The jokes, puns, allusions, references, word puzzles, innuendo, and flat out pratfalls never stop in Paul Beatty’s The Sellout. My poor brain feels it is missing half of the comedy, even while it is laughing and sighing and gaffawing. Don’t get me wrong, this is serious satire, extremely well-done, and I am in love with Mr. Beatty’s technique, deft understanding, and careful depiction.
I’m near the end of this novel and I’ve slowed down my reading considerably because this is a story I don’t want to ever end.
It hit me today how fast-paced and funny the pathos of The Sellout is. Like a Rodney Dangerfield routine, or a Tom Robbins riff, Paul Beatty is able to say what we really think – all of it – even the parts we hide from ourselves. It’s not that life doesn’t matter and nothing is sacred in his writing, it is that everything is sacred and everything is here and gone and it doesn’t matter at all, but it felt like something and that feeling is life.
It’s the best thing about reading fiction, to me. That feeling. That life.
There are three kinds of novels: the one you stop reading, the one you mean to read but keep forgetting to read, and novels like The Sellout, the kind that threatens to take over your life, demanding to be read now. I am an L.A. native. I love to read stories set in L.A. Paul Beatty has caught the feelings, the thoughts and fears, and the unspoken truth of life in L.A. So far, not a single word has rung untrue.
As I’ve said, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout: A Novel is an extremely visual novel. There is so much I could sketch that it is hard to decide. Then I read this quote, from Kindle Location 853, which includes its own suggested musical accompaniment, and the decision was easy.
I’m trying out a brand new nib. Up until now I’ve been using Speedball Sketching Project Set“>Speedball nibs. I’ve been learning about how to use the different sizes. I decided to try MyLifeUNIT Tachikawa Comic G Nib, Manga G-Pen Nib, Pack of 3“>manga nibs and, be still my heart, I’m in love with them.
For some reason I thought using a Speedball 108 nib for the lettering would be a good idea. Oh well.
Also, that’s the first horse I’ve drawn that even comes close to looking like a horse, so I’m happy.
Normally I dislike info dumps. I’ve stopped reading a novel or two because of the heavy handed lecture material. So far, I’m loving the way Paul Beatty is using factual information and, as I read, I find I want more and more of the information – factual information as well as fictional portrayal of ways of being – that Paul Beatty is sharing.
Today’s sketch is from page 46 of The Sellout: A Novel“>The Sellout. I don’t mean to be oblique in what my sketches portray, at the same time I feel I must avoid anything approaching a spoiler. The quote is a real quote, not made up by me. If you want to better understand the sketch, I invite you to read along,. I think is going to be a fantastic novel.
I sketched this in a Global Art Materials Field Watercolor Artist Journal Hand Book, 8 by 8-Inch“>Field Watercolor Journal, using Speedball General Purpose Pen Set two penholders and six pens“>Hunts Speedball nibs and Daler Rowney Simply Black India Ink, 1 oz“>Daler Rowney Black India Ink and Sennelier Watercolor Metal Bx 12 Half Pan Set“>Sennelier watercolors.
I’ve started a new book, without finishing my old so the next couple of days could be sketches from either. The new book is The Sellout by Paul Beatty. I’ve never read Paul Beatty before and I’m not far enough into the book to tell where it is going. I love his use of imagery. I think my bear looks more like a Dancing Bear than a Funshine bear, but that’s the point, right? We read books, and form our images from our own experience.