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Drama Con

Dramacon is an original English-language manga by Svetlana Chmakova about a perky girl named Christie who falls in love with a Tall, Dark and Snarky cosplayer over the course of three volumes, each of which involves one annual three-day anime convention. While the love story is the main focus of the book, in telling it the book deftly tackles the oddities of pop culture conventions, and the fans and people of the industry who attend them.

Dramacon contains examples of:

  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles - Opal, Brett, and Derek joke about this to freak Christie out, then tell her that it's in the hentai they're going to see. Christie does not join them.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of questions raised in the manga aren't answered, so they get answered by Chmakova in the end of book three.
  • Animesque - one of the better ones.
  • Ascended Fan: Lida is implied to be one.
  • Attempted Rape - Christie's current/first (and soon-to-be-ex) boyfriend goes a little berserk over Christie being too friendly with Matt and tries to have his way with her that night.
    • He WAS drunk, but still.
  • Author Avatar - Despite some speculation that Christie or Lida are this, one appears in book 3 in the background getting Lida's autograph.
    • She also shows up in the omake chapters, where she usually ends up feuding with her characters over their opinions on the plot. This carries over into the main story at one point, where she inflicts the "Random Tool of Author Retribution" on Monica for criticizing the writing.
  • Badass Longcoat: Matt wears one for his cosplay in volume one.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Subverted with Lida and her assistant. Unlike Shigure and Mitsuru, Lida's assistant fights back. At one point, she stresses that the assistants put up with more than the writers, referring to an incident where Lida failed to get a manuscript in on time. Deep down, though, they love each other.
  • Bishōnen - Matt. So very much.
    • Lampshaded in the illustration on the back of the Ultimate Edition, which has convention badges for the main characters, with Matt's reading "Resident Bishonen."
  • Bland-Name Product - In spades. "Mcburger Queen," "Daylodge," "Taco Hut," "Pawky," "Photoo-Shoop," "Mangapop," "Sailing Moon," "Wolf's Reign," "Fruity Basket," and "Half Metal Alchemist," "Yo-Gi-U," and "Minitokyo."
  • Black Best Friend - Beth and Raj. Note: pretty sure Raj is Indian, judging by his name and the fact that he is wearing a bindi-like accessory on his forehead when we first meet him?
  • Brick Joke: Sexy Joe, a one-off joke in volume one, briefly returns in volume three. And yes, it is hilarious.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Matt and Christie.
  • Cat Girl - Opal in volume 1 and Hyu-Jeong and Monica in volumes 2 & 3.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl - Emily, but she backs off.
  • Cool Big Sis - Sandra.
  • Cool Shades and Sunglasses at Night - Matt
  • Constructive Criticism: In the first volume Lida Zeff relates some constructive criticism to both Derek and Christie regarding Wary City, separately though. She told Derek his artwork was promising but there was a lot he needed to work on and suggested art school. Derek took it poorly and told Christie Lida was a "stuck-up bitch". Lida told Christie her writing was quite excellent but there were areas she needed to work on as well. Christie took it a lot better than Derek and wrote down Lida's suggestions.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl - Monica and Hyu-Jeong
  • Crash into Hello
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: In the third volume, Beth's aunt Jaz comments that "somewhere, a herd of pigs is taking off in flight" in response to Beth's mother apologizing for the way she treated her.
  • Date Peepers: Hyu-Jeong and Monica.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Matt.
    • Emily is just as blunt and snarky as he, which seems to be why they get on so well.
    • Christie's shoulder devil is like this in response to the shoulder angel sometimes.
    (after a girl answered when Christie called Matt)
    Angel: I—I'm sure it's just a roommate or something. It's always a roommate or something!
    Devil: Or, he got a sex-change operation. In which case we're supportive but still straight as a ruler and suddenly uninterested.
  • Drives Like Crazy - Brett.
  • Education Mama - Beth's. Her sister pretty accurately calls her out on it.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita - Sandra and Greta run a shop dedicated to this. It's also Monica and Hyu-Jeong's preferred cosplay style, and Christie and Beth both wear it as well in the third volume.
  • Eye Scream - Matt is revealed to have a horrible scar over one eye that implies he lost it in an incident that is never explained or even alluded to.
    • In the second book he's shown to have been bullied for it.
    • Word of God has revealed that he lost his eye in a fireworks accident as a kid.
  • The Glomp - At one point in the third book Matt wears a shirt saying "Glomp me and DIE".
    • And that's after the teeshirt saying "Your village called, their cosplayer is missing''. Apparently the glomp shirt is less offensive.
    • Twice in the second book, Lida Zeff (popular manga artist) gets the 'Fan Club Glomp'. And Matt gets glomped by a random fan. It causes a scuffle.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel - Good Angel's quite the drama queen.
  • Half Truth- Bethany convinces her mother to let her go to the convention by describing it as an international culture exhibit.
  • He's Okay - Brett assures Christie that the raccoon currently plastered to his front bumper at the start of the first book is "just resting."
  • Headbutt of Love - Quite literally in book 3.
  • Hide Your Lesbians - Sandra and Greta can be seen holding hands and even sharing a bed in the background, but nothing is ever explicitly stated, at least not in the manga itself. Though sharing beds during conventions, at least, is pretty standard procedure. Greta also quietly calls Sandra "love" at one point.
  • Ironic Echo: "If he loves you, he shouldn't do things that hurt you."
  • I Wished You Were Dead - Bethany to her mom in book 3.
  • Jerk Ass: The snooty "table neighbor" in Book 2. Spurns Christie's friendly greeting, rudely interrupts when Christie and her friends are talking about their favorite author, and calls Bethany "a kiss up" when she saw said author offer her a job. It nearly gets her slapped but Beth takes the high road and leaves her be. Christie and Beth's friends, on the other hand, aren't so lenient.
    Monica: (steepling her fingers as she and her friends glare at the girl) That was our friend you were harassing just now. Welcome to the rest of your day at the Artist's Alley with us.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold - Matt, who turns out not to be an actual Jerk Ass. Just a little socially inept.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Emily complains that people keep on glomping her because apparently, she looks like some manga character.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: The group does this to Matt and Christie in book 3. Christie is pissed off at them for this, at least at first.
  • Love at First Punch - How Matt and Emily met in the second book.
  • Love Triangle - The second book.
  • Manga Effects - Many, many effects. Lampshaded in the third book.
    • The first time manages to draw a lot of attention.
    Cosplayer 1: Now THAT'S cosplay. Where'd she get the special effects?
    Cosplayer 2: Hmpf, Japan, probably. Needs more color.
    • The second time makes it onto the local news.
  • Moment Killer - Mostly involving Monica and Hyu-Jeong.
    (Matt and Christie are talking)
    Christie: Why? Afraid you'll lose?
    Matt: want to play? What happened to the shy girl I met two years ago?
    Christie: She's not here right now... (they lean in) Would you like to leave a message...?
    (they are about to kiss when a camera flashes)
    Monica: (totally oblivious to Matt and Christie boiling over with rage)Aw! The flash wasn't supposed to go off!
    Hyu-Jeong: Told you a video would've been better.
    Caption: Privacy at a con = hahahahahaha.
    • Matt does this in the last scene of the last book. Christie is less than amused.
  • My Beloved Smother: Beth's mom.
  • Naked People Are Funny - Sexy Joe, who in the first volume joins in the masquerade just so he can go on stage and drop his pants, and returns in volume three to run around in a Conspicuous Trench Coat and flash the Artist' Alley.
  • Nice Guy - Raj, who's really a great guy, but as is pointed out, doesn't stand out much.
  • Noodle Incident - The "coffee scene" in the manga that Christie and Derek later replaced by Beth create.
  • Not Good with People - Matt is the second type, He gets better though.
  • Old Shame - In-universe: Lida is incredibly ashamed of her earlier work, Nightbloom.
    Lida: I thought that atrocity was finally out of print.
    Christie: O-oh, I...I thought it was pretty good.
    Lida: It's a crime against the comics artform. Let's burn it.
    Christie: No, no...Just a signature is fine!!
    • Which seems to double as a Take That Me, as the title and cover art are very similar to another title/cover-art of a series drawn by Svetlana herself, who has gone on the record to say her older art/writing embarrasses her.
  • One Head Taller - Matt and Christie, considering he's older.
  • Opposites Attract: - Christie and Matt.
  • Recurring Extra - The raccoon from the He's Okay entry pops up in the background in all three volumes. He even makes a cameo in the first volume of Svetlana's other work, Nightschool.
  • Shipper on Deck: Pretty much everyone for Christie/Matt besides Emily, but even she backs off after a while. Hyu-Jeong and Monica avidly ship Beth/Raj, and eventually get Christie on board, too.
    Monica: Come on! She's your best friend! You owe her a good meddling in her love life!
    Christie: Or lack thereof.
  • Shirtless Scene - Matt gets a brief one in volume three.
  • Shout-Out - Ties in with Bland-Name Product above. On the back of volume 1, there's a picture of Christie dressed as Tohru, with Yuki, Kyo, and Hana plushies in the bag next to her. There's also the hats at Matt's table in the Artist Alley, which have an angry looking mouse hat and a bored looking cat hat. Christie's kitty hat is clearly Kyo. There's also many other shout-outs by way of cosplayers, like the guy with an arrow pointing up on his head and someone with hair-loopies, and when Beth's cousin buys a headband with a T in a circle on it.
    • Also to fellow Tokyopop OEL manga MBQ (as in, McBurger Queen) which started its run at about the same time.
    • In volume one, one of the omakes has Matt reading Porry Hatter.
    • In volume two, Christie and Beth discuss musical tastes such as Tustin Jimberlake and Narilyn Nanson.
  • Shown Their Work - In volume three, Hyu-Jeong, Monica, and Matt all comment (with varying degrees of politeness) on Christie's use of satin for her first handmade cosplay. Most experienced cosplayers will tell you to avoid using shiny fabrics like satin unless you really know what you're doing, as it tends to show off every wrinkle and flaw, and low quality satin can make a costume look cheap and flimsy.
    • The anime conventions depiction in general from going as a fan to working the tables or staff/security. Its a bit exaggerated but, yes, sometimes cons can get that crazy due to the fact that most are entirely volunteer-run and the staff can only do so much. Especially when the majority of the people that go to them are teenagers and young adults. So for a first-timer as Christine in the first volume (and Beth in the second) were, it can be a little overwhelming especially to those that don't understand the material (Beth's family in the third volume).
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky - Matt. Again.
  • Truth In Manga: Plenty about conventions of this nature (in this case an anime convention), especially for first timers. It's very easy to get overwhelmed by the craziness of the fans and rules.
  • Tsundere: Christie is Type B.
  • Unreliable Narrator - Christie at the start of the second book.
  • Warts and All: Dramacon tries to show all sides towards conventions and cosplaying, as well as attempting to write manga in America and the pratfalls that come with professional comic creating, though it tends to lean more towards optimism most of the time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse? - Incredibly prevalent and infuriating in the third book. To name the most glaringly obvious:
    • What happens to Christie and Matt, Bethany and Raj, and Derek and his fiance?
    • Does Bethany take the art job?
    • It pretty obvious she will, especially after patching things up with her mother.
      • It's more obvious in the compilation. Christie and Matt had a date at the zoo just before separating to start their new long-distance relationship. Bethany didn't get to meet the guy from Mangapop, but he left her a message to say that they're still interested, so she'll probably take it when they next meet. Bethany and Raj is still open.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different? - Bethany's mother, who doesn't approve of Bethany 1) liking anime and 2) not wanting to be a lawyer. They get better
  • Will They or Won't They? They Do.
  • Writer on Board - At one point Bethany is confronted by a kid who claims that OEL Manga is not "real" manga. He's 10, has a black headband and a Yo-Gi-U t-shirt, and communicates only by shouting.
    • And swearing. And being racist.
      • YMMV Of course, where this is anvilicious or an avil that needed to be dropped.
      • Not really anvilicious if you think about it. This kid appears to be somewhat of a weeaboo, and weeaboos tend to take issue with things that aren't Japanese.
      • At the very least it leads to a Crowning Moment Of Awesome when his mother, after calling him by his full name dresses him down right on the convention floor, makes him apologize and buys the manga. Bethany warns her that it might be too mature for him, to which she just smiles and buys a second copy, saying he can read it when he's older and hopefully more mature. Awesome.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Matt, according to Sandra.

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