San Diego Comic-Con isn’t just a place for authors to promote their work—it’s got a literary tradition of its own. Here are some of the books and graphic novels set at or about SDCC.

Bad Weekend

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Image.

Hal Crane has been in the comics industry practically since the beginning. When he gets stuck at an out-of-town convention, waiting to receive a lifetime achievement award, he ends up taking a dark ride through comics’ seedy underbelly, where he meets dreamers, crooks, and swindlers.

Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World’s Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment

Rob Salkowitz. McGraw-Hill Education.

SDCC is the biggest comic book convention in the world, but it’s also so much more. Hollywood uses this annual show as “a massive focus group and marketing megaphone,” according to business author and futurist Salkowitz. In this book, he examines how the comic book and video game industries are expanding their influence on the whole business of pop culture.

The Con Artist: A Novel

Fred Van Lente. Quirk.

Comic book artist Mike Mason goes to SDCC to commune with other fans and creators and to maybe, if he’s lucky, reunite with his ex. Then his rival is found murdered and he becomes the prime suspect, turning his convention weekend into a whodunit of epic proportions that traces back to an industry legend.

A Hundred Thousand Worlds: A Novel

Bob Proehl. Viking.

The former star of a cult SF show goes on a cross-country con journey—ending at the biggest con of them all—to reunite her son with his father. Along the way, Proehl examines the stories we tell others and the stories we tell ourselves.

The Long Con

Dylan Meconis, Ben Coleman, and EA Denich. Oni.

It’s been five years since an explosion rocked the biggest comic book convention in the world, killing everyone inside—or did it? Reporter Victor Lai is sent to investigate rumblings that attendees not only survived but kept the con going all these years, forcing him to confront what happened that day and the decisions he made.

Pros and (Comic) Cons

Edited by Hope Nicholson. Dark Horse.

This anthology features comics and prose stories by cartoonists and professional geeks—including Brian Michael Bendis, Kieron Gillen, and Jim Zub—about the wild world of comic conventions. These stories range in theme and mood, but all revolve around how geek culture and its manifestation at conventions can shape us personally and professionally.

Queens of Geek

Jen Wilde. Swoon Reads.

Charlie is a vlogger and actress promoting her first big movie at the biggest fan convention in the world, but she and her friends are in for a chaotic weekend when new faces and unexpected exes challenge them to step outside of their respective comfort zones. Along the way, they learn about found family, fandom, and the importance of being honest with themselves.