RathaCon 2019 In Review

I’ve been to RathaCon many a year before. It was one of my first shows as a vendor, and has since become one of my anchor shows. Because of that, I do my best to go every year. I even turned down the offer to go to Awesome Con in Washington, DC again to get to RathaCon instead.

(Mostly because both shows were happening on the same weekend… but RathaCon is physically closer to me and lasts only one day. So I could just drive down, show off, and drive back home without paying for a hotel. Very nice.)

However, this year, RathaCon had a couple of things working against it.

See, Awesome Con wasn’t the only other show happening the same weekend: there was also Gem City Comic Con, and two other shows in West Virginia that I can’t remember the names of. So RathaCon had to work extra hard to get folks to come in.

To my understanding, they ran radio ads, because there were a few attendees who mentioned, “I didn’t know this show was a thing until I heard about it on the radio yesterday! So I HAD to check it out!” So, kudos to the RathaCon staff for getting the word out.

And I’ll humble-brag a bit: I think the print I made for RathaCon helped to draw eyeballs to the show on social media. Especially on Facebook.

That said, the crowd this year was about the same size as last year’s audience, but they thinned out WAY sooner towards the end of the day. Partly because of the rain, I think.

I’m not sure how many attendees were current students of Ohio University, though.

One of the reasons the convention staff picked the day they did was to try and entice the local college crowd to come and attend.

But here is where another factor worked against them: April 27, the day of RathaCon, was a week before finals. No sane college student is leaving campus the day before finals week hits, unless they are Sherlock Holmes’-level of confident about their work.

When I talked about it with the staff, we mentioned the idea of offering discounted attendance to people who brought a valid OU ID. Hopefully they do that next year.

Another thing I hope they do next year: get volunteers who check in with the artists more often throughout the day. I was the only person at my table and, aside from the one or two times I could see another neighbor’s table, I could not leave my spot. I’m glad I packed a lunch.

This is a grievance I’ve already discussed with the staff, and they’re working to resolve the issue for next year. I’m confident they’ll fix it, because RathaCon is VERY good at accepting constructive criticism and working to improve year after year. That is one of the reasons they are my anchor show.

In conclusion: was this the best ever RathaCon so far? No. It wasn’t awful or even bad. But there will be changes next year. Hopefully for the better.

And hey! I booked another appearance before 3 Rivers Comicon!

If you’re in the Saint Clairsville, OH area on May 4, stop at New Dimension Comics in the Ohio Valley Mall. They’re running Free Comic Book Day, and they gave the OK for me to showcase and sell my work. Also, there will be a GhostBusters division there. (I talked to some GhostBusters at RathaCon and they mentioned they were appearing at FCBD at the comic shop.)

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Panel Pandemonium at Imaginarium

For a show I was invited to at the last minute, Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY was worth going to!

There were a few things that helped:

  1. I shared a table with two very cool authors: Neal Sayatovich, writer of dystopian psychological affair, and Joshua Hampton, writer of epic and high fantasy. Neal covered my table fee in exchange for some art (thanks Neal!).
  2. The folks at Imaginarium gave me a free pass in exchange for doing panels. 4 panels, to be precise.

Holy banana pants did I meet a LOT of cool folks at this show! From mermaid/pirate lesbian fiction writer DB Francais to Justin and Cory at Purvis Games, from Glenn Porzig to Mackenzie Flohr, holy jeez were these people super approachable and fun to chat with!

Most importantly, I learned a lot.

If there is one thing I can commend Imaginarium on, it’s their panels. While it’s kind of silly just how many there were (often having four or more happening in the same time slot), the breadth and depth of topics was hugely commendable. Plus, the panelists themselves knew what they were talking about. One author described the panels as “iron sharpening iron,” and he wasn’t lying.

Here’s a blog post listing the ones I presented in. I think the best moderated ones that I did were LGBTQ Characters in Fiction, Healthier Habits for Creatives, and Composing Newsletters for MailChimp and Beyond. The first two were moderated by Janie Franz, who is a marvelous lady. (Check out her stuff.)

Those were the ones I presented in though. I also attended a panel about Military in Fiction (Neal was in that one), Audiobooks, and Freelance Writing. The Freelance Writing one covered basically what I already knew – but the Audiobooks panel was immensely helpful.

Why? Because I want to get into voice-over and voice-acting. (Yes I’m aware the two are very different.) The Audiobook panel covered a lot, from authors finding and hiring talent and what they look for (always a plus) to knowing how to set up your own DIY recording space.

I’m REALLY jazzed about what I learned in these panels. The best thing is: these panels are giving me some new blog post ideas.

And with that, I’ll make my temporary leave. Hopefully next time I’ll have a tutorial for you.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Destination: Imaginarium

The organizers at Imaginarium Convention this year have me scheduled to be at 4 panels – holy banana pants!

Imaginarium Convention is all about writers and other creative types, but it’s a show all about the craft. The panels they have me scheduled for are these:

SATURDAY

11:30 am in room Appalacian: LGBTQ Characters in Fiction. Moderated by Janie Franz with panelists Eliot Parker, Amanda Burkhead, Jimmy Misfit, Michele Lee, and me.

SUNDAY

9 am in room Appalacian: Healthier Habits for Creatives. Panelist include: Janie Franz (moderator), Angelyn Sherrod, Donna Dull, and me.

11:30 am in room Burley: Comics and Graphic Novels. Panelist include: Dan Jolley (moderator), S.C. Houff, Michele Lee, John Risner, Sean Dulaney, Glenn Porzig, and me.

2 pm in room Heartland: Composing Newsletters with Mail Chimp and Beyond. This will be a 2hr panel. Panelist include:  Sandy Lender(moderator), Addie King, Eric Shawn Moser, Megan McIntosh, and me.

For more details about the panels themselves, or to check the full (absolutely bonkers and lengthy) listing, check this link.

I’ll ask the event organizers if I can stream any of these panels for you to see. If I’m allowed, the panels may be streamed onto Facebook. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for further announcements on this.

If you’re unable to attend Imaginarium, then please check out these two new things my awesome friends released!

First, My friend Suzy Anderson has launched a KickStarter campaign! See, she runs this independent art and literature magazine called The Magnolia Review, and it’s on KickStarter right now to get funding for Volume 4, Issues 1 AND 2. Rewards include copies of the magazine, postcards, bookmarks, and other goodies!

Second, my friend Deci Belfry just launched their Facebook page to share (and sell) lithography prints, watercolors, and other art they make! Seriously, check out their printmaking portfolio. It’s gorgeous stuff! They also have a catalog of their work, and they do something called sliding-scale pricing. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

P.S. I’ll be making an update on Inktober after Imaginarium this weekend. <3