All reports of The Walking Deadâ€™s demise have been greatly overstated. By 9:15am on Saturday (over an hour before doors opened to the general public), the parking lot of the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center was jam packed and lines were forming outside for this year’s Walker Stalker Con. When the doors opened at 10:30am, it was as if the zombies had broken through the gates! Fans of the AMC television series, which is currently in its ninth season, packed the convention hall to meet their favorite stars, get autographs, take photos, and sit for Q&A panels.
The two biggest draws were Norman Reedus, who plays series favorite Daryl Dixon and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the leather clad, barbed wire bat-wielding villain Negan. Their lines for autographs and photo ops were crazy and needed to be cut off to accommodate fans. Other TWD guests included Chandler Riggs (Carl), Khary Payton (King Ezekiel), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), David Morrissey (The Governor), and more.
Cosplay was big as always and you could not walk more than a few feet without seeing cowboy hats, leather jackets, and flannelâ€¦ so much flannel. The venue was packed with vendors selling all types of merchandise and including live art demonstrations and tattooing.
On the live stage, they hosted several Q&As and panel discussions. The first was with Melissa Hutchison, who portrays Clementine in Telltaleâ€™s The Walking Dead video game. Fans gathered to ask about the next installments and her career as a voice actor. Watching voice acting live is very entertaining for some reason. Later in the day were panels with Ezekiel & Jerry (Khary Payton & Cooper Andrews), and then one with The Saviors (Austin Amelio & Jayson Warner Smith).
Check out the next city and dates when Walker Stalker will be in your area here at the official site. In February 2019, there is going to a WALKING DEAD CRUISE (!!!), sailing from Tampa to the Bahamas and you can find more on that here at the official cruise site. If youâ€™re looking to fulfill your horror quota a bit closer to home, the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival will be at the Showboat in Atlantic City, NJ from March 29th to 31st. Ryan Scott Weber, the co-founder of the event, was at Walker Stalker advertising the show and selling some cool NJ Horror merch. Check them out at NJ Horror Con.