Review: Fistful of Feet

I’m going to be honest and say that I’m a huge fan of Jordan Krall and he’s one of my favorite bizarro writers.  I once heard Krall mentioned as the Quentin Tarantino of bizarro, and I think it’s true in that he has a perfect mastery of genre fiction.  Squid Pulp Blues paid homage to crime noir, and now with Fistful of Feet, Krall is entering one of my personal favorite genres:  the western.

So of course I love this book, but I’m also going to tell you why.  Fistful of Feet is a bloody love song to all the cool Spaghetti Westerns made back in the 60’s and 70’s, full of superhuman gunplay and a moral code enforced by graphic violence.  The setting is the town of Screwhorse, a bubbling cauldron of corruption and mischief.  The frontier of the west was a brutal and lawless environment, where everyone is just trying to survive.  In this sense, Krall has stayed true to the roots of the western, giving it the proper atmosphere and the sort of characters we’ve come to expect.  The cast is large and varied, with all the classic western characters represented.  There’s the stand-up-for-justice hero, the whores-with-the-hearts-of-gold, the corrupt mayor, the incompetent sheriff, the scum-of-the-earth thugs, the mystical Indians, the con man, and even a few psychos.  That’s a large cast, but I wasn’t put off by it, as I felt that Fistful of Feet was just that kind of western.  Westerns like this are like operas.  There needs to be a large cast in order to produce as many corpses as possible.

Jordan Krall proves that he knows the western like the back of his hand, but at the same time, he’s created his own brand of bizarro over the years.  Fistful of Feet has tentacles, bodily fluids, deformed feet, weird drugs, sucking, screwing, hermaphrodites and much more.  I’ve always been a fan of weird westerns but the best I could ever find was Trigun or old Jonah Hex comics (Sex and Death in Television Town by Carlton Mellick is very good, but at times it’s barely recognizable as a western).  Jordan Krall has created the TRUE weird western here.  It conforms to the classic themes the genre has to offer, yet twists it with the sort of weirdness that Jordan Krall is known for.  What we get is something far more interesting than just “werewolves in the west” or “cowboys in space.”  Here’s hoping we get to see more weird westerns in the bizarro scene.

Get Fistful of Feet here:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933929898/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

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