This month sees the triumphant return of Clive Barker to comics, as the first issue of a new 8 part Hellraiser miniseries hits the shelves.
In the opening pages, the reader is directed towards a prison building, a wordless mumbling from within the only sound to be heard. A priest reading the last rites; a doomed man strapped to the electric chair. But his hands are loose, and within them lies a familiar puzzle box. Page 2 ends with a “click”.
Oh yeah, he’s back. It’s been a long time coming: apart from a one-shot 3D horror comic (Seduth) in 2009, it’s been 17 years since Barker penned a comic series. A man of many talents, there are 14 books to his name (and a multitude of short stories) but undoubtedly his most famous work is the 1986 novella, The Hellbound Heart. The title may not sound familiar to everyone, but the adapted feature film that Barker directed, Hellraiser, will spark recognition with most. Pinhead is an ultimate horror fan favourite.
Hellraiser spawned 8 sequels, and a comic series that ran until the early 90s. Contributors included the likes of Neil Gaiman, Alex Ross (Kingdom Come) and Mike Mignola (Hellboy), with Barker acting as consultant for all stories, and writing some issues himself. In all, 20 series were published along with 3 special issues, and most are still available in collected editions.
In December last year, Boom! Studios announced the new Hellraiser miniseries for March 2011, and the current edition of Comic Heroes features a teasing two page preview in its comic sampler. Co-written by Christopher Monfette, and with art by Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer), Boom! Studios also announced that select older comics would be reprinted under the Hellraiser Masterpieces title. The Boom! Studios website lists the upcoming releases, complete with delicious cover art from the legendary Tim Bradstreet.
As if that wasn’t enough for Hellraiser fans, Barker is also producing a new Hellraiser film (3D of course). Said to be less of a remake and more of a reboot of the original, the film has Patrick Lussier directing and Todd Farmer writing, both fresh from Drive Angry, and is due to hit screens in 2012.
Perhaps we could see that uncut version of Nightbreed sometime soon too? Just a little DVD and Blu-ray treat? We live in hope.