Interviews 2005

...The year opened with Clive admitting that his Pinhead / D'Amour story was beginning to grow - but it would still, he hoped, fit into his collection of short stories - hmm...
In the meantime, Thief gained a new life as a three-part graphic novel and Art Asylum began work on Clive's 'Bestiary', turning his artwork into plush animals - The Jump Tribe - for which Clive wrote short tales. The critical success of Undying encouraged Clive to take on a second gaming project - Demonik - and Showtime tried yet again to put together an adaptation of Weaveworld for TV, this time set back in England.
As Clive shepherded along film projects for his Midnight Picture Show, his own Tortured Souls began to founder (as did Disney's film hopes for Abarat), freeing up time both for writing and collating artwork for Visions of Heaven and Hell. Whilst Abarat Two garnered awards, Clive travelled to conventions and appearances, paintbrush in hand, ending the year on a high as his Visions exhibition opened in LA ...

Ringers: Lord Of The Fans

Ringers: Lord Of The Fans

By [Carlene Cordova], Ringers: Lord Of The Fans, 2005 (note - interview took place April 2004)

"Even though we live in a reductionist culture, I think there is a profound hunger still for things which carry mythological weight."

'Fearful Symmetry:' Clive Barker Discusses The Art Of Fantasy

By James Blasingame, The ALAN Review, Winter 2005 (note - interview took place at NCTE Convention, 21 November 2004)

"We all have these internal spaces, and we don't have to travel to find these spaces. We dream them. I think that the great gift of Freud and Jung, particularly Jung, is giving us those tools to comprehend what those spaces are. The shaman dreaming with his eyes open is the ideal shape of the artist. That's what Coleridge is doing. Coleridge is, of course, taking drugs in significant amounts. Blake is not. And I'm not. On a Monday morning I'm going to my desk and I'm looking at the page and it's interesting. I'm only beginning to discover how much I just rely on a process, which has no intellectual content whatsoever. That is, I don't think this through. I don't plan this. I sort of unplug myself from what's around me, and I think that's probably what most imaginative artists do. I don't work from research and go research Abarat, you know? You just have to trust from the Jungian part of yourself, the dreaming part of yourself and say, 'The thing that I dream will be of interest to other people.' That's a very arrogant thing to think, and that's why when you turn your book in, you're always thinking, 'I just spent this year dreaming all these wacky things, and I put them into this book. What right do I have to assume that anybody will be interested?' I'm not being falsely humble here; I remain astonished that this act of creation which is so pleasurable for me, so indulgently pleasurable for me, should result in something that people will love. I feel as though I can completely understand why I would do it, but the idea that these wild things that I've conjured, and this brings our conversation full circle, it goes back to your first question that the reason, I believe, is that when we are accessing this material, we are accessing common material. I suppose what 1 am trying to do is find these common images, pour them into the book in the purest way I can. Not toy with them, not over intellectualize them, never go back and say, 'Well, I don't really know what that means.' This is why I think we are coming full circle. I will never take something out because I don't know what it means.
"I would never censor myself on the basis of meaning. Going back to Coleridge and 'Kubla Khan', '...the sacred river, caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea.' Damn, if that isn't right. I mean it doesn't get any better than that, right? Haven't got a clue what it means at the level I understand. I mean, I know what it means at a literal level. It means that he decreed a pleasure dome and that it was built where a river ran, but why does it move me the way it does. I don't have any answers for that. I do know that if he had revised it until it was something that he could intellectually defend, he probably would have messed up completely. That's why when I write something that I can't necessarily completely explain, I won't muck with it even though when you ask me what it means, I would have to shrug and say, 'Jim, I don't know.'

Halloween: 25 Years Of Terror

Halloween: 25 Years Of Terror

By [Stefan Hutchinson], Halloween: 25 Years Of Terror, 2005

"I believe the desire to be frightened is as universal as the desire to be loved. We want to take the journey that allows us to survive what the people with whom we are taking the journey do not survive. I think Halloween, taking this full circle, is one of the best - has remained one of the best for what now, 25 years?"

The Promised Land: Clive Barker

By Joel Eisenberg, Aunt Bessie's How To Survive A Day Job While Pursuing The Creative Life, Topos Books, 2005

"In order to tell a story with real conviction, I think, you need to be inside the personalities of everybody - from the major characters to the How To Survive A Day Job minor characters to the dog that's in the street - who pass through your narrative. And you have to be willing to extend your imagination to people whose point of view you might not necessarily sympathise with were you not a writer.
"So it's particularly true, obviously, of my villains. My villains tend to be given pretty decent reasons for doing what they're doing, though decent is the wrong word; pretty complex and believable reasons for what they're doing.
"Let's say you have a group scene. I've just done a scene for Abarat II. During a flood, a lot of human beings, a lot of strange creatures from the country of Abarat, a dog and a bunch of other characters, are all on a roof surrounded by flood water. And as I'm writing this scene, I'm putting on skins. I'm putting on the skin of Bill Quackenbush, who's a man of politics and whose worldview could not be further from my own, but who needs to be spoken truthfully. I need to allow his point of view to come through clearly, and I shouldn't have my finger on the scales, because that's not good storytelling.
"In other words, everybody should be allowed to be themselves, I think. And you allow the reader to make up his or her mind as to how they feel about these characters. This isn't that old Victorian melodrama; the villain isn't twiddling his moustache and saying, 'Ah, now I will throw you off and out into the storm!' I'm trying for something a little more subtle than that, and I think most writers are nowadays. We're looking for shades of, indeed, good and evil."

Starburst, No 318, January 2005

Entering Abarat

By Joe Nazzaro, Starburst, No 318, January 2005 (note - interview took place in 2004)

"The second volume [of Abarat] is darker than the first book, with a much larger body count, but there haven't been any problems with either the audience or my editors.
"As a young reader, I loved the dark stuff in books, and I've had thousands of letters, both on Thief of Always and Abarat, and very often they come in packs of thirty of forty because they've been written as a class project. So you get forty letters, and they're really cool, because kids don't lie. They love the part in Thief of Always where Harvey turns into a vampire, and in Abarat they love Christopher Carrion. To me, at the heart of good storytelling, you don't have a good story without a villain."

Fantasy Worlds, No 5, February 2005

Days Of Magic

By Joe Nazzaro, Fantasy Worlds, No 5, February 2005 (note - interview took place 12 October 2004)

"You should see these [Abarat] canvases up close: they're scratched to pieces, I use the colors straight out of the tube and these things are painted in a kind of crazy way. Once I know that the plot is going to need something, an order will go out to paint something and my imagination will cook something up. Out of the 500 paintings, I would say that probably 350 to 370 were done without the first idea what was going to appear on the canvas.
"What's interesting is that the unconscious part of you somehow plots against the conscious part to get what it needs, and I really believe that's what these paintings are about: it's my subconscious saying, 'We've got this world that we want to let out. Don't tell the boss, but that's what we're going to do!' "

The Hellbound Art: Memory, Fantasy And Filigree

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 10 February 2005 (note - full text here)

"I am going to do a big exhibition of new erotic painting in October or November here in L.A. at a gallery downtown... I feel as though I've been painting, if you will, PG paintings for a long time and it's time to paint some R-rated paintings. The Rizzoli book, Visions of Heaven and Hell, will come out in October and that has a lot of the erotic art in as well as a lot of Abarat art - and a lot of fold-outs, a lot of gatefolds; there are twelve gatefolds in the book, so it will have a lot of really big illustrations in it which is great, very exciting. So that will really start to get people to be able to see paintings that they were only able to see small - like the island painting, so small in the book, is now going to be a foot and a half long and so it's fun... Just about the only frustration on 'Visions' is that I have not been able to track down the owner of The Arsonist, so we're having to reproduce it from a smaller transparancy and you don't get the same veracity. I think the painting will survive it, but it's just a frustration because I like the painting and I would like to know that it was well and was being looked after. It's strange that whoever has it hasn't heard that I am looking..."

Elf Fantasy Magazine, No 42, February - March 2005

Clive Barker

By Karina Meerman, Elf Fantasy Magazine, No 42, February - March 2005 (note - translated from the Dutch)

"Fantasy is doing just fine; we simply work under the radar. We write our books, and the critics ignore us. That doesn't make any difference, because the books sell nevertheless. What possible difference can it make, what a reviewer says about my book? I find it far more important when I get letters from Iraq, where American soldiers have hauled my books along with them. I received a photograph, for example, of a copy of The Thief of Always - you have never seen such a well-thumbed book..."

Redefining Renaissance Man

By Therese Littleton, Amazing Stories, No 609, March 2005

"[With Abarat] I really feel as though what I've been doing is painting to envision a world, which I now think I can make into a literary world. In other words, I will use the words to illustrate the paintings, rather than the paintings to illustrate the words...
"Effortless it aint, but it's great that it looks that way. You always hope for people not to see the sweat on your face. And I'll be honest, I'm not a great one for laying on too thickly the woes of the artist... I mean, I have a number of correspondences going right now with soldiers in Iraq, and no-one's going to tell me that what we're Amazing Stories, No 609, March 2005 doing on a daily basis as artists is anything like what they're doing. When artists - I will be honest, particularly actors - are on E! Entertainment Television telling an interviewer how terribly, terribly tough it was to shoot an Elizabethan costume drama, you just roll your eyes...
"I never want it to be easy, frankly, because if it's easy it probably means I'm not doing it particularly well. I need to live in a state of perpetual unease with the excellence of what I'm doing so that I'm constantly saying I can go back and do that better."

Raising Hell... Again And Again

By Therese Littleton, Amazing Stories, No 609, March 2005

"I rather wish that Dimension hadn't made so many sequels, but that was completely out of my control. I think the pictures that I did have some hold over, which were Hellraiser 2 and 3, and the second Candyman movie, are cool pictures. But it's harder and harder with a monster to keep the seriousness of intent when you've been doing eight or nine pictures. The monster starts to seem more friendly."

Penny Blood, Issue 2, Spring 2005

Darkness And Light

By Mark Schaefer, Penny Blood, Issue 2, Spring 2005 (note - extracts presented as The Lament Configuration: Clive Barker On Hellraiser online at

"I was invited to write the ['Helloween'] movie, but the people who own the Halloween movie rights didn't want to do it. John Carpenter was going to direct it. I thought it would have been a pretty cool idea... Anything that can give Pinhead a fresh new life would be great. Let me make this clear: my death of Pinhead is just a way to give the character new life. He's just a character that has outstayed his welcome, I think."

The Outsider: A Talk In The Dark With Clive Barker

By [ ], Locus, No 529, March 2005

"My latest transformation, into a painter/writer of children's fiction, has been very rewarding to me, just at a certain time of my life. I'm 52 - it's frightening!...
"As I've gone into the YA world, I see that the rules are completely different - the way the arguments are had, the prejudices that are in place. As a horror writer, I learned pretty quickly where the bodies were, but also just the politics of it all. And when I moved from there to fantasy, the bodies were in different places. I got a lot of really hard slaps from my hard-core horror readers who weren't happy that I had made that move, but they also came 'round. Now with YA, I'm finding a new set of bodies.
Locus - No 529, March 2005 "YA works on at least two levels. I saw this the many times I went to the Royal Shakespeare Company's Christmas production of Peter Pan, which has elements from Barrie's original story, the play, and some of his letters (with Barrie as a character wandering around his own world). At the end, he says, 'This story will go on as long as children are young and heartless.' It ends with the death of Wendy, and Pan forgetting to come back to the connection he has made - surrounded by an immensity of darkness, we see Peter Pan flying but looping the loop, as it were, trapped in this unbreakable circle of his own desire to be eternally youthful, both a tragic and an idyllic figure. Every single time (I saw it maybe seven times), when the lights came up every adult in the place was crying and every child was smiling. It really made this incredible impression on me. Adults see it as a story of childhood lost, and kids see it as an adventure of facing off against evil.
"Some other fantasies can be read on a bunch of levels, but it's particularly true of YA (though not Harry Potter; the books aren't layered that way). You see it in Ged's story in Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy, which is in some ways a more sophisticated telling of the Harry Potter story: the becoming of a wizard, and dealing with a shadow self. Philip Pullman does it too; the third Dark Materials book is absolutely outrageous! He is writing the true metaphysical stuff now, and there's an anger in his fiction which is not in what Rowling does, and not in what I'm doing - or not by comparison. (Imajica was my rage-against-God book.)
"Still, we shouldn't underestimate what Rowling has done. In the middle of the '90s, Ridley Scott said he thought reading would be the high opera of the 21st century, a kind of elevated art form where a very small number of people would be involved in the process, but that has turned out not to be the case (so far, so good). I think we have Rowling to thank, in no small measure, for the fact that I have hundreds of thousands of readers and the Abarat books are in 33 languages. The fantasy I have written has not always worked on a global level, so it has also been very interesting to see the Chinese audience, the Japanese, the Korean, all these various audiences, find this material applicable and entertaining. And we have a bunch of adults who are reading YA now. Who knew? I'm not sure how that really began. Were people reading it behind their copies of Philip Roth?"

Clive Barker On The Phone

By [Thomas Hemmerich], That's Clive!, 29 March 2005 (note - full text online at

[re. Scarlet Gospels] "It's going to be a big book now - I never thought it would be a big book. But once I started to write it, I realised that in a way I knew a lot of things about hell and a lot about Pinhead - that character - that had never appeared in any movie or comic book or anything. These are things which are in my head - and it had been in my head for many years - but that I had never written about. So I'm putting all of that into the book. I'm doing my very best to really develop the mythology and to make this Clive Barker's definitive book of hell...
"And what I haven't realised until I have started writing, was how passionate I felt about the character of Pinhead. I suppose part of it is that I became very familiar with the image of the - like everybody has - the toys, the game, obviously the films and so on. But when I actually went back and wrote about him, wrote in his voice, as it were, I realised that he became more interesting than he had a chance to be in most of the movies. Most of the movies make him into just a simple villain, who is just there, doing this thing, he's there to cause trouble. And I wanted to write something more complex about him, I think he is quite a complex character. You know he isn't Freddy Kruger, he isn't Jason Vorhees, he is something more eloquent and possibly elegant. And so I really wanted to explore this character and really give him a chance to speak one last time - very eloquently."

An Interview With Clive Barker

By [ ], The Thief Of Always graphic novel, Book 3, May 2005

"I think we, all of us, as children feel bored a lot of the time, waiting for adults to do whatever adults do. It's definitely less true now, The Thief Of Always graphic novel, Book 3 but as a kid I didn't have those diversions. So there was a lot of downtime, time where you were just waiting. I used to do a lot of reading, but even reading can't take you away all the time, away from the grey reality of life in Liverpool in the '50s, which is where I was brought up, and I wanted to reflect that in Harvey. I also wanted to give Harvey some of my imaginative energy. So, yeah, there's something of Harvey in me...
"Even as a kid, I was aware that I lived from holiday to holiday. Every kid does that - you finish your summer holidays and think, 'Oh, how long is it to Thanksgiving?' (in America - in England it was Bonfire Night). And then on Bonfire Night you thought, 'OK, well how long is it to Christmas?' I mean, you're constantly saying that. And my mother would be constantly saying, 'Don't wish your life away, don't wish your life away.' But the story wasn't based on anything except that there were a lot of times in my life when I wished more was going on and I thought this would be an interesting fantasy to play with."

E3: Barker Feeling Demonik

By [ ], Sci-Fi Wire, 23 May 2005 (note - full text online at

"I came in wanting to redesign the monsters so they were a bit scarier [and] redesign the magic so that it was a bit mage-ier, I think it's important that people be given not the same old, same old. People deserve something new and fresh and good-looking. And we have the technology to present amazing visions. So the next question is: How do we use that technology and what would we actually show? So that's what we're working on."

Pair's New Scare Tactics

By Michael Fleming, Variety, 24 May 2005 (note - full text online at

[re. Midnight Picture Show 'Films of Blood'] "We hope our advantage will come from my own body of work of really intense horror stories that are original. We will not be reheating old films, freshening up old ideas. ... Even forgetting the sequels we hope to make, I've got enough here for twenty movies of varying budget scales.
"Jorge [Saralegui] and I want to wind up with a library of pictures that will reflect my sensibilities, which are decidedly R rated. In fact, the moment I make a PG-13 horror movie, you can take me out and shoot me. Our desire is to leave you feeling that we're a little crazy."

The Lazarus Muse: Nights Of Magic, Days Of Gore

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 2 June 2005 (note: full text here)

"During the day, I am shedding blood like nobody's business in The Scarlet Gospels, which is quite an interesting return to a voice that I thought I'd lost and I'm happy to discover had simply gone into hiding for a while... I put down the pen about five o'clock on The Scarlet Gospels and then I'll mull around for perhaps an hour, tidying up or doing any bits of business that I haven't addressed during the day, you know, phone calls that I haven't answered and so on. And then about six o'clock I head into the studio and the nights are light here, as they are with you, so it's really pleasurable to work until nine o'clock, nine-thirty - I get three and a half hours of solid painting most nights and they are sort of complimentary, Sarah. You know, the tone of Scarlet Gospels is going to remind you I think, in its taking-no-prisoners way, of some of the harsher stories in the Books of Blood and that was a bit of a test for me - did I still have that voice? Was I still, at 52, willing to be that harsh, that cruel?
"I'm speaking in slightly surprised tones here and actually it's generally encouraging because I had also said goodbye in an introduction to Weaveworld to that voice as well and it it encourages me to think that perhaps I was premature in my saying farewell to these other voices. I sort of thought that I'd lost them and as I say, I think they needed time to go to ground perhaps and revivify themselves. When I got Pinhead on stage with D'Amour - and I've actually got him onstage with D'Amour as a boy, he meets D'Amour at a Catholic school as a twelve year-old / thirteen year-old, a fully mixed-up, fucked-up thirteen year-old is the first time he encounters this creature - it suddenly, suddenly I realised that this hard-hearted Barker that really liked the imagery, the almost nihilistic imagery that was a part of the Books of Blood, I was really happy to revisit it; I felt there was validity in it. It's interesting to me and I've written seventeen hand-written pages this morning which is very, very unlike me, to get seventeen pages out in a morning - normally I am really pushing by five o'clock to get my twenty and I'm having a good time is part of it. Part of it is, 'Oh, hello Clive, I'm Clive,' you know? So many of the journeys that I've taken in the last few years have taken me to such diverse places, and sometimes very sad places; Sacrament has such sadness in it, certainly, and I think the stuff I did for Chiliad, you know, that was Entertainment Weekly, 10 June 2005 pretty melancholy stuff. Abarat has brightened me and painting brightens me, and when I'm bright, I can go into the dark places more comfortably. It's only when you're actually in a really, really dark place that the idea of getting up in the morning and going into these dark places yourself is really overwhelming."

The PG-13 Effect

By Joshua Rich, Entertainment Weekly, 10 June 2005

"When one looks at the pattern of the best movies made in this country, many of them have been R-rated and, I would say, high art - Taxi Driver, The Godfather pictures, Apocalypse Now. Almost everything [that happens] to Linda Blair in The Exorcist would have to go with a PG-13."

Publishers Weekly, Vol. 252, Issue 25, 20 June 2005

Prince Of Darkness

By Robert Rorke, Publishers Weekly, Vol. 252, Issue 25, 20 June 2005

"The [Books of Blood] stories ended rather bleakly; with Weaveworld and Imajica, I found a [way] to counteract the darkness. I owe it to my readers to take them on a more complex journey. Fantastic fiction has always had a better chance of experimenting with visions of the world, even grim visions, than realistic fiction. I'm looking to put the terrifying and the transcendental nose-to-nose...
"The themes of [Imajica], of moving out of one world and into another, coincided with my own life. When I look back at the book, I thought I achieved what I wanted and [it] was helped by my life's circumstances."

A Tribute to George Romero

By [ ], Universal Pictures, June 2005, (note - video online at

"If I go to a horror movie I want to be horrified; I want to see some stuff to scare me and one of the things George [Romero] did was he put it right there in front of you. He actually drove me from the cinema thinking I was going to puke my guts out.
"One of the exciting things for me in Land Of The Dead is George going back to do what George does best."

Bram Stoker Awards

Acceptance speech, 28 June 2005, (note - video online at

"Much to my husband's disappointment, this book [Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War] was dedicated to my mother. I dedicate this to my husband, David."


By Staci Layne Wilson, Bram Stoker Awards, 28 June 2005, (i) (note - full video interview online at (ii), (note - edited video interview online at

"Well, I won for Abarat, the second of a quartet of books for young readers, which is very nice; it's very nice to come to a gathering which is about horror fiction and yet be able to win for children's fiction - it's very nice. I feel like kids understand the dark and sometimes we underestimate their need for the darkness...
"My husband and I have a 17 year old daughter and she has a very dark sensibility, she loves the stories I tell, and in fact Candy - who is the heroine of the Abarat Quartet - would be unthinkable without Nicole; if I hadn't known Nicole I don't think I would have had the courage to create a young girl as a heroine."

Rue Morgue, No 47, July 2005

Barker's Midnight Meat Train On Track

By Dave Alexander, Rue Morgue, No 47, July 2005

"[Midnight Meat Train] isn't special effects driven, but there are a lot of effects in the final reel - physical effects, not CGI effects. When they come up, they've got to be great, and Patrick [Tatopoulous] has a handle on all that...
"I'm seeing a lot of what I'll call 'soft horror' around and not a lot of 'hard horror' - certainly not from American [filmmakers]. There's a lot of PG-13s and ghost/apparition kind of stuff. I've always liked my horror harder and I thought this was a good time to say, 'Hey, we've got this body of stories, let's bring a different sensibility to horror audiences.' "

Masters Of Horror insert, Daily Variety, 13 July 2005

Masters Of Horror

By [ ], Masters Of Horror supplement, Daily Variety, 13 July 2005

"Corman is the ideal director for this [Masters of Horror] project because his Poe pics, particularly 'Masque of the Red Death', are incredilbly stylish and definitely cinematic. Together, we will scare the bejesus out of people."

Jump Tribe Panel

Panel appearance, San Diego Comic Con, 14 July 2005

Panel appearance, San Diego Comic Con,  14 July 2005 "Abarat is at present with Disney - I don't know whether it will stay with Disney, honestly. Disney's in flux a little bit, you may have heard they have changes of mouse and so it's hard to predict. All I know is I'm writing the third book, painting the set of paintings for the third book - there are thirty-two languages now, including Chinese which is great and I feel like a market has opened up in people's heads (I don't even want to say market - a hole, a Jump hole - has opened in people's heads.) People want fantasy more than ever before and I don't think they necessarily want the old kind of fantasy, either. I was having a conversation with someone who was involved in Lord of The Rings recently and (my husband's black) and we were saying there isn't a black person in all of The Lord of The Rings and you think about that. That's an entire world which is racially completely dominated by good-looking white folks, and the ugly white folks are dressed as Orcs; they've got mud splattered on them! Isn't that right? So for me the thing is diversity, honestly. In Abarat there are gay characters. Certainly there will be gay Jump Tribers - they will be opening leather bars in your community - 'Let's go see the Jump Tribe!' We've got to have fun with it! And there are people with laws who have regulations - part of what art is for, part of what this is for is to un-plug a piece of your brain and just let it fly!"

Albedo One, Issue 30, August 2005

Illustrating Mr. Barker

By Sophia Drenth, Albedo One, Issue 30, August 2005

"For me personally, making invented worlds, making stories which concern themselves with my fears, are ways to keep - I don't know if I'd use madness - but I would certainly say disturbance at bay. I have escaped into dream worlds all my life, even as a small child. My mother says I had these secret worlds that I would tell everybody about, you know relatives, people who would come to the house. If they asked me, I would be able to describe these secret worlds that I went to and the friends that I met there. And this was a great source of amusement to my relatives.
"I'm blessed to be given the opportunity to create imagined worlds and to pass them on to other people in often troubled lives. We are going back to the idea of the soldier carrying the copy of The Thief of Always in his backpack. There is something very moving, very eloquent about that idea. That image of somebody carrying a story in his backpack. We all carry stories in our backpack, literally or metaphorically. They comfort us. Very often, they're the earliest stories that we were told."

The Destiny Of Clive Barker

By [ ], Playthings, Volume 103, Issue 8, 1 August 2005 (note - full text online at

Playthings, Volume 103, Issue 8, 1 August 2005

[re the Jump Tribe] "They jump through holes, they jump through dimensions... By writing stories about the good, the bad and the ugly, we begin to create sub tribes. Wacky and weird can be loving and likable. That's one of the reasons I love playing with the Jump Tribe stories. I over think things - it's about the joy of the creation.
"I thoroughly enjoy writing for a younger audience, when I look at these canvases, there are 240 of these guys. The best illustrations are the ones that go on in your head - to me that's the best thing about this kind of storytelling. It's a place to take refuge from a world."

Rummaging Through The Toybox: Plushes, Plagues and Plaudits

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 11 August 2005 (note: full text here)

"I think... the story is more satisfying in the second book [of Abarat] than the first one and I think that there's more of a sense that OK, this really is what that map promises to be and, you know, with the first book there were a lot of technical challenges which simply came with 'Well, how the heck do you write a relatively modestly scaled first book that introduces somebody to a world, gives them something of an adventure, introduces us to a bunch of characters but has to get out again in roughly five hundred pages with illustration' and it was a technical challenge which the book only partially, I think, acheived. And I think it was an act of faith on readers' parts - for which I am immensely thankful - that people went back and looked at the second book, found that it did carry through thematically and narratively from the first and that a lot of the questions that they had about the first one were directly addressed in the second book, so that there was a sense that, 'OK he does realise that he left us hanging there, he's not just some dumb bastard who just asked all these questions and then didn't answer them!' You know it was a hard one for me, it was a hard one when I put down the text of number one I thought, 'Shit - this leaves so many questions unanswered, so many,' and part of my problem with the first version of the second book - the one I threw away - was that it didn't answer enough questions - you know? It needed to be thrown away and started again and I needed to play more honestly out to my audience and give them the pleasure of wrapping up some storylines - of course beginning some new ones - but wrapping up some that were fairly sizeable, I mean big storylines coming to an end."

Clive Barker Plans To Kill Pinhead

By Jim Slotek, Toronto Sun, 25 August 2005 (note - full text online at

"Right now, I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by two parrots and two dogs, my papers and books and my handwritten draft of The Scarlet Gospels, and nothing could make me happier than being in my imaginative space...
"I'm not hiding anything; I decided I was going to say farewell to Pinhead, and I wanted to do it in a big way. I'd intended at first to make a novella that would be attached to a collection of short stories. But it just grew like topsy, and now it's 150,000 words and we're still going...
"I decided to set these two characters [Pinhead and Harry D'Amour] versus one another and make a Dante-esque descent into Hell."

Rue Morgue Festival Of Fear - Intimate & Interactive Panel

Panel appearance, interviewed by Jovanka Vuckovic, 28 August 2005

[Re: Abarat 2] "I said to them, 'Look, I've destroyed the book, you can't have it, it's not there, it's wretched,' and I started again and it took a year, which is why there was such a big gap between books one and two. I began again - and here's the interesting thing: I used exactly the same paintings as source material, with the exception of about twenty which I created after I'd written the book, and even though I was using the same paintings, the stories have absolutely nothing in common which is, I think, interesting about how wrong my imagination had been..."

Barker Talks Gospels, Souls And The Future

By Ryan Rotten, The Horror Channel, 29 August 2005, reporting the Rue Morgue Intimate & Interactive Panel (note - full text online at

"I think [Tortured Souls] will be made, but not as quickly as I thought it was going to be because I was going to direct it and I decided to put the books first. And right now I'm too excited about Abarat 3, actually I'm excited about this order of publication now... Scarlet Gospels, Abarat 3, Book of the Art 3, Abarat 4, and I think that's the next four years or five years of my life."

Festival of Fear Grips Toronto

By Christopher Heard, The Gate, 29 August 2005 (note - full text online at

"I actually do get a lot out of these events, especially this Rue Morgue event. I am a huge fan of Rue Morgue and their commitment to horror as a legitimate cultural force to be had fun with but also to be respected for what place in popular culture it holds. So to answer your question I use this kind of weekend to gauge the pulse, the temperature if you will, of where the mindset of the reader, the audience is at this given moment."

Stern, No.38, 15 September 2005

Das Böse Ist Traurig, Nicht Sexy

With Cornelia Funke, by Christine Kruttschnitt, Stern, No.38, 15 September 2005 (note - translated from the German, interview took place 27 January 2005)

"I believe that understanding is the only defence against the wicked. There was this famous experiment, where students were allowed to punish their fellow students with electrical shocks - which they did readily. If man is to be overwhelmed so rapidly by a feeling of power and superiority, to understand must we not say there: 'Hold on, what's actually happening here?' Cornelia, now I'm betraying to you a confessional belief: understanding will always lead us to goodness...
"I believe that, despite all the bad in the world, one can recognize innumerable indications of a beneficent God at work. The proof for it, that something marvellous is active in the world, is in nature. Now I don't want to sound like a sentimental nincompoop, but just think nevertheless of the beauty and variety of blooming flowers or of the form of clouds..."

New York Post, 24 September 2005

What Scares Clive

By Chris Erikson, New York Post, 24 September 2005

[Re Audition by Takashi Miike] "The last 20 minutes of this movie are the most intense last 20 minutes of any that I know. I have seen grown men hide behind my sofa while watching it. It's hard to get too far into describing it without giving away some of its secrets, but I pretty much guarantee it will have particularly the male audience just squirming in their seats. I've seen it two or three times and even though I know what's coming I still squirm. It's something that bypasses any intellectual grasp, and it is just terrifying."

Fangoria, No.247, October 2005

Visions In Paint And Celluloid

By Carnell, Fangoria, No.247, October 2005

"People look at me and don't think first, second, or even third: 'painter'. They think 'writer', 'filmmaker', 'maker of action figures' maybe, but not 'painter'. My hope is that the book [Visions of Heaven And Hell] is going to make people say, 'Wow, I didn't know he did that...'
"It's for people who want to see what a Clive Barker painting looks like more close-up than they've ever been able to before. I believe it will reward the person who wants to do what I very often want to in galleries, but don't often feel like I can, which is stay with the picture, not be moved along by the general rhythm of the exhibit. Sometimes, what a picture has to show you isn't immediately apparent. That's why it'll be fun for people to have a book they can go back to and examine and say, 'Wow, look at that little guy in the corner. I've never seen him before.' "

Appearance: Reading, Q&A

(i) Tattered Cover Bookshop, Denver, 20 October 2005, (ii) podcast available online at as "Clive Barker Podcasts from Visions of Heaven and Hell")

[re reaction to recent Hellraiser title] "That's a Hellraiser movie, isn't it? I didn't see it, so that's an easy [question], that's an easy one. There's only so much masochism you can take in a week, and I certainly wasn't going to visit that upon myself!"

Clive Alive!

By Debra A. Myers, Denver Westword, 20 October 2005 (note - full text online at

"When I said goodbye to the persona that wrote the really hard horror of my early thirties, I thought that person had actually disappeared; I was wrong. I have discovered, coming back and doing The Scarlet Gospels, that my taste for very extreme scares and very extreme grossouts absolutely has not disappeared. It's intact; it had just gone into hiding for a while. It's sort of fun right now, because I'm doing paintings for Abarat 3, I'm doing paintings for the erotic exhibition in L.A., and I'm writing horror during the day. So all three portions of my instincts - the horrific, the sexual, the fantastic - are being satisfied. I probably work a twelve to thirteen hour day, and I get to do a little of all three things. So fuck therapy: pick up a paintbrush!"

Colorado Springs Independent, 27 October - 2 November 2005

Raising Hell

By Kara Luger, Colorado Springs Independent, 27 October - 2 November 2005 (note - full text online at

"I go to my canvas 50 percent of the time not having a clue what I'm going to do, and 50 percent of the time having a half a clue, but never having anything finished or completed in my head. The idea of having preparatory sketches, the 19th-century way of making a painting, with models and stuff ... it would not work for me.
"Blake again says that nature is the enemy of art, which I take to mean strict realism is almost a repressor of the imagination. And given the fact that he says imagination is the divine instinct, you don't want to be repressing that. I feel I have to trust my imagination. I don't know where I'm going, but that's kind of fun."


By Kevin and Bean, KROQ, 28 October 2005

"I try to give audiences the fiercest, most original visions I can. For the last few years I've been painting huge oil paintings, 23 feet long. Do you know the movie tagline 'When there's no room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth?' It's the same thing with this. There was no room left in my house for the paintings."

DGA Monthly, Vol 1.3 #1, January 2006

DGA: Special Projects Event - Masters Of Horror

Moderated by Clive Barker, (i) Directors Guild Of America, 9 November 2005, (ii) Reported in DGA Monthly, Vol 1.3 #1, January 2006 (note - full text online at

"Sometimes the real subtext is stuff you don't even know you're putting into the movie because it's buried so deep inside you... There's stuff I look back on now and realize, 'that's what that was all about!' This is a genre that has allowed two levels of reality to coexist on the screen. One is reality as lived, and the other is something that bubbles up from archetypes and the collective unconscious. One of the reasons I think this genre will never go away is because of the appetite for a confrontation with that other thing that waits in the subconscious."

Heaven, Hell And The Dreaming Space Between

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 5 December 2005 (note: full text here)

I realised, well this isn't fair - I've put a bunch of Abarat work into the book [Visions of Heaven and Hell] and I'm definitely, you know, tying this to the book, in the sense that the exhibition is entitled with the addition of 'And Then Some' so, if I've got Abarat pictures in the book then I should have Abarat pictures on the wall. And they should be for sale. I chose pictures that I really, really like, even though, in some cases, I don't know exactly their narrative function yet, like The Fourth Engine, I know enough to know that it's the Fourth Engine - I know enough to know that there are three preceeding engines - and I kind of like the idea that somebody is owning a picture, that The Fourth Engine is going to hang on somebody's wall - presuming it sells, if it does sell, if it's on somebody's wall - they are living with something which is going to have massive significance in the fourth Book of the Abarat." The Advocate, 6 December 2005

Scary As Hell

By Michael Rowe, The Advocate, 6 December 2005

"The paintings, much more so than the writing, are statements of how I feel at a given time. Writing obligates you to get up on Monday morning and go to a place in the narrative where you left off Sunday night, and it may not be what you're feeling.
"I hope that this [Visions of Heaven and Hell] is a book of pleasures and perversities side by side. There are pictures that are there to entertain and others that were painted on some very dark days that declared exactly how I felt at that moment."

Some Visions, Some Heaven And Some Hell

By Thomas Hemmerich, That's Clive!, 15 December 2005 (note - full text online at

"I believe in some creation, a creator or some order in the universe that is beyond our human present or human knowledge. I believe the imagination is a gift from that divinity. And if we use it we will eventually discover the nature of this divinity... Do I believe in the heavenly God, in a place where the good go, with wings and harps? No. But I do believe that the wind of our lives continues after death and that our consciousness continues after death. They go on to new adventures - what those new adventures are I don't know. In fact in some real wage my books are an attempt to answer that question."

Angel And Demon At Either Hand

By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times, 22 December 2005 (note - full text online at

"There are people who will come after me for these paintings, I'm sure, and will slash me every which way they know, and I will be back at work that night in my studio, making more pictures...
"These are my beasts, and it's hard to imagine being frightened by the beast, because the beast is part of me."

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