Joe R. Lansdale

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Joe R. Lansdale
At home in East Texas
At home in East Texas
BornJoe Richard Lansdale
(1951-10-28) October 28, 1951 (age 69)
Gladewater, Texas, United States
Pen nameRay Slater, Brad Simmons, Jack Buchanan
GenreHorror, mystery, western, adventure, crime
Literary movementSplatterpunk
ChildrenKasey and Keith.

Joe Richard Lansdale (born October 28, 1951) is an American writer and martial arts instructor.

Early life[edit]

Lansdale grew up in East Texas, the son of a mechanic.[1]


He has written nearly four dozen novels and many short story collections in various genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense.[2][3] He has also written for comics as well as Batman: The Animated Series. He has written 45 novels and published 30 short story collections along with many chapbooks and comic book adaptations. Several of his novels have been adapted to film and to television series.[4]

Frequent features of Lansdale's writing are usually deeply ironic, strange or absurd situations or characters, such as Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy 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).[5] He is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and ten Bram Stoker Awards.

His Hap and Leonard series of twelve novels, four novellas, and three short story collections feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the fictional town of Laborde, in East Texas, and find themselves solving a variety of often unpleasant crimes.[5] The characters themselves are an unlikely pairing; Hap is a white working class laborer in his mid forties who once protested against the war in Vietnam and spent time in federal prison rather than be drafted and Leonard is a gay black Vietnam vet. 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 includes scenes of brutal violence. These novels are also characterized by sharp humor and "wisecracking" dialogue.[6] These books have been adapted into a TV series for the SundanceTV channel[7] and a series of graphic novels will be published in early 2017.[8] Season 2 is based on the second Hap and Leonard novel Mucho Mojo and season 3, which premiered on 3/7/18, is based on the third novel The Two-Bear Mambo.[9] Much of Lansdale's work has been issued and re-issued as limited editions by Subterranean Press[10] and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Publications.[11] His current new release publisher is Mulholland Books.[12] Lansdale also publishes with Dark Regions Press,[13] and Tachyon Publications.

Lansdale's novel titled Fender Lizards was published in November 2015 by Subterranean Press.[14] In February 2016 two full-length novels Hell's Bounty was published Feb 27 also by Subterreanean Press[15] and a new Hap and Leonard novel titled Honky Tonk Samurai was released Feb 2 by Mulholland Books.[16] More Hap and Leonard works are on the way. On January 31, 2017 Coco Butternut: A Hap and Leonard Novella was released by Subterranean Press[17] and Rusty Puppy was released by Mulholland Books February 21, 2017.[18] A new mosaic novel titled Blood and Lemonade was released on March 14, 2017.[19]

Lansdale and daughter Kasey have started a new publishing company called Pandi Press to control the re-issue and publishing of his older works.[20]

Lansdale book of essays and memoirs, Miracles Ain't What They Used To Be, was released by PM Press's Outspoken Author Series.[21] His newest Hap and Leonard release is a novel titled Jackrabbit Smile and released March 27, 2018.[22] He also, along with his daughter Kasey, released a collection of Dana Roberts mysteries titled Terror is Our Business: Dana Roberts' Casebook of Horrors, published in May 2018 by Cutting Block Books.[23] In October 2018 a short story collection titled Driving to Geronimo's Grave and Other Stories has been published by Subterranean Press as a limited edition. Since then Joe Lansdale has been very busy publishing 11 Hap and Leonard novels as well as short story collections. Refer to his bibliography. His most recent novel is titled More Better Deals and was published by Mulholland Books. Its hardcover and Kindle releases were on July 21, 2020.[24] Since then he released a novel Big Lizard co-written with his son Keith Lansdale released as a limited edition of 1500 hard-copies published by Short, Scary Tales Publications and is also available through Amazon Kindle.[25]

Keith and Joe Lansdale in 2016

His latest novel is titled Moon Lake and was released by Mulholland Books on June 22, 2021.

Personal life[edit]

Lansdale, who was born in Gladewater, Texas, lives in Nacogdoches, Texas,[26] with his wife, Karen. He is the writer in residence at Stephen F. Austin State University. He also teaches at his own Shen Chuan martial arts school Lansdale's Self Defense Systems in Nacogdoches[27] and is a member of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Sōke and the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.[28] He is the father of actress, musician and publisher Kasey Lansdale[29][30] and reporter and screenwriter Keith Lansdale.[31][32] He has described himself as an atheist, though he has also said that he is not anti-religion.[33]

Film and television[edit]

Lansdale was a contributing writer for Batman: the Animated Series, credited with three episodes, namely "Perchance to Dream" (season 1, episode 26, which aired October 29, 1992), "Read My Lips"(season 1, episode #59 that aired May 10, 1993), and "Showdown" (season 4, episode 2, aired September 12, 1995). Lansdale also wrote "Identity Crisis" on Superman: The Animated Series (season 2, episode 6, airing September 15, 1997), and "Critters" (with Steve Gerber) for The New Batman Adventures (season 2, episode 2, airing September 19, 1998).

Lansdale's first film adaptation was Bubba Ho-Tep, based on his novella of the same and released in 2002. The film featured Elvis Presley and a man who believes himself to be John F. Kennedy, confined to an old-age rest home, teaming up to fight a mummy who is stealing their friends' souls.[5]

In 2010, Lansdale wrote the screenplay for the animated short DC Showcase: Jonah Hex.[34] The short story Incident On and Off a Mountain Road was adapted for the first episode of the first season of Masters of Horror. It aired on October 28, 2005. Lansdale's story "The Job" was made into an 11-minute short in 1997 by A.W. Feidler. It is available on the out-of-print DVD collection, Short 5 – Diversity, on Warner Home Video. The short story "Drive-In Date" was filmed as a short by James Cahill, from a script written by Lansdale, published in A Fist Full of Stories.

The film Christmas with the Dead, based on the Lansdale short story of the same name, was filmed in East Texas in Summer 2011. The film starring Brad Maule, Damian Maffei, and Kasey Lansdale is currently showing on the film festival circuit and at private screenings. The DVD has been released.[35] Actor and director Bill Paxton worked for six years on a film adaptation of Lansdale's novel The Bottoms.[36] In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Paxton admitted having difficulty getting the project off the ground. Paxton's death left unfinished projects, including The Bottoms movie.[37]

Backup Media and Memento Films International financed Cold in July, an adaptation of Lansdale's cult novel was directed by Jim Mickle, with acting by Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard.[38][39] Filming began in 2013.[40] Accompanied by a movie tie-in edition of the original story released by Tachyon Publications, the film was screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.[41]

Nick Damici and Jim Mickle developed a Hap and Leonard private investigator series for the Sundance Channel, which premiered in March 2016.[42][43] On June 27, 2016, SundanceTV renewed the series for a six-episode second season, which aired in 2017[needs update] and was based on the second novel, Mucho Mojo.[44][45] Season 3 is based the third book, The Two-Bear Mambo[46] On May 14, 2018, SundanceTV announced the cancellation of the series.[47][48][49]

Lansdale is the executive producer of the upcoming film The Pale Door.[50][51]

The Walking Dead Executive Producer Greg Nicotero and Joe R. Lansdale


Joe Lansdale has won eleven Bram Stoker Awards over the course of his long career. The short story Night They Missed the Horror Show won the award for "Short Fiction" in 1988. In the "Long Fiction" category (which is for novellas, though it also initially included comic book work as well), he won in 1989 for On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks, 1997 for The Big Blow, and 1999 for Mad Dog Summer (a shared award with Brian A. Hopkins' "Five Days in April"). In 1992 the story The Events Concerning a Nude Fold-Out Found in a Harlequin Romance shared the "Long Fiction" award with Aliens: Tribes by Steve Bissette. In 1993, Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo won in the newly created "Other Media" category. Lansdale's 2006 anthology Retro Pulp Tales tied for the Best Anthology category with Mondo Zombie edited by John Skipp.[52] He just won his tenth Bram Stoker in the long fiction category for Fishing for Dinosaurs[53] which was published in the collection Limbus 2.[54]

He was also nominated nine other times. The Drive-In and Savage Season were nominated in the "Novels" category in 1988 and 1990, respectively. By Bizarre Hands and Writer of the Purple Rage were nominated for "Fiction Collection" in 1989 and 1994. The short story Love Doll: A Fable was nominated in "Short Fiction" in 1991. The novella Bubba Ho-Tep was nominated for "Long Fiction" in 1994. Something Lumber This Way Comes was nominated in a new "Work for Younger Readers" category, and Jonah Hex: Shadows West #1 was nominated for "Illustrated Narrative", both in 1999. Red Romance (published in DC Comics' Flinch #11) was nominated for "Illustrated Narrative" in 2000.[55]

Other nominations include:

  • 1986, Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back for a World Fantasy Award.
  • 2007, Cross Plains Universe: Texans Celebrate Robert E. Howard for a World Fantasy Award.
  • He's been nominated for a World Fantasy Award eleven other times over his long career.

Other awards include:

He is also frequently cited as winning the American Mystery Award, the Horror Critics Award, and the "Shot in the Dark" International Crime Writer's award. The specifics are difficult to track down at present, but it is likely that at least some of these were awarded to The Bottoms, which is by far his most acclaimed novel.[65][66]

The Horror Writers Association gave him and the late Rick Hautala Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement for 2011,[67] which they received at the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 31, 2012[68]

On October 19, 2012 he was inducted into The Texas Literary Hall of Fame.[69]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "NPR Interview". NPR. NPR. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  2. ^ Salov, Marc. "Interview with joe R. Lansdale". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Slater, Maggie (May 2013). "2013 interview". Apex Magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  4. ^ Horrorr Drive-in. "Joe R. Lansdale and the movies". Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "A Fresh Discovery, Three Decades in the Making". The New York Times. April 8, 2012. p. A23B. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  6. ^ SF Signal. "Joe R. Lansdale Strikes Again". Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  7. ^ Hap and Leonard TV Series. "Sundance Channel Release Information". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Hellnotes Release Info. "Hap and Leonard Graphic Novels". Hellnotes. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  9. ^ Hap and, Leonard. "5 Reasons You Should Be Watching Hap And Leonard". Rain Man Digital. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Subterranean Press. "Featured Authors". Archived from the original on August 10, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  11. ^ Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. "Joe R. Lansdale site". Archived from the original on December 14, 2013.
  12. ^ Mulholland Books. "Authors Page". Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  13. ^ Dark Regions Press. "Joe R. Lansdale's Page". Dark Region Page. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  14. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Fender Lizards release announcement". Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  15. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Hell's Bounty release". Subterranean Press. Archived from the original on August 20, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  16. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Honky Tonk Samurai Review". New York Times Book Review. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  17. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Coco Butternut: A Hap and Leonard Novella release announcement". Subterranean Press. Subterranean Press. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  18. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Rusty Puppy release announcement". Hachette Book Group. Mulholland Books. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  19. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Blood and Lemonade Review". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Pandi, Press. "Official Website". Pandi Press. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  21. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Release Information". PM Press. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  22. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Jackrabbit Smile". Release Information. Hachette Books Group. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  23. ^ SFBook Reviews Retrieved November 28, 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "More Better Deals Release Announcement". Mulholland Books. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  25. ^ Big Lizard, Release Announcement. "Big Lizard". SST Publications. Short, Scary Tales Publications. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  26. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "Nacogdoches the oldest town in Texas". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  27. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "Shen Chuan site". Archived from the original on January 13, 2013.
  28. ^ "Martial Arts 2011 Inductees .pdf" (PDF).
  29. ^ Piney Woods, Jimmy Isaac. "A novel story: Joe & Kasey Lansdale". Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  30. ^ CMA Magazine. "Kasey Lansdale Spotlight". Country Music Association Magazine. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  31. ^ Lansdale, Keith. "Students, businesses benefit from internship program". Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  32. ^ Christmas with the Dead. "A Sneak Peek at 'Christmas with the Dead'". Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  33. ^ Secular By Nature: Joe R. Lansdale on Atheism, God, and Trump, retrieved December 10, 2019
  34. ^
  35. ^ Turek, Ryan. "Christmas with the Dead DVD release". Shock till you drop. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Golden, Grant. "Michael C. Hall Signs on for Film Adaptation of Cold in July". Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  39. ^ Hall, Michael C. "Cold in July". Joe R. Lansdale. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  40. ^ "Cold in July film". Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  41. ^ Cold in July. "2014 Sundance Lineup,". Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  42. ^ Hap and Leonard. "Hap and Leonard series on the Sundance Channel". Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  43. ^ Den of Geeks. "Hap and Leonard TV Series". Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  44. ^ Patten, Dominic (June 27, 2016). "'Hap And Leonard' Renewed For Season 2 at SundanceTV". Deadline. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  45. ^ Hap and Leonard, Season 2. "Cast Announcement". Shadowand dact. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  46. ^ Hap and Leonard, Season 3. "Season 3". Sundance. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. ""Hap and Leonard" Cancelled Because We Can't Have Nice Things". blackgirlnerds. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  50. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (May 29, 2019). "'13 Reasons Why' Star Devin Druid Leads Cast In Horror-Western 'The Pale Door', Shoot Under Way In Oklahoma". Deadline. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  51. ^ Miska, Brad (May 29, 2019). "Horror Western 'The Pale Door' Hides from Witches and Wolves". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  52. ^ "2006 Bram Stoker Award Nominees & Winners". Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  53. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "2015 Bram Stoker Awards". Horror Writer's Association. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  54. ^ Goodreads Review. "Review of Limbus 2". Goodreads. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  55. ^ Horror Novel Reviews. "Joe R. Lansdale a master of "Flash Fiction". Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  56. ^ Macavity, Awards. "The Bottoms". Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  57. ^ Horror Writers Association. "Bram Stoker Winners". Archived from the original on January 13, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  58. ^ World Horror Convention. "Grand master Award".
  59. ^ Gencarelli, Mike. "Media Mikes interview".
  60. ^ American Library Association. "2012 Editor's Choice". Edge of Dark Water. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  61. ^ Library Journal. "Best history Novels of 2013". The Thicket. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  62. ^ "Lansdale Receives Chandler Award". Locus Online. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  63. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "2015 Raymond Chandler Award". Noirfest. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  64. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Western Writers of America award Announcement". PR Newswire. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  65. ^ Book Reporter Review. "The Bottoms". Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  66. ^ Oprah Books. "Books That Matter to Bill Paxton". The Bottoms. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  67. ^ Horror Writers Association. "2011 Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement". Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  68. ^ Morton, Lisa. "Lifetime Achievement Award". Horror Writers Association. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  69. ^ Fort Worth Library. "2012 Texas Literary Hall of fame". Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2014.

External links[edit]