Last month, we all had the chance of a lifetime.
Legendary horror icon Clive Barker and your faculty here at Horror Homework offered all of you creative and talented young students of horror a chance to win two rare books signed by the man himself!
A prize any self-respecting horror fan would love to have, the books are beautiful.
Mr. Barker rarely does signings at all anymore, spending his time these days hard at work on more beautiful paintings along with sequels to Abarat (!) and another book of “The Art”, and the long-awaited “Scarlet Gospels”.
We can hardly fault him for focusing on writing and creating, rather than heading out to cons to write his name on stuff.
But being reclusive in this day and age is difficult.
If you were not aware, Mr. Barker runs his own Facebook page along with his partner Alex Ghastbrow, who is an excellent artist in his own right. It is a great place to see updates and fun stuff from the man himself, and if you are not a fan of that page, and Official Hellraiser, just follow the links!
The rules were simple :
Show us how Clive Barker has inspired your life and creations.
Put no limits on your creativity.
About the prizes :
One is a signed and numbered (10/500) limited edition art book from October 2007, with many of the first Abarat paintings and various other “New Paintings and Works on Paper” from that time frame.
The other is an omnibus of collected comic book adaptations from IDW, including great interpretations of The Thief Of Always, The Great And Secret Show, and Seduth.
Until now, I haven’t mentioned that Mr. Barker also drew a quick sketch on the inside cover, before shipping them off to me!
Just an awesome added bonus for the winner!
There were a huge number of submissions to this, from all around the world and many different walks of life, further proving the influence this living legend has had on the world of horror in his time on earth. He has truly been an inspiration to me for many years, and we are so grateful for this chance to bring these collector’s items to all of you!
I have decided to present to you my ten favorite entries to the contest now, and ask all of you to vote for your favorite in the comment section below. I will leave the voting open until this Sunday, April 14th 2013 at noon Pacific time, then we will count up the votes and announce the winner!
Let your voice be heard, and help us to pick the winner of these unique prizes!
We have such sights to show you…
1) “Cenobite Terry” by Jasin Holliday.
2) “Exposui” by Jolie Matthews.
3) “Shuna Sassi” by Woody Welch.
4) “Angelique and Frank Halloween Costumes” by Heather May.
5) A short story inspired by Clive Barker.
Bedlam, Crazy Bedlam by Patrick Ward.
The air smells foetid, with an acrid tinge; of decay with sickly sweet perfume over it to cover the smells of death; orange blossoms mixed with hospital smells.
An assault on my nostrils, causing me to retch the confines of my stomach to burn at my teeth.
With the echoing shuffle of the dragging feet of the mad and the dead.
I detest this place. It is no altar of healing and rebirth; rather it is an all-you-can-eat buffet for Hellhounds and Death.
Even the mad would pray for death, if they could. They have it worst, dying is quite natural, but going mad is the complete antithesis of that.
Still, I come here and answer the dry questions they give. These doctors who believe the answer lies in my subconscious and then is too be drugged once found.
I respect the field, but perhaps not those who practice it. For, sometimes the wires can never be replaced, and the damage remains. Like a burnt wall, you can slap a layer of paint over it, but still it is burnt underneath.
So I answer them, I look at the Rorschach blots they present to me. I do my best, to try and pretend it looks like a grouping of butterflies or like a spreading tree. Where shadows pool beneath it, but it doesn’t to me.
It looks more like a rotting corpse I dreamed of, with engorged maggots writing blindly into the decaying flesh, squirming over each other, frantically tunneling away from the light of day into new recesses of succulent meat.
Still, even this avoids the true innermost horror, the real horror.
The horror is nonetheless so very simple. The Rorschach blot is nothing more than a picture of complete empty blackness and the endless void. We are truly alone; there is nothing and no one.
Still, this doesn’t stop the prater. What do they want to hear?
Should I tell them, I haven’t masturbated in months, because I’ve lost my imagination?
How, when I close my eyes and I see a desiccated corpse holding a purple and bloated infant to her breast; but no chiseled, lip biting, leather-clad male sex stallions, moaning in ecstasy from the illusory positions I’ve conjured up in my mind.
Rather, I see a glint of light from a scalpel as it begins to cut through my flesh and limbless infants trying to cry out through sewn shut lips.
Should I tell them, I’m seriously afraid to touch myself?
What does it matter?
In the end they will do nothing more than prescribe antidepressants, which will turn me into a zombie, as I wait and jump from waiting list to waiting list.
Just to hear them dig up my past, from my unassuming birth to this anxiety ridden moment; and all they do is dig, they never look nor put it to rest, just break down the walls and dig up the graves and leave them there, open and festering.
No better than a surgeon cutting up a patient and leaving them open as opposed to stitching them back up.
To no surprise I wouldn’t get any better after such molestation of my psyche, so they will prescribe more pills, with each getting a stronger dosage.
Till I can’t feel anything anymore. My body shakes and trembles, my speech slurs and my mind races with thought to delusion.
They rot me from the inside out.
In my protests, what typically come out first are not words but noises – crabbed, unintelligible creakings, half-utterances and mashed syllables, saliva-specked mutterings.
I now wait, seeming as if I am dreaming, till I hear the words of release. To escape, to wander away from this unknown Tenth Circle of Hell; to stumble along the streets and the passers-bys and pray for the cold and loving embrace of Death.
Just say the words…please.
Just tell me…
Our time is up…”
6) “Bound By Blood” by Nathan Jackson.