Clive Barker has written more than thirty books. It’s highly unlikely I’ll ever read more than five or six of them. I’m pretty sure most are too scary for me.

I’ll probably break down and watch some of his movies at some point.

But ok. Abarat. The Abarat paintings. And really, all the paintings.

Those I’m not done looking at.

It’s been a couple of weeks since we visited his studio, and every time I think of it, I get really, really happy, and I smell oil paint. Ben invited us to visit, and while we checked out the eclectic nicknacks and movie posters in the entry area and offices, I remained manageably happy and relatively dignified. Then we began descending the stairs to the studio. As soon as I glimpsed a bitty corner of those colors, I knew what was down there and pretty much lost it.

The Islands of Abarat - Clive Barker

No, we didn’t get to say hello to Mr. Barker, but we met his team—super friendly and down-to-earth people who were burning midnight oil to get things ready for Comic-con, and happy to share pizza.

The scanner guy makes totems out of Clive Barker's stuffBen says we can come back once that’s over. I will hold him to that.

At left: The guy who comes to make high res scans of the paintings makes these totem things with the stuff he finds lying around the studio.

P.S. If you’ve never read Abarat and want to, make sure you get the illustrated versions. Without the paintings, you’re only experiencing half the story. As of this writing, newest editions do not include them: you’ll need to hunt for older copies (here’s an Amazon link to search results).


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