Joe R. Lansdale

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Joe R. Lansdale
Joe Lansdale somewhere in East Texas
Born Joe Richard Lansdale
(1951-10-28) October 28, 1951 (age 64)
Gladewater, Texas, United States
Pen name Ray Slater, Brad Simmons, Jack Buchanan
Occupation Writer, author, martial arts instructor
Genre Horror, Mystery, Western, Adventure, Crime
Literary movement Splatterpunk

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


Joe Lansdale has written novels and stories in many genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense.[1][2] 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.[3]

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).[4] He is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and ten Bram Stoker Awards. In 2007 he received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award.[5][6][7]

His Hap and Leonard series of nine novels and three novellas 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.[4] 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.[8] These books are being adapted into a TV series[9] and a series of graphic novels will be published in 2016.[10]

Much of Joe Lansdale's work has been issued and re-issued as limited editions by Subterranean Press[11] and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Publications.[12] His current new release publisher is Mulholland Books.[13] Lansdale also publishes with Dark Regions Press,[14] Tachyon Publications, most recently releasing a re-issued version of Cold in July in 2014.[15]

A collection of all his Jonah Hex graphic novels titled Jonah Hex: Shadows West was released April 2014 by DC Comics.[16] He has also completed a 20,000 word novella titled Hot in December. The trade paperback, ebook, and limited hardcovers are available .[17] He just released a graphic novel titled Crawling Sky adapted from the short story by Keith Lansdale.[18] Also in 2014 Lansdale has completed a novella titled Black Hat Jack which was published in September by Subterranean Press[19] and a horror novella titled Prisoner 489. A new full-length novel titled Paradise Sky[20][21] was published mid June 2015 by Muholland Books.[22] Also the first issue of the comic series The Steam Man, co-written with fellow author Mark Miller and art from Piotr Kowalski by Dark Horse Comics was released in October 2015. Issues 2 and 3 have also been released.[23]

Joe Lansdale's newest novel titled Fender Lizards was published in November 2015 by Subterranean Press.[24] In February 2016 two full-length novels Hell's Bounty[25] and a new Hap and Leonard novel titled Honky Tonk Samurai will be released.[26]

Joe and daughter Kasey have started a new publishing company called Pandi Press to control the re-issue and publishing of Joe's older works.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Lansdale, who was born in Gladewater, Texas, now lives in Nacogdoches, Texas[28] with his wife Karen and 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[29] and is a member of both the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Sōke and the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.[30] He is the father of actress, musician, and book publisher Kasey Lansdale[31][32] and reporter and screenwriter Keith Lansdale who wrote the screenplay for the film Christmas with the Dead.[33][34] Joe is also a close friend and colleague of author, child advocate, and attorney Andrew Vachss.[35]

Film and television[edit]

Lansdale was a contributing writer for Batman: the Animated Series, credited with three episodes:

Landsdale also wrote "Identity Crisis", the episode which introduced Bizarro on Superman: The Animated Series (season 2, episode #6, aired September 15, 1997), and "Critters" (with Steve Gerber) for The New Batman Adventures (sometimes referred to as Batman: Gotham Knights, as on Lansdale's website) - season 2, episode #2, aired September 19, 1998.

In 2010 he wrote the screenplay for the animated short DC Showcase: Jonah Hex. The brief standalone story features Hex tracking a bounty only to encounter a new adversary.

The most famous Lansdale adaptation was made in 2002 when Don Coscarelli adapted the novella Bubba Ho-Tep for the big screen. The film featured persons who believe themselves to be Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy, confined to an old-age rest home, teaming up to fight a mummy who is stealing their friends' souls.[4]

The short story "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" was adapted for the first episode of the first season of Masters of Horror also by Don Coscarelli. It aired on October 28, 2005. The short story "The Fat Man", has also been written into a screenplay by Neal Barrett Jr. for Masters of Horror, but it is as yet unproduced.

Lansdale's story "The Job" was made into an eleven-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 movie 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 recently been released.[36]

Lansdale is currently co-producing several films, among them The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton.

Paris-based Backup Media has teamed up with Memento Films International to finance Cold in July, an adaptation of the cult novel that was director Jim Mickle's next film. Actors Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard[37] had signed onto the project.[38] Filming began on July 29, 2013.[39] Accompanied by a movie tie-in edition of the original story released by Tachyon Publications, this film competed in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.[40]

Film Duo Nick Damici and Jim Mickle are developing a Hap and Leonard private investigator series for the Sundance Channel.[41][42]


Joe R. Lansdale at the SugarPulp festival (Padua, Italy); October 2, 2011

Joe Lansdale has won ten 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.[43] He just won his tenth Bram Stoker in the long fiction category for Fishing for Dinosaurs[44] which was published in the collection Limbus 2.[45]

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.[46]

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.[50][51] Edge of Dark Water was listed as a 2012 Booklist Editors' Choice for Adult Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association.[52]

The Horror Writers Association gave him and the late Rick Hautala Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement for 2011,[53] which they received at the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 31, 2012[54]

On 19 October 2012 he was inducted into The Texas Literary Hall of Fame.[55]

His novel The Thicket was voted one of the best historical novels of 2013 by the Library Journal.[56]

Film adaptations[edit]

Original Screenplays (TV)[edit]

Batman the Animated Series:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Salov, Marc. "Interview with joe R. Lansdale". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  2. ^ Slater, Maggie (May 2013). "2013 interview". Apex Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  3. ^ Horrorr Drive-in. "Joe R. Lansdale and the movies". Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "A Fresh Discovery, Three Decades in the Making". The New York Times. April 8, 2012. p. A23B. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Horror Writers Association. "Bram Stoker Winners". Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  6. ^ World Horror Convention. "Grand master Award". 
  7. ^ Gencarelli, Mike. "Media Mikes interview". 
  8. ^ SF Signal. "Joe R. Lansdale Strikes Again". Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  9. ^ Hap and Leonard TV Series. "Sundance Channel Release Information". TV By The Numbers. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Hellnotes Release Info. "Hap and Leonard Graphic Novels". Hellnotes. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Subterranean Press. "Featured Authors". Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  12. ^ Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. "Joe R. Lansdale site.". 
  13. ^ Mulholland Books. "Authors Page". Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  14. ^ Dark Regions Press. "Joe R. Lansdale's Page". Dark Region Page. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Cold in July reissue. "Tachyon Publications". Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "Jonah Hex Omnibus". Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Hot in December Novella. "Released spring 2014". Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Lansdale, Keith and Joe. "Crawling Sky Review". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  19. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Black Hat Jack release announcment". Subterranean Press. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Review for Paradise Sky". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  21. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "How I came to write Paradise Sky". Mulholland Books. 
  22. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Paradise Sky Review". Houston Chronicle. Mulholland Books. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Dark Horse Comics Announces The Steam Man, Death Head, Negative Space, and More. "DC". Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  24. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Fender Lizards release announcement". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "Hell's Bounty release". Subterranean Press. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  26. ^ Honky Tonk Samurai. "Review". Goodreads. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  27. ^ Pandi, Press. "Official Website". Pandi Press. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  28. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "Nacogdoches the oldest town in Texas". Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  29. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "Shen Chuan site". 
  30. ^ "Martial Arts 2011 Inductees .pdf" (PDF). 
  31. ^ Piney Woods, Jimmy Isaac. "A novel story: Joe & Kasey Lansdale". Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  32. ^ CMA Magazine. "Kasey Lansdale Spotlight". Country Music Association Magazine. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  33. ^ Lansdale, Keith. "Students, businesses benefit from internship program". Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  34. ^ Christmas with the Dead. "A Sneak Peek at 'Christmas with the Dead'". Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  35. ^ Lansdale and Vachss. "Two Trains Running MP3 interview". Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  36. ^ Turek, Ryan. "Christmas with the Dead DVD release". Shock till you drop. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  37. ^ Paste Magazine, Micheal C. Hall, Sam Shepard. "Cold in July film adaptation". Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  38. ^ Hall, Michael C. "Cold in July". Joe R. Lansdale. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  39. ^ "Cold in July film". Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  40. ^ Cold In July. "2014 Sundance Lineup,". Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  41. ^ Hap and Leonard. "Hap and Leonard series on the Sundance Channel". Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  42. ^ Den of Geeks. "Hap and Leonard TV Series". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  43. ^ 2006 Bram Stoker Winners. "Retro Pulp Tales". Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  44. ^ Lansdale, Joe. "2015 Bram Stoker Awards". Horror Writer's Association. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  45. ^ Goodreads Review. "Review of Limbus 2". Goodreads. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  46. ^ Horror Novel Reviews. "Joe R. Lansdale a master of "Flash Fiction". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  47. ^ Macavity, Awards. "The Bottoms". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  48. ^ "Lansdale Receives Chandler Award". Locus Online. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-18. 
  49. ^ Lansdale, Joe R. "2015 Raymond Chandler Award". Noirfest. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  50. ^ Book Reporter Review. "The Bottoms". Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  51. ^ Oprah Books. "Books That Matter to Bill Paxton". The Bottoms. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  52. ^ American Library Association. "2012 Editor's Choice". Edge of Dark Water. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  53. ^ Horror Writers Association. "2011 Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  54. ^ Morton, Lisa. "Lifetime Achievement Award". Horror Writers Association. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  55. ^ Fort Worth Library. "2012 Texas Literary Hall Of fame". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  56. ^ Library Journal. "Best history Novels of 2013". The Thicket. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 

External links[edit]