Chuck Palahniuk on Creating Fight Club 2: "I Was the Dumbest Person in Every Room"
Chuck Palahniuk invades L.A. this weekend.
Photo by Allan Amato
If you were considering casually browsing for books at West Hollywood's Book Soup on Saturday or Hypno Comics in Ventura on Sunday, you might want to reconsider. Chuck Palahniuk is in town signing copies of his new graphic novel, Fight Club 2, and if these appearances are anything like his previous signings and events, it'll mean hundreds of the area's most devoted bookworms and Fight Club–loving bros lined up around the block.
But for Palahniuk, the process of creating Fight Club 2, which was initially released as a 10-issue comic book, wasn’t like any of the books he’d previously signed or read to his adoring fans.
“It was like being a student again,” Palahniuk says about working on Fight Club 2. “I was the oldest person in every room, but I was also the dumbest person in every room. It was nice to be back in that role, because then I had something to benefit from everybody.”
All 10 issues were compiled and released as a single graphic novel on June 28, just one day after Palahniuk began his tour in Seattle. But while many authors would sit back and enjoy the success of their latest project, Palahniuk — who tends to release at least one book each year — is already looking at his next couple of endeavors. Not only did he just announce another market he’s never entered with a surely twisted adult coloring book, Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color, but his award-winning Lullaby (2002) will likely be his third novel to be turned into a movie now that the indie project surpassed its Kickstarter goal.
“It’s probably the most mainstream of my books, and among people I know who don’t read many of my books, it’s their favorite,” Palahniuk says of Lullaby. “I think it’ll make a good movie. It’s got a lot of action and a lot of changes of scenery.”
But while Lullaby might be one of his most popular novels, the film adaptation of Fight Club is largely what serves as an introduction to Palahniuk’s work for the general public. Two decades passed between the original Fight Club and its sequel, but Palahniuk still felt right at home writing about Tyler Durden and company.
“It was more about trying to figure out what their past was like,” Palahniuk says. “The Narrator never talked about where he’d come from except complaining about his father, so creating a backstory for him and creating a backstory for Tyler that would stretch the story into the distant past as well as the future, that was the toughest part.”
The author hopes to have Fight Club 3 out within two or three years, and suggested that both the next Fight Club and a sequel to 2007’s Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey — which has been optioned for a film by James Franco — could be done as graphic novels.
As for the signing itself, it may be a bit less exciting than some of the bigger events Palahniuk has done. While touring for last year’s collection of short stories, Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, Palahniuk tossed bags full of candy corn and signed severed arms into the crowd, sometimes accidentally drilling people in the head. This year’s tour won’t feature any reading — and likely no candy-throwing — but it’ll be an opportunity for Palahniuk’s fans to have a moment of one-on-one time with the author, which is near-impossible at the bigger events.
“The signings themselves take so much time that I can’t make too much happen there,” Palahniuk says. “Each signing is an eight- to 10-hour day, as it takes a long time to get to every person. I promise to do my best to make something happen, but there’s not much I can do there. It’s not a big show like it is at the events.”
Both events are ticketed to avoid mobs of people trying to cram into bookstores (and comic book stores), so you may want to get your ticket ASAP if you intend to go. Tickets for both events cost right around $30 (the price of the book) and include a copy of the book as well as the opportunity for Palahniuk to sign two other books or items of memorabilia for you.
No, gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate are not included.
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Los Angeles.