Interviews 2002 (Part One)

...The 'Year of Abarat' also saw a sudden rush of activity as film projects at Seraphim suddenly took off. Barker produced treatments for Saint Sinner, Tortured Souls and Ectokid while managing to co-design a second set of Tortured Souls figures. Amid all of this, Barker also finalised the first book of Abarat, wrote the second and started detailed plotting for the the third. As Saint Sinner's teaser trailers for its late October release started to appear, Abarat's publicity went into overdrive, accompanying its September UK debut. 'We were all children once... Remember the wonder with Abarat' cried the posters and, on the eve of his 50th birthday, Abarat was also unleashed on the US consciousness, heralding the next phase in Barker's vocation to map the imaginative world between his ears...

Souls' Survivor

By Anthony C. Ferrante, Cinescape, Issue 56, January 2002

Cinescape, Issue 56, January 2002 "There is the sadomasochistic imagery for sure, but these figures [Tortured Souls] feel more like something out of The Books Of Blood. They're also thousands of miles away from anything you could ever do in a movie. I suppose you could do them with CGI, but it's not really Hellraiser at all."
"What these things look like and what they feel like once you have them in your hand is something from a movie that you would love to see. And they have that kind of elaboration - the detailing is unbelievable. This is an undiluted thing and that's a great pleasure. I think one of the things I am always trying to give my fans, readers or people who have seen my paintings is a completely undiluted experience. And in that sense, this is exactly what I wanted them to be. How often can I say that?"

It's Only When He Talks About Hollywood That The Evil Comes Out

By Paula Guran, (i) The Spook, Issue 6, January 2002 (note - online at and at (ii) in German in Omen, No 2, June 2005

"There is great value in books and paintings - the personal Omen, No 2, June 2005 The Spook, Issue 6, January 2002 relationship between yourself and a work of art. Art belongs to the mind, it belongs to the soul of the person who is sharing the experience with the artist. That is not true of a video on VH1, it is not true of most movies - which are made for the crassest of reasons and go nowhere near touching the soul - so I feel part of the problem is how do you teach kids that there's a thing called art? That there is something which is not just a book, that it is a thing separate unto itself and that certain people make it because their attitudes are different from people who make the same things. Cocteau put it well. He said, 'Whatever I do I am a poet.' He speaks of poetry as being the transformative power in his life. The transforming thing in my life - and that's why I go back to Christ as imagination and Blake - is the thing which pushes the envelope of reality and snaps it, breaks it, shows you something that you didn't even think existed."

On The Side Of The Demons: Clive Barker's Pleasures And Pains

British Horror Cinema, 2002

By Paul Wells, British Horror Cinema, 2002, edited by Steve Chibnall and Julian Petley (note - interviews took place "over ten years (1989 - 99)")

"All horror comes from lived experience. A lot of what is human is terrifying - the vulnerability of our bodies; the fact that people can be very cruel; stuff about insanity, betrayal - it is all pretty tough. It is obvious that we know how to push our own self-destruct buttons. It is funny, actually, because it is my optimism and my old-fashioned belief in 'love' that makes me see this dark stuff so clearly! I can look at it; in fact, I can't look away."

The Auden Interviews - Clive Barker

By Sandy Auden, The Alien Online, January 2002 (note - online at

"In the creative lives of the artists I admire, people like Jean Cocteau, William Blake, Stanley Kubrick, boundaries are constantly crossed. In one book, Cocteau is an illustrator - in another he's a poet - in another he is an eroticist - in another he is a documentarian recounting in agonizing detail - accompanied by some of the most hallucinatory pen and ink drawings ever made from his going 'Cold Turkey' from opium. In Kubrick's career we see an extraordinary breadth of generic ambition. I would like people to think of me as somebody whose chief gift to them is that of his own unpredictability."

Dark Lords

By Clive Barker and Daniel Vaillancourt, (i) The Advocate, 19 February 2002 (ii) extended version online at

"I think 'The Snow Garden' has all kinds of insights which would never find their way onto the screen. I mean, there's so much internal life that the screen would just... doesn't have room for. And having The Advocate, 19 February 2002 vandalized my own books - as a director and a producer - I've always had the belief that these are just two completely different media, and Hellraiser doesn't resemble the novella, and Candyman doesn't resemble the short story. I mean, I'm always willing to rip up the book to make the movie because I know as a director and as a producer that they're just completely different things. I mean, Gods and Monsters is not Father of Frankenstein. I mean, they have to be different. Though it's very interesting - I'll just make this as an offhand remark, really - it's nothing to do with either of us. But probably the two most successful movies of last year are movies which obsessively pursued - I'm thinking of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings - obsessively pursued the vision of the author. One, because J.K. Rowling is there to say, 'This is the way that you will do it.' And the other because Peter Jackson was being reverential where J.R.R. Tolkien was concerned. And it's certainly going to be my position in the year coming, as I move into various deals, that maybe we need to be a little bit more... maybe we do need to be a little bit more - I'm not saying reverential - but maybe the author is more right than we used to think."


By Craig Fohr, (i) Lost Souls at, 22 February 2002 (ii) Lost Souls Newsletter April 2002

Lost Souls Newsletter April 2002 "I think [the relaunch of Clive Barker captures the feeling of a new creative high]. I think the proof of it is the book of Abarat. I think when you find this book in your hands you'll go, 'Wait a second, I didn't know Barker had it in him.' Hell, I didn't even know I had it in me. So it's a whole another me, and you guys are relatively familiar with me as a painter, but most people haven't got a clue I do this stuff. So this book is a completely new idea of how to take Clive Barker out into the marketplace.
"I think if we have this conversation in two years with Phil and Sarah on the line, they'll see just how different things will be. A lot of stuff is gonna be coming out, films will be made, and the Disney deal's moving along very swiftly. I think it's a whole different phase of who I am. And I think probably when we get to the end of my career in probably thirty years time and look back, there'll be a number of those [hard] times. Phil and Sarah are completely right. I've gone through these dark times where light plugs through at the end of a very dark time. The period after my Dad's death was extremely dark.
"I seem to have in my life periods of great darkness followed by sudden periods of lucidity. Some of that is to do with the fact that I am a dark person in many regards. It's a fact of life. I mean you lose a parent and you are going to go into the dark times. There's no way of avoiding that. The only way to avoid it is not to love."

Open Roads... What Price Wonderland?

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 3 April 2002 (note - full text here)

"A writer is, particularly a writer of large novels, is a string of lifeboats connected to a huge vessel which is sailing at great rate into a storm, and the writer is somewhere on the ninth lifeboat, hanging on for dear life, wondering where the fuck this is going... but connected to the huge engine in the lead ship, but only loosely. When you get to the middle of a novel, and I'm not the first person to say this, Peter Straub said this very nicely once, he said that he didn't know what he'd written until he'd written the first draft. That he didn't know what he was writing about until he finished the first draft. I usually don't know what I've written about until somebody tells me!
"This analogy works for me, because every now and then, in the process, you leap from lifeboat to lifeboat to the main ship and you get onto the bridge and you say, 'Oh that's where I'm going!' and you wake up the following morning and you're back in the fucking lifeboat. And there's a sense in which each book is just like that! They have a life of their own, they have a momentum of their own, they're like a massive vessel which you have marginal control over."

Barker Eyes Faith In Saint

By [ ], Sci-Fi Wire, 14 June 2002 (note - available online at

"Even in the title [Saint Sinner], we're playing with some pretty heavy ideas and that very much fits with the novels I've written and the movies I've been involved in... Because the monsters are treated very seriously, whether they are human monsters or inhuman monsters, they linger in people's imaginations perhaps longer than if the tongue is in the cheek... I think something that horror movies have always had to offer audiences, particularly young audiences, has been this idea that you can tell these primal tales, which really have some authority to them as tales of good and evil... When [Tomás] speaks of God and faith and death and, in the end, redemption, [21st-century people] sort of roll their eyes. In fact, those are things which we're all in our hearts concerned about, I think.
"We sort of lost the vocabulary along the way. We're embarrassed by the vocabulary. And one of the things that horror stories have always allowed us to do is brush off that vocabulary, allow us to return to the notion of absolute good and absolute evil. The notion of redemption. The notion of deeds that are too terrible to be recounted except in whispers, and how they can be made good. And those sorts of ideas, in a curious way, are more pertinent since a certain event than ever. We've seen these terrible things going on in our world, and we have little but a secular response to it, and that's perhaps regrettable."

Original Sinners

By Anthony C. Ferrante, Cinescape, Issue 62, July 2002

"It's basically about a priest named Brother Tomas, in 1815, who moves Cinescape, Issue 62, July 2002 (cover 1) Cinescape, Issue 62, July 2002 (cover 2) through time to capture two demon women who he has unwittingly released from a depository in his monastery. When these women arrive in contemporary America, they commence to create sexual and horrific havoc, most of which Patrick [Tatopoulos] is responsible for. He has also sinned by letting these women out, and he is in pursuit of them in present-day Seattle. They also get pregnant. It's messy and a lot of fun...
"The cool thing about the effects on this project is that since it's costing less than the price of Godzilla's toenail, we can get these cool things going. Hey, that would be a good name for a book: 'The Toenail of Godzilla and Other Stories'..."

New Books Are Child's Play For Grown-up Authors

By Deirdre Donahue, USA Today: Books, 23 July 2002

"Kids do want to read again; the Potter series has been an 'open sesame' to their imagination. We have a lot to thank [J.K.Rowling] for."

Then You Look Closely And You Go, 'Oh My God!'

By Paula Guran, Horror Garage, No. 5, Summer 2002 (note - interview took place March 2002)

[Re. release of Philip Glass's Candyman score on CD] "...with the most erroneous set of liner notes you can imagine. I mean, I couldn't care less if my Horror Garage, No. 5, Summer 2002 name was right, but what really annoys me is this guy, whoever he is - I hope he reads this - this guy had the temerity to imply that Bernard Rose was fired off Candyman and didn't get to finish the movie the way he wanted to finish it!
"This guy - I don't know who he is, if he's a friend of Philip's or, what the heck - says Philip was apparently very disappointed with the movie because of the notes going on and it was being fiddled around with and it wasn't what Bernard wanted and all. Well, Philip went on to score the sequel. I don't know what the guy is talking about, but it really irritates me when people pontificate from a place of ignorance. But it is nice to have the music finally. It's wonderful music."

The Books Interview

The Independent Magazine, 17 August 2002

By Roz Kaveney, The Independent Magazine, 17 August 2002

"People say that they don't read horror, or fantasy, and ignore the fantasy in horror fiction, the horror implicit in fantasy fiction.
"I grew tired of the way people knew everything about Stephen King and nothing about Breughel or Goya. I like work that leads me to make connections. Recently, I started listening to Elgar and from him I found myself moving into a whole new sense of the poetry of Englishness. And then you find yourself re-reading - suddenly The Wind In The Willows is this passionate hymn to rural placidity with a Dionysiac figure at the centre of it."

Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors

Transcript of an appearance on the Saint Sinner panel at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors, Pasadena, 17 August 2002, reported at as New Clive Barker Film Projects Announced, 22 August 2002.

"We're going to make Midnight Meat Train as a movie, it's one of the films we've got set up for next year. So, hopefully Midnight Meat Train will come rolling down a track near you soon. That's one of the exciting things. We're also doing Down, Satan! and a few other fun things. The next three or four years will see shit-loads of Barker out there!"

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!

Transcript of an appearance on the Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! radio show with Peter Sagal, NPR and WBEZ Chicago, 14 September 2002 (Note: available online at

"This is really my journey into Narnia. This is the journey I've actually wanted to take, been trying to persuade HarperCollins to let me take, for fifteen, sixteen years. And it's taken a little time for me to create, now, 350 oil paintings and the text and really amass the kind of material that makes me comfortable that I can show people a new world."

Click here for Interviews 2002 (Part Two)...

previous home search contact Interviews next