Clive Barker (born 5 October 1952) is an English writer, film director, and visual artist. Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short stories, the Books of Blood, which established him as a leading horror writer. He has since written many novels and other works, and his fiction has been adapted into films, notably the Hellraiser and Candyman series. He was also the executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters.
Barker's paintings and illustrations have been featured in galleries in the United States as well as within his own books. He has created original characters and series for comic books, and some of his more popular horror stories have been adapted to comics.
Barker at the Science Fiction Museum in 2007
|Born||5 October 1952|
|Occupation||Author, film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playwright, painter, illustrator and visual artist|
|Partners||John Gregson (1975–1986) |
David Armstrong (1996–2009)
John Ray Raymond Jr. (2009–present)
Barker was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, the son of Joan Ruby (née Revill), a painter and school welfare officer, and Leonard Barker, a personnel director for an industrial relations firm. He was educated at Dovedale Primary School, Quarry Bank High School and the University of Liverpool, where he studied English and Philosophy.
When he was three years old, Barker witnessed the French skydiver Léo Valentin plummet to his death during a performance at an air show in Liverpool. Barker would later allude to Valentin in many of his stories.
Barker is an author of horror/fantasy. He began writing horror 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).
When 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 and his name is Clive Barker." As influences on his writing, Barker lists Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs, William Blake, and Jean Cocteau, among others.
Barker has been critical of organized religion throughout his career, but in early interviews, he stated that the Bible influences his work and spirituality. In a 2003 appearance on Politically Incorrect, Barker even stated that he was a Christian after Ann Coulter implied he was not, although years later, he denied this via Facebook.
Barker said in a December 2008 online interview (published in 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.
As of 2015, he is a member of the board of advisers for the Hollywood Horror Museum.
In August 20, 1996 appearance on the radio call-in show Loveline, Barker stated that during his teens he had several relationships with older women, and came to identify himself as homosexual by 18 or 19 years old. Barker has been openly gay since the early 1990s. His relationship with John Gregson lasted from 1975 until 1986. It was during this period, with the support that Gregson provided, that Barker was able to write the Books of Blood series and The Damnation Game.
Barker lives in Beverly Hills with his partner, Johnny Ray Raymond Jr.
Barker has an interest in film production. He wrote the screenplays for Underworld and Rawhead Rex (1986), both directed by George Pavlou. Displeased by how his material was handled, he moved to directing with Hellraiser (1987), based on his novella The Hellbound Heart. After his film Nightbreed (1990) flopped, Barker returned to write and direct Lord of Illusions (1995). The short story "The Forbidden", from Barker's Books of Blood, provided the basis for the 1992 film Candyman and its two sequels. Barker was an executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters (1998), which received major critical acclaim. He had been working on a series of film adaptations of his The Abarat Quintet books under Disney's management, but because of creative differences, the project was cancelled.
In 2005, Barker and horror film producer Jorge Saralegui created the film production company Midnight Picture Show with the intent of producing two horror films per year.
In October 2006, Barker announced through his website that he will be writing the script to a forthcoming remake of the original Hellraiser film. He is developing a film based on his Tortured Souls line of toys from McFarlane Toys.
Barker is a prolific visual artist, 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 British 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 has been exhibited at Bert Green Fine Art in Los Angeles and Chicago, 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.
He worked on the horror video game Clive Barker's Undying, providing the voice for the character Ambrose. Undying was developed by DreamWorks Interactive and released in 2001. He worked on Clive Barker's Jericho for Codemasters, which was released in late 2007.
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.
In October 2009, IDW published Seduth, co-written by Barker. The work was released with three variant covers.
In 2011, Boom! Studios began publishing an original Hellraiser comic book series.
In 2013, Boom! Studios announced Next Testament, the first original story by Barker to be published in comic book format.
|1988||Hellbound: Hellraiser II|
|1992||Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth|
|1995||Lord of Illusions|
|1998||Gods and Monsters|
|2008||The Midnight Meat Train|
|2009||Book of Blood|
|TBA||The Hellbound Heart|
|TBA||Tortured Souls: Animae Damnatae|
Abarat (2002) is a fantasy novel written and illustrated by Clive Barker, the first in Barker's The Books of Abarat series. It is aimed primarily at young adults. The eponymous Abarat is a fictional archipelago which is the setting for the majority of the story.
The title image contains an ambigram. The paintings in the book are done with oils. Barker had already completed 300 paintings before he started working on the first book. By most accounts, Barker realised early that the story he wanted to tell could not be contained in one book. The American Library Association picked Abarat as one of its Best Books for Young Adults.Cabal (novella)
Cabal is a 1988 horror novel by the British author Clive Barker. It was originally published in the United States as part of a collection comprising a novel and several short stories from Barker's sixth and final volume of the Books of Blood.
The book was adapted into the film Nightbreed in 1990, written and directed by Barker himself, starring Craig Sheffer and David Cronenberg.Candyman (film)
Candyman is a 1992 American horror film written and directed by Bernard Rose, and starring Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkley, Kasi Lemmons, and Vanessa Williams. Based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker, the film follows a graduate student in Chicago completing a thesis on urban legends, which leads her to the legend of "Candyman", the ghost of an artist and son of a slave who was murdered in the late-19th century.
The film came to fruition after a chance meeting between director Rose and Clive Barker, who had recently completed his own film adaptation of Nightbreed (1990). Rose expressed interest in Barker's story "The Forbidden", and Barker agreed to license the rights. Where Barker's story revolved around themes of the English class system in contemporary Liverpool, Rose chose to refit the story to Cabrini-Green public housing development in Chicago, and instead focus on themes of race and social class in inner-city United States.
Candyman was released theatrically by TriStar and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment on October 16, 1992, and grossed over $25 million domestically. It was followed by two sequels, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) and Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999). Candyman is regarded in critical circles as a contemporary classic of horror cinema.Clive Barker, Illustrator
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. As with his fiction, his artwork is concerned with mythology, monstrous figures, the grotesque, human sexuality, and secret identities. He also discusses his influences, which range from Jean Cocteau, Goya and William Blake to various Disney movies.
There is also a follow-up volume, Illustrator II: The Art of Clive Barker.Clive Barker (soccer)
Clive William Barker (born 23 June 1944 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal) is a South African football coach. He guided the South African national team to their only African Nations Cup title in 1996. Barker currently manages Mpumalanga Black Aces in the Premier Soccer League..Coldheart Canyon
Coldheart Canyon is a novel by Clive Barker, published in 2001 by HarperCollins. The paperback edition was published by HarperTorch on November 5, 2002 (ISBN 006103018X). The story centers on Todd Pickett, a failing movie star, and Tammy Lauper, Todd's obsessive fan.Dread (film)
Dread is a 2009 British horror film directed and written by Anthony DiBlasi and starring Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Evans and Hanne Steen, based on the short story of the same name by Clive Barker. The story was originally published in 1984 in volume two of Barker's Books of Blood short story collections.Harry D'Amour
Harry D'Amour is a fictional character created by author, filmmaker, and artist Clive Barker.
D'Amour is an occult detective, a private investigator who specializes in cases involving the occult. His body is marked heavily by tattoos that confer protection against evil.Hellraiser
Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, and produced by Christopher Figg, based on Barker's novella The Hellbound Heart. The film marked Barker's directorial debut. The film involves the resurrection of Frank (Sean Chapman), who had opened the door to an alternate dimension and had his body torn to pieces by creatures known as Cenobites. Years later, Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) moves into their late mother's abandoned house with new wife Julia (Clare Higgins). An accident causes some of Larry's blood to spill on the attic floor, which triggers Frank's resurrection. To complete his resurrection, he requires more blood which Julia provides while Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), Larry's daughter, discovers Frank's puzzlebox which leads her to meet with the Cenobites.
Hellraiser was filmed in late 1986. Barker originally wanted the electronic music group Coil to perform the music for the film, but on insistence from producers the film was re-scored by Christopher Young. Some of Coil's themes were reworked by Young into the final score. Hellraiser had its first public showing at the Prince Charles Cinema on 10 September 1987.
Since release, the film has divided critics but generally received praise; initial reviews ranged from Melody Maker calling it the greatest horror film made in Britain, to Roger Ebert decrying its "bankruptcy of imagination". It was followed by nine sequels, the first seven of which featured Doug Bradley reprising his role as the lead Cenobite Pinhead.Hellraiser (franchise)
Hellraiser is a horror franchise that consists of ten films, a series of books, various comic books, and additional merchandise and media. The franchise is based on the novella The Hellbound Heart by English author Clive Barker, who would go on to write and direct the adaptation of his story, titled Hellraiser. The films, as well as the comic book series, continually feature the Cenobite Pinhead.
The series’ storyline focuses on a puzzle box that opens a gateway to the Hell-like realm of the Cenobites, an order of formerly human monsters who harvest human souls to torture in sadomasochistic experiments. Although Clive Barker wrote the original story, and also wrote and directed the first film, he has not written or directed any of the succeeding sequels. Barker stated that he signed away the story and character rights to the production company before the first film, not realizing what a great success it would be.Lord of Illusions
Lord of Illusions is a 1995 American horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based on his earlier short story, The Last Illusion (from Books of Blood Vol. 6). The film presents Barker's signature character Harry D'Amour onscreen for the first time. It stars Scott Bakula as D'Amour, alongside Kevin J. O'Connor, Famke Janssen and Daniel von Bargen.Nightbreed
Nightbreed (also Night Breed on publicity material, or Clive Barker's Nightbreed) is a 1990 American dark fantasy horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, based on his 1988 novella Cabal, and starring Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie, and Doug Bradley. The film features an unstable mental patient who is falsely led to believe by his doctor that he is a serial killer. Tracked down by the police, his doctor, and his girlfriend Lori, Boone eventually finds refuge in an abandoned cemetery called Midian among a "tribe" of monsters and outcasts known as the "Nightbreed" where they hide from humanity.
At the time of its release, the film was a commercial and critical failure. In several interviews, Barker protested that the film company tried to sell it as a standard slasher film, and that the powers-that-be had no real working knowledge of Nightbreed's story. Since its initial theatrical release, Nightbreed has achieved cult status.Over time, Barker expressed disappointment with the final cut approved by the studio and always longed for the recovery of the reels so the film might be re-edited. In 2014 a director's cut was finally released by Scream Factory.Pinhead (Hellraiser)
Pinhead is a fictional character from the Hellraiser series, first appearing as an unnamed figure in the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart. The name "Pinhead" is derived from a sobriquet given to him by the crew of the first Hellraiser film; he is first credited as such in Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Nearly thirty years after The Hellbound Heart was published, the character was given the designations the Hell Priest and the Cold Man in the sequels that followed, The Scarlet Gospels and Hellraiser: The Toll.
Pinhead is one of the leaders of the Cenobites, formerly humans but transformed into creatures which reside in an extradimensional realm, who travel to Earth through a puzzle box called the Lament Configuration in order to harvest human souls. His origins and the nature of the Cenobites vary depending upon the medium: while the character began as an amoral entity blindly devoted to the practice of experimental sadomasochism, later depictions have portrayed him as explicitly evil and even demonic in origin.
The character's appearance in 1987's Hellraiser marked a significant departure from the standard 1980s depiction of horror movie villains, who tended to either be completely mute, or provide glib commentary while killing their victims. Rather, Pinhead was depicted as quiet yet articulate and intelligent, drawing influence from classical cinematic depictions of Count Dracula.Quicksilver Highway
Quicksilver Highway is a 1997 horror film directed by Mick Garris. It is based on Clive Barker's short story "The Body Politic" and Stephen King's short story "Chattery Teeth". The film was originally shown on television before being released on home media.Razorline
Razorline was an imprint of American comic book company Marvel Comics that ran from 1993 to 1995. It was created by filmmaker and horror/fantasy novelist Clive Barker, with its characters existing in one of the many alternate universes outside the mainstream continuity known as the Marvel Universe.Saint Sinner (film)
Saint Sinner (full title Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner) is a 2002 horror television film written by Doris Egan and Hans Rodionoff based on a short story by executive producer Clive Barker. It was directed by Joshua Butler. Aside from the title, it is unrelated to the comic-book series published by Marvel Comics' Razorline imprint and created by Barker. In this film, an immortal monk hunts down two succubi. It premiered on the U.S. Sci Fi Channel on October 26, 2002.The Damnation Game (novel)
The Damnation Game is a horror novel by English writer Clive Barker, published in 1985. It was written just after finishing the first trilogy of Books of Blood, and tells a Faustian story that touches on topics such as incest, cannibalism, and self-mutilation in a frank and detailed manner. It was his first novel.The Hellbound Heart
The Hellbound Heart is a horror novella by Clive Barker, first published in November 1986 by Dark Harvest in the third volume of their Night Visions anthology series, and notable for becoming the basis for the 1987 film Hellraiser and its franchise. It was re-released as a stand-alone title by HarperCollins in 1988, after the success of the movie, along with an audiobook recorded by Clive Barker and published by Simon & Schuster Audioworks. It retains the gory, visceral style that Barker introduced in his series of collected short stories The Books of Blood. The story focuses on a mystical puzzle box and the horror it wreaks on a family that is unfortunate enough to come across it.The Scarlet Gospels
The Scarlet Gospels is a dark fantasy horror novel by author Clive Barker which acts as a continuation to both his previous novella The Hellbound Heart and his canon of Harry D'Amour stories. The book concerns D'Amour's trip into Hell to rescue his friend from The Hell Priest, a character from Barker's previous works.