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"Fight Club" Gets Graphic

The original book’s writer, Chuck Palahniuk, resurrects his iconic characters 15 years after the film’s release, but in a way no one expected—as a graphic novel.

Fight Club, the novel, was great, no doubt, as was the film it spawned. But after reading the incredible new graphic-novel sequel, one suspects the comic book might be the story’s true home. What better than the graphic form to depict all the mind-bending mayhem of the story, full of dissociative personalities, blood, and flying fists? Yet original writer Chuck Palahniuk took a while to say yes. 

“I’ve been turning down the idea of doing a graphic novel for 14 years,” says Palahniuk. “DC and Marvel came to me several times—I’ve just never felt confident taking time off to learn a new form.” Finally, a writer friend asked Palahniuk to a dinner with comic-world friends, and they managed to talk him into it. 

In the first installment of the sequel’s 10-issue series, we meet the original story’s unnamed narrator (“I am Joe’s boiling point”), who now calls himself Sebastian. In the intervening years, we learn, Sebastian suffered “manic delusions” and landed in the loony bin. 

Now he’s realized every midlife nightmare: He’s a robotic suit, guzzling pills. Yet store clerks and bartenders with bruised faces still give him stuff for free. “No charge. Not for you, sir.” 

But Sebastian is no longer interested in risking pain for a little liberation. Instead, he returns to the horrifyingly quaint suburban house he shares with his now-wife, Marla Singer. And home, because we’re inside the mind of Chuck Palahniuk, is hell. 

Interestingly, Palahniuk didn’t immerse himself in the graphic-novel genre first. “I didn’t read much because I didn’t want to absorb, or accidentally use, someone else’s style,” he says. “I wanted to reinvent.” 

Reinvent he does: The feeling of split personalities is heightened by the awesome art. Frames switch back and forth between washed-out blues and grays for Sebastian’s depression and more vibrant, sharply etched hues for Tyler’s cameos and Sebastian’s fantasies of escape—flaming riots, exploding heads, and barking sex

Get ready for the most exciting comic series since Saga. Tyler Durden lives, and he’s pulling no punches.

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