Skip to main content

The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente

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. 

Mike Miller gave up his house three years ago, and now lives entirely at cons. They fly him out, put him at hotels, and he spends time at the cons drawing sketches at the Artists' Alley table. 

This time however, Mike Miller's arrival at San Diego Comic-Con there's an incredibly high honour entrusted to him. Mike is to present a lifetime achievement award to Benjamin Kurtz, the creator of Mister Mystery, who also happens to be his oldest friend and mentor in the business. 

But, things don't pan out quite as he planned. He finds out on his cab ride to the hotel (on Twitter none the less), that Ben has passed away. 

Devastated and in shock, Mike is having a hard time processing this information. Then to top it off, his bitter rival (who also happens to be the guy that stole his ex from him) has been murdered. Guess who is the prime suspect?

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 questions about what he does for a living:

"Comic books. Really? They still make those?"

The book is a nod to Comic Book fandom. It's a fast read that makes a great carry-on when you're travelling by air, or the train, and perfect for a weekend vacation. Don't be surprised to get nods and questions from fellow travellers though. The cover of The Con Artist really catches the eye.

An entertaining read 👍


Blog Post by Shilpa Raikar, who believes in the power of storytelling to connect readers, and strives for diversity and inclusivity. 

The Con Artist is published by Quirk Books. Copy provided by Penguin Random House Canada

Review by @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)