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Barker at the Science Fiction Museum in 2007
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) Johnny Ray Raymond Jr (2009-present)|
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 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 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 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 he later retracted this.
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 a 20 August 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||Tortured Souls: Animae Damnatae|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clive Barker.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Clive Barker|