Manga: Dramacon

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 the anime screening they are going to watch, just to freak Christie out, since (granted) they are going to watch a hentai anime featuring girls and tentacles. One doesn't have to think why Christie doesn't join them.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys
  • All There in the Manual: Lots of the questions that were raised in the series aren't properly addressed until Chmakova answers them at the end of the third volume.
  • Animesque: It has to be expected from an OEL Manga short series.
  • Ascended Fan: It is implied that Lida is one of them.
  • Attempted Rape: Derek, drunk, goes a little berserk on Christie after he saw her and Matt being too friendly and tries to have his way with her that night. That is, until Christie knocks him over with an alarm clock.
  • Author Avatar: Despite there is some speculation that perhaps Lida or Christie are Svetlana's avatars... she appears in the third volume in the background getting Lida's autograph, and she also shows up in the omake chapters of the third book as well, 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 Green qualifies as such, much more because he is Tall, Dark and Snarky. It gets lampshaded in the illustration on the back of the Ultimate Edition, which has convention badges for the main characters, with Matt's reading as "Resident Bishonen".
  • Bland-Name Product: And in spades. There are brands and products as "McBurger Queen", "Daylodge", "Taco Hut", "Pawky", "Photoo-Shoop", "Mangapop", and series titles as such "Sailing Moon" "Wolf's Reign", "Fruity Basket", "Half Metal Alchemist", "Yo-Gi-U", and "Minitokyo".
  • Black Best Friend: Beth and Raj, even though Raj's name implies he is Indian and he first appears wearing a bindi-like accessory on his forehead.
  • 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 appears cosplaying as such in volume 1, and Hyu-Jeong and Monica too in the other two volumes.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Emily, but she eventually backs off.
  • Cool Big Sis: Sandra, Matt's sister, who not only cares for her brother, but also for Chrsitie.
  • Cool Shades: Matt uses a pair, in the Sunglasses at Night variant.
  • Constructive Criticism: In the first volume, Lida Zeff offers some constructive criticism to both Derek and Christie regarding "Wary City", their fanzine/doujinshi, separately. She told Derek that his artwork was promising but there was a lot he needed to work on and suggested art school. But Derek took it poorly and told Christie Lida was a "stuck-up bitch". Lida, then, told Christie that 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 even wrote down Lida's suggestions.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Monica and Hyu-Jeong
  • Crash-Into Hello: Christie first meets Matt while running away from her (ex)boyfriend's flirting with other female attendants and his negligences on her feelings.
  • 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, though it backfires him so coldly.
    • Emily is just as blunt and snarky as Matt is, 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 Gothic Lolita's clothes and accesories called "D'elusion".
    • Monica and Hyu-Jeong prefer to cosplay as such, and Christie and Beth both wear it as well in the third volume.
  • Eye Scream: Matt has a horrible scar over one of his eyes, implying he lost it in an incident (Word of God confirms it was because of a fireworks' accident he had as a kid). He was also bullied because of it.
  • The Glomp: Given that the series focus mostly on anime conventions, this is expected to happen.
    • At one point, in the third book, Matt wears a shirt saying "Glomp me and DIE", which was much more better than using a tee saying "Your village called, their cosplayer is missing".
    • Lida Zeff gets the "Fan Club Glomp", twice in the second book. And Matt gets glomped by a random fan, causing a scuffle.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Christie's Good Angel is 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: It is ambiguously implied that Sandra and Greta are lesbians, since they can be seen holding hands and even sharing a bed in the background, but nothing is ever explicitly stated. While sharing beds during conventions at least, is a 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 (not to her face, though) in the third volume, and it leads to a close Be Careful What You Wish For moment.
  • Jerk Ass: The snooty "table neighbor" in the second volume. 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 offering 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 to be more of a social inept guy rather than an actual Jerk Ass.
  • 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 volume 3. Christie is pissed off at them for this, at least at first.
  • Love at First Punch: That's how Matt and Emily met in the second book.
  • Love Triangle: The second book focuses in this in between Christie, Matt and Emily.
  • 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 when they are around with Chistie and Matt.
    (Matt and Christie are talking)
    Christie: Why? Afraid you'll lose?
    Matt: ...you 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's 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: [Invoked] 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:
  • 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. It's 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 fits as such, given his personality and mysterious "aura" behind his Cool Shades.
  • 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, even though some of these questions do GET resolved in the "Ultimate Book" compilation. To name the most glaringly obvious: What happened to Bethany and Raj and Derek and his fiance?
    • What happened to Christie and Matt? Well, they had a date at the zoo just before separating to start their new long-distance relationship. What happened to Bethany's new art job? She 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.
  • 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.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: According to Sandra, Matt would never do it.