Read the surreal first chapter of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club 3 comic for free
Everybody knows the first rule of fight club, but Chuck Palahniuk can't stop breaking it. The Fight Club author has now written two sequels to his original zeitgeist-changing novel, both in comic book form and illustrated by Cameron Stewart with covers by David Mack. Fight Club 2, originally published by Dark Horse in 2015 and 2016, picked up the story of Tyler Durden, Marla Singer, and the unnamed narrator years after the original novel. Though the narrator, going by the name "Sebastian," had married Marla and fathered a son with her, his anarchist Tyler personality eventually broke through and resumed his plans for nihilistic world domination. Fight Club 3 takes the story even further, but now the narrator (going by "Balthazar" this time) has to team up with Tyler in order to solve...a global pandemic?
That's right. In one of the many cultural convergences and coincidences that currently keep popping up in our lives, Fight Club 3 features a global pandemic. The collected edition is out from booksellers this week, and you can read the first issue (of 12 total), in full below, exclusively from EW.
“Fight Club 3 is about what happens when you need to team up with your enemy,” Palahniuk told EW when Fight Club 3 was first announced. “And the situation is even more complicated here, given Tyler Durden and Balthazar’s unique relationship. And, yes, bodily fluids will be exchanged.” Now he adds, "It's Pandemic at the Disco! when Tyler Durden fights for herd immunity at a sex club...and you're the wingman."
Fight Club does not like to speak plainly, dating back to the original iconic reveal that Tyler and the narrator were the same person. So as weird as that plot description for the comic sounds, it gets even weirder when put through the book's surreal art style. Stewart maximizes the dream-like elements of his art, while letterer Nate Piekos adorns the pages with graphic elements like flies and vomit, as if they are sitting on top of the page.
"With both Fight Club 2 and Fight Club 3, I wanted to mash up the grim sensibility of Edward Gorey and the old EC horror comics," Palahniuk told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "Physical action is paramount, and the sparse dialogue is almost beside the point. Cameron is the only artist who could give me the million unique gestures and facial expressions that carry such a story. The Fight Club world intercuts constantly between the present, the past, the conscious and the subconscious, and this year's issues will explore a surreal Little Nemo in Dreamland layer of story; Cameron is also the only artist in comics who could manage those shifts between plotlines without losing the reader. As for Nate, he has great tricks for making the few bits of dialogue really pop. And, when I get clever or mansplain-y, Nate slaps a pill or spermatozoa smack-dab on my excess dialogue. The bastard."
Read the first issue of Fight Club 3 below. If you're interested in reading more, the collected edition is available now from booksellers.