Walker Stalker Con brought in big crowds and excitement to Denver’s National Western Complex this past weekend April 2-3, 2016. Thanks to the organizers and devoted volunteers, this convention was well organized and chock full of things to do. The location was ideal with its huge open spaces for zombies and attendees to roam, a great arena for the celebrity panels, and plenty of space for friends to hang out. The cosplay was perfect with fans dressed in their versions of Daryl, Rick, Rosita, Carl, and even a Freddy Krueger or two. The fans came to meet their favorite stars of “The Walking Dead,” “Fear The Walking Dead,” “ZNation” and more. The guests were there to pose for selfies, photo ops, and coveted autographs. Eyes lit up and jaws dropped as fans roamed this giant complex and caught sight of some of their favorites in the horror genre. The panels with these celebs were hilarious and fun with plenty of stories shared.
The very shiny celebrity guest list included “Abraham’s Army” made up of Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), and Christian Serratos (Rosita). Pretty much everyone at the convention packed in what is usually a “rodeo room” for their panel. Both Lennie James (Morgan) and John Carroll Lynch (Eastman) were there to share some great stories. Seth Gilliam chatted about what it is like to play Father Gabriel, and Michael Traynor, Austin Nichols, and Kenric Green had a lot to talk about. Other celebs hanging out where Michael Rooker (Merle), Sonequa Martin-Green – (Sasha), IronE Singleton (T-Dog), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Tyler James Williams (Noah), and with foot in tact, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. (Bob). There were so many more Walking Dead alum, in addition to “ZNation” actors, Giancarlo Esposito AKA “Gus” from (“Breaking Bad”), Denis O’Hare (“American Horror Story”), and even Freddy himself, Robert Englund) was on hand.
Like most sci-fi conventions, the vendors were busy sharing all their fabulous T-shirts and must own items, and there were even some “attractions” to enjoy. Probably the most popular was “The Walking Dead Experience: Chapter 1.” It was a 30 minute attraction similar to the “panic room” phenomenon that dropped the person into a chaotic and terrifying world of “The Walking Dead.” According to a fan, Marcy La Rue, it first required bravery as the attendees were broken into teams, given individual instructions, and then let loose in a controlled environment. She explained that each room had a way to get out of it, and with the help of an interactive group of people, they had to swallow their fear and figure out a way to get out. There was also a “Zombie Apocalypse Experience” which produced live zombie gaming events from New York to Seattle and France and Australia that tested tactical laser skills. Saturday night there was, of course, a cosplay contest where fans dragged their bloody skin and undead limbs on stage for prizes.
It had all the energy and success attendees were hoping for. Sunday afternoon fans left with hopes that Denver will see the return of Walker Stalker Con next year.