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Palahniuk divulges plot details about ‘Fight Club’ comic sequel

fight clubFour months after he surprised fans by announcing he’s working on a graphic-novel sequel to Fight Club, author Chuck Palahniuk has revealed the first significant plot details.

“The sequel will be told from the — at first — submerged perspective of Tyler Durden as he observes the day-to-day tedium of the narrator’s life,” he says in a recent interview with Hustler (via The Cult fan site). “Because 20th Century Fox created the convention of calling the protagonist Jack, I’m calling him Cornelius. He’s living a compromised life with a failing marriage, unsure about his passion for his wife. The typical midlife bullshit. Likewise, Marla is unsatisfied and dreams of accessing the wild man she’d once fallen in love with. She tampers with the small pharmacy of drugs that her husband needs to suppress Tyler, and — go figure — Tyler reemerges to terrorize their lives.”

Palahniuk’s 1996 debut novel was famously adapted by David Fincher as a 1999 film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Fight Club follows an anonymous and unreliable Narrator (typically referred to as Joe in the novel and Jack in the movie) who, while suffering from insomnia, begins attending support groups for people with problems much larger than his. At one, he meets a disturbed woman named Marla, and the two become involved in a sort-of love triangle with the charismatic and mysterious Tyler Durden. That leads him down a winding path involving an underground network of men who beat the hell out of each other for fun, large-scale destruction and human fat transformed into soap.

The author said in July that he’s been introduced to editors at DC Comics, Dark Horse and Marvel, envisions the sequel as a series of graphic novels (or perhaps he means issues). But why that format?

“My publisher’s been shipping me to comic-cons, and it seems that my readership overlaps perfectly with the comic-con crowd,” he said in another recent interview. “So I thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s like storyboarding a movie. It’s fun. It won’t be published for a while, and we’ll probably bring it out in installments, rather than book form.”

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13 Comments

‘Why not?’ It’s like storyboarding a movie.’

Yes, just like playing chess underwater is sort of like playing a trombone while riding a bicycle.

I apologize for the snarky comment. What I mean is: comics are much more than film storyboards and I hope Chuck Palahniuk studies the medium before he works in it.

Movie fans are more eclectic and a horrid sequel would be disastrous at the box office.
On the other hand, it’s been proven that fanboys will buy any crap you sell them as a movie tie-in as long as you label it as a mature “graphic novel” (another case of “awwww the movie industry is paying attention to ussss, better churn out more of my mom’s monieees to them”).
Makes sense that Palahniuk would:
a) announce it at comic cons (what, how and why?) and
b) try to cash in from his last claim to fame.

Was going to say the same, but the world beat me to it.

I saw the movie when it came out, but not for a long time, and read the book a couple of months ago. I thought it was only ok as a piece of writing. The writing was very flashy and attempts to be provocative, but I suspect that it is just very much of it’s time and in the post-Recession world it is ever so slightly less relevant. Or maybe it is just angry young man writing, and I’m not the target market for that any more.

I also echo Ales Kot’s comments. Comics are not storyboards, not the good ones anyway. There is a nice quote from Neil Gaiman on the site today talking about this. Trying to make this like a movie ignores the possibilities of the medium entirely.

The only similar sort of thing that I can think of is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo graphic novels that DC brought out, which were adaptations and not original stories, but involving a crossover from popular fiction to comics. Does anyone know how they fared in the market?

Wow. A lot of bashing of this. The usual trolls always gotta put everything down before they see it or even before it gets an artist attached. Too bad an actual comic professional is included in what I just said…

I am interested. I liked the movie, liked the book even more.

Years later we get a comic because a movie couldn’t get made.
I hope there are Hot Wheels in it.
I love Hot Wheels.

Comics aren’t storyboards, but they aren’t all that different. Instead of defining things by what they are not, why not try to define them by what they are?

in a way comics are almost a movie for the reader is seeing an adventure pass before their eyes till the end of the story. and interesting that after all this time a sequel to fight club takes roots again.

Successful comics are not just about the writer or the property. The artist , letterer, colorist, etc. .. the publisher .. basically the team that Chuck puts together will determine the success or failure of his comic continuation.

If Chuck puts together a really good team .. this could work ..

I’m a big fan of Palahniuk’s work (so much so that I actually know how to spell his name) and think this could be interesting. His books sell well, so I don’t think this is a “cash grab” situation, so much as him wanting to revisit the damaged, fragile characters he left on the brink of safety at the end of his first book. I’d be A LOT more intrigued if the name Jim Uhls was attached to this, though. He was the writer that transformed an interesting book into an irrepressible movie.

Obviously movie storyboards and comics aren’t exactly the same, but they have similarities. I think Chuck Palahniuk is smart enough to do this right.

Chuck hasn’t been a good writer in years, and the movie was far better than the book (Survivor on the other hand is outstanding).

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