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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clive Barker

Clive Barker in 2007 at the EMP/Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.
Born 5 October 1952 (1952-10-05) (age 57)
Liverpool, England, U.K.
Occupation Author, film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playwright, painter, illustrator & visual artist
Nationality British
Genres Horror, Fantasy
Domestic partner(s) David Armstrong
Official website

Clive Barker (born 5 October 1952) is an English author, film director and visual artist best known for his work in both fantasy and horror fiction.

Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short stories which established him as a leading young horror writer. He has since written many novels and other works, and his fiction has been adapted into motion pictures, notably the Hellraiser series.


Personal life

Barker was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Joan Rubie (née Revill), a painter and school welfare officer, and Leonard Barker, a personnel director for an industrial relations firm.[1][2] Educated at Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School, he studied English and Philosophy at Liverpool University and his picture now hangs in the entrance hallway to the Philosophy Department. Barker lives in Los Angeles, California.

In 2003, Clive Barker received The Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th GLAAD Media Awards. This award is presented "to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for any of those communities".[3] While Barker is critical of organized religion, he has stated that he is a believer in both God and the afterlife, and that the Bible influences his work.[4]

Clive Barker had said, "I want to be remembered as an imaginer, someone who used his imagination as a way to journey beyond the limits of self, beyond the limits of flesh and blood, beyond the limits of even perhaps life itself, in order to discover some sense of order in what appears to be a disordered universe. I'm using my imagination to find meaning, both for myself and, I hope, for my readers."

Fans have noticed of late that Barker's voice has become gravelly and coarse. He says in a December 2008 online interview (published March 2009) that this is due to polyps in his throat which were so severe that a doctor told him he was taking in ten percent of the air he was supposed to have been getting. He has had two surgeries to remove them and believes his resultant voice is an improvement over how it was prior to the surgeries. He said he did not have cancer and has given up cigars.[5]

Writing career

Barker is one of the leading authors of contemporary horror/fantasy, writing in the horror genre early in his career, mostly in the form of short stories (collected in Books of Blood 1 - 6), and the Faustian novel The Damnation Game (1985). Later he moved towards modern-day fantasy and urban fantasy with horror elements in Weaveworld (1987), The Great and Secret Show (1989), the world-spanning Imajica (1991) and Sacrament (1996), bringing in the deeper, richer concepts of reality, the nature of the mind and dreams, and the power of words and memories. His most recent novel is Mister B. Gone (2007).

Barker's distinctive style is characterized by the notion of hidden fantastical worlds coexisting with our own, the role of sexuality in the supernatural and the construction of coherent, complex and detailed universes. Barker has referred to this style as "dark fantasy" or the "fantastique". His stories are notable for a deliberate blurring of the distinction between binary opposites such as hell and heaven, or pleasure and pain (the latter particularly so in The Hellbound Heart).

When the Books of Blood were first published in the United States in paperback, Stephen King was quoted on the book covers: "I have seen the future of horror, his name is Clive Barker."[6] A critical analysis of Barker's work appears in S. T. Joshi's The Modern Weird Tale (2001). As for influences on his writing, Barker lists Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs, and Jean Cocteau, among others.[7]

Film work

Barker has a keen interest in movie production, although his films have received mixed receptions. He wrote the screenplays for Underworld (aka Transmutations - 1985) and Rawhead Rex (1986), both directed by George Pavlou.[8] Displeased by how his material was handled, he moved to directing with Hellraiser (1987), based on his novella The Hellbound Heart. His early movies, the shorts The Forbidden and Salome, are experimental art movies with surrealist elements, which have been re-released together to moderate critical acclaim. After his film Nightbreed (Cabal), which was widely considered to be a flop, Barker returned to write and direct Lord of Illusions. Barker was an executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters, which received major critical acclaim. He had been working on a series of movie adaptations of his The Abarat Quintet books under Disney's management, but has admitted that because of creative differences, this project will not go ahead. He is developing a film based on his Tortured Souls line of toys from McFarlane Toys.

In October 2006, Barker announced through his official website that he will be writing the script to a forthcoming remake of the original Hellraiser movie.[9][10]

A short story titled "The Forbidden", from Barker's Books of Blood, provided the basis for the film Candyman and its two sequels.

Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura directed the 2008 film Midnight Meat Train from Jeff Buhler's screenplay based on Barker's short story of the same name for Lakeshore Entertainment and Lionsgate.

In 2008, a movie was made of his 'Book of Blood' short story.[11] "Clive Barker's Book of Blood" was moderately well received, but was not very profitable.

Visual art and plays

Barker is a prolific visual artist working in a variety of media, often illustrating his own books. His paintings have been seen first on the covers of his official fan club magazine, Dread, published by Fantaco in the early Nineties, as well on the covers of the collections of his plays, Incarnations (1995) and Forms of Heaven (1996), as well as on the second printing of the original UK publications of his Books of Blood series. His artwork is currently exhibited at Bert Green Fine Art in Los Angeles, CA, and in the past has been shown at the Bess Cutler Gallery in New York and La Luz De Jesus in Los Angeles. Many of his sketches and paintings can be found in the collection Clive Barker, Illustrator, published in 1990 by Arcane/Eclipse Books, and in Visions of Heaven and Hell, published in 2005 by Rizzoli Books. The most complete selection of Clive Barker's paintings and drawings are available to view in a gallery setting on the website Clive Barker Imaginer. Clive's official site has an extensive online gallery of his artwork including exclusive sketches, the Imagining Man project and unpublished work-in-progress. He worked on the creative side of a horror computer game, Clive Barker's Undying, providing the voice for the character Ambrose. Undying was developed by DreamWorks Interactive and released in 2001. Barker provided the artwork for his young adult novel The Thief of Always (1992) as well as the Abarat series. Barker announced in July 2006 that he has returned to the video game industry, working on Clive Barker's Jericho for Codemasters which was released in late 2007.[12] Barker created for Diguise Costumes[13], The Dark Bazaar an sortiment of Halloween costumes.[14][15]

Comic books

A longtime comics fan, Barker achieved his dream of publishing his own superhero books when Marvel Comics launched the Razorline imprint in 1993. Based on detailed premises, titles and lead characters he created specifically for this, the four interrelated titles — set outside the Marvel universe — were Ectokid (written first by James Robinson, then by future Matrix co-creator Larry Wachowski, with art by Steve Skroce), Hokum & Hex (written by Frank Lovece, art by Anthony Williams), Hyperkind (written by Fred Burke, art by Paris Cullins and Bob Petrecca) and Saint Sinner (written by Elaine Lee, art by Max Douglas). A 2002 Barker telefilm titled Saint Sinner bore no relation to the comic.

Barker horror adaptations and spin-offs in comics include the Marvel/Epic series Hellraiser, Nightbreed, Pinhead, The Harrowers, Book of the Damned and Jihad; Eclipse Books' series and graphic novels Tapping The Vein, Dread, Son of Celluloid, Revelations The Life of Death, Rawhead Rex and The Yattering and Jack, and Dark Horse Comics' Primal, among others. Barker served as a consultant and wrote issues of the Hellraiser anthology comic book.

In 2005, IDW published a three-issue adaptation of Barker's children's fantasy novel The Thief of Always, written and painted by Kris Oprisko and Gabriel Hernandez. IDW is publishing a 12 issue adaptation of Barker's novel [The Great and Secret Show].

In December 2007, Chris Ryall and Clive Barker announced an upcoming collaboration of an original comic book series, Torakator, to be published by IDW.[16]

In October 2009, IDW published Seduth (Written by Clive Barker and Chris Monfette; art by Gabriel Rodriguez; colors by Jay Fotos; letters by Neil Uyetake; edits by Chris Ryall; and 3-D conversion by Ray Zone), the first time Barker has created a world specifically for the comic book medium in two decades. The work was released with three variant covers; cover a featuring art by Gabriel Rodriguez and cover b with art by Clive Barker and the third is a "retailer incentive signed edition cover" with art by Clive Barker. [17]


Barker has been openly gay since the early 1990s, first mentioning his dating life to US audiences in the pages of The Advocate magazine. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, with his partner, photographer David Armstrong, and Armstrong's daughter from a previous relationship, Nicole. His household also includes a great many pets (dogs, fish, even a bird named Malingo).




  • (1984-1985) Books of Blood (vols. 1 through 6 were released between 1984 and 1985. vols. 4 through 6 were published in the U.S. as The Inhuman Condition (volume 4), In the Flesh (volume 5), and Cabal (volume 6, though the title novella is original to this edition and replaces one of the volume's stories).)
  • (1985) Cabal (titular novella was also published as a Nightbreed mass market paperback)
  • (1987) The Inhuman Condition
  • (1987) In the Flesh
  • (1990) Clive Barker, Illustrator
  • (1992) Illustrator II: The Art of Clive Barker
  • (1995) Incarnations: Three Plays
  • (1996) Forms of Heaven: Three Plays
  • (2000) The Essential Clive Barker: Selected Fiction
  • (2005) Visions of Heaven and Hell
  • (2010) Black Is the Devil's Rainbow: Tales of a Journeyman


  • (1991) Cliver Barker's Shadows in Eden A collection of essays written by multiple authors and friends of Barker's discussing production on his movies and interspersed with early sketches and drawings, along with snippets from various interviews. Edited by Stephen Jones.
  • (2002) Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic by Douglas E. Winter
  • (2009) Memory, Prophecy and Fantasy: The World and Works of Clive Barker - Volume 1. A retrospective look at the background to Barker's published work from his earliest creative years. It includes many otherwise unpublished texts, artwork and photographic pieces alongside a detailed study of his fringe theatre work, written by Phil and Sarah Stokes who run his official website, Revelations.


  • (2010) The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies: Essays by Clive Barker Forthcoming collection of Barker's essays. According to the Revelations website, the collection will include "introductions to both his own work and the works of others, newspaper and magazine articles, tributes and appreciations and other contributions to books". To be published through Earthling Publications in May of 2010.





Computer games

See also


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Clive Barker (born 1952-10-05) is an English writer of fantasy and horror fiction, as well as a filmmaker. His novels include The Great and Secret Show, Weaveworld, and Imajica. His films include Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and Lord of Illusions.



  • By and large, horror fiction is the most difficult to domesticate because part of the point is that it's one step ahead – or behind – everybody else's taste. And I'm not really convinced I'd like it to change. There's something very healthy about horror fiction being always a little bit on the outside. It's the wild-dog genre.
    • The Advocate (Feb. 21, 1995)
  • Every body is a book of blood;
    Wherever we're opened, we're red.
    • Clive Barker's Books of Blood
  • Flesh is our indisputable commonality. Whatever our race, our religion, our politics we are faced every morning with the fact of our bodies. Their frailties, their demands, their desires. And yet the erotic appetites that spring from - and are expressed through - those bodies, are so often a source of bitter dissension and division. Acts that offer a glimpse of transcendence to one group are condemned by another. We are pressured from every side - by peers, by church, by state - to accept the consensual definition of taboo; though so often what excites our imaginations most is the violation of taboo.
    • Introduction to "One Flesh" exibition, April 4-27, 1997
  • If we have nothing to do but service our own pleasure – because society has taught us that's all we're worth and we're exiled from positions of authority from which we could actually shape society – then we just become hedonists. Eventually, despite how great it may look on Saturday night, come Monday morning there's just purposelessness.
    • The Advocate (Feb. 21, 1995)
  • I was a weird little kid. I was very irritable, bored, frustrated. I felt my imagination bubbling inside my head without having any way to express itself. Given a crayon and paper, I would not draw a train or a house. I would draw these monsters, beasts and demons.
    • Gigaplex's interview, 1995
  • I've held a brain in my hands, which is an extraordinary experience.
    • Gigaplex's interview, 1995
  • Memory, prophecy and fantasy
    the past, the future and
    the dreaming moment between
    are all one country,
    living one immortal day.

    To know that is Wisdom.

    To use it is the Art.
    • The Great and Secret Show
  • Movies are much more fascist than books. They tell you what to feel, when to feel it. Popular movies manipulate you. Music tells you when it's a sad part and when it's a happy part. You're obliged to watch them at the speed the filmmaker has created for you. That, I think, is one of the reasons why they're so popular - because you don't have to think very hard. The filmmaker has done all the thinking for you.
    • "Clive Barker: Love, Death, & the Whole Damned Thing", Locus (1995)
  • One of the reasons why I don't get on with most fantasy writing - enchanted sword fantasy writing - is because I think it's emotionally untrue. People behave in very simple ways, unparadoxical ways. What I'm trying to do is bring into fantasy - as I hope I've been able to bring to horror - a certain kind of emotional realism. People have mentioned sex as being a major part of my fiction. An awful lot of horror fiction simply never contained that kind of material. Which seems to me to be extraordinary because most horror fiction is about the body in some way or other, and therefore it should be about sensuality and eroticism every bit as much as it's about corruption.
    • Writer's Digest, March 1991
  • "The fact that Pinhead is a character that audiences want to watch, that women find sexy, that people have tattooed on their own bodies, I think, is perfectly extraordinary, and I'm incredibly pleased about it. I don't think an analysis of what he does in the movies ever completely illuminates the charm that the guy has.
    • "A Living 'Hellraiser'", The Daily Bruin, Thursday, May 7, 1992
  • The monsters act out our rage. They act on their worst impulses, which is appealing to a certain part of us. They get punished for it, but we've enjoyed the spectacle of their liberation.
    • The Advocate (Feb. 21, 1995)
  • The paintings of Francis Bacon to my eye are very beautiful. The paintings of Bosch or Goya are to my eye very beautiful. I've also stood in front of those same paintings with people who've said, "let's get on to the Botticellis as soon as possible." I have lingered, of course.
    • American Heroes #174
  • Writing a book is like masturbation, and making a movie is like an orgy.
    • Gigaplex's interview, 1995
  • Your average game show host on TV, for instance, doesn't believe himself to be banal. He actually thinks that he's quite interesting. And if you look at the viewing figures, so do an enormous number of people in this country.
    • American Heroes #174
  • We are all our own graveyards I believe; we squat amongst the tombs of the people we were. If we're healthy, every day is a celebration, a Day of the Dead, in which we give thanks for the lives that we lived; and if we are neurotic we brood and mourn and wish that the past was still present.
    • Foreword: Books of Blood 1-3
  • Here is a list of fearful things:
    The jaws of sharks, a vulture's wings,
    The rabid bite of the dog's of war,
    The voice of one who went before.
    But most of all the mirror's gaze,
    which counts us out our numbered days.
    • Abarat, Book One
  • Life is short,
    and pleasures few,
    and holed the ship,
    and drowned the crew,
    But O! But O!
    How very blue
    the sea is!
    • Abarat, Book One


Quotes about Barker

  • To call Clive Barker a 'horror novelist' would be like calling the Beatles a 'garage band'... He is the great imaginer of our time. He knows not only our greatest fears, but also what delights us, what turns us on, and what is truly holy in the world. Haunting, bizarre, beautiful. These are words we can use to describe Clive Barker only until we invent new, more fitting adjectives.
  • I think Clive Barker is so good that I am literally tongue-tied. He makes the rest of us look like we’ve been asleep for the past ten years.
  • A powerful and fascinating writer with a brilliant imagination... an outstanding storyteller.
  • Nothing is off-limits to this free-range fabulist. He can fold a dusty Persian carpet into the contours of the world itself and wring delight from every lustrous thread.
  • Barker is one of the few writers who has altered an entire field: more than anyone since Lovecraft, he has changed the shape, the corporeality of horror.
  • Clive Barker is Hell’s anatomist, and with scalpel brilliance dissects Hollywood, twisted gut to Heart of Darkness.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Clive Barker]] Clive Barker (born 5 October 1952) is an English author, movie director and visual artist.



  • (1985) The Damnation Game
  • (1986) The Hellbound Heart
  • (1987) Weaveworld
  • (1988) Cabal
  • (1989) The Great and Secret Show (first "Book of the Art")
  • (1991) Imajica
  • (1992) The Thief of Always
  • (1994) Everville (second "Book of the Art")
  • (1996) Sacrament
  • (1998) Galilee
  • (2001) Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story
  • (2001) Tortured Souls (novelette)
  • (2002) Abarat (first book of the Abarat Quintet)
  • (2004) Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War (second book of the Abarat Quintet)
  • (2007) Mister B. Gone
  • (2008) Absolute Midnight (third book of the Abarat Quintet)
  • (2008) The Scarlet Gospels



  • (1973) Salome
  • (1978) The Forbidden
  • (1987) Hellraiser
  • (1990) Nightbreed
  • (1995) Lord of Illusions
  • (2009) Tortured Souls: Animae Damnatae


  • (1988) Hellbound: Hellraiser II
  • (1992) Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
  • (1992) Candyman
  • (2006) The Plague
  • (2008) The Midnight Meat Train
  • (2008) Born (pre-production)
  • (2009) Clive Barker Presents Hellraiser (pre-production)


  • (1986) Rawhead Rex
  • (1987) Transmutations
  • (2008) Book of Blood (post-production)
  • (2008) Born (pre-production
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