Joe R. Lansdale Has His Finger in All the Pop-Culture Pies
With season one of Sundance TV’s “Hap and Leonard” hitting Netflix and the second season on the air right now, I think it’s a good time to go over the many things that Joe Lansdale has done to make the Pop-Culture landscape more amazing. Talking on the Podcast a little bit about him just got me thinking of all the different vehicles that I have run across his writing, from books, to movies, comics and now TV. Somehow this prolific writer has still managed to fly under the radar, but the truth is, you should be consuming his work.
Having written 47 novels (at least 10 of which involve Hap and Leonard of TV show fame) Lansdale also has dozens of short stories and novellas under his belt. He is one of the more prolific American writers and his focus on excellent genre fiction has made him a stand out star when it comes to westerns, horror and crime fiction. He has won the Bram Stoker award 10 times and has received many others including New York Times Notable Book of the Year and The Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award. His books are quick reads full of the kind of blood and guts that you can only find in genre fiction. They are worth every moment.
Akin to writing novels and short stories is the art of writing comic books. Something that Lansdale is also quite prolific at. With 79 individual issues under his belt he has written everything from his horror sci-fi series The Drive-In and horror western Crawling Sky, to Batman and Conan. He has touched on franchises from DC, Dark Horse, and IDW as well as having some fantastic creator owned titles. His body of work in comics is again very dynamic and easy to read, and flat out a ton of fun.
Probably best known for his film Bubba Ho-Tep, Lansdale has also had his works adapted into animation (DC Showcase Jonah Hex) and a Master of Horrors episode. His novels Cold in July and The Bottoms are also in production to be made into films. With the success of Hap and Leonard I would be surprised to not see more of his particular brand of fiction made into more movies and…
Obviously the big thing here is that his novel series featuring Hap Collins and Leonard Pine has been adapted into a TV show for Sundance Channel. With the first season on Netflix you can catch up, but the second season is well underway and getting great reviews (only seen the first two episodes myself, both for free on Sundance’s website). He also wrote episodes of Batman the Animated series. With his massive body of short stories to pull from, it would not be a surprise to see more of his work made into TV and short films.
So a quick run down of Joe R. Lansdale. You may have missed him in the past, but now you have no excuse. Go out, look him up, check out some books from the library and prepare to enter a “Rumble Tumble” world that is guaranteed to entertain.