Joe R. Lansdale Interview

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of such books as The Two-Bear Mambo and Mucho Mojo, the short story Bubba Ho-Tep, and the comics The Lone Ranger & Tonto for Topps and two Jonah Hex mini-series for DC. Now he re-teams with artist Timothy Truman for Conan & the Songs of the Dead from Dark Horse. Westfield's Roger Ash recently contacted Lansdale to learn more about the series.

Westfield: Conan isn't the first thing that jumps to mind when I think of your work. What attracted you to this project?

Joe R. Lansdale: I've always admired [Robert E.] Howard, though I'm not a fan of all his work. He was from Texas and a small town like me, though he was many years ahead of me. There was a power and a savagery about his work that appealed to me and influenced me as a writer, even if I took my talents in different directions.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in Conan & the Songs of the Dead? Anything you can tell us about the story and the characters involved?

Lansdale: All I'll say is I think Conan fans will love it, but we've also brought Joe and Tim to the project. We love Howard, and I think it shows. It has more humor than Howard's work had, but it's dark humor, which I think fits, and does fall in line with the type of humor he used, when he used it.

Westfield: You're working again with artist Timothy Truman on this book. How did he become involved with the project and what do you think his art brings to the story?

Lansdale: I love Tim. We're like brothers, and I work better with him than any other artist I've worked with, and I've worked with some good ones. We're in tune. He involved me with the project actually, asked me if I would write it. So I have him to thank.

Westfield: Are there any other projects you're working on that you'd like to mention?

Lansdale: I'm doing a screenplay right now, on A Fine Dark Line, and after that, I hope to get to work on a new novel for Knopf. I owe them one.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Lansdale: Yeah, don't wear white after Labor Day. It's tacky.