UPDATE: Had some tech issues. All sorted out now. This was supposed to be a early morning piece. My bad!
Day One of Walker Stalker Con was pretty darn awesome. It’s already almost time to head back but here are some quick highlights. I apologize in advance for some of the crappy photos but, hey, it’s something!
Eric and James of The Walker Stalkers podcast kicked off the event sharing a brief history of the event. It’s hard to believe it hasn’t even been two years since WSC started.
They discussed how the event started as a simple fan meetup. The expected turnout was 1K but, instead, over 10K people showed up. This year, they are expecting over 50K at the event. Their growth has been amazing and inspiring! This reminds us that podcasts are still ripe opportunities.
Walker Stalkers LIVE reminded us that this is a true fan event. Eric and James offered General Admissions attendees a chance at a free VIP upgrade by playing The Walking Dead Family Feud. It was awesome seeing old TWD cast members sitting right there with the fans. The energy and wit the actors brought was refreshing and it really set the tone for the event. This is huge considering Dania, a.k.a. Michonne, cancelled at the very last minute and other issues overshadowed Day One. To that I say “shame on you” to the managers and agents who failed to see the importance of this event.
Lots of great surveys were featured in this game of Family Feud. The big one is shown above, when contestants were asked, “What are the biggest threats in The Walking Dead?” Sadly, spoiled food and squirrels did not make the board. Doh.
The main panel room on the 3rd floor of AmericasMart building 2 is huge. There is not much scheduled in the space, which is a shame, but the setup is nice. Great lighting and set pieces. This event space in Atlanta is impressive and spacious, yet it’s not overwhelming like, say, Jacob Javits Center in NYC. There is a certain warmth here.
The next panel I caught was Emory University’s Zombie Ethics discussion. They went deep on the allure of The Walking Dead and what defines ethics under normal or apocalyptic circumstances. Are zombies sentient enough to be subject to ethics ? Is mistreatment of zombies animal cruelty? Does choice and free will determine the responsibility of ethics? I really enjoyed the discussion so expect a write-up on it. There were audio issues but the presenters and experts were wonderful so I stuck around for the whole thing.
Michael Rooker’s panel in the main hall never happened. We camped out for about an hour only to find out he was not showing up. Delays and cancellations happen but it was still sad. Expect his panel to happen on Sunday. Michael sends his whole-hearted apologies. I feel bad for those that do not have the 3-day pass. Free upgrades for Friday attendees should have been offered possibly.
We bumped into Rick Grimes placing a phone call on his Bat Phone. Someone should tell him that no one uses landlines anymore.. Then again, that is smart thinking for apocalyptic scenarios. Our cell phones likely would not last long!
After greeting a bunch of stars and chatting with some wonderful vendors, we went for some grub and some late-night drinks. In this photo, you can see Matt Bradford, my brother Tony, and Shawn Freeman’s arm… I need to work on my selfie skills.
Well, that’s all for now.. I better get ready and head to Greg Nicotero’s KNB EFX panel! By the way, shout-outs to all the Whovians out there. There is a strong Doctor Who presence this year at WSC.. I am giddy about it all, TBH!