Sunday, July 31, 2005

My Life With Clive Barker

If you didn't know: I honestly think that Clive Barker is one of the most important people in modern popular culture. There! I said it!

Everything I have ever read by him has had some resonance. Some have even changed my life.

He has branched from horror writing to Baroque fantasy to children's literature to action figure design to painting to directing/producing films to video game design (all in no particular order).

My first experience with Barker's work must have been the first Hellraiser movie. Pinhead was so damn different than Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers. He wasn't a semi-indestructable revenge seeking maniac. He was a creature from Hell coldly and methodically getting a hard-on over pain. No...that's not right. His essence is pain. He stopped receiving pleasure from pain eons ago.

You can see how this might have an effect on a 10 year old.

After that I dove right in to his novels. Damnation Game, Cabal, The Great and Secret Show (although it took a second reading almost a decade later for it to have its effect), Everville, Weaveworld, etc.. etc..

This led rightfully so to his horror masterworks: The Books of Blood. Of which the story Midnight Meat Train (it is as obscene as the title suggests) he has scripted and is giving the film treatment. It should set right any wimpy subterranean train horror started with Creep.

His ability to create worlds goes far beyond any other writer I have ever come across. Imajica alone should fill you in on that.

I have found that much of my writing has been influenced by him which is a good thing and a bad thing. I have thrown out short stories and ideas for novels/comics that seem too Barker. As an influence he has to be the biggest. Barker raised me as a writer. Weird.

He is probably single-handedly responsible for my enduring love of horror and fantasy.

Here is a recent interview

0 Bitching, Moaning and Praise

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