Fight Club 2 is coming out … soon! It feels like forever that I’ve been waiting to say that. But it’s almost here.
Now, when I say that to people who are not as Palahniuk-obsessed as me, they will just assume there is a new Fight Club movie coming out: Will Brad Pitt be in it? Will the narrator’s name ever be revealed? Will Fincher take a break from House of Cards to direct it?
Well, all your questions are irrelevant, because Fight Club 2 will be a novel. A graphic novel. Actually, it will be a monthly comic-book series turned graphic novel. Wait, what?
Even fair-weather fans probably know that Fight Club (the movie) is based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk. But that was a regular old words-on-paper novel. When I found out about the graphic novel, I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting a traditional novel: The original was so great! “Who needs cartoons?” I thought. Let me picture Jack and Marla in my mind. Then, I could choose to envision them as I wish—that is, in Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter’s image. A graphic novel just seemed so … random.
However, I admire Palahniuk more than almost any other writer. His work is always very honest, well thought out, and darkly brilliant. So I knew there was a reason for this seemingly odd literary turn.
Why a comic? Answer: A second novel would be shamelessly compared to the first, and most likely be savagely ripped apart by people who have nostalgia for the original Fight Club. We’ve seen it before. How many sequels are really as successful as the original? It is a slim minority, and they normally turn into huge series.
Yes, I’m looking at you Harry Potter and Fifty Shades. But you can’t exactly do that with Fight Club. Not after its history and cult-like following, who will always idolize the first and the first novel only. Writing a novel sequel to Fight Club would be like writing one for Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird. It would make headlines, but it would upset a lot of people. No matter how good it actually is, would never be valued in the same way.
But a graphic novel: Now Palahniuk is thinking non-linearly. The graphic-novel adaptations to some of his other books, like Lullaby, were met with pretty positive reviews. But those were only available online. This will be the kind of comic that you can hold in your hands. The kind comic nerds trade in the back of their shop while chowing down on pizza and listening to alt rock (at least, that’s what Jay and Silent Bob would have me believe).
I went through my graphic-novel stage. My freshman year of college, if you talked long enough to me, I would work Kickass and The Walking Dead comics into every conversation. They were just so awesome! But then the Dexter graphic novel came out and just blew it for me. It was awful. I had read the Darkly Dreaming Dexter books and seen the whole show, and the graphic novel couldn’t compare at all.
That’s a very real possibility for Fight Club 2, and my biggest fear for it. However, this is where I call Palahniuk a genius, because unlike the graphic novels that tell us a story we already know with pretty pictures (I’m talking to you, Baby-Sitters Club and Arrow), Fight Club is refreshing: It’s adding to the tale of Jack, aka the narrator. You can either correlate it with the Jack you already knew in the original, or, since it is such a new medium, value it as a completely separate entity. It’s the best of both worlds—all Hannah Montana (or, for the older crowd, Van Halen) references aside.
I personally am going to compartmentalize this one. From the graphics and samples I’ve seen, it still has that smart darkness, but it is very different from any previous adaptation. So if we go into this new series viewing it as just that (a new series), we can enjoy Fight Club 2 on its own merits—not just because that movie we saw in the ’90s was so rad.
Fight Club 2, Issue #1 will be released on May 27.