Walker Stalker Con 2014 Atlanta Highlights & Musings #WSCAtlanta #TWDFamily #TWTT #HorsePLAY

Happy Halloween!

I know it’s a little early but the coming weeks will be very busy for us on the network.  We’ll be with our families and catching up on projects here and there..  Don’t worry: while we may not be streaming, blogging, or podcasting much, we’ll be here in spirit..  And probably watching lots of horror movies and shows.  I know I will be watching American Horror Story and maybe Sleepy Hollow with my wife.  YAY!

Happy Halloween - Trick Or Treat - Tasteful Anime  Witch Wallpaper

 

I’m still on that Walker Stalker Con high but, sadly, I can’t enjoy it as much.  Duty calls as projects pile up and my family prepares to move…  But enough about me!

Here are a few videos that cover the highlights at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014.  If you’ve never been to WSC, you’ll know what to expect.  If you went last year, you can get a feel for what has changed.  Read onward for some highlights and the burning question:

Is Walker Stalker Con [or conventions in general] a mere money grab?

I want to say that I really enjoyed the convention but, as with anything else, there were opportunities.  We’ll get into that after the “video break”.  Sit tight, friends!

 

HorsePLAY! LIVE EP45: Walker Stalker Con Post-Show

The GANG Minute / Geektastic Vlog Mashup: My Personal WSC Highlights & Concerns

On-Location At AmericasMart Atlanta: Walker Stalker Con Fan Reactions & Event Photos

 

Walker Stalker Con was a fun event to go to as a fan and there was plenty to cover as media.  There were tons of panels, celebrities, vendors, and other attractions.  WAY too much to cover in proper detail.  Here are the main things that stood out for me.

Before I share my impressions and opinions here, I want to note that this was my first Walker Stalker Con but I have been to many conventions.  Typically, conventions are forgettable to me but WSC has something special to it.  I believe my feelings here may be in the minority because I don’t get excited by autographs and star-studded events.  Before I share my thoughts, here is what I look for in a convention to consider it worthwhile:

  • You’ll enjoy the event regardless of how much money you spend.
  • Vendors get enough foot traffic to justify booth costs.
  • Autographs and photo ops are subsidized or minimal to provide more time/focus for other events.
  • Event schedules account for waiting/travel times, breaks, and the like.
  • Merch mark-up covers costs but does not exhibit extreme profit margins (i.e. greed).
  • It is clear that fans of all kinds are the priority.
  • Media is given proper access and treatment without taking away from paying guests.
  • Behind-the-scenes information and anecdotes..  Stories worth sharing!

These are some of the things I’ll be pondering as I share my thoughts on Walker Stalker Con Atlanta.  Now let’s jump in!

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Mini Zombie Photo Journal: #WalkerStalkerCon #Atlanta 2014 | #TWTT #HorsePLAY

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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Walker Stalkers 100th Episode & UNofficial Walker Stalker Con 2014 Guide

Walker Stalker Con Atlanta is COMING!

 

UPDATE 10/17/2014:  There are a few last-minute  cancellations.  The latest was Dania G, known to us hardcore The Walking Dead fan as the super hero ninja – Michonne!  It’s a bit disappointing but there’s still much to check out and tons to do.  See you soon!

With just a few days til Walker Stalker Con Atlanta, we figured it’s time to share some love with our fellow zombie fans, podcasters, and cosplay geeks!  First and foremost, congrats to Eric and James on their 100th episode of The Walker Stalkers podcast.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, we’ve embedded the MP3 player below:

Eric & James From The Walker Stalkers Podcast With Robert Kirkman

Here are some of my favorite nuggets from The Walker Stalkers Episode 100:

  • TWD companion series has been ordered for pilot. It’s official! Robert Kirkman can’t spill the beans (though he would love to) but he can confirm that it’s not in Georgia.
  • TWD was one of many projects Kirkman was working in back in around 2003. He admits it was luck that TWD stuck. It was released under the Image label as part of a big horror push. Initial sales were abysmal. Storylines were rushed because Kirkman thought it would not last. By around issue 3, it started to gain traction, much like the show.
  • Robert Kirkman says, “The Walking Dead is essentially the Twilight of zombie series… It’s essentially a soap opera.”
  • Robert admits influence from Quentin Terentino, Stephanie Meyer, and others.
  • The Kirman workflow: bouncing around projects.  This keeps him invested and engaged so he does not burn out on any one project. If you are curious about Kirkman’s other projects, check out Invincible.
  • Robert Kirkman despises cameos because it ruins immersion. He realizes people seem to love it but he can’t do it. He promises he will never do it because it feels arrogant to him.
  • Kirkman says, if he had to cosplay as a TWD character, it would be Michonne.  The poncho is the closest thing to his “dress for comfort” approach.
  • Kirkman on clothing: “Pajama pants are to an extent my work pants… I like to feel to an extent I am naked.”
  • Kirkman admits he is not a music aficionado. He does dig Neil Young.  “My Top 5 is messed up Neil Young, Nick Cave, Presidents of the United States of America, George Michael (Faith album, not WHAM), and AC/DC.”
  • Tori Amos, Marilyn Manson, and Natalie Merchant are the only three concerts he ever went to.
  • Eric and James reminisce about the early days of The Walker Stalkers podcast and how far they’ve come along.
  • The trolls of yesteryear are called out..  Where are they nowadays?

Robert Kirkman is an inspiration to me because he is an everyday kinda dude.  He’s approachable, down-to-earth, and pretty darn humble.

What’s important here is that The Walking Dead wasn’t an overnight success but he stuck with it.  That’s success in simplest terms: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Sometimes, you just get lucky..  So don’t give up, geeks!

Similarly, Eric & James experienced great success with their podcast and eventually turned a fan meetup into a massive event.  It wasn’t always easy.  Like many creative works that start off as a  labor of love, there were critics and trolls.  But here they are..  You guys did it – CONGRATS!

Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014 - Lauren Cohan!

It’s not too late to get your tickets for Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014!

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