When I picked up this book at the 2019 ECCC from the Quirk Books booth I was expecting great outside the box material and The Con Artist delivered. The novel relies on pop culture references, recognized brands and labels, and even some made up ones to protect the protagonist, Mike (a fairly well known comic author in this universe for Mystery Man – who sounds to me like superhero The Shadow), from being sued due to copyright infringement. Needless to say this is the least of his problems, as he is quickly entangled in a murder mystery worthy of Agatha Christie’s praise. It is this type of dark comedic and ironic sidebars what make the chapters so iconic and fun to read. The author did an awesome job at creating a protagonist that didn’t take himself too lightly nor too seriously.
There is a small disclaimer: If you haven’t been to the San Diego area or attended a Con the plot devices might be hard to follow or understand. Check out a map of the area ahead of reading or during to clarify points, enlist the help of nerd friends to explain unknowns. I’ll have more insight once I get feedback from my sister, who was very intrigued by the jacket’s synopsis. Share this gem with your fellow nerds/geeks; it’s a really cool gift or stocking stuffer. Not convinced? Try any of the books pictures above. Quirk books has everything for everyone.