Sunday, May 10, 2009


(Hellraiser theme by Christopher Young... love it.)

The book was called Cabal. I got it for fifty cents at a yard sale. The author was
Clive Barker. You know that name surely. You may know Cabal too, under the name of Nightbreed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, a movie directed and written by Clive Barker and released in 1990. I read the book in 1989 and would not see the movie for another four years. This novella was my introduction into the clashing worlds of Cenobites and Nightbreed. In 1990 Epic Comics
produced an adaptation of the movie in four comics. This was successful enough for Epic Comics to continue the story line for twenty-five issues. (Cool beans.)

Hellraiser came first, released as a movie in 1987 and was based on the 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart.
I think most people are familar with this guy to the left.
Cenobite Pinhead. In 1989, Epic Comics began a line of Hellraiser themed comics with Barker serving as consultant. Probably five years or more would pass before I became interested in the Hellraiser series of books, movies and comics.

Cenobites and Nightbreed are not good or evil.
They are agents of order (Cenobite) or chaos (Nightbreed). They exist to repair damage to promote their perspective assignments. They do not concern themselves with the needs of humans as a general rule.

I suppose because I began with Cabal and its Nightbreed folk, that my loyalties and sympathies have settled there. I do get a kick out of Pinhead, who has more of a personality than most Cenobites. But the Nightbreed were hunted and hated. They were victims, and were not as strong like the Cenobites. Must be that mom thing... I would protect them. I found their city, Midian fascinating. I liked that the real monsters were the "normal" humans, not the often grotesque Nightbreed.

As you know, I'm into books and that is the direction I went with Clive. Once I read a book and like it, I have to follow that line. Here are two books of his that I thought were original and entertaining. They are part of a trilogy.
Unfortunately Clive has not given us the third yet. It has been so long that I wonder if he has not given up on the project. These three books are known as The Art Trilogy.

The Great and Secret Show was easy to slide into and carried me away. However,
Everville - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is more of a challenge to break into the swing of it. These do not have anything to do with Cenobites or Nightbreed. They deal with the battle over the dream sea, Quiddity.

Another of Barker's books that I find different and interesting is Weaveworld, a very unique book about an entire world that is woven into a very special carpet. It has some elements of horror, but is more of a fantasy.

I will leave you with this one thought to consider. Clive Barker is not an author that I recommend to students and other people's children. Mine have read these, but we talk about books. Many of the areas that Barker hits on have confusing themes, like
sadomasochism, homosexuality and perversities. Not issues that I feel I have a right to expose other people's children to, even if we were to talk about the issues... which I sure wouldn't try either. Yikes... what a good way to get one of those villager mobs with pitchforks and torches chasing me!

Do you have a favorite Barker film, book, comic or character? Not a fan at all?
For those of you who stop in to read, but are too shy to comment... here's lurking at you! hahahaha



  1. Love the "Night Breed" poster with Jay Leno standing to the left.

    I read "Imajica" and one other by Barker. I got through them, but was not greatly impressed. I remember thinking at the time that Peter Straub does books like these, but much better.

  2. dmarks-- I did not like Imagica at all, which is why I omitted it. His best in my opinon is The Great and Secret Show. But Cabal was good.


    He's better at making B grade horror movies than he is writing.

    So you never read the comics?

  3. This is the first I've heard of the comics!

  4. And, actually, the moon dude first reminded me of Mac Tonight when I saw him years ago.

  5. dmarks-- Now you got me going on Straub, who I think is ten times the writer that Barker will ever be. I just began to read "Black House" again. Each time I read a book of Straub's I see new things. I keep building a web of items to look for in other books of his... which lead to more and so on and so on.

  6. dmarks-- Mac Tonight! lol I have not seen that before. He sings? Is he Big Mac related?

    Now I'm thinking of French Landing and your post where you mentioned it... I'd still really like to see that island of snakes. Now if it was an island of spiders or bees... I'd be staying home hiding. Snakes do not frighten me an iota.

  7. Re Black House:

    Not sure if I sent this link before = the real French Landing.

    Here is the giant six-pack mentioned in Black House. In reality, it is not at Trempealeau, but downriver at La Crosse.

  8. From Mark Twain: "'You'll find scenery between here and St. Paul that can give the Hudson
    points. You'll have the Queen's Bluff--seven hundred feet high, and
    just as imposing a spectacle as you can find anywheres; and Trempeleau
    Island, which isn't like any other island in America, I believe, for it
    is a gigantic mountain, with precipitous sides, and is full of Indian
    traditions, and used to be full of rattlesnakes"

  9. dmarks-- Thanks! I'll ride the links... and what a great quote. I'm used to rattlesnakes. I once picked one up in my driveway when my kids were little. The children were moving too slowly and the snake was coiling fast. Grabbed him just behind his head and flung him into the neighboring field as hard as I could. That did scare me, though... I had to sit on the steps and have a good cry over it. The Bear patted me and told me not to worry, the snake would come back. She was obliviously four.

  10. dmarks-- What a wonderful photo of the giant sixpack. I used to have LaCross beer glasses that were mock stained glass. You can't even get that beer near here. How funny.

    Oh, and the other one... the mountain in the frozen winter. Wow. Thanks for this link!

    What a funny dialog between the old farts too.
    Why do people who ice fish take coolers anyway? Won't the ice keep drinks cool if you just set them on it?

    It is a mountain that just comes out of the sky and stands there. Yes? I still think I'd like to see it. Big grin.

  11. I've never read his stuff. Thanks for all the info. I might have to check it all out.

  12. Churlita-- The Nightbreed and Hellraisers stuff is gory and a bit skewed. My boys into the gory battle stuff. I try to partisipate in everything they do to help keep things in perspective. Though who knows if my perspective isn't skewed. haha