Clive Barker is an English author, film director, and visual artist.
Barker was born in Liverpool, England. He studied English and philosophy at Liverpool University.
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 (1986). Later he moved toward 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 (an idea he shares with contemporary Neil Gaiman), 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 give equal time to the heavenly and awe-inspiring as to the hellish and horrific.
When the Books of Blood were first published in the United States in paperback, Stephen King said of Barker: "I have seen the future of horror, and its name is Clive Barker."
Movie work: Barker has a keen interest in movie production, although his movies have received varying acclaim. The most successful was 1987's Hellraiser, 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. 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 also developing a film based on his Tortured Souls line of toys from McFarlane Toys.
In October 2006, Barker announced that he will be writing the script to a forthcoming remake of the original Hellraiser movie.
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 is attached to direct Midnight Meat Train from Jeff Buhler's screenplay based on Barker's short story of the same name for Lakeshore Entertainment and Lionsgate for 2008 release.
Barker was an executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters, which received major critical acclaim.
For the moment, there is also a movie based on one of his novels, Born, under production, where Barker is also one of the co-writers on the script.
Visual art: Barker is also a prolific and talented visual artist working in a variety of media, often illustrating his own books. His paintings can be seen 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 U.K. publications of his Books of Blood series. His artwork has been exhibited 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.
He also worked on the creative side of a horror computer game, Clive Barker's Undying, providing the voice for the character Ambrose, a homicidal maniac who is never without his enormous axe. Undying was developed by DreamWorks Interactive and released in 2001 to lackluster success but universal critical acclaim. Barker also 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.
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 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.
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 also currently publishing a 12 issue adaptation of Barker's novel The Great and Secret Show.
Personal: Barker has been open about his homosexuality since the early 1990s, first mentioning his dating life to U.S. audiences in the pages of The Advocate magazine. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his partner, photographer David Armstrong, and Armstrong's daughter Nicole from a previous relationship. -Wikipedia
Bibliography (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 (a short horror-novel) Collections (1984-1985) Books of Blood (volumes 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).) (1985) Cabal (titular novella was also published as a Nightbreed mass market paperback) (1987) In the Flesh (1987) The Inhuman Condition (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
Producing and writing the videogame, Clive Barker's Jericho with Codemasters
Absolute Midnight (third book of the Abarat Quintet)
International Creative Management
Arsenal Pulp Press
Cambridge University Press
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