The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente

The Con Artist

This illustrated mystery will appeal to comic book fans and anyone who appreciates an unconventional whodunit.Comic book artist Mike Mason arrives at San Diego Comic-Con, seeking sanctuary with other fans and creators—and maybe to reunite with his ex—but when his rival is found murdered, he becomes the prime suspect. To clear his name, Mike will have to navigate every corner of the con, from zombie obstacle courses and cosplay flash mobs to i...

Details The Con Artist

TitleThe Con Artist
Release DateJul 10th, 2018
PublisherQuirk Books
GenreMystery, Fiction, Humor, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Crime

Reviews The Con Artist

  • Sam Quixote
    Some comics professional got murdered at San Diego Comic Con - whodunit? The real question is: who cares? Because Fred Van Lente’s novel The Con Artist is utter rubbish - a failed attempt at a nerd-flavoured murder mystery that only ever bores. The book is less about the murder mystery as it is about Van Lente droning on about the comics industry. How creators back in the day got screwed, toxic fandoms, how underappreciated comics pros are, the...
  • Josh
    A match made in heaven for comic book buffs and pop culture nerds who like their lives spiced with a little crime fiction. Set among the cosplay chaos that is the San Diego Comic-Con, famous illustrator, Mike Mason finds himself smack-bang in the middle of a murder investigation. The deceased happens to be the guy Mike's wife left him for some years back and the candle still burns bright for this comic-book stalwart. A chance encounter and subseq...
  • Cameron Chaney
    I was sent a copy of The Con Artist in exchange for an honest review.The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente follows Mike Mason, a formally famous, now homeless comic book artist who spends his life traveling from Comic-Con to Comic-Con. When a murder occurs at the San Diego Con, the police begin to connect the murder to Mike. Thus begins a weekend-long romp of Comic-Con insanity to expose the killer and clear his name.The murder mystery sub-genre is pr...
  • Nikki
    I’ll be honest, I initially requested this from Netgalley because I thought it was a graphic novel. When I realized it wasn’t, it took me a good long while to finally decide to read it. I really am glad I decided to though. This ended up being a very entertaining dark satire about the comic con world, and those that inhabit it. Both by working ‘the con’ and going to it. Alongside the busy goings on of the event, we are treated to a multi-...
  • Penelope (Penelope’s Picks)
    *5/5 STARS*The Con Artist is an Adult Murder Mystery by Fred Van Lente.The story follows comic book artist, Mike Mason as he lands in San Diego to attend this year’s Comic-Con. Being a comic book artist, Mike has an open invitation to attend Comic-Con every year and because Mike has recently separated from his wife and is basically living from con-to-con, he attends as many as he can in order to support himself. As well as a way to avoid settli...
  • Melissa
    I received an ARC from the publisher because working at the library is the best.Crime and Comic Con are two of my favorite things (especially if I don't have to moderate a panel), so this was right up my alley. Clever and witty with lots of geek easter eggs, cosplay, zombie prison breaks, and of course because this is 2018, Nazis, and the requisite twistyness is entirely plausible instead of ridiculous. A fine homage to being a nerd that doesn't ...
  • Carol
    To be published in time for SDCC, The Con Artist is a hilarious mystery where a slightly washed-up comics artist is blamed for the death of his bitter rival.It's important to note that both the author and illustrator are seasoned comics veterans and that really shines through the pages. I've only been to one big comic con (ECCC, big but not nearly as big as SDCC I know) but I relived some of my experiences (lines! getting to meet rad artists in A...
  • Bethany
    Actual Rating: 2.5 starsI really wanted to love this book, and I had a kind of hard time deciding how to rate it. The Con Artist is a murder mystery set at San Diego Comic Con from the perspective of a comic book artist who is off his game, divorced, and basically lives at conventions. The premise sounded amazing, and there are things to like here, but ultimately the negatives pulled the rating down for me. What I liked:- References to lots of ve...
  • Bandit
    I’ve never been to a comic con. I’d be interested to go, but not enough to warrant the cost of admission, so a literary trip it is, then. Enhanced all the more by its San Diego location, another place I’ve never been, but would definitely be worth the money. Franky, the eponymous protagonist of this oh so punnily titled novel might have wished he’d never gone to this particular comic con. But it’s what he does, no steady residence, just...
  • Mara
    2.5 stars- all of the elements of this were things that I should love, but it just didn't come together in a way that I personally enjoyed. I think the humor attempts didn't quite work for me... but to be fair, noir in general is a little bit of a hard sell for me anyways, so that may have impacted my experience. If you like noir and comic culture, I think this is worth a try
  • Chris
    A mystery sent at a Comic Con, sign me up. The best-selling point of this novel are the inside jokes about culture – the LOTR references, Star Wars, Cosplay. There are even some interesting points about how it is a Comic Con but most people seem to think that comics are no longer being published. A convention to celebrate something and that thing gets pushed to the margins. Mike Mason is a comic artist who makes his living by going to cons. He ...
  • Nicholas Kaufmann
    I enjoyed Fred Van Lente's debut comedic mystery novel, 2017's 10 DEAD COMEDIANS, but THE CON ARTIST finds the author fully in his element. (Although Dante Dupree from 10 DEAD COMEDIANS is name-checked in THE CON ARTIST, which I guess puts both novels in the same...Van Lenteverse?) A murder mystery set at a nerdy convention isn't exactly a new concept (Sharyn McCrumb's 1988 BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN comes to mind, as does Nick Mamatas's 2016 I AM P...
  • Stephanie (That's What She Read)
    I love mysteries, and when I saw that this was going to be a murder mystery with a bit of nerdtastic fun, I was in. I enjoyed The Con Artist. We follow a comic book artist named Mike who has arrived at San Diego Comic Con. When Mike's known professional and romantic nemesis turns up dead, and Mike is struggling to find a solid alibi for the time of the murder, he makes his way through the chaos of the convention to solve the mystery itself. This ...
  • Max Baker
    Thank You Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest reviewA book about fandom. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, books about fandom are in right now. And The Con Artist joins a surprisingly short list of them that manage to really capture fandom in a smart, thoughtful, and overall inspiring way. Plus it's a murder mystery set at Comic Con. How awesome is that?Comic book artist Mike Mason is a con va...
  • Todd Glaeser
    I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.I used to live in San Diego and used to go to SDCC annually until movies and tv took over and getting tickets became a lottery system. I think it’s been 5 years (maybe 6) since I’ve been able to get tickets.Fred Van Lenth does a great job of capturing the essence and atmosphere of Comic-con. He’s been on both sides of the table, as well as in the Hall and the after parties. (I have to...
  • Kira
    *received an ARC for review*4.5 stars*This book is written for fans. Fans of TV, comics, movies, all fans of all kinds. I LOVED all the references, the shout outs to all kinds of fandoms, the loving detail that went into coming up with future ideas that are completely plausible for the entertainment industry. I loved all of it.It's too bad the story wasn't as good. It's a typical 'who dunnit' murder mystery, and it got kind of convoluted near the...
  • Gemma
    While I didn't have high expectations for this, I was nevertheless disappointed. A lot of the characters were obvious caricatures, including the CEO of the biggest comic book/entertainment distributor (a la Marvel) asking un-ironically "Do we still make comics?". The main character is also the biggest unironic white knight I've ever read, constantly finding ways to be more PC than every other scumbag in the narrative. This was a marginally more r...
  • Adriana
    A solid mystery that stands out from many like it by being based entirely on the real-life Comic-Con that takes place in San Diego every year. This was a main selling point for me as I could easily identify the places, people, and events the author was referring to -even when names were changed to protect people and copyrights- but I do wonder if someone who is unfamiliar with it will get as much of a kick out of it.Extra kudos to Van Lente for g...
  • Whitney
    *3.5As someone who works at SYFY and worked at SDCC this year, this was a very enjoyable and detailed story based at this convention. I enjoyed the few references to SYFY as well. Very fun story!
  • Lauren
    Not a big fan of this one. The reveal was lack luster and honestly the characters were so one dimensional. I love Comic Con and that’s what caught my eye. Unfortunately the author spent too much time describing the minutiae of the ins and outs of the streets around comic con that he forgot to develop a character worth liking.
  • Shilpa
    The title of Fred Van Lente's book is brilliant, to say the least. It's a novel about a comic book artist, in particular Comic Con artist, who spends his days with no fixed address, going from one comic book convention to the next giving talks and signing books. The book has a hilarious tone to it, despite the anxiety that envelopes the whole situation. It's worthy of farce, punctuated with recurring comments, such as when Mike responds to questi...
  • Alissa
    This is a quirky, dumb, fun mystery. The writing isn't the most erudite, but it's the nerd equivalent of a mindless beach read. It probably won't work for you if you've ever been to a con, but otherwise there is a nice surprise twist ending that I enjoyed.
  • Sarah Theis
    4.5 stars ⭐This is my kind of book. So much geek is packed in these pages. And it's humorous even with murder a foot. I could have stayed up all night reading it in one go, though I have a toddler and in the morning he will not care if mommy needs more sleep, specially if I stayed up past my bed time 😂 I'm looking forward to finishing it.*Finished it* I have to say this book is worth the read. The amount of humor is great, the amount of geek...
  • Sarah
    While most people think of "summer reads" as books that takes place at the beach, this was the perfect "summer nerd-read" because it takes place at the San Diego Comic Con. The book was made even more enjoyable while I read it because I started it while the Con was taking place. I've never been (and truthfully will probably never be able to go), so it was a lot of fun reading a book that took place at "Nerd Central." I may never be there mysel, b...
  • John Driscoll
    My library received an Advance Reader Copy of this book, which is what I read and what my review is based on. It's made from an uncorrected proof, and according to the disclaimer, the illustrations are not the final artwork. That's a good thing, because what's in this version are extremely rough sketches.The Con Artist (because he's an artist and it takes place at a Con! Get it?!) is the story of a comics artist, a few years past the height of hi...
  • Mike
    Started off strong and considerably lost momentum (and became overly predictable) with each chapter.
  • LibraryOfTheNight
    I was sent this book for in exchange for a honest review. I just wanted to say a big thank you to the team at Quirk books for this opportunity.I will say I really enjoyed this book! I loved the nerdyness of it. And really appreciated the story. I will say i did guess the murderer. But there was tons of twists! If your into mysterys, or comic con or just want to nerd out i highly suggest you pick up this book.THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. Im ...