"Meet Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. Hap is an East Texas white boy with a weakness for women who did gaol time as a conscientious objector, while Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet with some serious anger management issues. The two are best friends and occasional partners in mayhem; they don’t look for trouble but it has a habit of finding them. The pair recently graduated from the pages of fiction to their own TV series on the Sundance channel, so I guess the time felt right for HAP AND LEONARD: SAVAGE SEASON (Short, Scary Tales Publications hc, 140pp, £39.95), a graphic novel adaptation of the 1990 novel in which writer Joe R. Lansdale introduced the pair to the world.
"Trouble this time enters stage left courtesy of Trudy, the long lost love of Hap’s life who wants his help in recovering a lost stash of bank robber’s loot. Trudy and her friends are still chasing the ideals of the sixties, only they’ve swapped flower power for firepower and need the money to buy guns. Hap has long given up on changing the world and will settle for a share of the cash, so agrees to help with Leonard as part of the deal. Which is when things get awfully complicated.
"Adapted from its source material by Finnish artist and graphic designer Jussi Piironen, this is a rip roaring adventure tale with pulp antecedents. The plot is full of the expected cross and double cross dealings, and some that are not expected at all, while underlying this is a feeling of sadness at the lost idealism of the hippie era, the way in which only violence seems to change the world, not the power of love. Hap has grown up, but Trudy and her friends are still seeking simple solutions; only their methods have changed, from love and peace to shock and awe. The sex appeal and Machiavellian duplicity, with the rest of her cadre divided between the hopelessly naïve and ruthless killers who are larger than life and twice as nasty. The heart of the book lies in the interplay between Hap and Leonard, two men who respect each other’s differences, but not to the point where they won’t take the piss out of each other, with their no holds barred banter perhaps the greatest of the many delights on offer. They are perfectly matched sparring partners, the concept of bromance taken to another level. Piironen’s artwork captures the feel of the story with a muted palette, predominantly of muddy browns and septic greys that convey mood and detail with equal aplomb. He has done Lansdale proud, and overall this is a mighty fine package, as Joe himself might say."