On May 27th, Chuck Palahniuk unleashes the long-awaited comic sequel to his best-selling book and its hit movie adaptation, courtesy of Dark Horse. We’re excited to bring you this collection of the first issue’s many covers — including a few exclusive reveals! — as we get the artists to break the first rule of Fight Club.
David Mack (regular cover)
I saw the film the night it came out. It had such an impression on me. I saw it the next night as well. And then I found all the books by Chuck that I could and read them all on a train in Paris in 1999. I connected to Fight Club. There were a lot of parallels with my life at that time.
I had a house that another artist was living in with me as we started our art quests. Instead of soap we were making comics. I’ll omit the other parallels of our life at that time to preserve plausible deniability. I was incredibly inspired by the film and the expression of this author and the filmmakers. I found it an incredible motivating story. “What do you want to do before you die?” And then you do it. The metaphor showing the brief window of time that we are here, and the countdown of it already ticking, and the focus that realizing that gun to your head brings to you.
In my covers there are considerations and questions about the nature of identity. The fluidity of it. The mystery of it. They mystery of your own identity to your self. The implications and fluidity of the present, past, and future you.
I have integrated multiple nods and easter eggs from the Fight Club mythos into the images. I like the idea of connecting the continuity of the book, the film, and the current time of the characters in the comic. There are so many wonderful icons that are fertile for integrating into the imagery. And it is important to acknowledge the brand new icons from this new story as well. So all of that went into the covers. As well as some personal details.
Cameron Stewart (variant)
I remember seeing the film when it was released and being blown away by the bleak humor and visual energy of it. I went and bought the book immediately and have been a fan of Chuck’s since.
In the first chapter of Fight Club 2, Sebastian [the name used by the narrator] is drowning in medication to keep Tyler suppressed, but as we know, you can’t keep the demon in a bottle forever... I also wanted to echo one of the visual tricks we use in the first chapter, where the flat, comic pages have more realistic, rendered objects sitting “on top,” obscuring the artwork beneath. I’m [really] enjoying drawing things that I think will completely subvert people’s expectations of this story. It’s going to be an interesting reaction for sure.
Paul Pope (Phantom Group/Forbidden Planet variant)
I read the book when it first came out in 1999, at the urging of a friend. And my friend was right, I literally could not put the book down until I finished reading it, cover to cover, in one sitting. Everything else was n hold that weekend. The only book since then to have me under such a spell with The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. Only a few months later, Manhattan was plastered in poster images of a giant pink bar of soap, the advertisements for the film, and I knew this wasn’t just a very good book, it had become a phenomenon.
With my cover, I wanted somehow to “fracture” the composition, suggesting violence and mental instability, while also giving weight to all three weird characters. I like to call the color palette used here “hospital sick,” like you’re agitated, waiting in an ER ward during a hurricane.
Tim Seeley (Chicago Comics variant)
When the original film came out it BLEW MY MIND. I was in college, experimenting with an anti-consumerism streak, and reading AdBusters. It fit perfectly into my view, and was a great movie to boot. I read the novel the next day, and have read all of Chuck’s novels since. [And] I will always love Marla Singer.
I wanted to capture the creepy bleakness of Chuck’s story...the near Lovecraftian horror of it.
Lee Bermejo (Ultravariant incentive)
I saw the movie before reading the book, and was already a huge Fincher fan so seeing his vision for Fight Club was a visual revelation. The photography alone had a huge affect on me. Reading the book after was interesting because it was one of the few times I’ve read a book after seeing the film adaptation but couldn’t see the characters as the actors in the film. Tyler quickly took on his own form in my mind, and the story itself became a different adventure. This is the power of Chuck P.
I like the raw brutality in the imagery fight club creates. It’s a psychological brutality just as much as physical. You don’t need to see the violence.... just hear the sounds and feel the sweat. Tried to convey that with a slight twinge of the ridiculous.
Chip Zdarsky (Books-A-Million variant)
After the movie came out I had a roommate who was obsessed with FIGHT CLUB. I loved the movie but he LOVED the movie. He worked nights at a bar/restaurant and, when his shift was over, him and some of his buddies would duke it out in the back alley as part of an honest-to-god fight club. Whenever I’d get a glimpse into his bedroom he’d always have his white t-shirt proudly displayed on the back of a chair, spattered with blood. I remember looking at the shirt and thinking that perhaps he didn’t quite get the movie.
There’s always the moments after the fights are over, when you’re just a guy who’s gone through the ringer. I like the fact that this secret club has such clear physical markers that it’s almost comical that it’s a secret. Especially going into the sequel, where he’s a father.
Having only read issue one, I love the speed of it all. There isn’t a wasted moment in it. Chuck and Cameron have hit the ground running and immediately make you want to know what comes next.over, when you’re just a guy who’s gone through the ringer. I like the fact that this secret club has such clear physical markers that it’s almost comical that it’s a secret. Especially going into the sequel, where he’s a father.
Amanda Conner (Tate’s Comics variant)
I didn’t read the book, but I did see the movie which I love and thought it was quite innovative. I enjoy seeing a character develop — on, as in the case of Fight Club, become unraveled.
When creating the cover, I wanted to get across Sebastian really being ripped apart and wanting to hold it together and having a hard time doing just that. A lot of times I like to capture the less obvious aspects, either in sequential art of a single illustration. I like to capture a scene that you wouldn’t see in a movie poster and that’s why I liked putting the kids from the support group on the cover with Marla. I wanted to juxtapose her attitude versus the kids’ attitude — how self-absorbed she is, especially compared to them.
Steve Lieber (TFAW Comics variant)
I love both [the book and the movie]. There were two things from Chuck Palahniuk’s writing that I wanted to get into the cover: his minimalist prose and his use of refrains. For the minimalism, I wanted to do something influenced by his uninflected language. So much of the power in Chuck’s writing comes from spare presentation — I knew that my cover would have to get impact from a strong concept, not from bravura draftsmanship.
As for the refrain, I knew I wanted an image of a single figure, which ruled out actually drawing a repeating pattern. So I tried to imply one with the staging, our hero pointing his gun right off the edge of the comic, taking aim at the back of his own balding head, like a snake eating its own tail. I tried to draw in the same key as interior artist Cameron Stewart. I like a cover that feels like it’s set in the same world as the interior pages. And the meta-ness of that arm going off one side of the cover and coming in on the other was influenced by Cameron’s use of objects sitting on top and blocking the reader’s view of the interior panels.
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