This past weekend Walker Stalker convention drug it’s rotting carcass to Philadelphia, PA. For fans of AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead, Walker Stalker convention is the place to be. The show hits several cities throughout the world including Atlanta GA, Edison NJ, Portland OR, Melbourne AU, London ENG, and the list goes on. All are a great time but none of them with the Philadelphia PA Con being second to none; I may be a little biased here. Really, you can attend any one of them and I am sure you will not go away disappointed; as a matter of fact my guess would be that you will be going to the Walker Stalker website to see when the next closest city to you will be hosting this awesomely gruesome event.
Fans of The Walking Dead come from all around to go to Walker Stalker Conventions and they are some of the most loyal and awesome fans you can find. The fans at the Philly con fall into this group. Not only was everyone jovial to be in the presence of such a great con but some of the cosplay outfits were pretty fantastic. I really enjoyed the Jerry and Shiva duo, zombie couple and walker (or in this case, layer) torn in half in bed. I’d have to say though the little guy who cosplayed as Winslow, the spiked walker warrior from Season 7 episode 10 “New Best Friends”. All were more than happy to stop, strike a pose and let you take their photo.
The reason that people come in droves is to see and meet the characters which they love and connect with. The set up is extremely fan-friendly and when you go to meet your favorite character you do not feel rushed as is the case at some other cons. The guests are there for their fans and I think they are humbled by the way they touch so many lives by getting to act on such a great show and take the time to talk to their fans. Some of the guests in Philadelphia included: Norman Reedus (probably the most popular and whose face appeared on most of the shirts worn by females), Chandler Riggs, Tom Payne, Lennie James, Khary Peyton, Cooper Andrews (who plays Jerry, my favorite character not name Carol), Josh McDermitt, Christian Sarratos and the list goes on. Also in attendance were members of the cast who have moved on including fan favorites Michael Cudlitz, Scott Wilson, IronE Singleton and Laurie Holden to name a few. Scott, IronE, and Laurie had a panel which was left with standing room only. Walker Stalker does not only appeal to fans of the Walking Dead as there were cast members of Sons of Anarchy and Ash vs The Evil Dead in attendance. Also in attendance was Walking Dead author Jay Bonansinga and effects guru Tom Savini.
As with every con, there are plenty of vendors and artists in attendance; Walker Stalker is no different and had some great things to buy and ogle at; heck while you are there you can even get a tattoo. One of my favorite pieces I saw was the burnt helmet of Darth Vader from The Force Awakens. Also, you can pose for pictures with some “look-a-likes”.
Uber awesome comic artist Kirk Maley was in attendance, his work is in a word: awesome. Another artist on site was JaCo Tartaruga whose unique art was awe-inspiring (see photo below). JaCo was more than willing to tell me about his art and the time he puts into it which is apparent. You can find JaCo and his art at www.jacotartaruga.com
For those into custom horror handbags, purses and wallets Top Notch by Design was in attendance. The creative mind behind these bags and accessories is Ninotchka “Notch”; she and her designs can be found at: www.topnotchbydesign.com
There were also booths set up to benefit children in need. Alex’s Lemonade Stand was in attendance; their mission: “To raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily for research into new treatments and cures, and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.” Please check them out at www.alexslemonade.org/
Another worthy cause in attendance was Extra Life; they unite thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Founded in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids. One of the guys at the booth told me to think of it like donating to someone who is running a 5 K but in this case they are playing video games. These guys were there in support of CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). Go and check them out at www.extra-life.org
As it is plain to see Walker Stalker has a little something for everyone whether you are a fan of the show or not. My advice is that if a Walker Stalker Con is coming to an area near you, you should probably go check it out, you won’t be sorry. I would like to thank Walker Stalker for allowing me the pleasure of covering the Philadelphia show and I’m looking forward to covering the next one in my area.