Born in Lebanon, Indiana, to Harry Franklin and Mary Louise Scifres Robins, on 28 November, 1950, Robins has made a lifelong practice of dividing his energies between writing, stage performance and the graphic arts.
An author of plays and screenplays, he co-wrote the film Kamillions (European title: The Wingates) with director Mikel B. Anderson, in addition to playing in the film the role of Nathan, the Wingate family patriarch and benevolent mad scientist. He appeared on a television show, The Conspiracy Zone, for two seasons in 2002, on now-defunct TNN, in which he was the announcer and made several on-camera appearances. Robins has been a comic book artist and cartoonist, appearing in R. Crumb's Weirdo magazine and various comic books, including Legal Action Comics II and Alien Apocalypse 2006. Many of his "horror" comics, conscious imitations of the style of the late William M. Gaines's EC Comics, were anthologized in the anthology Grave Yarns.
He wrote and illustrated The Meaning of Lost and Mismatched Socks, published by Frog, Ltd. (a division of North Atlantic Books), as well as his most recent book Dinosaur Alphabet. His work also appears in popular trading card sets, including "Dinosaurs Attack" by Topps, and "Tune In For Terror" from Monsterwax Trading Cards. Robins is a longtime participant in the underground quasi-satirical religion/cult phenomenon called the Church of the SubGenius, recently profiled by Stephen Colbert on his site. Writing as Dr. Howland Owll, Robins contributed to The Book of the SubGenius and Revelation X: the "Bob" Apocryphon. His short story "The Smoker from the Shadows", which was nominated for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, appears in the (now out-of-print) anthology Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob". He also contributed to the SubGenius comic book, "Bob's" Favorite Comics (a rarity, of which most copies were burned in a warehouse fire). In addition, Robins' work appears in the 2006 SubGenius book, The Psychlopedia of Slack: The Bobliographon. A featured broadcaster on FM radio for over 25 years, Robins's voice is also known in the celebrated computer game Half-Life, which on its initial appearance in 1999 was voted "Game of the Year," in all its various incarnations, particularly in the incarnation of harried scientist Dr. Isaac Kleiner.
He is currently at work on a musical play, Vinegaroon, co-written with Scott Carter, playwright, TV writer and producer of HBO's "Realtime with Bill Maher."
In San Francisco he has headlined a night club act, "Ask Dr. Hal," with showman and recent S.F. Mayoral candidate "Chicken" John Rinaldi. He has traveled to other states with this show, in which, among other things, he answers questions posed by audience members. In it he also features a mix of sometimes lengthy "Bardic recitations," interpretations of well known (and lesser known) poetic works which he has committed to memory. A search on the Internet will turn up You Tube clips of his performance of John Milton's Paradise Lost, to provide one example.
Also in San Francisco he inaugurated the series called "The Tentacle Sessions," performance showcases in which he presented the longer works of Coleridge, T.S. Eliot, Blake, Fitzgerald, Tennyson and others.
North Atlantic Books, Frog Ltd., Simon & Schuster, Random House, Last Gasp Publications, PhanTomb Publications, others
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