On the August 17, 1995 episode of his TV series, conservative mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh held up a copy of Joe R. Lansdale and Tim Truman’s Lone Ranger and Tonto (Topps, 1995) graphic novel and chided their portrayal of an intelligent, independent Tonto as “political correctness.” In his typical, uninformed manner, Limbaugh didn’t even research the offending material (“I have far more productive things to do than read comic books.”) The creative duo would attract even more controversy in 1996.
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

When Mark London Williams and I decided to move our long running SF Site column Nexus Graphica to SF Signal, we decided that we needed to announce our presence with a bang. Hence, this Mind Meld was born, in which we asked our esteemed panelists this question:

Q: What graphic novels are part of your desert island collection?

The only caveat we gave the contributors that their selections could not include the obvious books such as Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, Maus, and their ilk.

I’ll return next month with the first installment of the new Nexus Graphica and Mark issues his first SF Signal contribution in March. We’ll alternated columns every other month, culminating with a special two parter in December, featuring our annual best of the year lists. But more on this in February.

For now, enjoy the confab.
(And be sure to check out Part 1!)

Joe R. Lansdale
Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies. He has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, and many others. His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. He is currently co-producing several films, among them The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero.

DC archives. All of them. Dell and Gold Key archives. End of story

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Joe R. Lansdale is the author of more than thirty novels, including the Edgar Award-winning Hap and Leonard mystery series (Mucho Mojo, Two Bear Mambo), and the New York Times Notable Book, The Bottoms. Over 200 of his stories have appeared in outlets such as Tales from the Crypt and Pulphouse, and his work has been adapted for The Twilight Zone and Masters of Horror. Lansdale has written several graphic novels, including Batman and Fantastic Four. He is a tenth-degree black belt and the founder of the Shen Chuan martial art.

Tachyon Publications has just released Joe’s new book Deadman’s Road, and Joe was kind enough to talk about the weird west, zombies, and more!


Kristin Centorcelli: Deadman’s Road is described as “Deadwood meets The Walking Dead.” Would you consider that accurate? Will you tell us a bit more about it?
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TOC: ‘Bleeding Shadows’ by Joe R. Lansdale

Subterranean Press has posted the table of contents the upcoming Joe R. Lansdale collection Bleeding Shadows (which features a dust jacket by Vincent Chong):

Here’s the book description:

Bleeding Shadows is Joe R. Lansdale’s largest, most varied collection to date. Weighing in at 480 pages and 150,000 words, these stories, poems, and novellas—supplemented by the author’s introduction and by an invaluable set of story notes—move effortlessly from horror, adventure, and suspense to literary pastiche. It is, by any measure, a major addition to an already impressive body of work.

The volume opens with “Torn Away,” in which a small town sheriff encounters a man on the run from his own predatory shadow. The stories that follow come from all points of the narrative compass. In “Morning, Noon, and Night,” a young boy stumbles across a monstrous, multi-faceted killer from which there is no escape. “The Bleeding Shadow” is a tale of music, monsters, and deals-with-the devil set in post-WWII Texas. In “Star Light, Eyes Bright,” an ordinary husband makes a startling discovery, one that leads to an unimaginable act of personal transformation. Elsewhere, the author offers us twisted Christmas stories (“Santa at the Café”), tales of a zombie apocalypse (“A Visit with Friends”), and one story—“Christmas with the Dead”—that encompasses both of these elements. Other highlights include a pair of informed, affectionate acts of literary homage. “Metal Men of Mars” pays tribute to the Martian novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, while in “Dread Island,” the masterful novella that concludes this collection, the world of Huckleberry Finn merges seamlessly with the worlds of H. P. Lovecraft and Joel Chandler Harris.

Sometimes funny, often horrifying, and always compulsively readable, this generous gathering of stories—few of which have previously appeared in book form—constitutes a significant publishing event. Bleeding Shadows is an indispensable, vastly entertaining volume, one that no admirer of Joe R. Lansdale’s distinctive brand of fiction can afford to miss.

Here’s the table of contents…
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TOC: ‘Trapped in the Saturday Matinee’ by Joe R. Lansdale

Subteranean Press has posted the table of contents for the upcoming Joe R. Lansdale collection Trapped in the Saturday Matinee:

Here’s the book description, from Joe’s introduction:

This collection gathers together some early work, which I like, and it also contains stories that I think, for one reason or another, missed their audience. There is also newer material that I treasure, some that has never before been gathered under one roof, and there are others written specifically for this volume.

I love this collection. It’s a mixture of nostalgia and maturity, the reworking of others’ work and the discovery of my own voice.

I like to write introductions as a way of inviting you into my house of stories. But now I’ll leave you to it. Just wander from room to room, and take your time. While you’re here, make yourself at home. But please …try not to break the furniture on your way out.
—Joe R. Lansdale

And here’s the table of contents…
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REVIEW SUMMARY: Utilizing the East Texas setting he knows so well, Lansdale repeats the master storytelling displayed in one of my all-time faves, The Bottoms, with this genre-bending tale of escape and hope. Lansdale integrates pieces of Homer, Mark Twain and other influences, but it is his ability to make the characters, the setting and extraordinary circumstances come to life that makes this a great read.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Almost an adult, Sue Ellen is trapped in East Texas with an abusive stepfather and a mother who lives in a drunken haze. A friend’s murder and the discovery of her hidden stash of cash set Sue Ellen and her friends, Terry and Jinx, on an escape down-river, trying to leave their past and running from people and legendary killers who would take their new found cash, their freedom and their lives.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Lots of people know how to write a book, Lansdale knows how to tell a story. The characters, the setting, the prejudices of the time period and the legendary “do they really exist” killers all flow together into a can’t-put-it-down tale.
CONS: Strikingly similar to The Bottoms — not necessarily a con, but some scenes seemed familiar.
BOTTOM LINE: Lansdale often gets classified as a “Horror Author” and that kept me away from his stories for a long time. But his writing flows so well, it’s like we’re sitting drinking tequila swapping tales…with him always winning the storytelling contest. Edge of Dark Water is difficult book to confine into a single genre (the best kind!) but it’s an enjoyable read, ranking close to The Bottoms as Lansdale’s best.

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TOC: Dead Man’s Road by Joe R. Lansdale

Subterranean Press has posted the table of Contents for Joe R. Lansdale’s upcoming collection Dead Man’s Road which contains his stories about Jedidiah Mercer, an Old West Reverend who deals with zombies, ghouls, werewolves, Lovecraftian monsters and kobolds.

  • Dead in the West
  • “Deadman’s Road”
  • “The Gentleman’s Hotel”
  • “The Crawling Sky”
  • “The Dark Down There”


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