Ratha Con 2014

Athens Pop Culture Convention Celebrating Third Year

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Organizers are hard at work preparing for the third annual Ratha Con Convention, which will be held on Saturday, April 26 at the Athens Community Center.

Previously a comic and sci-fi/fantasy convention, Ratha Con (the name is a play on the Star Trek film The Wrath of Khan) has been re-classified as a pop culture convention, incorporating gaming, comics, costume contests and displays by local artists and collectors.

The event, established two years ago by director Kelly Lawrence and the first director of ARTS/West, Emily Prince, has been moved from its usual weekend in May to an earlier date in April with the hope that more students will attend.

“Athens is a perfect location for this event,” said Lawrence, referring to enthusiastic members of the community that have helped the convention grow. “We have a very active community of gamers at The Wizard’s Guild, plus we have many comic artists in our area, most famous of which is Sandy Plunkett, who has drawn for famous comic publishers like Marvel.”

In attendance at this year’s event will be Benton Molina, who will act as Dungeon Master for a game of Dungeons & Dragons, steampunk chapter Airship Arena, the local Society for Creative Anachronism, and several vendors selling vintage toys, comics, other collectibles and original artwork.

There will be several workshops and panel discussions at the event. Daniel Trout, a local bullwhip expert, will be performing a bullwhip technique demonstration in the style of Indiana Jones, and Ohio University Theater professors Brian Evans and Tom Fiocchi will be there to present a stage fighting workshop. There will also be a wearable wound workshop led by Danette Pratt.

Blindwave, a Marietta-based group that has received national recognition as a two-time winner of the Lightsaber Choreography Competition, will be conducting one of the panel discussions at the event.

Others include a discussion about self-publishing with local author Charles Milhouse and a discussion with filmmaker and graphic novel creator Daniel Boyd. There will be activities for children as well, such as coloring games.

The Not Guilty Food Cart will also be at the event, selling food and drinks.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive in costume. Winners will be announced in the categories of Best Pop Culture Costume, Best Comic Costume and Best Children’s Costume.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for children 10 years and younger.