Bleeding Mickey from the Books Of Blood

Kids' stuff? Or the underbelly of subversive modern literature cunningly disguised by association with has-been superheroes and cartoon capers..?

"I like comics immensely. I've always collected them. Once, I thought I'd grown out of them and didn't need my Fantastic Fours or Green Lanterns and sold them all. About a year later, I felt this terrible absence in my life, like I'd lost a favourite dog, and started to re-collect them. I've done that twice now.
"Comics should be a popular medium, although I do enjoy the high art end of the comic market as well. The great thing about state of the art stuff is that it's available relatively cheaply and in large quantities.
"A comic strip is a series of moments of arrested time. A movie is a continuum, although on celluloid it is a series of moments of arrested time which we experience as a continuum. There are fundamental differences in the narrative. You can go back over the page you just read in a comic strip. Unless you're watching on video, you can't go back over a film. The timeframe is dictated by the pace of the movie. You can pace yourself as you go through a comic book, just as you can a novel or a short story."

Straight For The Jugular (Part 2)

By Brigid Cherry, Fear, No 13, January 1990

"I think the two major narrative impulses which brought me to the way I write were comics and movies, no doubt about that. I do love sensation in narrative, I do love the hook and the twist and the sudden eruptions of tone. You can move from high comedy to low comedy to black violence within a panel in a comic, and the best comics do just that, and that's true of movies too."

To Hell and Back

By Dick Hansom, Speakeasy, No 102, September 1989

"If you ask Marcus McLaurin or Tom Daning they'll tell you that I do show more than simply a passing interest in the [Weaveworld and Nightbreed] books. I've been a fan of comics since my early teens, and except for 2 or 3 years where I decided I didn't want to read them... I call It the Dark Ages... I've enjoyed them ever since. I couldn't live without comics.
"I've been a long-time fan of the American comics, and now like many of the European comics, like Heavy Metal. I did not read the EC Comics, not in Liverpool, 501 was not exposed to them until much later. I enjoyed the super-hero stuff. The early Marvel stuff, some DC, although not as much...I do not say that because of this Marvel Age Interview, by the way. So I'm very enthusiastic, seeing my mythologies in comic book form. In both Hellraiser and Nightbreed I see it as an invitation to creators to redefine and reshape the pre-existing mythologies.
"There has been a wonderful breadth of responses from the creators. They've just added a new addendum, which will extend the mythology even more, allowing for a wider breadth of stories. I think it's very exciting to see my ideas and characters in new and fresh ways. Some of the stories are erotic, some are sociological, some have a political sense. It looks great, too, the artists are really in top form.
"You have to look at them [adaptations] as a different animal. Sometimes you'll be at a movie with some friends, and as you leave the theatre somebody says, 'it was nothing like the book'. Well of course, it's a movie. I think comics are the same in that respect. They are going to be different.
"It's nonsense to demand that an adaptation follows the original work too closely. The medium of comics makes different demands on the adapter. It is a whole other experience in the making and the reading. So try not to be one to say, 'you must adapt this story word for word'. It's really up to others to interpret the text from which it's adapted. It isn't as if the original book no longer exists. It's right there on the shelf, waiting for you. And maybe if a person who's unfamiliar with my work reads one of the comics, they'll be curious enough to pick up one of the novels. So nobody really comes out bad. The comic book creators bring visual creativity to it, and the readers get what they want."

The Clive Barker Interview

By Mike Lackey, Marvel Age, No 107, December 1991 (note - online at the Lost Souls site)

"I have very little input into the comics. As you may know, Marvel Comics, with whom I used to work, has long since discontinued their more experimental work in favour of endless, and to my mind, witless versions of X-Men and Spiderman. As to the issue of censorship, I would say this: that it is absolutely acceptable that a comic shop keep certain titles away from its younger customers -- there are, after all, a lot of very graphically sexual and violent comics being created -- but, as I said earlier when talking about film, there should be free access to this material by adults."

People Online Appearance

Transcript of on-line appearance, 30 July 1998 (online at

"I have a sentimental attachment, as I think most of us do, to some of the comic titles we read as children. The great Jack Kirby and Stan Lee period of when The Fantastic-Four, The Inhumans, The Silver Surfer and Galactus were appearing. In the sixties not the year but the number of the issues of The Fantastic Four. I guess somewhere between fifty-five and sixty five of The Fantastic Four are probably my all time sentimental favourites. What do I read now? I read a lot of stuff. I read Dark Horse comics, Vertigo, a few of the Marvel comics. I read anything by Neil Gaiman. I have a fairly eclectic taste. "


By [ ], Lost Souls, Issue 3, [March] 1996 (note : online at the Lost Souls site)

[re. illustrating own comic] "I have thought a lot about that. It, like a lot of other things in my life, is something of a trade off. How much time do I spend on that by comparison with the time I would spend painting a picture, writing a few paragraphs of a novel or a screenplay or whatever? One of the general rules is that I try to make something which is going to go to the largest audience that I can deliver to. Books and movies have a huge audience. Now because of the books of the paintings (Illustrators), Morpheus is going to be doing Books of the Painting because of the fact that gallery showings here (in L.A.) have been so well attended. The paintings are getting to a large number of people now. Comics remain a relatively small-scale endeavour in term of the number of people that read a comic. It would probably take about three months of my time to do a comic, which is the time it took to write 'Thief of Always'. Which do I think I should be doing; writing another book for kids or doing a comic? I would always choose the book for kids. That's just about trying to get my stories out to the largest number of people."


By [ ], Lost Souls, Issue 4, [July] 1996 (note : online at the Lost Souls site)

"I think of [the comics] as a benign godfather - I visit them at their christening and I send them presents every birthday. They run the artists past me and tell me how the storylines are going to go, and we meet every now and then.
"So while I don't have day-to-day hands on control, they always know that if they need me for a piece of mythology or something like that, I will be around. Generally speaking they've done good jobs. The comics have been well done and intelligently handled and I feel that the spirit of Clive Barker hasn't been significantly compromised in those things. Far from it. I mean, Jihad will blow your socks off. It is amazing. Beautiful artwork by Paul D. Johnson, beautiful writing by Dan Chichester. Really tremendous work."

Boundless Imajination

By WC Stroby, (i) Fangoria, No 109, January 1992 (ii) Horror Zone, No1, August 1992

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