Comic books at Ratha Con

Ratha Con Brings Out All Kinds of Characters

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Zombies, superheroes, lightsabers, steampunk, comic books, Ghostbusters and the like…all in the same place at the same time. It’s a geek’s or nerd’s dream come true and a good time was had by all.

Ratha Con descended upon the Athens Community Center Saturday for the fourth time. The annual event is held by ARTS/West each year with the goal of presenting a Comic-Con style atmosphere on a local level that is inviting to all genres. In fact, Ratha Con is billed as a pop culture convention.

With all the television, movie and comic characters running around, what better place for a mild-mannered reporter to ask some questions?

In a fascinating interview with a giant tree-like creature, the secrets of life were revealed along with amazing stories from behind the stars. Mind you, however, that this all had to be gleaned from the response of “I am Groot” to each question.

Groot at Ratha Con

Making their way around the community center was Mr. Tikills and his sidekick Cricket who resented being called a sidekick until Mr. Tikills overheard her objections. The two were dressed as clowns with some familiar Clown Prince themes but Mr. Tikills vehemently and near psychotically proclaimed he was not The Joker.

Mr. Tikills even pointed out a Joker lookalike saying he was sad because Harley Quinn had left him.

“I don’t understand why,” said Mr. Tikills. “Probably because he’s not the right kind of clown.”

Mr. Tikills said he met a lot of interesting people at Ratha Con, referring to Groot as firewood and some other dressed characters by names not suitable for print. Some people may not have met him formally but at least knew of him as he would invade conversations and just as quickly leave them quizzically.

Ghostbusters at Ratha Con

Mr. Tikills is on a never-ending mission to find the people “who did this to him,” referring to his look but then also later admitting that he paints his face himself. His vendetta carries him from place to place and he plans on next being at the Midwest Haunters Convention in Columbus at the end of the month.

Down the hall, contests features dungeons and dragons took place along with workshops and demonstrations from the participating vendors.

Outside, makeshift bouts of Quidditch were happening with Gryffindor winning several matches. At different points, however, some allegations of cheating came about which led to certain spells being cast to prevent further occurrences.

“(Ratha Con) encompasses everything,” said Kelly Lawrence, one of the co-founders of the event. “It has everything people are interested in from movies, TV and comics. It’s just geek culture.”

Khan at Ratha Con

Lawrence explained that she and Emily Prince came up with the idea while working at ARTS/West when both expressed a desire to go to Comic-Con in San Diego, California. Instead, Comic-Con was brought to Athens in the form of Ratha Con.

Lawrence was pleased Saturday with the turnout and the number of costumed crusaders.

“It’s much bigger than we’ve ever had before,” she said. “There are a lot more people in costume which is really what I wanted to see.”

“It’s a fun, relaxing atmosphere. We have artist alley which features comic artists and creators and we have more people applying to be vendors. It’s just a little bit of everything,” Lawrence concluded.

From heroes to villains and every nook and cranny in between, Ratha Con is a place where people can be both who they are and who they aren’t.

Ratha Con at Athens Community Center