Clive Barker

Clive Barker
Clive Barker

Clive Barker in 2007 at the EMP/Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.
Born 5 October 1952 (1952-10-05) (age 59)
Liverpool, England, UK
Occupation Author, film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playwright, painter, illustrator & visual artist
Nationality British
Genres Horror, Fantasy

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 and Candyman series.


Early life

Clive 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,[citation needed] he studied English and Philosophy at Liverpool University. The Damnation Game and Volume 2 of The Books of Blood and are dedicated to John Gregson.

Personal life

In 2003, Barker received The Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th GLAAD Media Awards, 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 identified himself as a Christian,[4] and has stated that the Bible influences his work.[5]

Barker said in a December 2008 online interview (published March 2009) that he had 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.[6] On August 27, 2010, Barker underwent surgery yet again to remove new polyp growths from his throat. According to his website,[citation needed] the surgery went well and was without complications.


Barker has been openly homosexual since the early 1990s, first mentioning his dating life to US audiences in The Advocate magazine.[citation needed]

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.

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."[7] Critical studies of Barker's work include Clive Barker's Short Stories (1994) by Gary Hoppenstand,[8] and an essay 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.[9]

He is also the writer of the best-selling Abarat series, and plans on producing three more novels in the series.

Barker's basic philosophy and approach are revealed clearly in his written foreword to H.R. Giger's illustrated work, "Necronomicon."

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.[10] 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.[11][12]

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 from one of his "Book of Blood" short stories.[13] Clive Barker's Book of Blood was moderately well received, but was not very profitable.

In 2009 Barker's short story Dread (also from the Books of Blood) was made into a film and received good reviews. Dread (2009) on IMDb

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 '90s; on the covers of the collections of his plays, Incarnations (1995) and Forms of Heaven (1996); and on the second printing of the original UK publications of his Books of Blood series. Barker also provided the artwork for his young adult novel The Thief of Always and for the Abarat 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.

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. He also worked on Clive Barker's Jericho for Codemasters, which was released in late 2007.

Barker created Halloween costume designs for Diguise 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 spinoffs in comics include the Marvel/Epic Comics 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]




  • (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
  • (2011) Black Is the Devil's Rainbow: Tales of a Journeyman


  • (1991) Clive 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) Memory, Prophecy and Fantasy: The World and Works of Clive Barker – Volume 2. A second volume of the retrospective study of Barker's work again includes many otherwise unpublished texts and artwork from direct access to Barker's archives, written by Phil and Sarah Stokes.[18]


  • (2011) The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies: Essays by Clive Barker Collection of Barker's essays and non-fiction writing. According to the Revelations website, the collection includes "introductions to both his own work and the works of others, newspaper and magazine articles, tributes and appreciations and other contributions to books". Published through Earthling Publications in October 2011.[19]
  • (2011) Beneath The Surface of Clive Barker's Abarat Companion volume to Barker's Abarat series. Published in 2011, the volume illustrates Barker's working methods, preliminary sketches, artwork and drafts and includes an extended interview with Barker by Abarat readers in an Alaskan school.[20]





Video games

See also


  1. ^ Clive Barker Biography
  2. ^ Clive Barker Biography – Yahoo! Movies
  3. ^ The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Web Site
  4. ^ "Season 1, Episode 10". Presenter: Bill Maher. Real Time With Bill Maher. HBO. CBS Television City, Fairfax District, Los Angeles. Friday, April 25, 2003. 60 minutes minutes in.
  5. ^ The Official Clive Barker Resource-Revelations-Barker on Spirituality
  6. ^ Art and the Artist: An Interview with Clive Barker Strange Horizons interview
  7. ^
  8. ^ Clive Barker's Short Stories: Imagination as Metaphor in the Books of Blood and other works by Gary Hoppenstand. McFarland, 1994.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Underworld at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ The Official Clive Barker Resource – Revelations – Exclusive Interviews 15
  12. ^ Clive Barker remaking Hellraiser – Fangoria news, 20 October 2006
  13. ^ Revelations – official site interview 7 September 2007
  14. ^ "Dress Up Like Clive Barker's Nightmares". 
  15. ^ "Clive Barkers Enters the 'Dark Bazaar' with JAKKS Pacific". 
  16. ^ The Official Clive Barker Resource – Revelations – Uncompleted Other Projects – B
  17. ^ IDW Publishing
  18. ^ Official Site, Clive Barker. "Revelations". Memory, Prophecy Fantasy. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Publications, Earthling. "The Painter". The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Official Site, Clive Barker. "Revelations". Beneath the Surface of Abarat. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clive Barker — 2007 im Sci Fi Museum in Seattle Clive Barker (* 5. Oktober 1952 in Liverpool, Großbritannien) ist ein britischer Schriftsteller und Regisseur des Horrorgenres. Zuletzt verfasste er vermehrt Jugendbücher. Barker lebt seit Jahren in Los Angeles …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clive Barker — en 2008. Clive Barker (Liverpool, Inglaterra, el 5 de octubre de 1952) es un escritor, director de cine y artista visual. Estudió Inglés y Filosofía en la Universidad de Liverpool. Barker es uno de los más aclamados autores de horror y fantasía,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Clive Barker — (nacido en Liverpool, Inglaterra, el 5 de octubre de 1952) es un escritor, director de cine y artista visual. Estudió Ingles y Filosofía en la Universidad de Liverpool. Barker es uno de los más aclamados autores de horror y fantasía, comenzando… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Clive Barker — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Barker. Clive Barker Clive Barke …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Clive Barker — …   Википедия

  • Clive Barker's Jericho — Developer(s) MercurySteam Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Clive Barker's Undying — Developer(s) DreamWorks Interactive Westlake Interactive (Mac) Publisher(s) Electronic Arts Aspyr (Mac) …   Wikipedia

  • Clive Barker's Undying — Clive Barker’s Undying Разработчик DreamWorks Interactive Westlake Interactive (Macintosh) Издатель Electronic Arts Aspyr (Macintosh) Локализатор Soft Club …   Википедия

  • Clive Barker: Visions of Heaven and Hell —   …   Wikipedia

  • Clive Barker, Illustrator — is a book of ink sketches and some full color paintings by British author Clive Barker. It was published in 1990 by Arcane/Eclipse Books. It also contains a lengthy interview with Barker, in which he talks about the various aspects of his work.… …   Wikipedia

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