism. While S!M does indulge in some traditions found in many TG comics (such as the protagonist taking time to “explore” her new body, though the screen is blacked out in both the original German and in the translated comic, and the character refreshingly feels sickened afterward at what “she” did), the story also follows some realistic progressions: the protagonist decides to “sleep it off” at first only to wake up still a girl, and she even contemplates suicide but botches the job. When she tells someone she trusts about what happened, the response is also refreshingly honest, with the doctor in question refusing to believe and accusing her of being involved in a prank.