WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT'S YOUR DEAL?
This could take awhile. I’m Henry Zeo Covert. I’m a writer (fiction, metafiction, comics and web-comics, articles, essays, journalism, film and pop culture reviews and criticism), award-winning artist (comics and illustration), occasional musician, rabid collector, loving husband, and aspiring polymath.
My writing has been published in Dark Discoveries (columnist, “Re:discoveries”), Astonishing Adventures Magazine (columnist, “The Many Worlds of Wold Newton”), Shock Cinema (movie reviews), Video Eyeball (feature articles, columnist (“Home Video Notebook”), film and ‘zine reviews, one cover feature), EYE Magazine (feature articles, book reviews), Terminal Brain Rot (movie reviews; collage/ layout/ design for a piece called “Jazz Deaths”), Creative Loafing (columnist (“Paper View”), one cover feature article on Heroes Con), Indie File (columnist (“Indie Film Film”, “Scratch Comix”, “Deep Jazz”), movie, music, and zine reviews, interviews with Roy Thomas and Neil Gaiman [cover feature interview/ article]), Zineith (a eulogy for William S. Burroughs; collage/ layout/ design), Musicomet (columnist, “Video Autopsy”) and the Myers Park High Newsletter. I was interviewed by Richmond VA’s Style in 1998 regarding filmmakers Michael D Moore and Dika Newlin. My “Jazz Deaths” piece was reprinted last year in Slam-Bang Comics #4.
My artwork has appeared in the magazine Farmerphile (accompanying a previously-unpublished short story, “The First Robot”, by award-winning sci-fi author Philip Jose Farmer). Several of my Farmer-inspired works (art, essays, and metafiction) can be found on the web on the following sites: She Never Slept: “Philip Jose Farmer and the Genesis of Wold Newton” by Henry Covert; Introduction by Sarah L. Covert at: http://sheneverslept.com/newsandreviews/archives/1874 ; The Secret History of the Wold Newton Universe: “Fallen Stars and Mutants Rising” by Henry Covert at: http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/contributors/fallenstars.htm; The Secret History of the Wold Newton Universe: “A Post Facto Analysis of the Denton Affair (C.I.A.L.D, Section X): Section 2: Dossier on Main Participants of Denton Affair (‘Riff Raff and Magenta’, and ‘Columbia’ Sections)” by Henry Covert and Dennis E Power at: http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/marvelous/defacto.htm#particpants; and The Wold Newton Universe – Fan Art Page: “Doc Savage”, “Lord Greystoke” and “The Shadow” by Henry Covert at: www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Fanart.htm.
I am a member in good standing of the Comic-book Artists Guild (CAG) and the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society (NWNMS). I have 15 years experience in multi-media retail – selling, ordering, and penning recommendations for CDs, DVDs/ VHS, books, magazines, and comics. I wrote, created, and designed “Snow Leopard”, a comic story illustrated by Albert Luciano and Alex Rivera, appearing in With Honor, a manga-style graphic novel anthology edited by Shawnti Therrien, which is long-delayed but will hopefully be on sale in 2012. Due to the two year delay, and cuts made inadvertently to “Snow Leopard” in a trial printing (not an official publication), I have made available the entire, unexpurgated 16 page tale on Facebook, in my profile galleries, and established a Snow Leopard Fan Page on Facebook (small but growing) so that it could be read. It now has a near-permanent home on the web (until my own website goes live) on my Deviant Art page. I have been in charge of promoting With Honor's publication, and have created two very healthy With Honor forums (with many comic pros in the memberships) on Facebook. People will definitely buy this, but only if it's made available. The situation saddens me a bit. Also on Facebook I own and moderate ‘Steve Gerber RIP’, devoted to celebrating the life and work of the late Mr. Gerber.
Back to who I am and my deal: Win Scott Eckert’s recent CROSSOVERS: A Secret Chronology of the World contains a ‘Special Thanks’ credit to me, as well as my research on Blade, Wolverine, the Van Helsing, and Twin Peaks and its associated occult and pulp-lit references. This two-volume tome ties together fiction from all media and genres into an exhaustive timeline steeped in the Farmerian Wold Newton Universe. I co-produced (with Michael D. Moore), co-conceived, and co-starred in the music video for the song “The Darkness” from the Point Blank album by The Marksman aka the Marquis (Mark Baranowski). Musically, I’ve written and recorded solo; as a member of the band Chiaroscuro; and with my own occasional project Entropie Frograt & The Apocalypse Flowers (which has an official page and selections from the album '1231′ on Last.fm). The first Entropie Frograt video, ‘LOLITA 93′, can be viewed on my YouTube Channel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrB_jrKOO_I .My music video for 'Lady O' by occult-rock legends Coven was authorized by Coven singer Jinx Dawson and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W3teF5q1Tk&feature=plcp&context=C3bed0bdUDOEgsToPDskJVBM9Wyp0I0hmw5BC5BWOa
I’ve written and developed numerous comic treatments and scripts in the last three years. Beyond the continuation of “Snow Leopard” as a web comic, I plan to debut a web comic called CONCLAVES with a superb team of artists. Both are slated to run on my official website, Purple Serpent, currently under construction. I also have two other interrelated web comics in development, Purple Rooms and Iron Creek, which delve into Farmerian/ Wold Newton territory. When time allows, I work on a pet project: a massive article on my favourite band, Black Sabbath, which approaches the history and work of the band from, hopefully, a fresh and no doubt controversial angle. With singer Ronnie James Dio’s recent death, the piece is taking on new perspectives.
I'm currently on staff at my wife's website She Never Slept and at The Comics Forge, and I hold the title of Chronicler for the Inkwell Awards. I'm profiled in a 4 page entry in the book Creating Comics alongside luminaries such as Paul Gulacy; and my official website is currently under construction. I was interviewed and my art profiled on the website Pulp Metal Magazine. I occasionally upgrade my blog, Henry Covert.com, though the new website will serve as my main HQ after its launch.
I am happily married to Sarah L Covert - creator, editor, award-winning writer, and webmistress of She Never Slept. Sarah has worked on low budget film productions and coordinated the HP Lovecraft Film Festival in Oregon for several years, among numerous other projects. Our ultimate plan is to work on a creative project together.
WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT PROJECT?
CONCLAVES is a semi-autobiographical, metafictional, metatextual drama/ romance/ action/ occult/ superhero book that pays tribute to heroes both real and unreal, and scathingly satirizes the banality of evil in the publishing world. There are several layers of story, as befits the fact that many forces are at work in this world – from ordinary people wanting to make it artistically and/or find their great love; to karmic forces that shape destinies from an abstract plane. Each layer occupies a spoke on the karmic wheel and are called “conclaves”, hence the name.
I conceived CONCLAVES in 2006 and wrote the first two issues' scripts and designed a number of characters. At that time I had a publisher I was pitching it to that was very receptive, but between health and money woes, I kept getting sidetracked. Also I was writing for magazines in this period, and wanted to prioritize the “sure thing” in being published in hard copy magazines again. By the time I parted company with those gigs and got married, I was devoting all my extra energy to the twin web comics (as projected) Iron Creek and Purple Rooms. Long story short, recently, CONCLAVES began endlessly nattering at my back-brain, so I followed my instincts and proposed shifting gears to my amazing artists Adriana Palka and Matt Mundorf and the artist I had lined up for the next Snow Leopard story. I also ran it by an old friend who is really coming into his own as an artist of the outre and the strange. So far, everyone has been incredibly receptive, so I'm overhauling the first two scripts and working on more character designs right now, and hoping to debut the first chapter when my website completes construction (for which I must thank my wonderful, awesome wife Sarah).
Finally, I've written a first draft on the next three Snow Leopard stories, so she will be back!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES?
In literature, Philip Jose Farmer would be my #1 influence, followed by Vladimir Nabokov and William S. Burroughs. Surrealist novels, HP Lovecraft, and L Frank Baum, incongruous as it sounds, have all also had a hand in warping my mind – in a good way. As far as comic writers, Steve Gerber, Grant Morrison and Harvey Pekar have had the most impact on me, as well as Johnny Craig, Peter Milligan, Jack Kirby, and Roy Thomas.
In visual art, the artists, comics or otherwise, that have especially influenced my style and inspired me have been Bill Sienkiewicz, John Totleben, Gene Colan (my favorite comic book artist), Moebius, R. Crumb, Johnny Craig, Nick Cardy, Frank Quitely, HR Giger, Gustav Klimt, and dozens I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Music I've written in the past was most influenced by Black Sabbath, the Cocteau Twins, Hawkwind, Christian Death, Throbbing Gristle, Lush, and King Crimson, all of whom I still rank as favourites. The music I write now (largely unrecorded) is mostly acoustic, melodic tunes some have dubbed “Morose Balladry” (I swear I will use that as an album title someday). These days what comes out when I play feels to me like a bastard child of Nick Cave and Rachael Yamagata. My favorite music to listen to remains jazz, especially hard bop and free jazz, and as Sonny Sharrock once pointed out, listening to John Coltrane daily is medicinal. Lately, Celtic Frost full-bore in the headphones has kept me churning out the words.
Film influences my work as well – my writing and my art. I try to achieve cinematic compositions in my layouts for other pencillers, to find just the right “shot” for each panel. Filmmakers I'm especially fond of include Wong Kar-Wei, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Kenneth Anger, Alejandro Jodorowsky, David Lynch, Luis Bunuel, Akira Kurowsawa, Seijun Suzuki, Sergio Corbucci, Lucio Fulci, Takashi Miike. Visually, I favor the Italians and the Japanese, but I love it all really – except Tinseltown tripe (unless its a good comic book adaptation). Wong Kar-wai I place above the rest because he tells gripping, beautiful stories in a lyrically romantic and non-mawkish (read: Hollywood) fashion, and does so with gripping and experimental visuals. These qualities I have in mind when writing many of my scripts – no matter how dark, that same non-prefab, genuine romance swims under the current.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR STUFF?
Henry Covert.com: http://strangeothers.blogspot.com
Henry Zeo Covert on Deviant Art: http://henryzeocovert.deviantart.com/
The entire “Snow Leopard” story: http://henryzeocovert.deviantart.com/gallery/26960865
The Comics Forge: www.comicsforge.com
She Never Slept: http://sheneverslept.com
Inkwell Awards: www.inkwellawards.com
Entropie Frograt and the Apocalypse Flowers Official Artist Page: http://www.last.fm/music/Entropie+Frograt+and+the+Apocalypse+Flowers
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
www.purpleserpent.com (soon; under construction)
INDULGE IN SOME SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION-WHAT SHOULD WE BE BUYING OR READING OR WATCHING OR LISTENING TO WITH YOUR NAME ON IT?
Most of my printed work, sadly, is out of print. You can probably still track down my work in Dark Discoveries #s 13, 14, and 15; and Astonishing Adventures Magazine #s 4 and 5. Online my work can be found in the venues previously mentioned. Check out my articles and column “Retrodrome” at She Never Slept; my comix reviews at The Comics Forge; my videos on my YouTube Channel; my Facebook groups (Steve Gerber RIP and With Honor) and pages (Snow Leopard, With Honor); some of my music at Entropie Frograt and the Apocalypse Flowers' official page; my Deviant Art page, which includes “Snow Leopard”; and, of course, my blog, Henry Covert.com. Look out for the continuation of Snow Leopard and for CONCLAVES at www.purple serpent.com (beginning in Spring 2011, if all goes well). Hope all that wasn't too redundant.