Chuck Palahniuk working on graphic novel Fight Club sequel

If you purposefully avoided any and all news coming out of San Diego’s Comic-Con this past weekend, well, who could blame you, but amongst the attendees in ill-fitting lycra bodysuits and the adverts for adverts for forthcoming Hollywood blockbusters sat the panel of authors “Ode to Nerds”, and on that panel sat Chuck Palahniuk, who dropped a piece of comic book news that may even be of interest to those who don’t know that Spider-Man is hyphenated. Asked by an audience member what he was currently working on, the ever-prolific Palahniuk revealed that, following his soon-to-be-published novel Doomed, another novel, Beautiful You, and a book of short stories, both due for publication in 2014, he plans to release a sequel to his iconic 1996 debut Fight Club – as a graphic novel.

In an e-mail to his official website, The Cult, Palahniuk went into a little more detail: ‘Chelsea Cain has been introducing me to artists and creators from Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, and they’re walking me through the process.  It will likely be a series of books that update the story ten years after the seeming end of Tyler Durden.   Nowadays, Tyler is telling the story, lurking inside Jack, and ready to launch a come-back.  Jack is oblivious.  Marla is bored.  Their marriage has run aground on the rocky coastline of middle-aged suburban boredom.  It’s only when their little boy disappears, kidnapped by Tyler, that Jack is dragged back into the world of Mayhem.’

Tyler Durden, of course, is – spoiler alert – a manifestation of the Narrator’s subconscious (and I guess we’re calling the previously unnamed Narrator Jack now, presumably after the famed ‘I am Jack’s…’ lines of Fight Club). As Fight Club ended, Tyler had gathered a revolutionary fascistic cult around himself known as Project Mayhem, and was attempting to blow up the headquarters of several major credit card companies when the Narrator took drastic action by shooting himself in the head, thereby presumably ridding himself of the Tyler personality and landing himself in a mental hospital.

Beyond the hints made within the confines of that mental hospital that Tyler might someday resurface, it is not necessarily a conclusion that would lend itself easily to the plot description outlined by Palahniuk above – nothing about the Narrator and Marla’s relationship, or the way both characters are left, suggests either would ever resign themselves to ‘middle-aged suburban boredom’, whether together or separately. There is also, of course, the concern engendered by Palahniuk feeling a need to revisit his greatest popular (and arguably critical) success after a nearly twenty year period. Still, at least he’s trying something new with it, which hasn’t always been a given with Palahniuk’s work these past seventeen years.

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  1. Palahniuk will screw this up. His last 3 novels follow almost a write by numbers approach. What makes anyone think this sequel will be any different? Jack & Marla at the end of the actual book seem to be so far removed from falling into suburban life through their various rebellions, that this premise almost seems like a betrayal of the characters’ growth or the need to follow the formula again of such drivel as Pygmy. It’s a shame, because his first few novels are spectacular and inventive.

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