Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Hellraiser Comics: Read Them

Fanboy Rant:

The Hellraiser Comics are Cool

I’m not sure why, but I’ve recently become obsessed with Clive Barker’s work. If you’re a horror fan and have never read The Books of Blood or The Hellbound Heart, you need to read them. Now. I can recommend several other works by Barker, but I suggest you start with The Books of Blood. The movies that have been based on his fiction are classics in their own right: Candyman, Nightbreed, Lord of Illusions, and of course, Hellraiser. For all intents and purposes, we only count the first two Hellraiser films, despite everything Doug Bradley has done to keep the others from being disastrous.

If you’ve seen the Hellraiser films, you’d be happy to know that Clive Barker himself will have a hand in the reboot, although he hasn’t stayed away from Pinhead’s crew completely over the years. The Hellraiser comics from Boom! comics pick up the storyline after the second film; all of your favorite characters are back. The storyline is resumed, almost as if the graphic novels were written right after the second movie was released.

I’m a horror nerd, and I figured I would share my enjoyable reading experience with other horror nerds. The conflict between Pinhead and Kirsty is at the center of the mythos, and it’s the driving force behind the new story. Kirsty and some of her friends have been all over the world hunting down artifacts that act as portals to Hell, just like the infamous puzzle box. 

Pinhead has been shown a glimpse of his former self (in the second film… like I said, these books are faithful to the story every step of the way), and has decided that he wants to become human again so he can find redemption and salvation. Pinhead needs Kirsty’s help to enact his complicated plan. This basic premise reveals nothing about what actually happens in the graphic novels; this is the basic premise of a complex narrative.

New characters and new demonic creatures grace the well-illustrated pages. Clive Barker’s direct involvement means that more of his hellish universe is revealed; some of Barker’s sketches for the new demons are included in one of the graphic novels, which is an interesting treat.

If you love Clive Barker, or if you just love the Hellraiser movies, I recommend you check out the graphic novels. The story might be a little confusing for people who’ve never been exposed to Hellraiser before, which means it’s a faithful composition that includes horror icons fans of the genre all over the world can identify.

*As of right now, Amazon shows the same cover for books four and five, but they do have different covers. I can attest to this.