Return To The Fight Club
Dark Horse Comics are releasing a second comic follow-up to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club in January, Fight Club 3. Here, Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows spoke exclusively to Chuck Palahniuk about the new series, which will be drawn by Cameron Stewart again with covers by David Mack and others…
TRIPWIRE: What is the one line elevator pitch for Fight Club 3?
CHUCK PALAHNIUK: Who is Tyler Durden, really, and what has been his plan since the beginning of time?
TW: This is the second sequel to Fight Club and once again it’s a comic series rather than a novel. What are the advantages for you as a writer to create this as a comic rather than as a prose novel?
CP: Both the novel and the film have established their audiences. They’d both be tough acts to follow, that’s why the third interpretation had to be as a comic. I’ve since fallen in love with the ordeal of writing a comic script, and the license it allows me. I can depict things that would be forbidden in film — the army of dying kids from FC2 — and depict things that would seem too unreal and phony if presented in just prose. It’s that ability to portray a Little Nemo in Dreamland fantasy that prompted me to do Fight Club 3. Picasso said something like Art is the lie that tells the truth better than the truth. I wanted to use comics to depict an Art Bell, Ground Zero, late night-radio type of story using the established Fight Club characters. Our fantasies tell a greater truth about us.
TW: You are teaming up with interior artist Cameron Stewart and cover artist David Mack again. What is it about working with them that continues to appeal to you as a writer?
CP: Nobody in comics draws gesture and expression better than Cameron. His skill saves me from writing tons of expository dialog (my biggest gripe about many comics is their over-written dialog). And David, well, David’s great at creating images that seem as if they’ve emerged from our dreams. Perfect for this series in particular.
TW: How closely have you collaborated with Stewart on this series?
CP: This go-round, not as closely as we collaborated in FC2. Truth be told I was a little shocked to see his early work for FC3, it was more realistic than anything I’d ever seen him draw. A mutual friend tells me Cameron’s begun painting, and that might be behind his new, more realistic work. Whatever the case his new style works for Fight Club 3 because much of the story is gritty and low-rent and those bits have to contrast with the impossible fantasy elements.
TW: As this is your second graphic novel series, has it become easier for you to write for the comics format?
CP: It should be easier, but I’ve thrown more challenges into my own path. Now not only must I reinvent the characters, I’ve got to retain some of the conventions of FC2 — such as the “real” objects covering parts of the pages — but I also have to brainstorm new visual and formatting ideas that will give this next part of the story its own look. Why waste a chance to experiment?
TW: This is the third tale of yours featuring Taylor Durden. What new facets of his personality are there to explore with him as a character?
CP: What would it be like to accept Tyler as an ally instead of an enemy? What if the enemy this time was something entirely NOT Tyler?
TW: Marla Singer is the other main protagonist in the story. What was the appeal for you as a writer to feature a female protagonist in this third Fight Club story?
CP: All kidding aside, I do not think of my characters as having a gender. Marla is just a strong, forceful, smart character, and who doesn’t want to have another such character in any story?
TW: Are there plans for a Fight Club 4 comic?
CP: I should live so long.