December 22, 2015 Walker Stalker Con 2015 Returns to New Jersey 12-4-15 to 12-6-15
It was back during Halloween of 2010 The Walking Dead premiered on AMC, and over the course of six seasons, has become one of the biggest television shows of all-time. While based around a Zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead goes beyond the Horror realm, attracting fans of all ages and tastes who are drawn in by the character development. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the series has affiliated Pop culture unlike any Horror themed series prior, and thus it warranting its very own fan fest. That fan fest came in the form of Walker Stalker Con in 2014; a place where followers of The Walking Dead could have a chance to meet the majority of the actors and actresses featured on the series. Visiting a list of cities in 2014 including Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, and the New York/New Jersey tri-state area, Walker Stalker Con was a massive hit.
Vowing to return for their second go-around in 2015; bigger, better, and more organized, Walker Stalker Con brought its frenzy back to New Jersey on the weekend of December 4th through 6th. A week earlier than 2014’s visit, perhaps to combat holiday stress, the event was expanded to three days, and while held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus once again, the layout this time expanded into the lower level parking garage. Before fans think, they put guests in a parking garage? Not to worry, the space was transformed nicely with heating, temporarily walls, and outdoor carpeting. One of the issues with 2014’s visit to this venue was overcrowding and lack of traffic control. Thankfully, the team behind Walker Stalker made efforts to rectify this matter and had better communication between their security staff, and a more streamlined flow to the convention floor layout this time around. With that major issue out of the way, the focus for the fans could be concentrated on having fun.
This time around, there were forty-eight celebrity guests on hand, nearly doubling 2014’s show. With a series that introduces new characters on a weekly basis, and just as quickly kills off characters, there was plenty of The Walking Dead alumni favorites including Jon Bernthal (Shane), Emily Kinney (Beth), and Scott Wilson (Hershel), among others. In addition, some more recent members of the cast such as Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Katelyn Nacon (Enid), Tovah Feldshuh (Deanna), and Alexandra Breckenridge (Jessie), among many others, were highlighted. Of course, mainstays and adored The Walking Dead icons like Chandler Riggs (Carl), Norman Reedus (Daryl), and Steven Yeun (Glenn) were seen drawing massive crowds purchasing autographs as well as taking photos. In addition to the plethora of options for meet and greetings for The Walking Dead cast members, this year’s show included a long list of guests from FOX hit series Gotham and The CW’s The Vampire Diaries such as Sean Pertwee (Alfred), Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald), David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne), and Ian Somerhalder (Damon), to name a few. Equally as intriguing, the expanded roster had many salivating for a rare chance to meet these stars.
While Walker Stalker offered so much in the form of autograph and photo opportunities, convention goers were also given a more extensive list of vendors this time around. With a section of vendors neatly placed in front of the center’s entrance, there was plenty of clothing, accessories, arts, jewelry, and food options. There was even a Zombie Apocalypse gaming attraction on the lower level of the venue for those daring to see if they could survive the terror. If that was not enough, there were also interesting instructional sessions such as Tate Steinsiek’s Bringing the Dead to Life event held on Saturday and The Walking Dead Experience; a no-holds bar 30 minute nightmare enthralling fans into the world of The Walking Dead.
With so much to do, it is no wonder the event was expanded to three days. It is still glaring Walker Stalker needs to attempt to find a larger venue in the New York/New Jersey area for future events, but did a commendable job utilizing the space of Meadowlands Exposition Center in 2015. Now the traveling convention looks to 2016 where it will be kicked off with a cruise sailing out of Miami in January, a stop in London England in February, and various stops in big cities through October. It seems nothing can stop Walker Stalker at Horror convention domination.