Review – Lost at the Con

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While we’re a comic book site primarily we do delve into other facets like video games, games, movies and television, so it was a natural fit to review Bryan Young‘s Lost at the Con.  The book revolves around a political reporter named Cobb who has to head to Atlanta to cover a geek convention.  From the website:

Lost at the Con tells the tale of a drunken political journalist and his dangerous assignment to a sci-fi/fantasy convention. It’s a blend of fictional Gonzo journalism and geek culture in a way that is sure to please audiences inside and outside the geek community.

The book’s concept is great, only bettered by it’s execution.  But, where to start with the praise?  I guess you can begin with the main character Cobb himself.  I work in the world of politics and know so many political reporters.  Cobb is portrayed as a drunk, slightly detached from reality and a pessimistic curmudgeon.  In reality, a lot of the political reports I know are just drunks.  Alcohol plays a big role in politics, whether it’s going out post work to network at bars, heading to work events (where alcohol flows freely) or heading home and drinking to forget.  It’s all there in reality, so it’s presence in the book is a necessity.  Cobb is likeable in a sense that he’s a mess and you know what’s going to come out of his mouth and how he’s going to react will be entertaining.  After a while though, he also becomes someone you sympathize with as his journey continues and he opens up as a person.

But the star of the book is the convention it takes place in.  It perfectly captures the hodgepodge false reality created for those attending such conventions.  The people dressing up, the panels, stars signing pictures, it’s all there to be dissected by this reporter outsider.  It’s all accurate and capture the feeling of a convention, both during hours and the parties after.  Alcohol flows, drugs are used and dancing ensues in a series events befitting Hunter S. Thompson.

The book is solid.  It’s entertaining, funny, eye opening (if you’ve never been to a convention), over the top (but realistic) and most of all it has heart.  You care about Cobb towards the end, and while it’s not some amazing transformation like an After School Special, he shows enough growth that you’re cheering for him by the end.  If you like gonzo journalism, politics or conventions, really if you like a good read, this is a definite buy and read.

Rating: 9

Recommendation: Buy

You can catch 10 Questions with writer Bryan Young about the book posted earlier today.

Bryan Young provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of the book for FREE for review.