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Dramacon manga volume 2


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This drama- and comedy-filled original English-language manga, nominated for Eisner and Harvey awards, is the story of a romance between two people who meet only once a year. At her first anime convention, Yattacon, aspiring comics writer Christie fell for the mysterious Matt, who defended her when her boyfriend, Derek, drunkenly attempted to force himself on her. But Christie and Matt live on opposite coasts, and their relationship falters at long distance. In this final volume of the series, Christie (who's now experiencing some success with her online comic) and Matt go back to Yattacon once again, trying to revive the feeling they once shared. Matt, who lost an eye in a childhood accident, has a standoffish and sarcastic manner that pushes Christie's buttons often-but it does seem to be true love. Meanwhile, Christie's artist collaborator, Bethany, whose work is so good that she's being courted by a comics publisher, tries to stand up to her domineering mother's disapproval of her artistic ambitions. Chmakova's artwork is attractive and shows a firm grasp of Japanese manga storytelling techniques. Accurately rated ages 13+, this series is recommended for all collections.-S.R. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Set at a comic convention, this story shouldn't be as entertaining and fun as it is. But it's a little gem: the plot trips along, and though the art is good, not breathtaking, the Russian-born Canadian artist/author has clearly mastered the now international visual language of manga. The heroine is Chris, a self-willed girl who is taken for granted by her boyfriend, Derek. Chris meets the dark and mysterious Matt, who seems to understand her completely, and hijinks ensue. Sounds corny as hell, but the narrative is smart, witty and moving. The characters tap into the manga archetypes, which makes them breathe and have moments of being larger-than-life. Chris goes through self-doubt to self-knowledge and learns a bit of bravery along the way. It's astonishing to reflect that all the action takes place in the hotel rooms and convention floors where kids sell their homemade comics. Under the noses of adults, these "cons" have slipped into popular culture as a new land of rebels, mentors and wisdom-what road trips and the Haight once were. They're a perfect place for a growing-up story. Using every visual manga convention to its fullest, this ripping little tale is strong and expressive enough to reveal real emotional depth. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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