Ratha Con Dates and Locations

Ratha Con is a pop culture convention taking place on May 7 & 8th, 2016 in Athens, Ohio. The night before, on May 6th, at ARTS/West, 132 W. State St., Athens, OH. there will be an art opening of pop culture themed art and a screening of a film. Art opening at 6 pm and film at 8 pm. The main convention on May 7 & 8, 2016 will be from 10 am to 5pm both days at the Athens Community Center, 701 E. State St. Athens, OH 45701. Saturday the 7th will be followed by a costumed dance party at Casa Nueva Cantina, 4 W. State St. Athens, OH. starting at 10 pm.

The 2016 admission cost will be $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 - 17, free for kids 11 and under. These prices are subject to change - dependant on the special guest(s).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

T-Shirts and Thanks

We all had a great time at Ratha Con and we hope you all did too! Thanks to all the artists and vendors who showed up to sell their stuff, and thanks to the Steampunk Ballet, Humans vs. Zombies: Athens, Wizard's Guild, John Pare, and all the collectors for making sure there was lots of fun things to do. Thanks to Jeff Judd, Jack Tiberi, and Kris Poland for bringing interesting discussion, and thanks to all the volunteers and people to who came out to visit the Con in that scorching 90 degree weather.

We're already looking forward to next year.

If you happened to miss out on buying a t-shirt, there's good news and bad news. Good news is we are still selling them (and in the process of getting a Paypal account set up), but unfortunately we're down to only Larges and Extra Larges. If you're interested in buying a shirt, stay tuned. We'll get information up soon on how to purchase one.

EDIT: Here's the Paypal link:


Friday, May 25, 2012

Ratha Con Schedule

Here is the official schedule of events for Ratha Con, so plan your day accordingly, and we'll see you on Saturday!

10:00 am - 12:00 pm: Panel Discussion with Sandy Plunkett, Steve Richter and Chris Monday at Athens Public Library.

12:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Convention taking place at the Athens Community Center
                                   Sellers and artists vending and exhibiting their work.
                                   Public exhibiting collections and models
                                   Gaming throughout day
                                   Ratha Con trivia game

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Magic Drafts (sign up @ door)

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm: "From Comics to Film" with Kris Poland (upper meeting space)

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm: 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons game (sign up @ door)

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: Magic Draft (sign up @ door)

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: "The Use of Literary Elements in Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta" with Jeffery Judd, Johnny Merry and Daryl Curry (in upper meeting space)

5:30 pm: Steampunk Ballet performance (in the gym)

6:00 pm: Prizes given out for Ratha Con Trivia. (Prizes donated by The Wizard's Guild and Rathaa Con committee)
                Ratha Con raffle names to be drawn (Prizes donated by The Wizard's Guild, The Dairy Barn and Ratha Con committee).

7:00 pm: Convention closes

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Humans vs. Zombies moderated game on Community Center grounds.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gaming at Ratha Con

Comic books are awesome, but we know they're not your only hobby, so at Ratha Con we're planning on having some gaming available for the less diehard comic fans.

The Wizard's Guild is going to run two Magic: the Gathering booster drafts during the Con. We'll have sign-up sheets near admission for anyone who wants to participate, and it's first come, first serve, so sign up as soon as soon as you're able! The draft will be with Avacyn Restored, and if you want to learn more about the booster draft format, check out http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/resources.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/resources/formats-sanctioned#limited and the "What is Booster Draft?" section. Each draft will be $15 to enter, with all proceeds going to The Wizard's Guild.

There will also be a Dungeons and Dragons 1st edition game run during Ratha Con by John Pare. He will have premade characters set up and ready to go, so interested players can simply sit down and begin the adventure.

A comprehensive schedule of events, including the start time of these games and drafts, will be posted here as the Con gets closer, so stay tuned, and we'll see you all on the 26th!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Katherine Wirick

Katherine Wirick grew up in Columbus and got her BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design. She went to grad school in Ireland and Philadelphia, and in 2011 Wirick earned an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Wirick has previously made a large-scale sequential artwork called "No One is Safe," with a preview available on her website, http://katherine.kreider-wirick.com/. She is currently working on a graphic novel named "Nervenkrank," based on the life of a WWI soldier named John Heartfield.

If you want to check out Wirick's work, you can visit her website, but if you want to see her in person and buy some of her beautiful stories, come visit Ratha Con on May 26!

Friday, May 18, 2012

V for Vendetta Panel Discussion

As a teacher at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, Jeffrey M. Judd presents a lesson plan named "The use of Literary Elements in Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta or The Smartest Comic Ever Written." With a few other teachers, Judd is going to bring this topic to Ratha Con in a panel discussion.

As Judd explains, "We discuss the issue of why citizens are willing to sacrifice civil liberties for safety during times of perceived and/or real threat.  We also look at Moore's use of the literary element of allusion throughout the novel to emphasize thematic elements in the graphic novel."

Judd began working for the Columbus City School District in 2005.  Since that time he has worked with students across all core subject areas in an inclusive classroom setting.  He is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Dayton. He will be leading this panel discussion along with some fellow teachers from Fort Hayes, including Johnny Merry, Courtney Johnson, and Daryl Curry.

If you're a fan of V for Vendetta, Alan Moore, or even if you're just interested in the idea of why people trade freedoms for safety, be sure to see this panel discussion at Ratha Con!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lee Smith

Lee Smith is a comic artist who's known for starting Ohio Chronicles, a comic book "detailing the rich and exciting history of Ohio for all ages," and he'll be at Ratha Con!

Smith grew up in Athens, Ohio. He went to Athens High School where he first started creating comic books. He attended Ohio University did a Master's thesis on the use of comic books as instructional materials to teach reading to students who were significantly behind grade level. In 2011, left his job teaching and started Ohio Chronicles, a comic book geared for teaching Ohio history.

If you want to check out some of Smith's comics, you can visit http://www.ohiocomics.com/, visit the Athens Book Center, or come see him and his comics in person at Ratha Con!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Steve Richter at Union Arts

Union Arts, a literally underground art gallery and performance space, will be showcasing the work of Steve Richter in a show named "Steveophobia," starting today, May 14th, with an opening from 7 to 9 with light refreshments.

We've already talked at length about Richter (http://rathacon.blogspot.com/2012/04/steve-richter.html), but for those who don't recognize his name, you may recognize his work in his latest books Atomic Yardsale and Existential Fish.

"Steveophobia" is a collection of cartoons and illustrations based on Richter's ongoing theme of fears, phobias, and anxieties. This collection also includes scenes from his latest books, a few characters from his Seattle years, and sketches from his sketch books.

If you want to catch a look at Richter's work before Ratha Con, visit Union Arts at 15 W Union St, to the left of Haffa's Records and down the stairs.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pre-Con Panel Discussion

Ratha Con starts Saturday, May 26th at noon, but if you want to get an early start on the Con, we have a panel discussion just for you.

From 10AM to noon that Saturday, we're having a panel discussion with esteemed comic artists Sandy Plunkett, Chris Monday and Steve Richter. We've already talked at some length about Plunkett (http://rathacon.blogspot.com/2012/03/sandy-plunkett-and-wizards-guild.html) and Richter (http://rathacon.blogspot.com/2012/04/steve-richter.html). They're both great comic artists with a long history in the business. Chris Monday is a comic artist who will be joining them. You can see his work at http://flyingweevil.com/.

Their panel discussion will focus on topics like how comics change over different eras, how comics compare to other similar media like graphic novels, how comics affect culture or vice versa, and how comics can get published. If any of those things interest you, or if you just want to see Plunkett, Richter and Monday up close in person before the Con, the panel discussion will be at 10AM to noon at the Athens Public Library, 30 Home Street in Athens.

There's no better way to start a Con than with a talk about comics. We hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ratha Con Volunteering

Ratha Con is quickly approaching, and we need volunteers to help out with the Con. In return, volunteers will get free admission to Ratha Con as well as a free Ratha Con t-shirt!

We're looking for people to help with a variety of tasks including:
People to take care of artists' booths when they take breaks
A person to help set up the few panels that will be happening at Ratha Con
A person to assist the speakers at a panel at the Athens Public Library before noon
People to act as general runners
People to run admissions into the Con
A person to help set up the Con in the morning
A person to help tear down the Con in the evening

If you're interested in being a part of making Ratha Con happen, get in contact with us at artswestathens@gmail.com or (740) 592-4315.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beyond Words: The Art of the Graphic Novel

Starting May 25th, the Dairy Barn Arts Center of Athens, Ohio will be holding an exhibition titled: Beyond Words: The Art of the Graphic Novel.

According to their website (http://www.dairybarn.org/exhibitions/?section=211&display=single&item=221) the show will feature The Wyckaert Collection and over 40 different international artists like Kent Williams, Teddy Kristiansen, and Alex Ross. There will also be a youth exhibit for ages 12-18.

The show looks great and is a cool thing to check out in Athens after Ratha Con. In fact, if you come to Ratha Con, we'll give you a coupon for a discount on admission to the show! For more information, you can check out their website at www.dairybarn.org or call them at (740) 592-4981.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"From Comic Book to Film" Reminder

Here's a reminder of our previous post about Kris Poland's symposium on "From Comic Book to Film" at Ratha Con.

As we've previously mentioned, the Avengers movie is coming out soon, and as it does so, it brings up certain debates about the moving of a story from comic book to film. The Avengers movie is this fad coming to a head, as a comic book movie that seeks to tie together several other similar movies, so it seems there is no better time to discuss this trend then at Ratha Con!

At Ratha Con, we will have a symposium on the subject "From Comic Book to Film," led by Kris Poland. Poland has a Master of Arts in Political Science from Ohio University and is currently an instructor at Wright State. He specializes in cross-curriculum education and has created lesson plans, lectured, and moderated discussion groups. Poland has also motivated between 60 and 150 students in each class section using non-traditional teaching methods such as graphic novels, television shows, and video games. We think he's perfect to lead a discussion on what it means to move a comic book to the medium of film.

Of course with discussions like this one, the more the merrier! If you are a professor or student who is interested in this subject, has strong opinions on it, and would like to be a part of this symposium, get in contact with us with a description of what you'd like to talk about at (740)592-4315 or artswestathens@gmail.com. Similarly, if you know a student or professor who would be interested, send them our way.

We can't wait to hear what these scholars have to say on this combination of media so near and dear to our hearts. Until then, stay tuned to our Facebook, blog, and Twitter for more glimpses of things to come!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Larry Blake and Kiser's BBQ Shack Reminder

In case anyone missed it, here's our post about Larry Blake and Kiser's BBQ Shack, both of whom will be at Ratha Con.

Larry Blake is an Ohio native who has been writing and drawing since the age of 8. He was first published in 1973 and has been active in small-press since. Blake has been in numerous publications including: CBG, Amazing Heroes, Comic-Book Superstars, and The Ultimate Kiss Fanzine Phenomenon. He has also illustrated Dale Sherman's novel: A World Without Heroes. Blake has won a S.P.A.C.E. Life Time Achievement Award and been published in 14 countries.

Kiser's BBQ Shack is a family-owned and operated eatery that, as their website (http://www.kisersbbqshack.com) explains, specializes "in mouth-watering authentic pit-smoked BBQ." Kiser's will setting up shop outside of Ratha Con in order to provide all of us with their delicious, award-winning ribs, chicken, chopped pork, sausage and brisket. Kiser's was established in 2009 and uses homemade family recipes to ensure that their food is top-notch. They are located inside The Market on State Shopping Plaza on East State Street in Athens, and if you want to get a taste of things to come, they deliver. Just call 740-594-RIBS. 

If you want to meet Larry Blake and enjoy some delicious Kiser's BBQ at the same time, come see them both at Ratha Con.