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Some reviews of my work over the years.

THEATRE POSTERS (Design and Illustration) 

"… very impressive graphics. Athanas' work is particularly adept at capturing the attention of a young, non-theater crowd (Next Theatre's target audience) because he tends to use high-impact images that make many references to other forms of popular culture."

Chicago Tribune


Shadow President and CyberJudas
(Co-Design and Animation)

"This game is to international politics as Deep Blue is to chess."

Prof. Ben Hunt, Dept. of Politics at New York University


"You rarely see this kind of complexity in games today."

CD-ROM Today


"At the heart of CyberJudas is a lush world simulation."

"A detail-laden, intelligent strategy game, upon which is projected a potent psychological thriller."

"CyberJudas is a living, breathing world."

"CyberJudas is a breathtakingly ambitious game … it carves out a genre all its own."

Kevin Perry - Happy Puppy Games


"an enthusiastic thumbs up."

"Very well made, incredibly replayable, and gorgeous to look at."

"I started playing CJ the first time around 6 PM. The next time I looked at my watch, it was 2:30 AM. That alone should be endorsement enough."

Hardcore Gaming Magazine (Final Score: 93)


"CyberJudas is refreshingly original."

"Strangely addicting."

"… a strikingly original game that brings the joy and jitters of presidential politics right to your desktop."

Ron Dulin - Gamespot


Shadow President Computer Simulation Game:

PC Entertainment Magazine - **** (4 out of 5 stars)

PC Games Magazine - **** (4 out of 5 stars)


"Cutting edge."

Computer Gaming World


"The season's ultimate role-playing game may be Shadow President."

Crain's Chicago Business Magazine


"… tests your on the job toughness."

U.S. News & World Report


"… puts you in the White House with all the power, influence and responsibilities of the presidency."

CNN FutureWatch


"… decide the fate of the world …"

Associated Press


"… on-the-job training as leader of the free world."

NBC News (Chicago)


"How well do you think you could do …?"

BusinessWeek Magazine


"Shadow President is one of the most ambitious games of it's type."

Videogames & Computer Entertainment Magazine

"A great political simulator."

Senior Editor - Videogames & Entertainment Magazine

"… for anyone interested in how the world works this is an excellent introduction."

"… provides a sophisticated model of American foreign policy."

The Edmonton Journal - "Bits & Bytes" by Paul De Groot


"Technically accurate down to the last detail, the game is just the sort of test that may have been keeping the midnight oil burning in Little Rock, Ark. these past few months."

The Globe and Mail - Canada's National newspaper


"… a stunning sim …"

"… awesome stuff and highly recommended"

The Sun - United Kingdom


"a richly entertaining gaming experience … the intellectual action is first-rate. We were deeply impressed by the depth and richness of the game; it has a texture that's almost palpable, coupled with a handsome and extremely friendly design."

Game Players PC Entertainment Magazine


"… the most complete world strategy game ever."

"… an incredible, almost frighteningly realistic simulation of life as top-dog in the White House."

"Best thing about Shadow President is it's immense detail, allied to stunning heads-up simplicity through user-friendly point and click."

Lyte Bytes rating - Superb playability, endless depth and easy to follow icons make this one to watch. 96%.

Evening Echo newspaper - Essex, United Kingdom

"… a mind game on a big scale …"

Daily Mirror newspaper - London, United Kingdom

"Recommended - Worth Watching"

London Financial Times


"… startingly heavy stuff, offering as comprehensive strategy simulation as I've ever seen."

CTW- Europe's Electronic Games Trade Paper


"… intricate to the extreme ..."

"… a deep-level simulation. The player interface, graphics and sound work well together, making Shadow President an absorbing experience."

Melbourne Age newspaper - Australia 


"Shadow President is a very well made game. The graphics are great, the sound is cool and the overall game play makes me come back for more."

Rick - Computer Game Review Magazine

Steve - Computer Game Review Magazine


PC Games Magazine Editors' Choice Award

"Shadow President gets my vote. What makes Shadow President worthwhile is that it's a simulation in the same vein as SimCity or SimEarth. You literally have the whole world in your hands."

PC Games Magazine

AWARDS for Shadow President

"1993 EDUCOM Distinguished Social Sciences Software Award"

"Consumer Electronics Show Innovation '93 Award" 

"Excellence Award" Game Players PC Entertainment 3rd Annual Game Awards

"Best Simulation Program Finalist" '93 Software Publisher's Association Awards

"'93 Top Ten Entertainment Software" U.S. News & World Report

SHATTER - (Art for the first computer generated comic book)

"I finally got around to digging a little deeper into your website (, and

while there's a lot of impressive stuff there, what really go to me was

the discovery that you wrote and drew Shatter in its later issues. Wow.


Shatter, wow."

Michael Swaine, Senior Editor, Dr. Dobb's Magazine

"BURNING CHROME" (World premiere stage adaptation, Dramaturg and "Cyber" Props)

"'Chrome shines ... 'The Maltese Falcon' meets 'Blade Runner'."

"Science and pulp fiction entertainingly intertwined."

Chicago Tribune


"Brilliant adaptation sets the house on fire"

"Pickering’s crew deserve applause for how well they have been able

to evoke -- so simply and elegantly -- Gibson’s dystopic future."

Daily Herald



"Quite a show ... a rather dark and sophisticated love story. And if

techno-poetry has always seemed like a contradiction in terms,

this production might convince you otherwise."

"Shrewdly adapted ... both a comic book adventure and meditation on

ambition, desire, freedom, loneliness and death -- all in 90 minutes."

Chicago Sun-Times


"Sensational" "Powerfully evocative."

"... flamboyant stagecraft supercharges this brilliant production."

"What live theatre can accomplish at the height of its creative potential."

Evanston Review


"Brilliantly hip ... a 90-minute thrill ride"

Daily Northwestern


"Sleek cyber-props and industrial sound design

create a jarring, fast-forward aura."

New City Magazine


****4 out of 4 stars

"A triumph of ensemble spectacle, both artistic and technical."

On Stage Magazine 

RALPH the PUNK (Music Video - Animation, Direction, Music)

Los Angeles International Animation Celebration '85

SIGGRAPH 1985 Animation Screening Room

SIGGRAPH 1985 Art Show

SIGGRAPH 1985 Travelling Global Art Exhibit

SIGGRAPH 1985 Video Review VideoTape

2nd Annual Chicago Music Video Contest 1985 (Top Ten)

10th Annual Festival of Illinois Film & Video Artists 1985 (Best of Festival Screening)

Rudy Harst and Side Effect

MUSIC (Synthesizers, Sound Design and Production)

"With a minimum of elements: a bare stage, an acoustic guitar, an offstage synthesizer and array of electronic effects, Rudy Harst and Charlie Athanas conjured up an illusionary wall of sound that filled up the stage and left audiences amazed. Their act offered a wide a range of musical and emotional dynamics as an audience could fathom in one sitting."

Vickie Ray - It's Only Rock and Roll Magazine

“Rudy Harst (with side-effects Charlie Athanas) appeared third in Sunday’s line-up. Following the rant and rave tactics of bands like the Vandals and the Rejects is no mean feat for “just a folkie with a guitar” as Harst jokingly refers to himself. Two important factors set him apart from that simple classification: magician Athanas’ hat full of electronic manipulations and Harst’s own dynamism as a performer.


Although he lacked some of his characteristic physical vivacity (he’s usually all over the stage, but it was just too hot for such antics that night), Rudy wrenched colors and emotions from the audience as only he can. The audience was riveted, whether by the sheer power of “Sometimes” or by the sheer charm of “Roll My Own” and I Like You.” With Charlie’s sizzling punctuation, Rudy held the audience securely through a chilling encore of Stephen Still’s “For What it’s Worth.” However, the highlight of the set was “I am a Bomb.” When he sang it it, you believed it. Rudy can come across with a delivery so eerily psychotic as to make David Byrne seem like John Denver: apocalypse now.”

It’s Only Rock and Roll Magazine

"January 9 marked Melodrama Theatre’s entry into the cancert world. That date may not go down in history, but it was a hell of a concert just the same. Sunday’s Song, The Bett Butler Blues Band, and Rudy Harst and Side Effect combined to present the town with an inspired musical evening ...


After a short pause to strip the stage bare it was time for Rudy Harst and Side Effect (Charlie Athanas).


I’ve seen Rudy Harst with his guitar and electronic gimmicks, at least a dozen times in various settings. None of those dozen times prepared me for his Melodrama performance. With the assistance of an unseen Athanas on synthesizer and special effects, Harst put on one of the most powerful, intense, and original shows I’ve ever witnessed.


While I’m rarely at a loss for adjectives I sat with my jaw hanging to the floor as Harst and Athanas mesmerized a packed house. The phrase that kept running through my head despite all attempts to banish it was one I’ve heard from Heavy Metal freaks - This Kicks Ass.

Well, kick ass it did as Rudy Harst ran himself and his audience through a musical gauntlet of tempo and emotions. We went from boredom to despair to laughter to love to another planet — to anger to peace — to reality.


If Harst does nothing else he writes, sings, plays, acts and dances reality. Whether he’s playing his own songs or carefully selected cover versions of someone else’s, he’s telling us what we know to be true — no matter how much we don't want to know it.


This is the point in the review where I’m suppose to run down some song titles and struggle to find something pertinent to say to back up all the preceding paragraphs. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to end this review by saying if you don't make whatever effort is necessary to see Rudy Harst and Side Effect in person there’s a big hole in your musical edification and in your head.

Jim Beal Jr. - It’s Only Rock and Roll Music Magazine

Review of Athanas/Davenport EP

If It’s Not One Thing … It’s Another

(Closet Records) ***

Charlie Athanas used to play synthesizer behind Rudy Harst before that daring duo split. Gary Davenport is the leader of the local Euro-rock band Mannequin. Just before Athanas left town (to tour the mid-west with some play) he teamed up with Davenport to record this curious collection of seven musical pieces. Whether or not this is, indeed, deep stuff or just cosmic fluff is debatable. It is however very good and interesting music, especially to be coming out of San Antonio.


Much of the extended play record is made up of aural exercises, the best being Davenport’s spacey undulating instrumental Akhaldan and Athanas’ The Pirates of 1920. “Symbols” the only track that has vocals is a haunting melody whose dragging rhythm perfectly captures the tone of the lyrics which deal with civilization’s eventual demise.The other musicians who back the pair include the incomparable drummer Steve Hartnell who plays in The Blast, George Gaytan on viola, and Stacy Underwood on bass and percussion. Byron Smith worked miracles as the engineer to help make this the clearest production yet for Closet Records.

Ron Young - It’s Only Rock and Roll Magazine

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