Updated Thu, May 9, 2013 1:00 pm
It’s time for Athens to geek out.
This Saturday, Ratha Con, Athens' very own comic and sci-fi/fantasy convention, will return for a full day of artist/collection displays, gaming, panel discussions, costume contests and more.
Now in its second year, the event has added a few new attractions, such as the "Build Your Own Superhero" contest, in which teams of three to five people are given supplies to turn one of their members into a superhero.
The day will end with a dance party hosted by DJ Barticus and a performance by local band The Geek Girls. The convention will also feature special guest Joanne Padgett, author of the Vampires of Camelot series.
Padgett, who hails from Nashville, Tenn., has self-published five books in the series, written from the perspective of Merlin, the famous wizard and mentor to King Arthur. At her panel, she will give advice on how to promote a self-published book.
"I tell people about how to build a fan base, how to be visible, how to talk to the media," Padgett said. "You can’t depend on just social media to be visible. It’s a great tool, but you have to use traditional media as well. I tell them what they need."
Ohio University School of Theater Props Technology Specialist Tom Fiocchi will talk about costume design, OU Assistant Professors Michael Gillespie and Akil Houston will discuss graphic novels and several comic book artists will share stories about their profession.
Last year, roughly 300 people attended Ratha Con, according to event organizer Kelly Lawrence. Athough these types of conventions are popular across the country, Lawrence thinks Ratha Con is uniquely suited to Southeast Ohio.
"We were definitely excited with how well [Ratha Con] went last year and how well it was received by the community," she said. "Athens is its own little world of wonderful people...I think it’s a good fit."
In the future, Lawrence would like to have celebrities attend Ratha Con, including actors from famous sci-fi institutions like the Star Wars and Star Trek films.
Ratha Con will be held Saturday, May 11 at the Athens Community Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for children 10 years and younger.
The costumed dance party takes place 6-10 p.m. and is free with a Ratha Con hand stamp or $2 at the door. For more information, visit Ratha Con's Facebook page or visit www.rathacon.blogspot.com.
Above image: "Rusty's Band" by Stephen Richter
Slideshow: 2013 Ratha Con Artists
Stephen Richter, Afternoon of the Dead
Jesse Marks, Batman Symbol Series 1, Vol. 2
Jesse Marks, Two Face
Lee Smith, "The Fort in the Forest" from Ohio Chronicles
Lee Smith, "Navy of Lake Erie" from Ohio Chronicles
J.M. Dragunas, Knight Crest Print