Books

Chuck Palahniuk Talks Fight Club 2

Mr Palahniuk fills us in on his hotly anticipated follow-up, Fight Club 2

On the novel-to-graphic novel jump 

“The book and film have built such passionate followings. I felt a sequel in either form would suffer from direct comparison. The only way a follow-up could establish its own authority is if I used a different medium. Thus the graphic novel. An added bonus is that comics offer the autonomy and licence of novel-writing, combined with the collaborative creative process of filmmaking.”

The big picture problem

“My fiction always uses verbs and scents because both reach the reader on a subconscious level, creating brain activity that engages very deeply. In comics the challenge is depicting action through the illustrations. All physical sequences must be broken down and shown, beat by beat. I’m creating ‘scratch-and-sniff’ bookmarks keyed to each of the 10 issues. A first in comics. Not too low-brow. Not for me.”

Why it’s set a decade later

“The original novel was very hard on fathers, so I wanted to show the narrator as a father himself. The sequel will allow me to show the narrator, ‘Sebastian’, becoming a terrible father, and it will delve into the past to explain why his own father was such a disappointment.” 

Tyler/the narrator aren’t getting along so well 

“Tyler no longer views ‘Sebastian’ as an ally – he’s an enemy who must be coerced into completing Tyler’s masterplan. Either coerced or killed.”

What else we can look forward to 

“Oh, the usual: intense sex. The constant threat of violent death. Subjugation and oppression. Humiliation on a grand scale. Wonderful things. [Artist] Cameron Stewart fears going to Hell for the subjects I’m asking him to draw.”

And possible Brad Pitt reincarnations… 

“Does a Fight Club 2 film ever linger in the back of my mind when writing? No. It’s impossible for me to conceive of a film to match David Fincher’s. Ultimately, the film rights reside with 20th Century Fox. Let’s hope it’s careful and discerning if it tackles the project. For now, just wait until you sniff the scent I have planned for issue five.”

The first issue of Fight Club 2 will be published 27 May, by Dark Horse Comics

(Images: Chuck Palahniuk/Cameron Stewart)