Hap and Leonard Books in Order: How to read Joe R. Lansdale’s series?

Like with Quarry, I recently discovered Hap and Leonard via the television series. I watched it because I really like the work of Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, the two men behind the TV show. In fact, their last movie – Cold in July – was also the adaptation of a Joe R. Lansdale book. There’s a season 2 of the show this year, but before that, there still are the books.

What is Hap and Leonard?

So, it’s a creation of Lansdale filled with fun, violence, great dialogues and characters. The story takes place in the ’80s, in the fictional town of LaBorde, East Texas. We follow Hap Collins, a white working class laborer who spent time in federal prison for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, and his best friend, Leonard Pine, a gay, black Vietnam vet with anger issues. They are as different as they are friends. The two of them regularly end up in a lot of troubles doing some amateur investigating in order to solve various crimes.

The first book was published in 1990 and the series is still alive and kicking after all theses years. We can find Hap and Leonard in novels, novellas, collections of short stories and soon in comic books.

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Quarry Books in Order: How to Read Max Allan Collins’s series?

I discovered Quarry quite recently with the Cinemax series. I like the style of the show and the characters, but they were not developed in a satisfactory way, in my opinion. Mainly, we just learn to understand Quarry, from where he was coming to where he is going, but it’s not the same with the other important figures in his life. I suppose that the idea is to keep some stuff for the second season. That said, I’m pretty sure the show will never cover all of the books, mainly because I’m not even sure there will be more episodes. So, the best way to explore the world of Quarry is to jump right into the Max Allan Collins’ books.

What is Quarry about?

Quarry is a pulp fiction about an US Marine sniper returning from the Vietnam War. He finds his wife in bed with another man and, after dropping a car on her lover, he finds himself unemployable. His proficiency at killing interests a middleman known as the Broker, who runs a murder-for-hire operation. After an assignment, Quarry gets back to the place he was using as a lookout where he found out his partner is dead – and the money they were paid was also stolen. Quarry got himself a new mission, he must learn who hired him, and makes him pay.

That’s only the beginning of the first book. Maybe it’s a spoiler, but Quarry survives and lives on to kill more people. Quarry uses the Broker’s list of targets to reimagine the business: Quarry will alert the intended victims of their situation and offer to guard them.

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How to read Criminal, a comic by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips ?

  • Fabien 

As I said in my first message, even if the main point of this website is to provide the best reading order guide I can produce, I also want to write about some great comics that don’t require a lot of guidance.

I’m starting with a modern classic, Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. This is for those of you who love crime stories with all the clichés and violence that you can think of, but those are still greats.

What is Criminal?

In short, Criminal is kind of a crime anthology. Each arc follows a different character. They all live in the same universe though, and some are connected, but the stories work independently from one another.

To this day, there are 7 stories, the last ones were published a few months ago after a four years break. I personally hope there will be more.

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