Joe R. Lansdale is an American author and martial-arts expert. He 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.
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 Ancient 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 six Bram Stoker Awards. The World Horror Convention recently made him the recipient of the 2007 Grand Master Award for contributions to the field of Horror fiction.
He is perhaps best known for his "Hap and Leonard" series of novels which feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the town of Laborde, 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, and Leonard is a gay black man. 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 has included pedophilia and anti-gay violence. The novels are characterised by sharp humour and "wisecracking" dialogue.