Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ratha Con 2015

Larry Blake and Terence Hanley were at Ratha Con in Athens, Ohio, again this year (Sat., May 9, 2015). Unfortunately, so were the Athens newspapers. Athens prides itself on its "diversity" and "inclusiveness." A popular bumper sticker in the city says "Keep Athens Funky." Evidently, The Athens Messenger, with its headline, "The Geeks Have a Word for It: RathaCon," and The Athens News, with its headline, "Oddballs and Art," have something else in mind. It's doubtful that these two newspapers (now owned by the same company) would try to belittle or hold up for ridicule any other group that would gather in the city, but that's what they seem to be doing with fans of comic books, science fiction, and popular culture. In the past, both papers have been kinder to the convention and its attendees. It's a shame that they would change their point of view, because Ratha Con is such a fun and positive event. Kelly Lawrence, a local artist, is the driving force behind Ratha Con. She and everyone who attends the convention deserve better.

On a more positive note, Larry's picture was in The Athens News and in the online gallery of images from the convention. (And contrary to what the newspaper wrote, Larry is not, most definitely not, an oddball.) To read the article online, see "Ratha Con Fills Community Center with Scares and Laughs" (dated May 10, 2015), here. For a gallery of photographs taken by Dennis Powell, including one of Larry Blake, click here.

Finally, our friend Lee Smith was at Ratha Con, too, and got a few paragraphs in The Athens News. For those unfamiliar with his work, Lee draws a series of historical comic books called the Ohio Chronicles. Lee is a regular at comic book conventions all over Ohio. You can find out more about him and his work at his very own website, Ohio Chronicles: Ohio History Mini-Comics, here.

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