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Clive Barker's Tapping the Vein Paperback – September 15, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Checker Book Publishing Group; First Edition/ First Printing edition (September 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971024936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971024939
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Overall, the stories achieve to avoid the clichés so often found in horror. With an interesting amalgam of writers and artists, these tales, though most over a decade old, still don t quite sit well in the stomach. They question the world, and the hell beneath it. Jacob Malewitz --Paperback Reader

Comics stories ought to work visually as much or more than verbally, and horror stories usually cry out for visual pyrotechnics, which is what they got in the Hellraiser comics. --Booklist

More About the Author

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He is the worldwide bestselling author of the Books of Blood, and numerous novels including Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Sacrament and Galilee. In addition to his work as a novelist and short story writer he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for the stage and screen. His films include Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed and Candyman. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt C. Stedman on January 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
The stories from Clive Barker's The Books of Blood are ideal for a graphic novel adaptation because of their visual intensity and visceral power. Here Barker and various artists have made a series of comic books in the tradition of EC comics but with stories more powerful and with more depth than the old comics ever achieved. Although I like Stephen King's comic homage, Creepshow, Tapping the Vein is a much better buy and contains adaptations of some of the most original short stories I've ever read. The combination of great artwork and great storytelling make In The Hills, The Cities the best. And the great artwork for Pig Blood Blues adds much to this lesser Clive Barker story. One dissapointment is that I didn't care much for the artwork for The Skins of the Fathers, my favorite of the stories chosen for this collection. Still fan's of Barker's The Books of Blood will love this collection. I'm eager to see more adaptations like this, especially for his stories, The Last Illusion and Rawhead Rex.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quentin Xavier on April 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the coolest things I've ever come by. The psychotic stories of Clive Barker transferred to the graphic novel format. Some of the very best Barker tales are chosen for this collection. The artwork completely captures every aspect of the disturbing yet poetic brilliance of Barker's stories. Bravo! A little spendy, but worth every penny. Trust me! As a die-hard Barker fan, I can say that any admirer, passive or devoted, will love this collection.
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Format: Paperback
Years before Clive Barker wrote The Hellbound Heart which later was brought to the screen and transformed into Hellraiser he already had much experience from the life of a writer. Together with friends in a theatre group Barker had written several scripts for the stage, and in 1984 he published a collection of astonishing short stories, which became known as the Books of Blood. These days Barker is not a horror writer per se, even though his creations still contain supernatural and/or horror-influenced elements.

Books of Blood have been a global success, and many different editions have been published by different publishers. Checker Publishing Group - known for their high-quality editions of new and classical comics - has now released some of Barker's most celebrated stories from, among other, Books of Blood in the shape of a comic.

It's not a very easy task to transform the bizarre world of Clive Barker into a different media, but all in all one must say that Checker has done a great job. The stories are "Human Remains", "Pig Blood Blues", "Skins of the Fathers", "The Midnight Meat Train", "In the Hills, the Cities", "How Spoilers Bleed", "Down, Satan", and "Scape Goats".

However, the read is not a very easy one, despite the illustrations that accompany it, and unfortunately, some of the contributors more or less fail to do their job. For example, John Bolton's drawings for "In the Hills, the Cities" are masterpieces of art, while Klaus Janson's contributions to "Skins of the Fathers" are aeons away from the creepiness of Bolton.
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Format: Paperback
Tapping The Vein is a collection of Clive Barker tales - originally from the Books of Blood I believe - that were adapted to comic stories and published by Eclipse comics. The new edition from the Checker Publishing Group contains reprints from the Eclipse books.
The artwork throughout is first rate and favorite illustrators include Scott Hampton, John Bolton and Tim Conrad. The book itself is a handsome, well produced volume that was printed in Korea on thick glossy paper and has a sturdy you're-getting-your-money's-worth feel.
The stories themselves are something of a mixed bag. While they are of generally high quality, the volume contains not only horror but also fantasy, some of it with a mythic quality. They are generally well written and interesting but whether or not you will enjoy them all depends on the type of story you like.
Being a horror buff, The Midnight Meat Train and Pig Blood Blues were personal favorites. If one prefers myth, Human Elements and In the Hills, the Cities are entertaining. The remaining stories are generally fair and offbeat as well.
The problem with the volume is that horror fans expecting wild EC style comics from the Hellraiser creator are apt to be disappointed. On the other hand, someone who wants stories a little out of the mainstream in a fairly diverse collection should be pleased - provided they aren't easily offended by such sexual topics as homosexuality, bestiality, and transgenderism. (For the record, the reviewer is not.)
If you're looking for something different from the biggest horror phenomena since Stephen King definitely buy the book. But if you're looking for good old fashioned EC type thrills and chills check out the available EC collections or Bruce Jones marvelous comic Twisted Tales that was published by Eclipse and is long missed.
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