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.
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.
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.
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.
Executive Meddling - series creator Svetlana Chmakova stated in this interview that Tokyopop had her create the first volume as a self-contained book, because they didn't know if they were going to publish the other two.
This is pretty typical industry practice, though, at least for OEL manga creators (whose work usually goes straight to book format without being serialized first, which is standard in Japan).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Also to fellow Tokyopop OEL manga MBQ (as in, McBurger Queen) which started its run at about the same time.
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).
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 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 Manga Pop, 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.
Writer on Board - At one point Bethany is confronted by a kid who claims that OEL Manga is not "real" manga. He's 10, dressed as Naruto has a black headband and a Yo-Gi-U t-shirt, and communicates only by shouting.
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. Awesome.