Dramacon (vol 1)
dramacon.jpg

Svetlana Chmakova
TokyoPop

Review by Gillian Morgan-Roberts
26 January 07

Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova is the story of Christie, a newbie comic writer, and her appearance in the artist alley of her first anime convention.

I found Dramacon on the whole a fairly light read, I think the 13+ rating rightly had something to do with this, it is definitely aimed at a young to middle teenage audience; there is an element of sexual content, which although brief and without nudity could be perceived as uncomfortable depending on the reader due to its sensitive context, which may be unsuitable for very young readers. However, there is also a good amount of light comedy, drama and romance, and lots of angst and suspense between Christie and leading man Matt throughout, all of which contribute towards making Dramacon a well balanced, enjoyable read.

From a more aesthetic perspective, the artwork in Dramacon is quite loose compared to a lot of other manga available in the same genre, although it flows nicely and incorporates a lot of nice detail. If I'm brutally honest I have seen better and if exceptionally good artwork matters to you then Dramacons' sketchy and frequently chibi or SD stylisation may initially be a little off-putting. However I urge you not to let this influence your decision too much as even an artwork junkie like me managed to get used to it fairly quickly (..!), once accustomed to it, it actually fitted quite nicely with the story and offered a cute, quirky distraction where the story occasionally became a little heavier, it is fresh, spontaneous and I think adds to rather than subtracts from Dramacons' appeal.

Personally the overall feeling was similar to the appeal of a teen soap…such as Dawson's Creek (oh no, showing my age (!) or even to a lesser extent something like the OC, complying of a lot of drama revolving around a strong cast of lead and supporting characters who all bounce off each other very nicely, and depending on your perception of that statement this manga could either be completely wrong for you or a great asset to your collection.

However I advise you to value your own opinion far more highly than mine and urge you to decide for yourself, go forth and read Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova now!

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