The graphic novel version of “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk is more critical of social issues than the actual text of “Fight Club”, due to the medium as well as due to the differences in plot.
In the graphic novel version, we are introduced to a character named Sebastian who lives a very typical white collar American lifestyle. Sebastian works in an office, has a family, and lives in the suburbs. In the textbook, the narrator, who is portrayed by Sebastian in the graphic novel, is never introduced. The graphic novel mainly emphasizes and comments on Sebastian’s white collar life and the suburbs, Sebastian’s office job, as well as his pill and medical marijuana usage.
In the text version of “Fight Club,” since Sebastian is never introduced, the text never comments on Sebastian’s white collar American life, or drug use. Since Sebastian’s lifestyle is never introduced, the text starts out with a lower level of social critique, especially since the text starts out on the roof of a skyscraper with the narrator having a gun pointed at him. However, towards the end of the text, Tyler is with the mechanic, who claims “….your father is your model for god,” which is why the text version peaks towards the end of the graph. The text critiques masculinity and religion more than the other issues that were portrayed in the graphic novel.
A key difference between the graphic novel and the text is the way the reader interprets it. In the graphic novel, it is important for the reader to carefully analyze each panel because details about the plot may be subtler than the text and each person can interpret the artwork differently. The biggest difference was the difference in plot. The text is more focused on Tyler than on Sebastian, which is not true for the graphic novel. Sebastian’s lifestyle is more critiqued than narrator’s, because Sebastian appears to have more problems to critique than the narrator in the text.
Overall, I think both mediums have their own definition of social critique. Both mediums comment on different issues due to different topics being introduced in each one. The graphic novel portrays a wider range of issues, such as pill addition and Sebastian’s feelings towards his standard suburban lifestyle, while the book focuses on deeper topics such as masculinity and religion.