Last month, on December 13, 2014 I had the opportunity to attend the Walker Stalker Con that was held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. This marked the first time this Con was held in the Tri-state region. So how was it? Was it worth it? Were the celebrities amazing? These are the burning questions I'll candidly answer from my point of view.
The Celebrities - They were indeed amazing. Most of them were very accommodating even to us, the Press. It was quite a site seeing them all clean and proper after being so used to seeing them heavily soiled on the show. Unfortunately, the top dogs were hard to approach due to the avalanche of very determined fans occupying every inch of space in front of their panels.
The Main Interview Panel - It was delightful hearing the stars share their thoughts and experiences on the show and also sharing some of their personal life story. The fact that the panel is in the open, gives the fans the opportunity to see them without wasting time falling in line. Although to see them up-close while seated is still on a first come, first serve basis.
The Fans - I was very pleased to see how orderly the fans were. I didn't hear too much profanity or any inappropriate misconduct. For me, this is very important to fully enjoy the experience without negative distractions.
For the bad, sadly it all comes down to...
The Venue - Just a horrible place to hold a Con of this magnitude. I understand it's not New York Comic Con and that it's their first time in the Tri-State and maybe they underestimated the turn-out but this was a big disappointment. The place was simply too small for the amount of people attending. I mean, they are aware that the show is massively popular, right? Even the Cops were called in for crowd control. I'm not sure if they oversold tickets passed capacity or they didn't think everybody was gonna be there at the same time but either way it was a fiasco. A large amount of attendees were denied entry and had to wait outside in the blistering cold until some of the attendees inside left to make room for them. Inside the building, it was impossible to even walk one full step without bumping someone. It was unpleasantly crowded.
The Quick Interviews
As much as how crazy and crowded it was inside, and how strict some of the stars' PRs were, our team still managed to snag several quick pictures and interviews with the stars. I was lucky enough to chat with some of the cast of the Walking Dead. Keep in mind, we were limited to couple of questions only, as they were in the middle of autograph signing. Nevertheless, it was plenty enjoyable to interact with the stars even if it was brief.
O&G: So are you gonna be part of Rick's crew moving forward?
Tyler James Williams: Oh, I'm part of the crew now, that's it.
How many seasons are you signed for?
Tyler: I can't...I can't tell you.
What did you think about Beth's death?
Tyler: Oh, it was terrible, man...it was terrible! In one part when I read it at first, it was the worst and when we shot it, it was the worst, and when I saw it...it was even worse than that!
Yeah it was crazy, man. It was a total shocker but I did feel that with her saving you...
Tyler: She did. Yeah, she needed to win. She needed to win.
O&G: Was there a back-story of how you became the leader of your gang?
Jeff Kober: I was just smarter than everyone else (laughs).
Who's idea was the "claim" thing?
Jeff: Mine...because I was smarter than everyone else (laughs again). You have to make sense of the world. You have a bunch of alpha males and you gotta have some way for them to negotiate without having to kill each other.
What if you are given the opportunity to explore the origin of your gang, what do you think of that idea?
Jeff: I'm thinking they (AMC) should do a spinoff. They can just call it "Claim", starring me and all those other guys, yeah!
O&G: Where do you see your character going this season?
Alanna Masterson: Oh man, I can't really tell you that. You just gonna have to wait and see. It'll be fun!
What kind of relationship does your character have with Glen?
Alanna: You're really trying to get me in trouble here (laughs). I really can't tell you, sorry. You'll just have to be patient and tune in.
As a big fan of the Walking Dead series, I'm glad I was able to attend. Make no mistake, this was definitely a for profit event, but it gives the fans the opportunity to see their favorite characters, get their autographs, take selfies, and directly interact with them. Fans will always be willing to pay for a chance to have an unforgettable experience with their idols. If Walker Stalker Con comes back next year, I believe that a much bigger venue will undoubtedly produce a smoother experience thus, making the event much more successful than this year.
If you missed Walker Stalker Con, you can catch them next on January 31st to February 1st, 2015 in San Francisco, California. For more info go to walkerstalkercon.com