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Thread: The Collectible Clive Barker

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Default The Collectible Clive Barker

    I wanted to start this thread because I think there are quite a few fans of Clive Barker here. I have been collecting Clive Barker books, etc., since 1987 or so; although to be fair I was buying books back then to read, not to display on a shelf in my bedroom. I do not have a massive or ultra-rare collection of Barker related items, but what I have I am happy with. I know there are some of you out there who have some fairly rare or unique items, and I wanted this to be the perfect place to share them.

    I'll start things off by posting items from my collection. I'll add to this thread periodically until I've covered most everything that I have. My hope is that others will chime in and post Clive Barker items as well. Anything and everything is welcome, there's no entry restrictions here!

    Why Clive Barker?

    I came to discover Clive Barker in the same way I'd imagine many others did as well: through Stephen King's famous blurb, "I have seen the future of horror fiction, and his name is Clive Barker." With an endorsement like that, I knew that I had to track this guy down and see what the hubbub was all about. Unfortunately that was easier said than done.

    In 1987 -- in the US at least -- Clive Barker was still unknown and it was virtually impossible to find anything written by him in the bookstores of the day. The Books of Blood collection had only just been published -- and only in mass market paperback at that -- so looking in the Barnes & Noble was fruitless. Thankfully, my saving grace was my local comic book shop where I spent so much of my childhood corrupting my mind. This was the same shop where I first laid eyes on a Donald M. Grant edition of Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger less than 2 years before. That holy grail was out of my price range at the time, I believe the shop keeper was asking a hefty $60 for the trade edition. To me, it may as well have cost eleventy-billion dollars; the difference between that and sixty being not that much when you were as broke as I was at fourteen.

    The shop keeper listened intently as I rambled on to him about this amazing new horror writer -- that I'd never read -- and how he needed to stock these books immediately! Perhaps it was the passion in my voice -- or the money in my wallet, what little of it there was -- that touched something in him and he agreed to "see what he could do."

    A few weeks later during one of my standard Wednesday reconnaissance trips, he called me over to the counter to show me something. When he pulled them out from behind the shelf, they were as beautiful as anything I'd ever seen. You can obviously see how twisted I was as an adolescent if I thought that these covers were "beautiful!"



    Needless to say, I scraped up whatever cash I could find -- I remember running through town checking all of the pay phones and vending machines for spare change -- to buy these beauties and I absolutely devoured them. It was the most incredible horror fiction I had ever read; at once shocking, repulsive, intriguing, and it scared me shitless -- I had to have more. I of course noticed the conspicuous "By The Author of" under the title, and so my next venture was to find a copy of The Damnation Game, but I'll save that story for another time.

    Let's start the collection thread!

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Default Clive Barker's The Books of Blood

    I'll start with the collection that made Clive Barker famous; the one that caused both Ramsey Campbell and Stephen King to sit up,
    take notice, and fawn over Barker in their blurbs. Ramsey Campbell -- being a fellow Liverpudlian -- even offered to pen the introduction for the Volume I-III omnibus edition.

    The Books of Blood have a long, sordid publishing history, but the starting point was the publication of the first three volumes in mass-market paperback by Sphere in 1984.





    These paperbacks touched off a firestorm of controversy and catapulted Barker from a relatively obscure playwright with The Dog Company to an international horror icon.


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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Incidentally, Clive Barker was not happy with the cover art that Sphere chose for the volumes and for the subsequent reprint, he convinced them to replace the original covers with original art that Clive painted specifically for the books.

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    The next three volumes in the collection followed quickly after publication of the first three and the reception that they received in the horror fiction community.




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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    A good number of omnibus collections followed, gathering volumes I-III together under a single cover. In the US, Scream Press put out one of the better looking ones in my opinion. They released it in 1985 in two editions: a trade edition, and a signed/limited edition. They share the same blood red dustjacket.

    Here is the trade edition:



    I got Clive to personalize this to me at Forbidden Planet in New York City in the late 1980's. I was the only person who had this book for him to sign and he seemed slightly impressed -- or frightened, I couldn't really tell.



    Here are the trade and the S/L next to each other. The S/L came in a fairly nice leatherette slipcover.



    The limitation page of the S/L:



    The Scream Press editions had some outstanding illustrations by two of the greatest photo-illustrators in the business: J.K. Potter & Harry O. Morris.


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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Volumes IV-VI were not initially released as mass-market paperbacks in the U.S. The success of the books in the UK, and the buzz around Clive provided Poseidon Press the opportunity to release the remaining books as hardcovers -- thereby increasing their profit -- and renaming them according to one of the stories contained within.

    Signed First Edition/First Printings of The Inhuman Condition and In The Flesh



    The Sixth volume was actually combined with an original novella called Cabal and marketed as a full-fledged hardcover novel. I'll get to that one a little later.

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Scream Press followed up their successful omnibus edition of Books of Blood by releasing three signed/limited editions of Volumes IV-VI. These were released over the course of a few years and are fairly rare. They are beautiful editions, bound in leather with a matching slipcase, custom endpapers, hand-drawn art from Barker on the covers and illustrations in each volume by Harry O. Morris.

    Here are the three of them together in their slipcases:



    This is the cover and limitation page for Volume IV:



    Here is the cover and limitation page for Volume V:



    Here is the cover and limitation page for Volume VI:



    Here are a sample of the illustrations included in these volumes:


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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    It had always been one of Clive Barker's wishes that the entire Books of Blood collection be published as a single edition containing all six volumes. Because of rights issues, other concerns, and whatnot, this dream was not realized until Peter Atkins -- perhaps best known as the writer of most of the Hellraiser series of films -- got together with Stealth Press in 2001 and issued a complete Books of Blood collection in three states: A Black signed/limited edition, a white trade edition, and a red lettered edition (which I sadly do not have). Finally the entire series was under one cover.

    The Stealth Press Complete Books of Blood signed/limited edition:




    I think I'll stop here for now. But I'll pick it up again with more Clive Barker collectibles.

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    Citizen of Gilead swintek will become famous soon enough swintek will become famous soon enough swintek's Avatar

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    VERY nicely done, Ric! Thanks so much for all the info and commentary. I love me some Barker. I remember when the signed & numbered Weidenfeld & Nicolson sets (with the Barker covers) came out, I wanted those more than anything. Took me over a decade to find (and afford!) a nice complete set, but they remain in a place of high honor in my library. I think in the history of horror collecting- those sets have to be up there among the greats. I don't think there's a set of books that just downright look prettier sitting on the shelf!

    Keep 'em coming! What else you got?

    Ron

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    Great books, great background stories. Keep 'em coming! I really need to check some of Barker's books out (I have never read his work).

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    <--------------------------------------Goes to dig up Clive Barker stuff. It may take awhile.

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    I got an e-mail today from Earthling Publications requesting half payment for a book I ordered a long time ago. After years of waiting (I think I ordered in 2006) the lettered edition of THE HELLBOUND HEART: 20th Anniversary Edition is at the binder. I have forgotten the details but I think the edition is limited to 15 copies and the cost was $650. I'm looking forward to getting this one. I hope it is as nice as the lettered edition of SONG OF KALI by Simmons.

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Bob,

    I have the Hellbound Heart 20th edition signed/limited. I'm surprised that it's taken so long to publish the lettered editions. Please post here when you get it, I'd love to see it!

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    Citizen of Gilead harrison ryan is a jewel in the rough harrison ryan is a jewel in the rough harrison ryan is a jewel in the rough harrison ryan's Avatar

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    I'm loving this thread already. I've read some Clive Barker, but not enough. Copies of those paperbacks are calling out to me...

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Quote Originally Posted by swintek View Post
    VERY nicely done, Ric! Thanks so much for all the info and commentary. I love me some Barker. I remember when the signed & numbered Weidenfeld & Nicolson sets (with the Barker covers) came out, I wanted those more than anything. Took me over a decade to find (and afford!) a nice complete set, but they remain in a place of high honor in my library. I think in the history of horror collecting- those sets have to be up there among the greats. I don't think there's a set of books that just downright look prettier sitting on the shelf!
    I totally agree. I had a full set of s/l Weidenfeld Books of Blood and I sold them in a moment of weakness when someone offered me a princely sum for them. There are certainly times when I wish I had them back. Perhaps someday!

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Ok, to continue...

    One more Books of Blood related item before I move on to other things.

    This quirky little item was released in 1993. After the Books of Blood had become popular in the US. It is called Box of Blood and is a short story (The Book of Blood) told on the back of trading cards.



    Each card had a portion of the story on the back and artwork related to the story on the front. The first 1000 copies of the box came with a special card signed by Clive Barker and the artist Tristan Schane.


    There are 34 cards total in the box.

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    That's unique! I've never even heard of that one before!

    John

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    Very nice!

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Default Damnation Game

    Clive Barker's success with the Books of Blood led to him being offered a publishing deal for his first novel. Titled The Damnation Game, it is a Faustian tale without "The Devil" but with all of the consequences and plenty of horror.

    The first edition was published in the U.K. in 1985 by Weidenfeld and Nicholson. A small run of 3000 copies were printed because no one was quite sure how it would sell.



    The first print run sold out in less than a month.

    The U.S. edition would not be printed until 1987 by Ace/Putnam



    A signed/limited edition was published by
    Weidenfeld and Nicholson in 1985 as well. It's a beautiful book, slipcased, bound in cotton with gilt lettering on the spine and the top of the page block has been stained blood red.






    This book is one of my true pride and joys. In addition to the limitation, it was also inscribed to Clive's friend and fellow artist Derek Boshier. I purchased it directly from Derek quite a few years ago. It is one of the earliest Barker signatures on a copy of The Damnation Game that I've ever seen.




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    Default Weaveworld

    The runaway success of The Damnation Game really opened the flood gates for Clive, and it was off to the races from there. His next novel can truly be called an "epic." Moving away from the pure horror genre and into what Clive himself likes to term "The Fantastique," Weaveworld is a fantastical voyage into another reality. A truly amazing piece of imaginative fiction and it is commonly offered up as one of the fans' favorite books.

    I don't usually collect proofs but what I love about the one for Weaveworld is that it is effectively Clive's hand-corrected manuscript in soft bound. All through the book you can see Clive's hand written notes littered throughout the pages. It is an interesting look into the development of the book.

    US Proof:





    The first U.S. Edition:



    I had it signed by Clive at a book signing in New York a few years later:



    Weaveworld is also unique amongst Clive's books in that it is currently the only novel to have a signed/limited edition published in both the UK and the U.S. by different publishers.

    The U.S.edition came first, published in 1987 by Poseidon Press:




    The UK signed and limited edition followed shortly thereafter and is far and away the nicer publication. A truly beautiful book: slipcased, quarter-bound in leather with full page gilting, custom end papers, and is illustrated throughout by Clive Barker and Tim White.

    It was published in 1987 by Harper/Collins.






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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Default Cabal

    If you remember back a few posts, I mentioned that volume VI of the Books of Blood wasn't published in the U.S. at the same time as IV and V, but rather held back until later.

    Clive wrote a short novel entitled Cabal and in order to flesh out the book a little, Poseidon Press decided to couple the short novel with the remaining stories from Volume VI and publish it as simply Cabal. The novel, of course, was the inspiration for the comic series and the movie Nightbreed.

    Cabal was solely a U.S. publication at first, not appearing in the UK until a year later. The first edition was published by Poseidon in 1988:



    Poseidon also published a signed and limited edition as well. Slipcased and bound in red leather with a gilted Barker sketch set into the cover, it was a striking book.




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    Nice Barker items. I've never heard of the Box Of Blood either. I'm going to dig out something I have stored away and post pictures tonight (hopefully). It's something I don't think too many have seen or know about.

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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Default The Great and Secret Show

    Now we arrive at my single favorite Clive Barker book, The Great and Secret Show. It is very difficult to accurately describe this "First Book of the Art" in general terms. It is a massive story, imaginative and fantastical; not horror, not fantasy, not alternate reality but rather some incredible amalgamation of the three.

    There was a lot of publicity behind this book and it was released simultaneously in the U.S. and the UK. Clive Barker signed a lucrative deal with Harper & Row for this novel and four additional novels after this. That contract would cause some consternation many years later.

    The first editions of both the U.S. and UK books:



    I attended the book signing for this at a Barnes & Noble in New York City. Of course, I brought the UK edition for him to sign as well!



    The signed and limited edition of The Great and Secret Show is quite the presentation. Traycased and lined in purple velvet, the book itself almost looks like scripture. It is bound in leather with foil stamped titles and full gilted pages. The endpapers are illustrated by Barker and the book just has a solid, wonderful feel to it.






    A story this rich with vivid description called out for a graphic adaptation. IDW published a 12-part comic adaptation of The Great and Secret Show in 2006. With the incredibly talented Gabriel Rodriguez providing the art, Chris Ryall wrote a very faithful adaptation and managed to tell an incredibly complex story eloquently in the graphic format.


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    Banned Ric is an unknown quantity at this point

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosdetweiller View Post
    Nice Barker items. I've never heard of the Box Of Blood either. I'm going to dig out something I have stored away and post pictures tonight (hopefully). It's something I don't think too many have seen or know about.
    Awesome! I'm totally looking forward to it! Thanks Bob.

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    Default The Hellbound Heart / Hellraiser

    Now we've come to what perhaps is Clive Barker's most famous creation: Hellraiser.

    The story behind Hellraiser began as a novella written for the Night Visions anthology series. Titled The Hellbound Heart, the story was published in Night Visions 3, edited by George R. R. Martin and containing stories by Lisa Tuttle and Clive's friend and townsmate Ramsey Campbell.

    The limited edition of Night Visions 3:




    20 years later, Earthling publications would revisit the novella by publishing The Hellbound Heart in a limited edition. Sadly, I missed out on the lettered edition, but I am on the lookout for one!

    Here is the signed and limited edition:




    Clive had optioned five stories from the Books of Blood earlier in his career because he thought the idea of having movies made from his stories was interesting and exciting. Well after two complete disasters in Rawhead Rex and Transmutations, Clive swore that the next time he would make the movie himself. He did exactly that with Hellraiser and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Apart from the film franchise, Hellraiser also spawned an incredibly successful comic book series. It ran for quite some time and was one of the top sellers for Epic comics in 1992 and 1993. Graphitti designs released gorgeous hardcover limited editions of the collected issues in 1993:




    Checker publishing group also released a "collected best" series of graphic novels containing selected stories from the Hellraiser run. I had Clive sign all 3 of them at the San Diego Comic Con a few years ago:



    And of course, how can you talk about Hellraiser without talking about the ubiquitous Lament Configuration Box that was such an iconic image in the films. Here is a custom replica I acquired directly from the same company that did the production design for Hellraiser IV: Bloodline.



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