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Daydream About PhenomeCON With These Book Suggestions

This week, Teenspace staff would normally be polishing logistics for PhenomeCON, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh teensonly fandom convention. While the internet will always gather people around pop culture topics, there is something special about seeing it all come together in real life. 

One thing I love about PhenomeCON and about working with teens in general is that I can sit back and learn about different worlds within one conversation. I know very little about all the topics at PhenomeCON. Instead of trying to become an expert, I will allow any teen to school me in which manga rules their world, how the Netflix version ruined the book version, or why one comic book universe reigns supreme.  

I tried to play Super Smash Brothers exactly one time, and now I understand why teens yell at the TV.  

Rows of pizza and pizza-eating teens line a table at the Library.

Even though we can’t get in line for free pizza together at PhenomeCON this year, we still want to celebrate love of fandomsIn addition to being amazed by the ways teens teach me about fandom, I am also in good company with colleagues. 

Read on to find book suggestions and reflections I’ve gathered from staff at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh! Books are but one element of PhenomeCON, so hopefully one day we can all create stellar costumes, dive into roleplaying games and challenge one another in trivia at the Library once again. 

Teens in costumes celebrate their fandoms at the Library.

If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started. If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412-622-3114 or email us at 

Book cover art for Sailor Moon displays a character with blonde pigtails wearing a blue skirt.

Teen librarian Gabby’s Introduction to Manga – In this guide you will learn about the history of manga, the genres of manga, the Japanese publishing industry and about manhwa. 

Cover art for the book, YuYu Hakusho depicts two characters one big, one small.

Teen librarian Gabby’s Manga Classics for Budding EnthusiastsAre you interested in manga and don’t know where to start? Or have you read some popular manga such as “Attack on Titan” or “Tokyo Ghoul” and want to expand your manga repertoire? If so, this is the booklist for you! 

Cover art for the book, "Our Dreams at Dusk" depicts a young person drawn in blue looking out at the viewer.

Read Proud Graphic Novels and MangaFind LGBTQIA+ characters front and center in this booklist curated by Teenspace staff.

Cover art for the book, "Chaotic Good" depicts a young person in a dress surrounded by clothes and accessories.

Children’s and Teen librarian Megan’s Chaotic Good Staff PickThis nerdy coming-of-age story is a great read for lovers of cosplay, D&D and comics, but anyone can relate to the well-developed characters and their complex relationships. 

Various book covers displayed on Overdrive's Teen page.

Graphic Novels and MangaAvailable on Overdrive and Libby – Browse downloadable content about your favorite characters and worlds or find something new. 

Various comic book covers displayed on Hoopla.

Superhero Comics Available on HooplaBrowse downloadable comics in Hoopla, where content is always available with no wait.


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