frailty: the hellbound heart

The seasons long for each other, like men and women, in order that they may be cured of their excesses.
          Spring, if it lingers more than a week beyond its span, starts to hunger for summer to end the days of perpetual promise. Summer in its turn soon begins to sweat for something to quench its heat, and the mellowest of autumns will tire of gentility at last, and ache for a quick sharp frost to kill its fruitlessness.
          Even Winter––the hardest season, the most implacable––dreams, as February creeps on, of the flame that will presently melt it away. Everything tires with time, and starts to seek some opposition, to save it from itself.
          So August gave way to September and there were few complaints.
—  Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart

I recently listened to Clive Barker’s audiobook reading of The Hellbound Heart, which was adapted as the film Hellraiser. It’s quite short and moves forward like a grosser than usual morality tale. The real lure is the originality of the weird otherness Barker sets up. If the sound of gross otherness appeals to you, I highly recommend it.

I thought I’d take a stab at illustrating the opening scene. I attempted to base it on the story’s descriptions rather than the film, but the film’s look casts a long shadow so the result ends up somewhere in-between.

Prints here.

Clive Barker’s latest novel, The Scarlet Gospels, will be released on April 19, 2015 via St. Martin’s Press. It will bring an end to the Hellraiser mythos.

Not only does the book mark the return of Pinhead and the cenobites, but it also incorporates Lord of Illusions’ Harry D'Amour. Here’s how Barker described it:

Harry D'Amour (the hard-boiled paranormal detective from the movie Lord of Illusions) going head to head with the Hellpriest known as Pinhead (in his first literary appearance since The Hellbound Heart). A roller coaster of terror that explains who the Cenobites are, where they came from… and how their world comes to an end. The long-awaited final chapter in the Hellraiser mythos…