Walker Stalker Convention + Review

April 13, 2016 My Thoughts, Review 2

The Walker Stalker convention currently has 9 events. Walker Stalker convention will be in Denver, Nashville, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Jersey and London. Their recent stop in Dallas, Texas was local for me and by some kind of miracle I received media/press passes. <insert total freak-out moment> They also have a cruise….I will try not to obsess over how much I would love to go!

I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from this new adventure. I have been to comic based conventions before, but lets face it. The Walking Dead following is a broad spectrum of human beings. Incredibly broad. Technically Walker Stalker is a zombie, horror and sci-fi fan convention and stresses that they are fan-based. Fans rule Walker Stalker con. In my experience, I felt they held true to their claim. All of the staff, volunteers, celebrities and vendors were helpful and very nice. This always makes a convention more enjoyable, no matter what kind of convention you are attending.

I do want to point out a few things, that I am sure people complained about, but are something the convention does not have control over: celebrity photo-ops and celebrity attendees. Maybe I just know a little too much about how conventions work, but I want to address these issues. 1) the Photo-ops are contracted by a company. They handle the payments, schedules and the whole shebang. Walker Stalker’s provider for celebrity photos for Dallas (and I am assuming the entire contention spread) is Celeb Photo Ops. I have not done a TON of celebrity photo ops before, but Celeb Photo ops did a great job organizing and wrangling the immense numbers of bodies ready to get shot with their favorite celebrities, once at the con. I wish I wouldn’t have worried so much about the possibility of time changes of photos. They were excellent about clarifying and double checking the times for you when you checked in. If you ever use Celeb Photo Ops, please note that you must get a little ticket thing at the event, prior to your shoot even if you paid online. I really enjoyed that they limited WHEN the lines could start. This allowed much more time to enjoy the rest of the convention without worrying about what was happening with lines. The camera and photo op workers were extremely nice. I never felt rushed or hurried and no-one was shouting NEXT the second the flash died. (Yes..this has happened before) I also LOVE that they encouraged funny or different poses with the celebrities. The lines always moved quickly and they made it a great experience.

I ended up doing 3 shoots. I did “Abraham’s Army” group, Z Nation group and Vampire Diaries duo.

Z Nation was the first photo shoot and real event I had planned of the day and my mini attended the con with me.

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Holy shit, man. This group is one of the coolest I have ever met. They were genuinely excited to meet everyone and I just wanted to take them all to the bar and hang out. I don’t think I have EVER met any celebrity that displayed the kindness and down-to-earth feeling that radiated off of Keith Allan, Russell Hodgkinson and Anastasia Baranova.

My PLAN was to be at the Ross Marquand (Aaron – the Walking Dead) and Jordan Woods-Robinson (Eric – the Walking Dead) panel, but my best friend surprised me by snagging me for her Vampire Diaries photo op. I am not sure I had time to let the reality sink in what was happening…

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These two..are a mess. Ian Somerhalder sported a serious smolder with intense eye contact that made me feel like I had done something very naughty and Paul Wesley was equally at ease leaving me with a wink. They knocked me off my cool game (yeah..I have that!) and left me a bit giggly. I cannot imagine what working with these two on a daily basis would be like. They were both incredibly sweet.

IMG_5707Just after this I attended the Michael Rooker panel. This, for me, was a must attend. Michael Rooker is a force of nature and I love his sense of humor. I think he truly one of those people that loves who he is and people make a LOT of assumptions about his beliefs and opinions…and are dead wrong. I LOVE IT. He is beyond entertaining and a complete character. If you ever have the opportunity to watch him being interviewed at a con, DO IT. You will not regret it.

 

 

My second photo op was with Abraham’s Army, which changed to Abraham’s Duo prior to the con starting. I think I was feeling a little overwhelmed at this point and had a bunch of great picture plans..and it ended up looking like a family photo. Which is pretty damn amusing in itself. Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt were also sooo friendly and nice. Where were these kind of awesome guys when prom was going on? Just saying…I completely wish Josh McDermitt would have been my date. Maybe I should just photoshop him into my solo photos (I went stag or…stagette? Is that a thing?). That wouldn’t be creepy at all, right? 😉

ABRAHAMS DUO

I also spent a LOT of time talking to various vendors. Some of them I have even ordered more items from since the convention. Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

Paul McConnell, author

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Leave it up to me to find the horror author! Paul is super awesome and I cannot wait to see what he brings to the table next! Paul McConnell is in the process of publishing this title as a comic book..and

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This is Paul! Everyone say HI!

from what I can see, it is going to be something to check out!

29508318Element {.245} Zombie is a horror novel that begins in the shadow of Roswell New Mexico. After a UFO crash, a small company experiences some very odd deaths with dangerous side effects. Reanimated corpses begin to eat the flesh of the living. Scientists begin to investigate and begin experiments of their own. Their involvement escalates the problem and soon the horde of flesh eaters become more than the agency can handle.

AMAZON : GOODREADS 

 

Blue Envy Designs

Lauren Valusek is the owner and designer of this gem. So much awesome and her designs were truly awesome. She was so much fun to talk to and WOW all of her hats were so much fun! You can check out all of her fun stuff at http://www.blueenvydesigns.com/

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Dan Westfall

I barely escaped without buying something and it is basically a guarantee that I WILL buy something before the end of the year. His art called to me and I must have something in my home. Beautiful and gothic, Dan Westfall is someone you are going to want to check out. Seriously. Click on the pic below and check out some of his photography. It will stick with you!

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I didn’t want to infringe on any copywrites so I didn’t post images from his site, but my FAVORITE that was at the show is certainly Turin, Italy Headstone. #0203. Go check it out in his Gallery and don’t skip checking out all of the castles…     https://dan-westfall.squarespace.com/galleries/

Little Darling’s PINUPS FOR PITBULLS

IMG_5691I love this entire concept and the art created with these volunteer models and their bullies is pretty damn awesome. YOU CAN APPLY to be a pinup in their 2017 calendar by going to their website. The deadline is TODAY!! artadvocacy

 


Scott Spillman

Scott Spillman has taken Walker fanship to another level. Expert level achieved! The art is not only original but comes in some great forms including wallets, necklaces,  prints on metal… Not going to lie. I am beyond impressed and love the vivid colors he uses.

Check him out… HERE


Little Zombie Dorian

IMG_5701Um…where were these books when I was a kid? Imagine how much better my life would have been with these stories! Click on the image below to find out more about it…

 

LilZ_Final_04-1024x512“This book is aimed mainly at the kinds of people who are enthusiasts of this sort of genre and their children. Many children enjoy the thrill of horror and this book is a great way to encourage these children to begin reading at an early age. People of all ages can also appreciate the contrast in this adorably dark story.”

 

ERIK PINTO

Erik is another talented artist that had some pretty cool shit. Some of my favorites were his original day of the dead takes of classic Disney characters and PRINCESS LEIA. I am really regretting this entire “agreement” I made to not put skulls up in our new house. I might have to renegotiate. I AM SO CONFLICTED. I want to post pictures….go check him out. You will not regret it.

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Here is his site on FineArtAmerica  or find him on Facebook or Instagram

Now…last but not least!

Scott Straka Art

If you follow my personally on facebook or on instagram you know I might have a slight obsession with this art. I bought some of these at the con AND have purchased 4 more since then. Seriously.

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This is the set I bought at the con framed and up! 

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I also was honored to meet Russ Streiner. Russ Streiner is the producer of The Night of the Living Dead. He is maybe the sweetest person ever and was so much fun to talk to. Moments like this is where the VIP passes pay off. Getting to the con early and stopping by to meet people with no rush or line behind you, really adds to my enjoyment of the experience. I cannot wait to get this one framed and up on the office wall!

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I also picked up a copy of SELF STORAGE from Jay Bonansinga. Bonansinga wrote the book (not comic) of The Walking Dead. I am looking forward to Self Storage and I am a little worried that I know people that have a shelf resembling the cover of Shelf Storage. (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) LOL

So glad I picked up this book at the con, because it is not available in ebook that I can see!

jay bonansinga

SELF STORAGE is a supernatural thriller that is a moving, suspenseful — and ultimately horrific — journey into the world of addiction and recovery. The story revolves around Johnny Fitzgerald, a lonely, divorced graphic illustrator with a major heroin habit. When Johnny accidentally gets trapped inside a deserted self-storage warehouse with his 6-year-old son, he is forced to face demons both real and imagined.

For the next 10 days, father and son fight for their lives. They battle thirst, hunger, and perhaps the worst human craving of them all — heroin withdrawal. But this is only the beginning of Johnny’s painful education in de-tox.

Because there is something dark and powerful behind Johnny’s dope-sick hallucinations…something touched off by the place itself. And before the story is over, father and son must walk into hell together in order to come out the other side.

SELF STORAGE mixes the brutal surrealism of Chuck Palahniuk’s FIGHT CLUB with the dark fantasy of Clive Barker.

AMAZON : GOODREADS


I didn’t get to attend all of Sunday as I originally planned. This is solely because my oldest’s baseball team made it to the pre-championship game at his first weekend tournament of the spring season and I was feeling some guilt about missing it  ….especially with how well they were doing. I DID go make all my purchases this day and listened to a few of the panels. The problem with me and panels with most celebrities is that the same questions are asked A LOT by the crowd. I completely understand why this happens and do not fault anyone in anyway, but I tend to have the attention span of a toddler and I am easily distracted if the panel is not kind of crazy. (Which is probably why I love watching Michael Rooker so much)

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As a general summary, I think Walker Stalker con Dallas was a great event and I had a total blast. I loved the diversity of the vendors events. My biggest complaint was not knowing any kind of schedule until a day or two before. I am a planner and the lack of knowledge of times of panels and events made me nervous. I would have liked to have been able to plan my photo ops around panels and events, but was unable to do so. Even though I do understand that panels can change, It would have been very beneficial to know an outline and original plan, even if it was subject to change. I also felt like I was lacking in knowledge about prices for the other things going on. There was a zombie apocalypse survival course and this was something I would have loved to do, but didn’t have time to budget after it was announced. Having knowledge of the prices of these sub-events and options about a month prior, would have allowed me time to retain the capital needed to enjoy these things.

You can check out this convention by going to their website: http://www.walkerstalkercon.com/

(They also have a cruise…if you go PLEASE TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!)

2 Responses to “Walker Stalker Convention + Review”

  1. Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

    That looked like a hella good time. My daughter almost died when she saw you got a photo op with the Vampire Diaries guys.

  2. Paul McConnell

    Hey Annie,
    Thank you so much for the amazing things you said about me, I truly appreciate it. Don’t cut yourself out of your review. You were also a true gem to meet and I enjoyed our conversation very much. I would love to post up some of the art from the graphic novel. I hope that we run into each other again at a show. Thanks once more for the kind words.

    All My Best,
    Paul McConnell
    Element {.245}

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