First of all, you’ve got to love that cover. At least I do. As a long-time fan of the Fantastic Four and of Jack Kirby’s art, it really jumped out at me. The art is by Richard Watts, based on the cover of an early issue of the FF. (#20? #22? Somewhere along in there.)
This is the first issue of THE SAVAGE KICK I’ve read, and it lives up to its name. It includes ten novelettes and short stories, all of them rough and violent (even when the violence is mostly emotional). Most are crime stories, but there’s also a war yarn and a few that are unclassifiable. The highlights for me were the interviews with Seymour Shubin (the author of the novel THE HUNCH, published by Murder Slim Press, among others) and Joe R. Lansdale his ownself, accompanied by previously unpublished stories by both authors. Shubin’s story is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever read, and I say that as a good thing. Joe’s story is short, nasty, and as usual, very evocative of a time and place. I enjoyed all the other stories, as well as the politically incorrect cartoons by Ivan Brunetti.
Like Pete Risley’s novel RABID CHILD, most of the stories in THE SAVAGE KICK are not for the squeamish or easily offended. But they have the same sort of raw power, and editors Steve Hussy (who also contributed a story) and Richard Watts (the cover and interior art) have done a fine job of producing this issue of “The World’s Greatest Literary Magazine”. It’s available at the Murder Slim Press website, along with back issues and their other fine publications.