Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale

Joe Richard Lansdale (born October 28, 1951) is an American author and martial-arts expert. He has written novels and stories in many genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. He has also written for comics as well as Batman: The Animated Series.

Frequent features of Lansdale's writing are usually deeply ironic, strange or absurd situations or characters, such as Elvis and JFK battling a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy in a nursing home (the plot of his Bram Stoker Award-nominated novella, "Bubba Ho-Tep," which was made into a movie by Don Coscarelli). He is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and eight Bram Stoker Awards. The World Horror Convention made him the recipient of the 2007 Grand Master Award for contributions to the field of Horror fiction.

He is perhaps best known for his "Hap and Leonard" series of novels which feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the town of Laborde, Texas, and find themselves solving a variety of often unpleasant crimes. The characters themselves are an unlikely pairing; Hap is a white working class laborer in his mid forties, and Leonard is a gay black man. Both of them are accomplished fighters, and the stories (told from Hap's narrative point of view) feature a great deal of violence, profanity and sex. Lansdale paints a picture of East Texas which is essentially "good" but blighted by racism, ignorance, urban and rural deprivation and corruption in public officials. Some of the subject matter is extremely dark, and has included pedophilia and anti-gay violence. The novels are characterized by sharp humor and "wisecracking" dialogue.

Much of Mr. Lansdale's work has been issued and re-issued as limited edition books by Subterranean Press and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Publications.His current new release publisher is Mulholland Books.

Lansdale, who was born in Gladewater, Texas, now lives in Nacogdoches and is the writer in residence at Stephen F. Austin State University. He also teaches at his own Shen Chuan martial arts school and is a member of both the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Sōke and the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Read more about Joe R. Lansdale:  Film and Television, Awards, Bibliography

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    This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would all be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. Only a little higher than apes. True that we were stupid and ugly and lazy and dirty and, unlucky and worst of all, that God Himself hated us and ordained us to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, forever and ever, world without end.
    Maya Angelou (b. 1928)