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. Educated at the same schools as John Lennon: Dovedale County Primary and Quarrybank. He studied English and philosophy at Liverpool University. Barker lives in Los Angeles, California with his partner of 17 years, photographer David Armstrong and Armstrong's daughter Nicole from a previous relationship.
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 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 (2007) is Mister B. Gone
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 said of Barker: "I have seen the future of horror and its name is Clive Barker".
Barker has a keen interest in movie production, although his movies have received varying acclaim. He wrote the screenplays for Underworld (aka Transmutations - 1985) and Rawhead Rex (1986), both directed by George Pavlou and matched with little critical success. 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 now go ahead. He is also 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.
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 wrote a screenplay for the American remake of the Japanese film Gojira but it was rejected by Toho (the company that created the Godzilla franchise) for being too "dark and disturbing" to be a Godzilla film. The remake was finally made by Roland Emmerich in 1998.
Barker is a prolific 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 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 also 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.
He also 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 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 which was released in late 2007.
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.
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.
In December 2007, Chris Ryall and Clive Barker announced an upcoming collaboration of an original comic book series, Torakator, to be published by IDW.
Date of Birth:
5th October 1952
Website: http://www.clivebarker.info/ Favorite Creators:
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Clive Barker Omnibus (2011)
Clive Barker: Dread (1992)
Clive Barker: Rawhead Rex (1994)
Clive Barker: Revelations (1991)
Clive Barker: Son of Celluloid (1991)
Clive Barker: The Life Of Death (1993)
OGN SC Clive Barker: The Yattering and Jack (1991)
Clive Barker's Age of Desire (2009)
Clive Barker's Book Of The Damned: A Hellraiser Companion (1991)
Clive Barker's Hellraiser (1989)
Clive Barker's Hellraiser (2011)
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2013 AnnualAnnual 01Annual 01 (Cover B)TPB vol. 01 Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best (2002)
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#13 Clive Barker's Nightbreed (2014)
Clive Barker's Seduth 3-D (2009)
Clive Barker's The Great And Secret Show (2006)
Clive Barker's The Thief Of Always (2005)
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HC Comics Values Monthly (1986)
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#1 Ectokid (1993)
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#1 Graphic Classics (2001)
Heartbreak Hotel (1988)
Night Of The Living Dead: London (1993)
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Razorline: The First Cut (1993)
Saint Sinner (1993)
The Sandman (1989)
Tapping the Vein (1989)
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