Joe Lansdale 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. He has written 42 novels and published 28 short story collections along with many chapbooks and comic book adaptations. Several of his novels have been adapted to film.
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 American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and nine Bram Stoker Awards. In 2007 he received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award.
He is perhaps best known for his Hap and Leonard series of 8 novels and 2 novellas which 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.
Much of Joe 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.
His new full length novel The Thicket was published by Mulholland Books on September 10, 2013 and his next short story collection Bleeding Shadows was published by Subterranean Press on November 28, 2013. A collection of all his Jonah Hex graphic novels will be released April 2014. Currently he's starting a new novel titled Paradise Sky. He is also currently penning a 20,000 word novella titled Hot in December to be published by spring 2014.