Joe R. Lansdale

The Texas-based "Mojo storyteller" has made a career out of pop-culture allusions (he wrote briefly for Batman: The Animated Series) and absurdist fiction (Bubba Ho-Tep), but he really hit his stride with his "Hap and Leonard" series of novels about the most unlikely pair of backwoods-wisenheimer crimefighters ever to grace page or screen: white ex-con Hap Collins and black, gay Vietnam vet Leonard Pine. Their exploits are dark, violent, and (as they say in East Texas) hi-larious, and the smart-ass duo returns to shoot off at the mouth first and ask questions later in Lansdale's latest, Vanilla Ride.
Tue., July 14, 7 p.m., 2009