David Sandlin Among NYPL’s Cullman Center Fellows

D_Sandlin.jpgArtist and graphic novelist David Sandlin is among the newly announced class of fellows at the the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He is joined by literary luminaries including David Bezmozgis, Mary Gaitskill, and Wells Tower; New Yorker staff writer Larissa MacFarquhar; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed. The 14 fellows—a mix of creative writers, scholars, and academics—will be in residence at the Cullman Center from September 2010 through May 2011, pursuing a range of book projects that will make extensive use of the library’s holdings. Belfast-born Sandlin, who is on the faculty at the School of Visual Arts, will use his fellowship to work on a graphic novel called Belfaust, the culmination of his eight-volume artist’s book series, “A Sinner’s Progress.” The series was born from Sandlin’s interest in exploring American puritanism, he notes on his website, and follows the adventures of Bill Grimm, an ‘on the go and on the make’ salesman of Christian novelty items. Many of Sandlin’s characters are modeled after people he knows. “My work is often allegorical,” he says, “and using models with personal connections to me helped me create sympathy for what otherwise might appear to be two-dimensional mythological characters.”