Dramacon

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Dramacon - Needs More Love

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 essence it really about the oddities of pop culture conventions, and the fans and people of the industry who attend them.


Tropes used in Dramacon include:

(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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I Wished You Were Dead - Bethany to her mom in book 3.
  • Jerkass: 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.

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)
Matt: STOP. PLAYING. GAMES.

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 Trenchcoat and flash the Artist' Alley.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Slap Slap Kiss
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky - Matt. Again.
  • Unreliable Narrator - Christie at the start of the second book.
  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
    • And swearing. And being racist.