The Cruel Work of Time

A.K.A. Portrait of the Artist as an Increasingly Less Young Man 

1974. About the time I joined The Dog Company. Also clearly from the period when I was eager to give Martin Amis a run for his money in the Supercilious Twat of the Year Award. Jesus Christ, I want to punch me in the face.

1976. The Dog Company (or, as we were briefly called, The Mute Pantomime Theatre) in a group shot for A Clowns' Sodom. Back row, left to right; Lynne Darnell, me, Julie Blake, Clive Barker. Front row, left to right; Doug Bradley, Phil Rimmer.

Me and Lynne. I'm guessing still 1976 (I recognize those same cinder-blocks from I. M. Marsh College, where we used to rehearse), but the modified make-up makes me think this was from Day of the Dog rather than Clowns' Sodom. I know, I know. I should have a better grasp on this stuff, but give me a break. Forty fucking years.

1976/7. Left to right, Doug, Phil, and me building the Dog set.

Hey, look! They did have color film back then. 1976/77. From The Forbidden. Left to right; Clive, me. (This could actually be as early as 1975, because -- as the 47 of you who've actually seen the movie will know -- I had shoulder-length hair and a beard for 99% of it)

From The Forbidden, again from an early part of the shoot. And here's young Barker applying my make-up (and by 'make-up' I mean house-paint, bog paper, and wallpaper paste):

1980. Me as the tragic (but sassy!) Rainbeaux in Nightlives.

1981. The Chase playing at the Masonic, Liverpool. Left to right; Ian Morris, Mike Hayes, me, Mike Gundry.

1982. The Chase. (By now the line-up -- having been a trio of me, Mike Gundry, and Colin Alvers for over a year -- was back to a four-piece with Paul Andrew and Paul Benson joining me and Mike)

1989. Location shoot for Nightbreed at the Mean Fiddler club. L-R: Nick Vince, the lovely Kate Bobby, [Stefan Jaworzyn? Maybe?], me. We're helping pad out the cowboy-clad crowd of extras watching Kate's big sis sing.

1991. From Hellraiser III. Rick the Barman.

1991. From Hellraiser III. Rick the Barman, a little later. Perhaps he'd had a swig of whatever was in that fucking glass in the last shot.

1991. Publicity shot for Hellraiser III. L-R: Me, Tony Hickox, Doug B (in pillar), Larry Mortorff, Bob Keen.

1991. Hellraiser III cast & Crew

1991. Any Friday night in any pub in Liverpool. [Oh, alright. Between takes, Hellraiser III.]

1991. At The British Fantasy Convention. (And, yes, I apparently am doing the nauseating 'chinner' pose favored by dickhead authors since time immemorial. How I'd love to claim I was doing it ironically, my little cabbages, but I've not lied to you yet.)

1992. At Fantasy Centre in London. Left to right; me, Brian Lumley, Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes (whose book-signing this was), Dave Sutton, Dave Carson, Ted Ball, Steve Jones.

1992. Dear 1967 bubblegum-card-collecting-self: A quarter of a century from now, you'll be on a  card. So there's that. Cheers, Older You.

1992. Morningstar launch at the British Fantasy Convention.

1992. Or early '93? A convention in Florida where Ramsey Campbell was Guest of Honor. Left to right; Steve Jones, me, Ramsey, Dennis Etchison. I'm entertaining the lads with some invisible juggling (I fear drink may have been involved).

1993. From the Oscar-nominated short, Down on the Waterfront. Left to right; Me, Ed Asner, Mike Starr.

1993. From DotW again. Sorry. I just look too fucking good in that hat.

1994. World Fantasy Convention in New Orleans. The balcony of Val & Les Edwards' hotel during the Halloween Parade. L-R: Steve Jones, Mandy Slater, me, Dana Middleton, Jo Fletcher, Val, Richard Barbieri, Suzanne Barbieri, Nick Royle, Jane Johnson, Mike Marshall Smith, Paula Grainger. Picture presumably taken by Les; because otherwise where the hell is he?

1993. A HarperCollins do at the House of Lords. Left to right; some Lord, some commoner from Harpers, Lord Atkins of Bollockshire, some other Lord.

1995. A screenwriters' panel at the Famous Monsters Convention in LA. Left to right; Mark Carducci, Dave Schow, me, Ethan Rieff & Cy Voris. (This was the convention where the legendary Gloria Stuart -- The Invisible Man, The Old Dark House, Gold Diggers of 1935 -- sent a minion over to request the pleasure of my company. But do I have a photo of that meeting? Do I buggery.)

1994/5/6? A mass signing at Dangerous Visions. Standing/crouching left to right; Harlan Ellison, Alan Brennert, S.P. Somtow, Roberta Lannes, Art Cover, Adam Simon, Doug Clegg, Mike Baker, Kim Newman, me, Clive Barker, Jo Fletcher, Randy Broecker, George Clayton Johnson. Sitting, left to right; Steve Jones, Dennis Etchison.

1996. One of Invisible Cinema's earliest gigs at some downtown arts event. Left to right; Steve Montiglio, Ron Battle, me, Lance Bogart.

1996. Forrest J Ackerman visiting the set of Hellraiser IV. Left to right; Forry, Doug (mid make-up application), me. Sorry about the picture quality -- scanned from the issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland in which it appeared.

1996. A Dark Delicacies bash. Back row, L-R: George Clayton Johnson, Dennis Etchison, me, Ashley Laurence, Mark Carducci, Paul Clemens. Middle row, L-R: Roberta Lannes, Christa Faust, Nancy Holder, Steve Jones. Sitting, L-R: S.P. Somtow, David J Skal, David J Schow, Lisa Morton.

1996? 97? A Gaggle-of-Scorpios Mass Birthday Party at Dark Delicacies. Back row, left to right; Steve Jones (November 4th), Doug Winter (November ?th), me (November 2nd), Paula Grainger (November 4th). About to wear the cake; Neil Gaiman (November 10th)

1997. On the Wishmaster set, wiv me monster. Beneath the latex, Andrew Divoff. Beneath the increasing blubber, me.

1997. On the Wishmaster set. Quite the fancy canted angle from stills photographer Dale Robinette. Left to right; Robert Englund, Dave Tripet, Clark Peterson, me.

1997. Pete hard at work on the Wishmaster set.

(By the way, horror movie trivia buffs, the above pic was snapped by Sheeri Rappaport, late of Little Witches and now better known to mainstream America via C.S.I.)

1997? At Dark Delicacies. Left to right; George Clayton Johnson, me, Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison.

1997, I think. Because it's probably the World Fantasy Convention in London docklands. Me and Jo Fletcher, who's pulling a quite fetching I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that face. Pretty sure that's David Howe sitting next to her. And Mike Marshall Smith and Nick Royle are lurking in the background.

1998. World Horror in Phoenix. Messr's Etchison, Atkins, and Broecker take to the waters (after taking to the Jack Daniels a little too enthusiastically)

Also 1998? Also World Horror, Phoenix? Hard to be sure, because I've been lucky enough to have had dinner with these fabulous women on more than one occasion. Ellen Datlow and I both seem very intent on the menu, while Lisa Morton tries to be more circumspect about it.

1999?  World Fantasy in Providence?  Left to right; Les Daniels, Mandy Slater, Steve Jones, me.

2000-ish? Outside the old location of Dark Delicacies. Left to right; Craig Spector, me, J. F. Gonzalez.

2001. Cast and Crew of The Djinn. Standing, left to right; Randy Schulman, Fred Wenzlaff, Jen Phinney, Dave Tushla, Kevin Gregg, [wonderful person whose name I will discover/remember quite soon, I promise], Steve Salazar, Elizabeth Romaine, me. Sitting, left to right; Andrew Wenzlaff, Dana Middleton, Rick Lee, Jon Davis, Delcie Adams, Kate McLaughlin.

From The Djinn. Those merry masters of mirth and mayhem, Mr. Sponge and Mr. Scrotum. (aka Mrs. Atkins and Mrs. Gregg)

The Djinn pit band. Standing; Andrew Wenzlaff, me. Crouching with intent; Jon Davis

2002? '03? At the recording session for the audio commentary on Hellraiser and Hellbound. Left to right; Me, the beautiful Ashley Laurence, and the not-bad-in-the-right-light Clive Barker.

Me and Ash being wise and witty for the Hellbound commentary.

2004. The very first Rolling Darkness Revue performance. At Dark Delicacies in Burbank. Me with telecaster, Glen with Korg, Dennis with mike.

2004. The Rolling Darkness Revue interviewed by Rick Kleffel at KUSP. Left to right; Dennis Etchison, Glen Hirshberg, me.

2006. The MonsterMania convention in Cherry Hill, NJ. featured a Hellraiser/Hellbound reunion with cenobites Doug Bradley, Barbie Wilde, Nicholas Vince, and Simon Bamford along with Gary J Tunnicliffe and me. (Ashley was there too, but obviously had the smarts to bail on our bar-hopping)

2007. The World Horror Convention in Toronto. This lovely young lass, a Hellraiser fan (whose name, I'm appalled to say, I neglected to make a note of), was kind enough to ask for a picture. She asked if we could "make it scary". Did me best.

2008. Left to right; Steve Jones, Tony Richards, me. Taken by Peter Coleborn in my office after a mass signing at Dark Delicacies on Steve's birthday (and the day Barack Obama was elected).

2008. With Dave Schow. Yeah, we look well 'ard. But we're just a couple of creampuff writers.

2009. At Richard Matheson's house. Behind the chair, left to right; Steve Jones, Richard Christian Matheson, me. Seated; Richard Matheson.

2010. From L. J. Dopp's Crustacean, me as Professor Nightwind, freak show proprietor.

On the Crustacean set. Left to right; Jack Lancaster, Hannah Harper, Edward Plumb, me.

2010. That year's Rolling Darkness Revue show, Curtain Call. Left to right; Snuff the Butler (Kevin Gregg), Artie Mack (Glen Hirshberg), Algy Black (yer 'umble servant).

2011. A World Fantasy Convention. With the lovely Paula Grainger (aka Mrs. Michael Marshall Smith)

2012. A Zombie Apocalypse: Fightback signing at Dark Delicacies with the fabulous Lisa Morton

2012. Glen and I sandwich a patient Eric J. Guignard at the annual Paperback Collectors' Show in Glendale.

2013. Yeah, okay. A dumpster maybe isn't the most salubrious place to hang out with Guillermo del Toro, but Dennis E has got to smoke his fucking cigarette somewhere. Left to right; Guillermo, me, Dennis. (And the dumpster is actually just outside the back entrance to Mystery & Imagination, where Guillermo was generously doing a signing to help raise funds for the store.)

2013. World Fantasy in Brighton, getting smooched by Richard Christian Matheson. Remember, kids, it's only sexual harassment if you don't like it.

2013. Panel at World Fantasy. L-R: R.C. Matheson, William F Nolan, a remarkably underqualified moderator, Nancy Holder, Terence McVicker. (Just out of shot, on Richard's other side, was Tad Williams. Not sure what he'd done to piss off the photographer).

2013. Backstage at that year's RDR show, The Impostor's Monocle, letting Ms. Blister (Kate Hirshberg) rehearse getting her scary on with a cowering Algy and Artie. (left to right; me, Kate, Kate's dad)

2014. Outside Mystery & Imagination in Glendale with two legends in our field who I'm still astonished to realize are friends of mine, George Clayton Johnson and William F Nolan, co-authors of Logan's Run (and so much more, go look 'em up). L to R: George, me, Bill.

2014. All the pictures on this page have been 'professional life' photos -- ie. no family weddings, funerals, birthdays, or pub brawls -- but I'm including this shot because it's a lovely one of the missis and because our dinner companions (along with Steve J and Mandy S) were Harlan and Susan Ellison, so it kind of qualifies.

2014. Left to right; Steve Jones, me, Glen Hirshberg.

2017. Brits Panel participants at StokerCon on board the Queen Mary. And no, despite what the unfortunate lighting might lead you to believe, we had not been stowing away since the mighty ship's maiden voyage in 1936. L-R: me, Pete Crowther, Steve Jones, Michael Marshall Smith.

2017. A 20th anniversary Wishmaster signing at Dark Delicacies for the release of the BluRay box-set. L-R: Andrew Divoff, Bob Kurtzman, me, Harry Manfredini, Dave Tripet.

Same event, now joined by Chris Angel and Holly Fields from the WM sequels.

2018. Worldcon, San Jose. Falafel and whiskey sours with our beloved Bill Nolan (90!). Sandwiching Bill; Steve Jones and me. Lurking with a full head of hair; Bill's wicked stepfather Jason V Brock.

2019. A 48-hour charity Podathon from Adam Green and Joe Lynch's Movie Crypt podcast included a live reading of the unproduced George Romero and Mick Garris script for The Mummy. It featured a cast of extremely talented writers and actors. And me. L-R: Steve Blum, Tiffany Shepis, Jared Rivet, Yuri Lowenthal, Mary McGlynn, Matt Mercer, Sarah Nicklin, me, Jeffrey Redick, Joe Lynch, Adam Green, James Duval, Dave Parker.


  1. Every one a winner! Great collection Mr Atkins - were you under instruction to clear out the attic??

    1. Only the attic of my mind, kids.

      Hey, for those who don't know -- the chap and chappess commenting here are the redoubtable Phil and Sarah Stokes, proprietors and grand pooh-bahs of the planet's number one Clive Barker site. So if you have a hankering for all things Barkeresque, get ye hence to and lose a few hours. And go like 'em on Facebook. And buy their books.

  2. Hi Pete. Great pics. I snagged a couple of Jesus and the old gang for my scrapbook. Hope you don't mind.

    1. Hey Cathy! Nice to hear from you. Please snag whatever you like! Much love to you and Hannah.

  3. Mr Jones will kill you for the caption "STEVE" rather than Stephen ... just saying my love ...

    1. It's all just part of my ongoing campaign to make people think he played guitar for the Sex Pistols.

  4. You're welcome, what a fantastic array of photos and personalities!

  5. Love your piccies Pete,the early ones take me back to my youth!