Clive on The Painter, the Creature and the Father of Lies

The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies

"I know I've written to you about this but I don't think we've spoken about it, but the cover to your other book is gorgeous! The Painter... I mean, I like the painting but the way it functions as a cover..!
"It is so much a painting about the imagination - it is a black and white painting, essentially, with an eruption of colour where the mind is. All those primary colours, blazing. And also it addresses The Painter and The Creature, I don't know about the Father of Lies part but two out of three is impressive.
"When I saw it, it was like God, Jeez, that's it. The interesting thing about it is that you'll see there are a lot of half-finished grey or black lines all over it. That is because there is a large amount of impasto underneath; it is a canvas that is incredibly heavy because it covers, I want to say there are perhaps two, maybe even three abandoned paintings underneath it.
"The lie is that this surface is fake. If you look at the reproduction you'll see that what I did was I painted the whole canvas white, I then - once it was dry - I took a blue/black brush and I drew it over the canvas, just picking up the ridges of the impasto.
"I think the book looks amazing, it's my favourite cover of any book: I mean, it works as a painting, but as a cover I just think it's gorgeous... When somebody goes and looks at that book who is somewhat involved in that book like myself, and finds themselves astonished, and humbled by the breadth of the knowledge and the depth of the knowledge, the love that is in the book, it's wonderful."

The Bleed Between The Apprentice And The Master

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 28 February and 7 March 2009 (note - full text here)

"The works collected here by Phil and Sarah, who have been cataloguing and analyzing my work for several years now, act as a bittersweet memory of the man I once was, and will never be again.
"It would be easy to mourn that loss. But, like breadcrumbs dropped unknowingly on the forest floor, these pieces bear testament to my journey: through my own life, tracing the roads taken by many of my friends and in those remoter figures whose writing and paintings have inspired me. Whether hero or friend, they have all contributed to the voices and visions in my head, the ones that take me to my desk each morning with undimmed passion to dream with my eyes open."


Foreword by Clive to The Painter, The Creature, And The Father Of Lies, February 2011

...other comments

Phil and Sarah Stokes: "We are delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies: Essays by Clive Barker.
"Over the last 25 years, aside from his novels and screenplays, Clive has produced numerous other written pieces: introductions to both his own work and the works of others, newspaper and magazine articles, tributes and appreciations and other contributions to books. We've tracked these down over the years and have now edited them all together into a comprehensive collection of Clive's non-fiction work.
"And, of course, it wouldn't be us if we hadn't also made sure that we'd had a good old rummage through Clive's own archive and unearthed a couple of added extras...
"The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies will be published by Paul Miller at Earthling Publications either late this year or early in 2008. More details and information on how to order copies just as soon as we have them..."

Announcing The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, Revelations at, 26 May 2007

Hank Wagner : "One can guess how Barker's introduction will unfurl. No doubt it will be tinged by a bit of nostalgia, a (deserved) sense of achievement, and a sense of oddness at looking back at body of work - one created when he was, in effect, a different person. Based on the varied and consistently engaging pieces featured in this new collection, it's also a good bet that it will be thought-provoking, insightful, and well worth reading, especially for Barker fans.
"The Painter includes all the introductions, forewords, afterwords, essays and articles Barker has written over the last twenty five years, both for his own works and for those of others. As such, it's an extremely interesting and valuable relic, a summation of his career thus far, and of the state of the horror / dark fantasy genre over the past quarter-century.
"Barker's opinion is always informed, always entertaining. His intelligence and wit is evident in each piece, as is his hard-earned insight. By opening this tome, you're putting yourself in the hands of a gifted polymorph, unafraid to air his views and happy to teach."

Burn This Book

By Hank Wagner, Dead Reckonings, No 3, Spring 2008

Peter Tennant : "Another highlight for me is The Painter, The Creature, and the Father of Lies, a compendium of Clive Barker's non-fiction from the past twenty five years, introductions he's written for his own books and those of others. I should be finishing off my reading for the next issue of Black Static, but when this beauty turned up in the mail I couldn't resist dipping in, and if the remainder is as good as the first forty pages then it's going to be one of the non-fiction greats of 2011."

Books Received - An Update

By Peter Tennant, Black Static, 11 March 2011 (note - full text at

Dave Simms : "Clive Barker has been many things to many people over the past quarter century (and more), far more than the author of horror which put him on the literary map. This tome will educate and entertain many who believe they know the extent of the writer's talents. From horror to fantasy to children's stories to paintings and comics, Barker has truly lived in the world of the 'fantastique;' how Phil and Sarah Stokes compiled this massive collection is baffling. The entries here range from short introductions to limited editions to elaborate essays for a multitude of publications. A nice bonus are the sketches Barker includes before each section. They're nice reminders the reader is dealing with someone who is skilled in just about every Art and would be at home behind the veil found in his created realities...
"He states in the introduction to an analysis of his work that like most writers he prays for three things: a story to tell, the audience to read it, and critics who will delve beneath the surface to find what makes the stories something more (extreme paraphrasing here). Maybe that is because Clive Barker IS his art, his writing, and his films, and not just a man exploring his ideas. He himself is more than a book of blood - he's the crimson painting, film maker, and bleeding mind which has shed his visions over his minions over the years and stained them with the need to find their own imagination.
"A tough book to explain but incredibly easy to enjoy. Take your time and savor this, even if not a fan of the man's work. There's a good chance that will change by the time it is finished."

The Painter, The Creature, The Father of Lies - A Collection

By Dave Simms, Horror World, 27 March 2011 (note - full text at

Peter Coleborn : "At FantasyCon 2008 Clive Barker gave an off-the-cuff speech about the fantasy genre - although he in fact condemned the use of 'genre' - saying that we (fantasy writers and readers) must think bigger than that. When reading these essays I can hear his conviction - his passion. If you haven't had the opportunity to hear his words in person, this collection gives everyone the great opportunity to learn a little about Clive Barker, about what makes his blood flow, his lungs inflate, his brain fizz."

The Painter, The Creature, and The Father of Lies by Clive Barker. Book review

By Peter Coleborn, The British Fantasy Society, 10 April 2011 (note - full text at

Kestrell : "For the dedicated Barker fan like myself, the themes of many of these writings will be familiar: the preoccupation with the forbidden and the transgressive, the embodiment of the monstrous and the sacred, the exploration of the territory between fantasy and horror (what Barker calls 'the fantastique'), and what Barker himself considers to be his main theme, creation, '... the idea of how something is made and imagined' (p. 155). Yet to have all of these writings collected into one volume underscores rather than reduces the power of Barker's themes, themes which are given physical form in the many drawings by Barker interleaved throughout the work.
"The Painter, The Creature, and the Father of Lies is a worthwhile addition to any horror fan's library and a must-read for anyone studying or writing about Barker's body of work. I would also recommend this book to any writer and/artist who is interested in tapping into the psychological or mythic roots of horror, as Barker's writings provide a lot of useful suggestions as to how he accomplishes this in his own work."

The Painter, The Creature, and The Father of Lies. Book review

By Kestrell, Sleeping Hedgehog, 30 April 2011 (note - full text at

John Nicol : "These are wonderful pieces, allowing us to understand the heart of an artist who is just trying to forge a permanent mark on the world. Barker explains his need to evolve as an artist/writer and his constant struggle to escape the "horror author" label while striving to be this generation's father of modern mythology. His hopes that his worlds, characters and stories will resonate timelessly speak volumes about how honestly humble he really is.
"The Painter, The Creature and The Father of Lies is ultimately a snapshot of a man fully exposed, more so than any novel or movie by Barker, or even his biography, The Dark Fantastic. He has now truly become a master of the human and inhuman condition."

Nightmare Library

By John Nicol, Fangoria, No 303, May 2011

Rick Kleffel : "Reading these essays, the author speaking on his own work or others in general, in the midst of the always-intense illustrations, one realizes that all the emotional heft of Barker's work, all the soul-searing terror, is the result of intellectual self-interrogation. The effect of reading his non-fiction is to realize that his ability to make us feel comes as a result of careful thought."

Clive Barker is 'The Painter, the Creature and the Father of Lies'

By Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column, 24 May 2011 (note - full text at

Michael Mitchell : "Always honest and forthright, and sometimes plain brave, Barker routinely offers glimpses into what it takes - he speaks of the literature of the 1500s as if it were as recent as the 1970s - to turn oneself a literary powerhouse."


By Michael Mitchell, Rue Morgue, Issue 113, July 2011

Publishers Weekly : "Barker's brain is sensationally splattered throughout the first half in articulate meditations and critical essays on censorship and taboo... each revealing another piece of his puzzling mind."


By [ ], Publishers Weekly, 20 June 2011 (note - full text at

Nick Owchar : "A collection of a writer's prefaces and random prose pieces often feels like the mustard-stained bread crusts on a child's plate after lunch. Nutritive quality? Low. Value? Marginal. Overall response? Ugh.
"That verdict, fortunately, doesn't apply to all collections, especially one by Clive Barker, a writer perhaps best known for his Hellraiser story and Abarat saga. His thoughtful musings on horror and culture have been collected in Clive Barker: The Painter, the Creature, and the Father of Lies.
"As varied and unexpected as this material is - editors Phil and Sarah Stokes have culled material from the last 25 years not just from books and reissues but also from DVDs and press materials - there's still a theme that manages to run throughout. It involves two c-words: creation and calling...
"Much of the book is devoted to the Hellraiser saga and the novel that spawned it, The Hellbound Heart. But there are plenty of other pieces here showcasing his philosophical musings on personal identity ('our lives are scattered throughout with periods of unbelonging') and poetic meditations on why a writer decides to write horror tales: 'We all hear the call of the dark once in a while: a siren song, inviting us to take a ghost ride into nightmare.' And at other times, Barker is just very candid about what horror writers do: 'We spend our working days making traps... that will corner the reader into confronting... experiences most of humanity spends its time assiduously avoiding.'
"The energy and candor he brings to these pieces make this collection hardly an afterthought. In fact, it's a provocation to read him if you haven't and surrender yourself to one of those cunning traps."


By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times, 10 August 2011 (note - full text at

The Painter bibliography...

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