Interviews 2001 (Part One)

...After spending much of 2000 priming us for the release of Undying, its eventual release in February coincided with the appearance of the Tortured Souls models at the International Toy Fair, making it look like Barker was in thrall to the gaming world. Three years on from Galilee, and publication dates for Coldheart Canyon were being repeatedly put back...
Yet behind the scenes much plotting was afoot. The so-called 'relaunch' of Clive Barker was the hot topic amongst his publishers, aides and agents. HarperCollins were keen to see Coldheart Canyon shift Barker's fanbase towards the more mainstream (having already relisted the first two Books of The Art with their Perennial imprint) and a number of edgier projects not fitting the 'new Barker image' were sidelined. Whilst The Abarat projects were central to the new agenda, together with new deals such as Ectokid going to Nickelodeon, the Books Of Blood movie was not quite so palatable. The Scarlet Gospels (being a collection of Barker's erotic poetry and prose) is no longer likely to published anytime soon - with the title now being used for the long-awaited short story collection - even the planned gimmick of signing the new Stealth edition of The Books Of Blood in Barker's own blood gave sufficient concern for it to be pulled.
Doug Winter's long-awaited biography, The Dark Fantastic, made its appearance in the UK in time to fill a few Christmas stockings, giving a unique insight into the creative workings of Barker's mind.
The eventual appearance of Coldheart Canyon - Barker's 'fantasia on Hollywood' - revealed it to be a long and difficult birth of an awkward child to a parent relieved to be rid of it ('Lord, it was a son of a bitch to get down onto the page.') Only the paperback sales will tell whether it has hit its 'mainstream' mark amongst those who discount the mixed reviews...

Crossing Over

By Eric Twelker,, January 2001 (N.B. full text available at

"One of my great idols, Noel Coward, was asked 'How did you manage to maintain your popularity through the years?' His answer: 'Darling, it's very simple. You always pop out of another hole.' I take that to heart. Whenever they think they've got the hole you'll pop out of, you find a new one. If you think you're a horror novelist, you go write profanity. If they think you're writing a thousand words of profanity, you go write a kid's book. If they think you write for kids, too, you write something horrific. It drives the publicists crazy. There's less risk of people saying 'this is not Clive Barker,' because there is no Clive Barker. There's a bunch of people doing impersonations of me. One is writing short stories. One is writing horror stuff. One is making erotic photographs. You know, whatever else. But I have no interest in being a personality. Culture loves that.
"We go through phases where we'll do some television. If I do an episode of Politically Incorrect and it's a good appearance, suddenly I could be on every TV show. And I know what would happen if I did. I would shoot down in flames every question of being my own man and not predictable. Eventually, one appears on shows where people are only half listening to you. It's good not to talk too much. Invisibility is the issue here. I'm not supposed to be visible. My art is supposed to be visible. I'm just this old guy."

Mr Flibble Talks To Clive Barker

By Andrew Ellard, Red Dwarf, 26 January 2001 (N.B. full text available at

"The trouble is, we don't live in a world of extreme experiences. Despite the access we have to all this imagery, through television primarily, it all gets beaten down to a kind of pastel pulp. Standing alone on a beach is a uniquely wonderful, glorious experience. The sea, which you've completely taken for granted, is not actually like the sea as it appears on television, is not like the sea as it appears in the cinema - you and your relation to the sea is a very simple, pure thing. You can mainline on the experience.
"One of the things with fantasy and horror fiction I think is you're trying to slap the reader - first yourself and then the reader - into reassessing the world and saying, 'Boy, aren't things wonderful! And terrifying...' "

Clive Barker's Undying Interviews

By John "JCal" Callagham, Stomped, 8 February 2001 (N.B. full text available at

"I do not play computer or video games. But I'm starting to. I think they have a way to come in the emotional narrative that I truly believe will make a stronger emotional experience for the player."

Clive From New York

By [ ],, 13 February 2001 (N.B. full text available at

"People want to see the monsters. We supply the monsters.
"It's great dealing with Todd because you dispense with the middleman and talk directly to the creator, Todd is about making wonderful things, making things no one has ever seen before. He came along and said 'lets do something so scary, so extreme, it'll become a benchmark in horror toys.'
"These are the first toys I've had on the market. I've had model kits and whatnot, but this is a very different order of creation. These are technically amazing and the sheer level of detail is extraordinary. These figures represent the creature that both obsesses you and repulses you simultaneously. These are figures you put in a dark place in your house, probably with some votive candles, to haunt a corner in your home. We've really had fun pushing the envelope."

Tortured Souls Presentation

By Clive Barker & Todd McFarlane, Q&A moderated by Joe B. Mauceri at the International Toy Fair, February 2001 (Note - Variously reported as 'Toys For Torture' by Girlcreeture at and as 'Dark of the Eye' by Joe Mauceri at

"I know my hardcore audience will buy this stuff [Tortured Souls], the people who see my movies, the people who read my books. And actually the presence of words in there with the models will help that. I think what my fans like is mythology. They like the idea that there's a richness of storytelling behind all of this. I also think that there is a huge constituency of people who have seen toys, and Todd's already made this point, that are derived from movies, over and over again. The fact of the matter is once you've seen Freddy Krueger that's who Freddy is... And Todd is not allowed, you are not allowed to press much further beyond what Freddy has been in the movies. These are completely original creations. Sometime in the future you may see them in the movies, but it'll be the other way around in other words. So I think there's that audience, an audience that wants to be imaginatively stimulated, and then there's the 'Oh my God' audience. 'Oh my God, I have to have that!' And I think there will be a lot of people who will look at this stuff and they will have to have it. The have-to-have quality is a major element in this."

Undying : Clive Barker Turns Gamer Geek

By [ ], Yahoo News, 17 February 2001

"You would change some things, but absolutely, I would love to see this as a movie. I think what is being honored in Undying is American Gothic fiction. If Edgar Allan Poe could've been raised from the dead to create a game, Undying could be his first crack at it."

The Incredible But True Story Of Christopher Robin Incubus

By Jason "looneyboi" Bergman, Blue's News, 17 February 2001 (Note: full text online at

"I was at Forbidden Planet, it was raining very hard, and I had a huge crowd... A fellow comes up to me, a very good looking young man, so I noticed him. And he was very wet. He was wearing a T-shirt soaked to the skin, and he had beautiful tattoos on his arms. And I said, 'Those are beautiful.' Oh, I know what the book was, it was Cabal - and he gave me Cabal, so it was Simon & Schuster. And he passed it over to me and said, 'Could you sign this' and I said 'Yes' and 'Who should I sign it to?' He said, 'Would you sign it to Christopher Robin Incubus.' Which should have given me a clue right there.
"Anyway, I looked up at him and said, 'Those really are wonderful tattoos.' He looked down as I signed and said, 'This is for you.' I looked up and he took a straight razor and he cut open his tattoos. And my security men had already gone because we'd been signing for four hours. And my loving fans... fled. I was sitting here at the table and Christopher Robin Incubus was standing with a razor and blood pouring out of his arm. I said, 'Do you want that in your book?' He said, 'Yes.' So I took his arm, and I put my hand [on it]. There was blood right there, and I gave him a huge Clive Barker hand print in his book. I signed it, and the medics took him away.
There is a follow-up: he appeared again at another signing, even more tattooed than he had ever been before. He came up, he didn't have a book, looking a little older, but still looking good. And took my hand, and kissed the inside of my palm and left. And that's the true story."

Barker Worse Than His Bite?

By [ ],, 19-23 February 2001

"I am very passionate. I like being able to write anyplace I want to. I was out in Hawaii and I wrote a lot while I was there. I wrote on the beach, in monsoon, sitting in the car. I'm a 48 year-old guy who has 21 novels behind him. I aint going to change. It works for me and I love writing [longhand]. I believe it keeps me honest. When you know that you are writing this out and that you are going to write it out twice more and each time it's going to be better, you're going to polish it. You don't play fast and loose. You don't scribble down the first thing you think about. You take some care with it. It's a very long, laborious way to do things. We are living in an age of doing it fast; fast is not always good."

Clive Barker's Undying Interview

By Jason Bergman,, 21 February 2001

"We had this fellow called Magnus. Count Magnus Wolfram. Who was bald, tattoed, looked like a comic book hero. And I got them all in a room, and I said, 'Look, does anyone in this room know a count? No. Does anybody in this room know anybody called Magnus? No. Does anybody really want to be in this guy's skin? Since this is a first person play, why would you want to be in this man's skin? Why would you want to play [as him]?' And so we threw him out, and I said, 'Look. You've got a gay man in charge here. Bring me somebody I want to sleep with. Bring me somebody fabulously sexy.'...
"Brian Horton about ten days later sent me the character that now appears on the screen. Who was wonderful, he's everything I wanted. He was just the right kind of character. He seemed like somebody you would want to be, somebody you would want to play, whose skin you would want to occupy for a period of time. Even if you are going against the hordes of hell, at least he was going to do it with a smile on his face."

The Killing Game

By Gina McIntyre, Wicked, Volume 3, No 1, Spring 2001

Wicked, Volume 3, No 1, 2001 "[Undying]'s a period game, which allows us a whole bunch of interesting stylistic things. The palette of the game is not at all garish; it's got a nice subdued feel to it - the colours tend toward sepia and almost feel like an old photograph. If you were to make a game out of two parts Barker, one part Poe and a little bit of Lovecraft, you'd have this game. I say Poe because Poe so often deals with these sealed systems of families who have been doing terrible things to each other forever, and I say Lovecraft bcause Lovecraft is always the great monster-maker. There are levels and layers of monstrousness to this game which are just tremendous."

The Dark Backward

By Philip Nutman, Fangoria, No 200, March 2001

Fangoria No 200 "Abarat could not have sprung from an earlier Clive Barker. It springs, first from a 48 year-old Clive Barker; it springs from a Clive Barker who is happier in his spirit than he's ever been, and who wants to express that.
"I'd like to think my interest in humanity and the richness of who we are as human beings has increased, and the more I see and the more I understand about the world - some good, some bad - the more I'm finding I'm interested in trying to find a balance between the dark and the light."


By Craig Fohr and Kelly Shaw, Lost Souls, March 2001 (note - interview took place 14 December 2000)

Lost Souls, March 2001 "The only piece of extended non-fiction I supposed you could say I've written was the 'Private Legends' sequence in 'The Essential Clive Barker'. And that was bloody difficult. It was very different, I was writing about myself and I found that kind of hard. I just finished reading Stephen King's 'On Writing', which I thoroughly recommend, I think it's a tremendous book and I sat back after I had read it and said to myself or asked myself some questions. The first is: 'If I were to write a book about writing would it resemble this book?' The answer was no it would not. Practically everything he said about writing I disagree with, which isn't to say that I don't love what he does, it's just the way he gets there that is very different to the way I get there. Secondly I thought: 'Could I or would I be interested in writing a book like that?' The answer is no. I think where I could write a book or would want to write a book is about the philosophy of creativity. I think if I do a piece of non-fiction it would be about why human beings create; what it is about us as a species which makes us make image, make stories. I think I won't do that until I have got the two big books that we just talked about [Galilee II and The Third Book Of The Art] out of my system and probably a huge book, 'Imajica' size, which is also in the works which I would also want to write before I would turn my attention to that kind of book. So, I think it is the kind of book you want to write towards the end of your career. And I think of myself as sort of being in the middle of my career right now."

Clive Barker : Up A New Tree

By Noah Shachtman, Wired News,, 12 March 2001

"Maybe it's because my father died a few years ago. Maybe it's because I'm now 48. But I'm not content with 'Boo!' anymore. I've got deeper journeys to take. Metaphysical journeys. Journeys to see Christ. Shaman journeys. It's what I've been elected by God to do."

The Times, Interface, 5 March 2001

Clive Barker: 'Bring Me A Hero I'd Want To Sleep With'

By Tim Wapshott, The Times, Interface, 5 March 2001

"What plays out in my head is the mutability of things. Can I turn it off? No. I think what it is all about is liberating a child-like ability to see the world in flow, and some people find that scary. I'm not talking about Hannibal Lecter, I deal with the supernatural. I do sometimes wish I could turn off my imagination. It does make me terrified of drugs, as I cannot bear the idea of anything unleashing any more in me. I would lose the tethers I have on my imagination. There's a reason why I get up every morning and work on books and paintings - it just keeps coming."

Maul In The Family

By Adam Wisniewski, Time Out New York, No 286, 15-22 March 2001

Time Out New York, No 286, 15-22 March 2001 "Every now and then, there should be a few vertiginous moments when the heart goes, "Oh, fuck!" and you're looking at something really horrible.
"The heart of this game is a wonderful idea about monstrousness - this human being who can die in any number of ways, being surrounded by all kinds of fucking creatures: little guys who'd bite off his balls; big guys who'd stomp him; women who look beautiful one moment and monstrous the next. There's a freak show element which is very American, like a carnival sideshow. There's a reason why I'm [named] Barker."

Weaveworld Near Production

By [ ], Sci Fi Wire,, 16 March 2001

"It's looking extremely good, finally. We're looking at probably shooting it in Australia. Russell Mulcahy will shoot the first two hours and, I hope, the entire thing. I've known him since his Highlander days. He's just a great guy.
"Because it's a big book, preproduction will be enormous. There are special effects up the gazoo - physical effects, [computer-animated] effects, a whole world to create. I think it will be a marvelous project, and I'm very pleased Russell's going to do it."

Barker Unveils Saint Sinner

By [ ], Sci Fi Wire,, 21 March 2001

"What I think is fun about it, is it's metaphysical, it's horror, it's a little science fiction... all mingled together: a very powerful combination, I think... I want to be a bit of a tease about it. It's about a pursuit through time, initially, by a monk of a very strange and potentially heretical order, of two female entities whose origins and nature I don't want to go into, but who end up in our culture. And they end up doing great harm here. So the first story, at least, is a sort of time travel story involving monks... and female demons."

Politically Incorrect

Transcript of a TV appearance with Bill Maher, Politically Incorrect, 25 March 2001

"My editors, throughout my life, have been women. And they have been superb. And they have been in power. In publishing, there's a lot of women in power. And so almost all the women I've encountered in my publishing life have been just... have shaped me."

Daily Variety, 4 April 2001


By Variety staff, Daily Variety, 4 April 2001

"[The Damnation Game will not] wink at you, in the way that so many horror films today do, with a comedic or semi-comedic self-referential tone... we will do our damndest to scare people in the old fashioned way.
"There's so many books I've written where I just know, 'No way is this ever going to be a film' but this one has the right size and feel. You don't have to cut out too much of the story, which in this case is a Faust story - without the Devil."

The Fabulous Barker Boy

By Tom Mayo, SFX, No 78, May 2001

SFX, No 78, May 2001 "I think that what goes on outside the window is very often commonplace. It's poverty, and rage, and jealousy, and I think what I try and do in my books is a lot more bizarre than that...
"I'm just thinking, because I know and you guys don't, it's unfair... But there are scenes in Coldheart Canyon that I've got playing in my head, and I can't fucking wait... I'm thinking, this poor man, he's going to read the book and he's going to think of that question, and be like 'Aaaaah! That's what he meant!' Yeah... There's a scene with a dwarf who has goat's feet, and he names this girl's breasts Beatrice and Helena. And when you read that scene, you will remember this conversation."

Undead And Still Clive

On Magazine, May 2001 By Mirsky, (i) On, May 2001 (online at (ii) extracts presented in On Magazine, May 2001

"Horror movies are demanding something very particular of their audience. They are demanding that their audience really enter a very particular imaginative space in which they are willing to be frightened, which is strange in and of itself. Then once they are there, once they are frightened, they have to take a whole bunch of other stuff, very often metaphysical stuff. Stuff about angels and devils and things which are just not part of our common exchanges. The same with The Undying. Undying is filled with rituals and strange rooms. And, well, I suppose this comes to the puchline of it all: if we take out a dollar bill, we will find there are Rosicrucian and masonic symbols all over our dollar bill. What does that say? To me, it says that underlying even the most common image in the thing we deal with constantly is an ancient, and the Masons and the Rosicrucians go back to the Crusades. I'm sure you are perfectly familiar with the very odd relationship with the American presidency and masons. And yet there is something about our culture which sort of accepts and enjoys and embraces the idea of this otherness."

KidScreen Magazine, May 2001

Clive Barker Gives Disney A Nightmarishly Edgy Kid Flick Rep

By Kathleen Tracy, KidScreen Magazine, May 2001

"[Abarat is] an archipelago of 25 islands. On 24 of those, you're going to find a different hour of the day. On the 25th island, you're going to find a time out of time, a place where no time exists, and all times exist. A holy moment, if you will...
"This isn't one individual's quest in a strange world to come home; this is a much larger narrative structure about the place of magic in the heart of America."

Saturday Night Clive

By Andrea Sachs, Time, 16 May 2001 (N.B. full text available at

"If I were writing a cookery book, it would end up in the supernatural."


By Craig Fohr and Kelly Shaw, (i) Lost Souls at, 18 May 2001 (ii) Lost Souls Newsletter July / August 2001

"There is an old line used on Broadway, "If I wanted to send a message I'd use Western Union ." And I believe that. I don't believe any artist has any business messing himself up with messages. Messages are things that you can speak clearly and probably can be reduced to a couple of sentences. My books are, conversely, huge narratives, which Lost Souls, July / August 2001 contain many messages, contradictory often. I have no desire to be a message carrier and I never have from the very beginning. You look at the early plays, look at something like "The History of the Devil," I think it would be very hard to come out with a simple message of what that play means. Now there are some readers and film goers and play goers who find that frustrating and wish that I would keep things simpler, "what does this mean," well it means what it means to you. And what it means to you may not be what it means to your wife, or your lover, or your daughter. And the great thing about storytelling is that it can actually carry a great freight of meaning, I say meaning rather than message, a great freight of meaning which will be very different depending on the nature of the recipient."

The Damnation Gang

By Gina McIntyre, Wicked, Volume 3, No 2, May/June 2001

Wicked, Volume 3, No 2, May/June 2001 "There's no question that one of my preoccupations has always been the imagery of S/M. That's what I drew on when I created the Cenobites, that's what I decided to draw on when we created Tortured Souls. There's something quite exciting about the fact that these are much, much more extreme reconfigurations of flesh than anything that the Cenobites were. The Cenobites had a little bit of skin pulled here and a nail in there. What we've got is a guy hanging up with his guts hanging out and another guy with an entirely separate face, almost taking imagery from the beauty business, in the sense of the Hollywood change-your-face-and-look-different-tomorrow kind of business. So we're referencing that, we're referencing S/M, and of course, black leather is always sexy."

The Candyman Can

Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly, Summer 2001 By Sean T. Collins, Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly, Summer 2001

"I was at the dentist, and the lady who was the dental assistant said that when her kids get too rowdy and won't go to bed, she goes to the mirror and starts to say 'Candyman' - she never has to get past four because they're already in bed. So I mean, that kind of thing is much more interesting to me than the instant response that somebody has. I cannot think of anything more important than having a presence in the dream life of the people you don't know. I am ambitious for my dreams. I want to give them to other people. That's all that really matters to me."

Playing With The Dead

By Phil Mason, Starlog (UK), No 14, June 2001

Starlog (UK), No 14, June 2001 "The sense of mystery and things which have to be discovered is central to the game [Undying]. Secrets within secrets, worlds within worlds. It has elements of Hellraiser in the unleashing of terrible dark forces. Patrick is closest to a character that I've written about several times called Harry D'Amour, who, like him, is drawn to the occult and finds that the occult is drawn to him.
"Thematically, there's also this obsession with family that comes up in my narratives a lot - Hellraiser and Galilee are good examples. Everybody has a story in relation to their family, everybody has their own drama - whether it's one of rejection or acceptance, sibling rivalry or deep love. We carry them where ever we go - I live thousands of miles from where I was born, but when I went back when my father died a couple of years ago, I was like a child again. Part of the universality of families is that they both condemn and forgive us."

Korn To Raise Hell!

By [ ], Kerrang, No 857, 16 June 2001

Kerrang, No 857, 16 June 2001 "I'm a fan of Korn's, and Korn are fans of mine. Jonathan tested the waters by taking one of my paintings and adding a soundtrack to it. When I first went to Jonathan's studio and heard what he'd done, every hair on my body stood on end! What he and Richard have done is amazing - created a musical journey, if you will, which takes you into the painting. You literally see new colours when you listen to this music!
"I got very excited, and painted some new pictures especially for them to compose to. Hopefully what we're creating is a new artform and something completely fresh...
"It's a new, epic sound for Jonathan. You'll recognise it as Jonathan Davis, but remember there's three artists working here. The whole thing will create a sense of a huge imaginative space in which the audience can play."

Nips And Tucks, Tits And Fucks

By Phil & Sarah Stokes, 10 July 2001 (i) Revelations site (note - full text here) (ii) edited version in Coldheart Canyon e-book, HarperCollins, 2001

"The collection of short fiction will be delivered at the end of this year, which will include the Harry d'Amour/Pinhead story which will bring an end to Pinhead once and for all... I'm writing his death scene; whether they choose to take account of that in the movies is up to them, but I am writing his death scene and after which I will have no more literary or cinematic dealings with him whatsoever."

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