Tag Archives: Clive Barker

Before – Paul Kane (Kendall Review)

Part horror story, part thrilling road adventure, part historical drama, Before is a novel like no other. Described as “the dark fantasy version of Cloud Atlas,” Kane’s Before is as wide in scope as it is in imagination as it tackles the greatest questions haunting mankind-Who are we? Why are we here? And where are we going?

In 1970s Germany, a mental patient at the end of his life suddenly speaks for the first time in years. A year later in Vietnam, a mission to rescue a group of American POWs becomes a military disaster.

In present day England, the birthday of college lecturer Alex Webber sends his life spiralling out of control as a series of disturbing hallucinations lead him to the office of Dr. Ellen Hayward. And things will never be the same again for either of them. Hunted by an immortal being known only as The Infinity, their capture could mean the end of humanity itself…

One of the first things I read about Before was Paul Kane himself calling his latest novel his The Great And Secret Show. Now that’s some claim! Clive Barker is one of my favourite authors, with The Great and Secret Show being a true epic within his bibliography. This not only shows Kane’s confidence in his new 491 page tome but it also sets a level of expectation for any prospective reader.

Before is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure story with horror/supernatural elements. Although not as eloquent as Barker, Kane’s prose is incredibly effective . I particularly enjoyed the Cambodian Village chapters, full of believable characters and well written action set pieces. It was also here that I noticed my first real nod to Barker,  a sequence of events made me think of the attic at 55 Ludovico Place. (I won’t be more specific as I hate to post spoilers, but once you read it I’m sure you’ll agree.)

Alex Webber is a believable lead and plays off well against Ellen his psychiatrist. I did find the love triangle a tad melodramatic with too much attention paid to Beverley, Alex’s ex-wife. My main issue with Before is the criminal underuse of The Infinity, a fantastic creation. I loved it anytime he was on the page, which wasn’t anywhere near enough sadly. I thoroughly enjoyed his dialogue and the way he interacted with his minions. To counter that though, Kane really shone  with Lucas Peck, a nasty piece of work that has a unique talent.  Peck is The Infinity’s sadistic sidekick, and with his skills, I’m not sure if there isn’t a touch of the Cenobite about him. And don’t get me started on what he does with some flowers!

Paul Kane can certainly tell a story! To be able to keep the reader engaged across multiple settings, eras and genre can only be classed as a triumph. Before mixes action adventure, horror and the supernatural skillfully.  I burned through nigh on 500 pages in only a few days. Before may not have been as epic a story as I was expecting, but it was a fast paced enjoyable read that kept me hooked till its thrilling conclusion.

Star Rating (out of 5): 4****

 

 

KendallReviews chronological Stephen King read through.

I was 2 when Stephen King’s debut novel, Carrie, was released in 1974. King has had a book published pretty much every year since with his latest Sleeping Beauties out 26th September. I’m a horror fan, I run a blog dedicated to reviewing horror. So why is it I have only read 4 Stephen King books?

I recall the first King book I tried to read was IT back in 1986, I was 14 or so.  I remember the book being a beast with over 1000 pages, it was also incredibly ‘wordy’ with pages of exposition. It felt to me at the time that King was saying in 5 pages what I felt could of been said in 1. I gave up on IT after a few attempts to read it.

I wanted my horror more immediate, and found myself drawn to  the likes of James Herbert, Richard Laymon or Shaun Hutson. These authors satisfied my wish for quick punchy, gory tales that were a quick read. I wanted my horror fiction like the movies I was watching at the time. As the years passed, I have dipped back into the King Bibliography and read Carrie, Cycle of the Werewolf, The Tommyknockers & Skeleton Crew enjoying them all, but never venturing any further.

Of course, thinking about this now I’m hanging my head in shame. There is nothing wrong with the quick fix approach to horror fiction, Herbert in particular has a raft of quality novels under his name. I honestly cannot say why it’s taken me so long to finally decide to do this, it’s something I’ve toyed with for years.  My tastes in horror literature have broadened since I first picked IT up with incredibly eloquent writers like Clive Barker & Adam Nevill, among others, filling my bookshelves.

So here I am, in the incredibly fortunate position of being a first time reader for books long deemed classics. The chronological read through will begin once I have read and reviewed the upcoming Stephen/Owen King collaboration Sleeping Beauties.

There have been some superb blogs doing exactly the same as I am about to take on, and I wouldn’t dream of even trying to compare what I’m doing to them. This is my journey, I’ll post updates as and when, with reviews and thoughts as I read my way through 43 years of Stephen King.

Of course, I won’t be reading King exclusively, I’ll be interweaving his work with the books I review for the blog. I think it’s going to work well…I really can’t wait to start, I’m looking forward to when I can call myself a Constant Reader.

Clive Barker News! Hellraiser Anthology: Volume 2 Announced!

Clive Barker’s Seraphim Comics has announced Hellraiser: Anthology Volume Two, a sequel to the cult hit graphic novel released in April.

Hellraiser: Anthology Volume Two will be released in September, debuting at Son of Monsterpalooza in Burbank, CA and available a week after via www.realclivebarker.com, both as a hardcover graphic novel and a digital download.

The anthology will feature stories written by returning Hellraiser comic scribes Ben Meares, Christian Francis, Mark Alan Miller, David McKendry & Rebekah McKendry and Matt. Murray, as well as newcomers to the series Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler (The Dregs) and Ken Winkler. Artists include returning Hellraiser alumni Daniele Serra (who provides the cover along with a six-page story), Riley Schmitz, Jim Terry and Nick Percival, along with newcomers to the series Mark Torres (Zombies Vs. Robots: Undercity, Judge Dredd), Hector Casanova (The Lurkers, Screamland), Christian DiBari (Hoax Hunters, Magdalena), Simon Gough (GI Joe: Snake Eyes), Devmalya Pramanik (Nightbreed) and Nino Cammarata (The Black Cat).

Additionally, the graphic novel will feature a prose story detailing the origin of the fan-favorite Cenobite the Chatterer, written by the Chatterer himself, Nicholas Vince. The tale will feature pen and ink illustrations by Clive Barker.

“I’m beyond excited to finally share a story I drafted in December 2012,” Vince said in regards to his contribution to the anthology, titled Prayers of Desire. “It’s worth the wait, as it’s found it’s spiritual home beside wonderful illustrations by Clive and amongst superb storytellers.”

The anthology is edited and compiled by Ben Meares and designed and lettered by Christian Francis.

“I think, with the first anthology, we managed to put out a book that reminded people why Hellraiser works so well in comics,” Ben Meares, Editor-in-Chief of Seraphim Comics said. “It’s a wildly versatile mythos, and with this second volume we get to explore with even more variety the possibilities within the world that Clive has so graciously allowed us to play in. Volume Two will feature more stories, more pages and more creators than Volume One. I’ve been absolutely floored with the kinds of original, fresh and brilliant stories everyone involved has contributed.”

“I’m so thankful to everyone who helped make the first volume such a smashing success despite us trying our hardest to offend everyone, “ said Mark Alan Miller, Vice President of Clive Barker’s Seraphim, Inc. and contributing writer. “It’s so much fun to have the opportunity to do it all over again.”

Release Dates:

Son of Monsterpalooza, Pasadena, CA – September 15-17, 2017 (Hardcover only)

www.realclivebarker.com September 24, 2017 (Hardcover & Digital Download)

Seraphim Comics have such sights to show you with preview pages from their new Hellraiser: Anthology

KendallReviews has been lucky enough to gain early access to the new Hellraiser: Anthology from Clive Barkers own Seraphim Comics. I will be submitting a review shortly, but till then, here is a very brief history of the Hellraiser graphic novel.

1987 saw the release of Clive Barkers directorial debut Hellraiser. Based on Barkers own novella The Hellbound Heart (1986). The storyline was so rich and the movie successful enough to call for a multitude of sequels, but fans were left increasingly unsatisfied. We wanted to know more about the Cenobites, Leviathon and The Box. Movies with their limited budgets could not do the mythology justice. To remedy this, 1989 saw a series of graphic novels released by Epic Comics (who were a spin-off of Marvel Comics)

These were beautifully drawn and mostly incredibly well written stories that focused on tales of the Box and the various people who came into contact with it. Such was the demand for these stories that spin-off titles were created. Sadly, this all came to an end in 1994 after the release of Hellraiser: Spring Slaughter.

Fans would then have to wait 16 or so years for the surprise announcement that the graphic novel series was going to be rebooted, with the original series also getting a partial reprint as Hellraiser: Masterpieces. (12 issues in total)

The graphic novel reboot would be produced by Boom! Studios and written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette. First released was a 20 issue series entitled Hellraiser.

In 2012, Hellraiser: The Road Below saw a 4 issue run.

Followed by Hellraiser: The Dark Watch (12 issues 2013/14) and Bestiary (6 issues 2014/15)

 

Now in 2017, fans are rejoicing, there is a new Hellraiser Anthology being released. This time via Clive Barkers own company Seraphim Comics. Available initially at Monsterpalooza, Pasadena, CA – April 7th to 9th 2017 (Hardcover only) and then visit www.realclivebarker.com from April 14th 2017 (Hardcover & Digital Download).

The anthology will feature stories written by Clive Barker, Ben Meares, Mark Alan Miller, Blumhouse’s David and Rebekah McKendry and POW Entertainment’s Matt. Murray, with artwork by Daniele Serra (who also illustrated the cover), Riley Schmitz, Clive Barker, Sam Shearon, Nick Percival, Jim Terry, and Jimm O’Dell.

The anthology was edited by Ben Meares, with Matt. Murray assistant editing. “We had a very simple mission statement at the beginning of our journey with this comic,” Ben Meares, Editor-in-Chief of Seraphim Comics said. “We set out to create something with no limits and no censorship, that everyone involved, as both creatives and fans of the Hellraiser mythos, would be proud of.”

I’m delighted to be able to show you some preview pages from Hellraiser: Anthology.

As you can see the quality is outstanding! This feels like a labour of love, created by people who respect the mythology as much as the fans do. I’m sure this title will be a massive success, the tease of having Volume One on the cover suggests to me that future volumes are a possibility. So Hellraiser fans, you know what you have to do…

Thank you very much Clive Barker, Ben Meares and all at Seraphim Comics for letting me have an early look at Hellraiser: Anthology.

Review will be submitted shortly.

 

Clive Barker News! Hellraiser: Anthology gets a release date

Clive Barker’s graphic novel imprint, Seraphim Comics, have revealed the cover and release date for Hellraiser: Anthology.

Hellraiser: Anthology, a 90-page hardcover collection featuring 11 original Hellraiser tales, will debut at Monsterpalooza in Pasadena, CA on April 7th 2017, and will subsequently go on sale on April 14th through Clive Barker’s online store, www.realclivebarker.com, both as a hardcover graphic novel and a digital download.

The anthology will feature stories written by Clive Barker, Ben Meares, Mark Alan Miller, Blumhouse’s David and Rebekah McKendry and POW Entertainment’s Matt. Murray, with artwork by Daniele Serra (who also illustrated the cover), Riley Schmitz, Clive Barker, Sam Shearon, Nick Percival, Jim Terry, and Jimm O’Dell.

The anthology was edited by Ben Meares, with Matt. Murray assistant editing. “We had a very simple mission statement at the beginning of our journey with this comic,” Ben Meares, Editor-in-Chief of Seraphim Comics said. “We set out to create something with no limits and no censorship, that everyone involved, as both creatives and fans of the Hellraiser mythos, would be proud of.”

“I’ve been a part of a number of Hellraiser projects throughout my years with Clive,” Mark Miller, Vice President of Clive Barker’s Seraphim, Inc. and contributing writer added. “And this is easily the most personal project I’ve seen pass through these walls. It’s as lovingly curated as it is delightfully grotesque. I’m proud to have my name in its pages.”

Hellraiser: Anthology will be priced at $35, with copies signed by Clive Barker priced at $65, and the digital download version will be priced at $15.

Release Dates:

Monsterpalooza, Pasadena, CA – April 7th to 9th 2017 (Hardcover only)

www.realclivebarker.com from April 14th 2017 (Hardcover & Digital Download)