Joe R. Lansdale
|Born||Joe Richard Lansdale|
October 28, 1951
Gladewater, Texas, United States
|Pen name||Ray Slater, Brad Simmons, Jack Buchanan|
|Occupation||Writer, author, martial arts instructor|
|Genre||Horror, mystery, western, adventure, crime|
He has written novels and stories in various genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. 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.
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). 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. 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. These books have been adapted into a TV series for the SundanceTV channel and a series of graphic novels will be published in early 2017. 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. Much of Lansdale's work has been issued and re-issued as limited editions by Subterranean Press and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Publications. His current new release publisher is Mulholland Books. Lansdale also publishes with Dark Regions Press, and Tachyon Publications.
Lansdale's novel titled Fender Lizards was published in November 2015 by Subterranean Press. In February 2016 two full-length novels Hell's Bounty was published Feb 27 also by Subterreanean Press and a new Hap and Leonard novel titled Honky Tonk Samurai was released Feb 2 by Mulholland Books. 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 and Rusty Puppy was released by Mulholland Books February 21, 2017. A new mosaic novel titled Blood and Lemonade was released on March 14, 2017.
Lansdale book of essays and memoirs, Miracles Ain't What They Used To Be, was released by PM Press's Outspoken Author Series. His newest Hap and Leonard release is a novel titled Jackrabbit Smile and released March 27, 2018. 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. 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 will be published by Mulholland Books. It's hardcover and Kindle release will be on July 21, 2020.
Lansdale, who was born in Gladewater, Texas, lives in Nacogdoches, Texas 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 and is a member of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as S?ke and the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He is the father of actress, musician and publisher Kasey Lansdale and reporter and screenwriter Keith Lansdale. He has described himself as an atheist, though he has also said that he is not anti-religion.
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.
In 2010, Lansdale wrote the screenplay for the animated short DC Showcase: Jonah Hex. 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. "Imprint," the final episode in the 13-part anthology series "Masters of Horror," was cancelled in January 2006 by Showtime because of content concern. 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. Actor and director Bill Paxton worked for six years on a film adaptation of Lansdale's novel The Bottoms. 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.
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. Filming began in 2013. 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.
Nick Damici and Jim Mickle developed a Hap and Leonard private investigator series for the Sundance Channel, which premiered in March 2016. 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. Season 3 is based the third book, The Two-Bear Mambo On May 14, 2018, SundanceTV announced the cancellation of the series.
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. He just won his tenth Bram Stoker in the long fiction category for Fishing for Dinosaurs which was published in the collection Limbus 2.
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.
Other nominations include:
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.
The Horror Writers Association gave him and the late Rick Hautala Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement for 2011, which they received at the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 31, 2012
On October 19, 2012 he was inducted into The Texas Literary Hall of Fame.