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#TWDFamily Part 3

It’s not just fandom. It’s family.” If you are at all familiar with Walker Stalker Convention or Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, you’ve probably seen this tag line before. Though I’d seen it, I had never put much thought into what it meant until I experienced this family for myself. From attending the conventions as a fan to beginning this podcast with Kia, I have witnessed a fandom that supports each other with their whole hearts. I have seen people come together for each other in a way that can only be described as magical. Their one common thread? They love The Walking Dead and attending the conventions that celebrate their favorite show.

In this four part series, I will be chatting with many of the people that make up this family. Today, we take a look at the fans who love to attend WSC! Many of the folks who were kind enough to speak to me will also be in Atlanta this weekend! If you see them, I encourage you to say hello!

Who have you most enjoyed meeting?

Jennifer Cronin (4 time WSC attendee):  I’d have to say the person I most enjoyed meeting was Norman Reedus. I’ve tried meeting him for three years and he finally came to Nashville this past year. I was excited and a nervous wreck. Once I got up to see Norman he was very sweet, asking how my day was. To make things better he even held my hand the whole time he autographed my Funko Pop and picture! Then sent me on my way with a hug and a piece of candy.

Mel V (8 time WSC employee): Loved meeting Danai the most. She remembered me and talked about me on Conan O’Brien!

Mike Angelo with one of his favorites, Alexandra Breckenridge

Mike Angelo (5 time WSC attendee): JDM, Alexandra Breckenridge, Norman, Lawrence Gilliard Jr.

Angela Barr: (4 time WSC attendee): Ross Marquand without a doubt! The first time I met him was in 2016 when I was volunteering in Panels at Walker Stalker Con Chicago.  I was standing outside the Panels area as he came out of Photo Ops.  He walked over and greeted all of us volunteers and thanked us. Then he gave each of us a hug! Ross gives the best hugs!!

Stephanie Rodriguez (1 time WSC attendee): Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Robert Bernardo (7 time WSC attendee): Andrew Lincoln.

Connie Connelly (1 time WSC attendee): So far it’s a tie between Lennie James and David Morrissey. Until I meet Jon {Bernthal}.

Stacey Lee (2 time WSC attendee): Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Even though I’ve met him prior to his Walking Dead time, he is my literal everything at these cons and I cannot get enough.

Ingrid Bascope hugging her favorite, Scott Wilson

Ingrid Bascope (4 time WSC attendee): Scott Wilson is so far the most amazing human being. I approached to him for a picture and I told him, “Mister Scott I’m a big fan. I watch all your movies with my dad. How I wish he was here with me to meet you!” And he look at me with a sad face and said, “I’m so sorry your dad is not here come! Let me me give you a hug!” He hugs me and my kids and tells them to be good at school.

What do you love most about Walker Stalker Con?

Jillian (3 time WSC attendee): I love the fact that James puts so much in to these events. He’s a fan just like us

Jennifer Cronin:  I love the Walker Stalker Con family. Everyone genuinely cares about each other and we all love the Walking Dead. I’ve made forever friendships because of Walker Stalker and these people are now part of my daily life. Also, how awesome is it that you get to hang out with people who love the Walking Dead? I love my Walker Stalker Con family.

Gemma Hewitt during some of her favorite photo ops

Gemma Hewitt (2 time WSC attendee): I love the whole experience but making friends has been the best part, I’ve met some amazing people who I now class as my best friends.

Heather Robertson aka Sparkles Handler (5 time WSC attendee): Meeting the other fans and making friends from all over the world. We look forward to seeing each other again at the next con. It’s like a big family reunion.

Anna (9 time WSC attendee): I love the experience, the people, its not just about the celebrities you meet, i do go to meet celebs but i look forward to being able to see a good majority of my friends all in one place.

Mel V: I love meeting up with fellow TWD family; people who have become lifelong friends through this awesome show!

Stephani Walker (5 time WSC attendee): Everyone is there for the same reason. The troubles of the world cease for three days. Three days of fandom and horror. Everyone there has the same passion and love for this show among many other shows that are a beautiful and entertaining escape from the reality that stresses us out. For three days, nobody cares about the color of your skin, nobody cares about your religious beliefs , nobody cares about your political views and nobody cares about your sexual preference. For three days, thousands of people from around the world gather for a family reunion and meet their idols, have fun and keep all things spooky!

Mike Angelo: It’s an all immersive 3 days with people from all over the world that share the same passion you do.

Angela Barr: I love so much about WSC but if I had to narrow it down to just one thing, I would say it’s the people that I have met at WSC. Whether it’s an actor from the show or another fan, I love that WSC gives me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life who love The Walking Dead as much as I do! The Walking Dead family is absolutely amazing!  And getting the chance to get together with a group of people who share my love for this show is such a great thing! I am so grateful to James Frazier for starting Walker Stalker Con and allowing me to be a part of this big, beautiful Walking Dead family!

Rachal Belew (1 time WSC attendee): I love the TWD Family. It’s amazing that everyone there will help you out and wants to be your friend.

Stephanie Rodriguez: The family style spirit the fans share with each other.

Robert Bernardo: Meeting fellow fans from all over the world.

Connie Connelly: How everyone comes together and helps one another. The fandom is so warm and friendly it feels like family!

Stacey Lee: Even though Atlanta is hugeeeee, it doesn’t feel that way. You can literally walk up to the dude standing in front of you in line at the ops and you have a new friend: it’s rad.

Do you have a favorite memory or story from your time attending Walker Stalker Con?

Jillian (3 time WSC attendee): My favorite memory is meeting 3 of my closest friends; Ashley, April, and Amanda.

 Gemma Hewitt: One of my favourite memories so far was the Saturday of London, I managed to buy an Andy photo op from somebody 10 minutes before the shoot so it was a mad rush but I got to meet him & he was sooo lovely!

Heather Robertson, Sparkles the Unicorn, and one of her favorites, Ross Marquand at WSC Nashville 2017. If you see Heather and Sparkles, make sure to say hello and take a photo with Sparkles!

Heather Robertson: At WSC Charlotte in December 2016 is the first time I met Ross. He was so friendly and down to earth and I loved talking with him. He remembered my name on Sunday after just meeting me on Saturday, and that made me feel amazing. The best part was when he made this amazing video for me. It was him standing beside me and doing 3 different voice impressions. It was the best thing ever. I still go back and watch that video over and over.

Stephani Walker: This is my 15th convention but for WSC, I have many great memories. I believe creating a painting of Norman and Mingus’ rescue cat, “Eye In The Dark” along with a quote from Norman himself. He gets hundreds of gifts daily and it was heartwarming to capture a video of him leaving with Sean Clark and security carrying the personalize canvas with him.

Stephanie Rodriguez:  I found out I was pregnant on the same day I met Jeffrey Dean Morgan. When I met him I was happier than I imagined I would be and he remarked on my huge grin. I told him it was the best day ever because I met him and found out that my IVF had worked. We took our picture and then he gave me a huge hug and a peck on the cheek before wishing me good luck. He was so sincerely happy in the exchange, it was just a great moment and really fulfilled my expectations of meeting him. He was fantastic.

Robert Bernardo: During the first Walker Stalker in Atlanta, I remember meeting Andrew Lincoln and introducing myself as “Robert from San Francisco.” He said, “Hello, Robert from San Francisco.” Then, later in the day when we were doing the cast photos—he yelled out to the rest of the celebrities, “Hey, everyone! It’s Robert from San Francisco!” That’s my fondest memory from all the Walker Stalkers.

Connie Connelly: So far when I met the governor, I was very nervous. I couldn’t talk and he asked me, “What’s wrong? You’re not a fan of the governor,” As he goes to my throat to pretend to choke me. 

Any advice for new Walker Stalker Con goers?

Jillian (3 time WSC attendee): My advice would be keep an eye on the schedules. They can change at anytime. And if you need any help with anything ask anyone. We’re all willing to help you out. We’re a big family.

Jennifer Cronin: Plan your day as far as photo op times, autos, panels, etc. Portable phone chargers are a must! Germ-x so you dont pick up the con crud. Mostly have fun, this’ll be one of the best experiences of your life and it’ll go so fast, so cherish every moment. Walker Stalker Con is just amazing.

Gemma Hewitt: My advice would be to plan your schedule and check the floor plan so you know where you need to go. Don’t waste valuable time looking for a table! Also, if you are like me and get shinier throughout the day, a powder compact will be your best friend! I topped up in every photo queue!

Heather Robertson: Don’t be shy. Talk to other fans when you are waiting in line. Join the meet up groups and connect with others. You will learn so much from the veterans. Plan, plan, plan. Do your research, it will help your first con experience go smoother.

Anna: If allowed, bring water and small snacks, comfortable shoes (if you’re cosplaying the most comfortable you can find), bring a bag of some kind to carry your stuff, buy photo sleeves ahead of time or find a vendor who has them for 2 or 3 bucks each. You can fit 2 or 3 photos in each one until you get home. Don’t stress too much about a schedule unless it’s very time specific such as photo ops or panels. I thought having everything planned to a T was a great idea when I went to my first con (NYCC of all places). My “plan” for the most part fell apart midway through the first day. After that I decided to just wing it. Surprises happened, I got most everything I wanted. It was a great time. Above all, expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen when you least expect it. And don’t be afraid to ask questions to people who have attended cons before. I don’t think I would have survived NYCC and NYC without asking a ton of questions beforehand. Some people will be jerks and not want to share “secrets” but we aren’t all like that. I do my best to pay it forward to newcomers to any con (I’ve done a few others besides WSC and NYCC). I remember all too well what it was like to be new.

Mike Angelo: Plan ahead. Start a year out if possible.

Angela Barr: Be prepared for lots of walking and waiting. The venues where the Cons are held are pretty big.   That means between the Panels, photo ops and meet and greets, you may have to walk from one side of the venue to the other several times a day. And there are lines for everything. Lines to pick up your badges, lines for photo ops, lines for meet and greets, lines to get into the Panels and lines for food. But being cranky about waiting will only spoil the experience for you and possibly for others around you. To pass the time, make a new friend while you wait in line. To make the most of your experience – remember to pack your patience and wear comfortable shoes.

Rachal Belew: Aim for the big stars you want but never forget the co-stars. They are all so kind and take the time to make you smile too!

Robert Bernardo: Here are my Top 3. 1. Prepare a schedule in advance so as not to waste precious time. 2. Plan ahead for any Photo Ops (costumes, props and specific poses). 3. Bring: phone chargers, cash (Note: photo ops and autographs are “cash only”!), any prescription medication, plastic photo protectors, and comfortable shoes.

Stacey Lee: Breathe. Take it in. Smell Jeffrey’s breath and have fun.

Ingrid Bascope: Get ready for 3 days of excitement and study the maps so you know exactly where to go. And don’t hesitate to ask a volunteer for help. That’s what we are there for.

 

Want to go? You can purchase your WSC Atlanta tix here!

#TWDFamily Part 2

It’s not just fandom. It’s family.” If you are at all familiar with Walker Stalker Convention or Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, you’ve probably seen this tag line before. Though I’d seen it, I had never put much thought into what it meant until I experienced this family for myself. From attending the conventions as a fan to beginning this podcast with Kia, I have witnessed a fandom that supports each other with their whole hearts. I have seen people come together for each other in a way that can only be described as magical. Their one common thread? They love The Walking Dead and attending the conventions that celebrate their favorite show.

In this four part series, I will be chatting with many of the people that make up this family. That includes some of our newest members. I had the chance to talk to a few awesome newbies that will be making their WSC debut this weekend!

How did you first hear about Walker Stalker Convention? 

Simone (1st time WSC attendee): I’ve been lucky enough to know some people in the business where I’ve worked at a convention but, this will be my first time attending something as a guest and I am very excited. I first heard about WSC through the Walking Dead fandom.  At first, I thought it was the name of a podcast, but I started to see pictures posted by fans and it looked amazing. Sometimes it’s hard to be a super fan because people laugh at you or don’t understand so also being a theater person I love being around like-minded people who like to geek out!

Marissa Griffiths (1st time WSC attendee, has attended one other fan related convention: I heard about Walker Stalker by seeing photo op pictures fans posted to Instagram tagging their favorite celebs.

Ashleigh (1st time WSC attendee and convention newbie): I heard about it from my brother, who invited me to come with him.

Valerie Stevenson (1st time WSC attendee and convention newbie): I heard about it from a friend (Misty Haines) and TWD fan who’s been to several of these.

Leslee Tyler (1st time WSC attendee, has attended one Supernatural Con): Truthfully, I don’t remember how I heard of Walker Stalker! I’ve been following WSC’s social media pages for 2 to 3 years, living vicariously through the announcements and posts! I have dreamed of going for as long as I have known about it!

Margarita Wolfe (1st time WSC attendee): I first heard about it through my best friend at work. She goes to them a lot.

Who are you most excited about meeting?

Simone, who was on AMC’s The Talking Dead for episode 12 of Season 7, has a special love and connection with our favorite power couple, Richonne.

Simone: I’m most excited about meeting Danai even though I don’t have her autograph, we just have a photo op. But I very much admire her and appreciate what she represents as a woman and a warrior. I really wish I could have gotten a Richonne Photo op so I could thank them together. I’m in an interracial marriage and even now in 2017 we still get looks and sometimes comments and seeing them on my screen just brings so much joy and hope that people will one day just get over it. Love is love and that’s partly why I love them so much. They beautifully represent what love can be through insurmountable obstacles

Christina Chan (1st time WSC attendee): Who am I excited to meet?! Oh my gosh! Well, EVERYONE ! Andy, for sure! I won a drawing on the Facebook group fan meet up page and it was a dream come true!  Not only the cast members but I am excited to meet other fans. So many of use have chatted about the con the last few weeks, doing live videos and helped each other! This fandom is something; it truly amazes me.

Marissa Griffiths: Originally was most excited about meeting all of my favorite Walking Dead actors, now I’m most excited to join in on what seems to be a huge collective fan experience across the board.

Ashleigh: That’s a tough one. I would say Norman, JDM, and Michael Cudlitz.

Valerie Stevenson: I’m most excited to meet Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Ethan Embry.

Leslee Tyler: I am most excited to meet Andrew Lincoln. I am a “Rick-girl”, through and through! Lennie James is another that I am terribly excited to meet! Honestly, I am excited to meet any and all cast members. I want to thank them for bringing the characters that mean so much to me to life. I also can’t wait to meet and spend time with like-minded fans. Lifelong memories will be made!

Margarita Wolfe: I adore Norman Reedus and cannot wait to see him.

What has been the most helpful resource in navigating the Walker Stalker Con World?

Christina Chan: The facebook page Walker Stalker Con Atlanta Meet Up.

Marissa Griffiths: The most helpful tool in navigating Walker Stalker has by far been the veteran run Facebook groups. If I have a question about anything con related, I can quickly message any of the admins of those groups, and they get me an answer very quickly. Fans helping fans is incredibly prevalent.

Ashleigh: All the Walker Stalker groups that are out there. There are many meet up groups as much as information groups. They have been extremely helpful!

Valerie Stevenson: Most helpful resource has been my friend Misty Haines and the Walker Stalker Atlanta Meet Up.

Leslee Tyler: Two words: other fans! Walker Stalker veterans have been the VERY best resource for me. I have learned so much and gained enough knowledge that I almost feel as if I have been to Atlanta before! I feel ready to take on the weekend and have the time of my life — I can only thank the Walker Stalker family for that.

Margarita Wolfe: The most helpful is probably the groups on Facebook. The people that have been there before have great advice about WSC.

 

Want to join the fun? Purchase your Walker Stalker tickets here! Join the Walker Stalker Con Meet Up Group here. If you’re a WSC newbie, make sure to check out tomorrow’s post with lots of helpful tips from other attendees!

#TWDFamily Part 1

It’s not just fandom. It’s family.” If you are at all familiar with Walker Stalker Convention or Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, you’ve probably seen this tag line before. Though I’d seen it, I had never put much thought into what it meant until I experienced this family for myself. From attending the conventions as a fan to beginning this podcast with Kia, I have witnessed a fandom that supports each other with their whole hearts. I have seen people come together for each other in a way that can only be described as magical. Their one common thread? They love The Walking Dead and attending the conventions that celebrate their favorite show.

In this four part series, I will be chatting with many of the people that make up this family. Today, I am highlighting the volunteers and ambassadors that have helped make the conventions you love happen.

What made you decide to volunteer for WSC vs attending as a fan?

Lauren with The Walking Dead star Khary Payton

Lauren (volunteered for WSC ATL 2016 & HVFF ATL 2016): I decided to volunteer because I have previous convention experience, both being as a fan and a volunteer and I wanted to utilize my experience with WSC.

Calli Newman (volunteered for 1 WSC): I love volunteering for different events. Am a fan of the show so it was the best of both worlds.

Jeff Wagoner (4 time WSC volunteer): I decided to volunteer instead of attending because, this might sound crazy, but I love to people watch! I love to see the reactions from the fans and the celebrities as they meet one another. Nothing else like it! Seeing the smiles and laughs on each other’s faces is so awesome!

Kimberly Lujan (3 time WSC volunteer): I originally bought tickets to attend in 2015. When I found out that you could volunteer and work with the cast that I admired so much, I signed up and was accepted. Since then, I will try to work as many as I can. We don’t volunteer anymore. Since we are now paid for our time, we are called “ambassadors.” For me, being on a fixed income, the money really helps. Working allows you access to the same event for free and it helps on costs. I believe that WSC wanted to help compensate us for some of our travel expenses. I think that’s awesome!

Kimberly T (3 time volunteer, including WSC ATL 2017): I really have no clue! I found WSC randomly one day when I was bored at work.  I clicked the volunteer tab and on a whim signed me and my husband up.  This was months before the actual con.  I’d actually forgotten all about it and then I got an email saying I was accepted to volunteer.  In those days it was kind of like a lottery for who got chosen and who didn’t.  They always made it clear that they wanted to give as many people the chance to volunteer as they could so just because you were picked for one didn’t mean you would automatically be picked for another.  Had we not been picked to volunteer we probably would have attended as a guest otherwise.

What do you love most about volunteering for WSC?

Karen Crawford (WSC ATL will be her 4th time volunteering): The best part of being an Ambassador is helping the attendees. Whether it’s just showing them where they need to be, explaining a process they don’t understand, or holding a little girl’s hand when she is overwhelmed with excitement to meet a celeb.

Jeff Wagoner with Walking Dead fave Alanna Masterson

Jeff Wagoner: What I love most about volunteering at the conventions is getting to work along side the celebrities and them really treating you like the celebrity! They always tell us they are just like us with high profile jobs that’s all! Also what I love most is they remember you when they see you working again!

Calli: The people. I got to work with a fun group. Also seeing and helping put smiles on guest faces was a big highlight.

Kelsey Odle (volunteered for WSC and HVFF Nashville): I LOVE being able to see people meet their favorite actor or actress.

Kimberly Lujan: In the beginning, it was the fact that I got to be near the cast and producers of my favorite show. NOW, I enjoy being a part of a huge family and group of people that I can depend on and that accept my nerdiness without any judgment. I Also work in customer service so I love to interact with the people and fans. We are there to make their experience an awesome one.

Anna (3 time WSC volunteer): I loved helping people and seeing their excitement.

Kayla H (one time WSC volunteer): I loved the fans. As an attendee, you are consumed with what you want & who you want to see, you forget the other fans. As a volunteer/ambassador I got to see so many people meet their favorite villain.

Do you have a favorite memory or story from your time spent volunteering for WSC?

Lauren: Probably getting to work the Tom Payne line last year. Everyone said I was the best volunteer in that line and I took that as a major compliment. He signed my shirt before I left. It was the best.

Karen Crawford: My favorite memory is from WSC Nashville 2017.  I was working Steven Yeun’s Line, and a disabled woman came up to me and starting asking questions.  It was her very first WSC, and she was Gold.  She didn’t understand what she needed to do with her photo ops, her autographs, or where she needed to be at what time.  I excused myself from my line and walked her over to CelebPhotoOps so she could choose her photos.  A little while later, as I was still working Steven’s Line, but was up at the front this time, she came back.  She was so excited that she got to meet Steven, and got his photo op.  She thanked me profusely, and then gave me the biggest hug I think I’ve ever had! I tried not to cry, but I’m sure there were some tears that escaped. Working the cons isn’t about being close to he celebs, it’s about being close to the attendees… making it the most memorable experience they have ever had.  Seeing the smiles and excitement on the faces of the attendees warms my heart so much. It just makes me feel good that I can be a part of all of this!

Jeff Wagoner: My favorite memory from my time of volunteering is working with Lorenzo Henrie in Charlotte in 2016! He kept bringing me food from the green room and we kept throwing candy into the crowd walking by! We had such a blast.

Kelsey Odle: My favorite memory as an ambassador would have to be from Walker Stalker Con Nashville. At this WSC, I was working with Steven Yeun. Steven was a little late getting to the convention on Sunday and there was a girl around the age of 12 standing in the front of the Gold VIP line. We were able to talk awhile because Steven was late and, as she was telling me how much she loved Steven, she burst into tears and started shaking. She asked me if I had ever met him. I told her that I had and Steven was the sweetest person. I also told her that if it were possible, she may even love him more after she met him and not to be nervous because he was so amazing. Steven arrived and I watched this little girl meet him and get a hug from him with tears in her eyes. She came back through the Gold VIP line just so she could give me a hug, thank me for talking to her, and tell me that I helped ease her nerves while waiting.

Anna: There are so many favorite memories…all of them. I think one of my favorites was assisting with escorting a Walking Hope survivor to a few tables, and sharing a few of my photo ops with him and his family.

Kimberly T: Probably my “Baby Negan’s” 15 seconds of fame via Twitter.  Meeting Jeffrey Dean Morgan was SO fun! We dressed our little Finley up as baby Negan and his reaction was priceless.  He said….”awwwww….ohhhhhh… a baby Negan!!! Can I hold her?” So of course we handed her over and he was so sweet with her.  Even better, some of his “people” took candid shots on the side and emailed us copies later.  We even went back and had him autograph the picture the next day.  A few days later, we noticed Finley’s picture floating around Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and it was even tweeted by Skybound Entertainment which was pretty huge to us! We will definitely remember that forever.

Kayla H: There was a little boy who loves Negan. JDM was presale only unless they opened the lines up. On Saturday, they were able to open his line to everyone else, who didn’t already purchase a autograph. When I was able to find his parents and tell them, the little boys face lit up ! He was so excited. After he walked out, he ran over & hugged my legs saying thank you. That one little moment made my entire weekend. Seeing a fan, that small, so happy was why I wanted to volunteer again.

 

Interested in becoming a Walker Stalker Con ambassador? Check out their website for more details!

MEL’S STUFF AND THANGS TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST WALKER STALKER CON

As many of you already know, we will be attending Walker Stalker Nashville this year. This will be my third Walker Stalker Convention and I think it’s safe to say I’m addicted. I love Walker Stalker the way I love Richonne. And y’all know how much of a Richonne shipper I am so that’s a whole lot of love.  Though you can definitely catch much of the cast at other conventions, Walker Stalker’s focus is all things TWD. So here’s a list of a few thaaangs to help you survive your first Walker Stalker Convention.

If you want to have a moment like this, make sure to attend the Atlanta or London WSC.

-Know what your ticket gets you. There are 4 ticket levels at varying price points available for WSC: General Admission, VIP, Gold, and Platinum. Though Gold and Platinum certainly come with their perks, they also come with a higher price tag. Let me let you in on a little secret. With the right planning, you can likely still achieve many of your WSC dreams with a VIP or GA ticket. Additionally, now that WSC has implemented pre paying for autographs for big names like Norman Reedus, that helps to reduce your wait times. If you have general admission and all you want in the world is to stand next to Norman for 5 seconds and breathe in his rugged beauty, purchase a photo op. Also, beware that Andrew Lincoln typically only attends the Atlanta and London conventions.

-Pour some Bisquick and do some good! Make sure to bring some Bisquick or another nonperishable item to Michael Cudlitz’s booth for his food drive. Though Bisquick is a popular items to bring, you can also bring things like fruit juice boxes and canned vegetables.

-Maybe don’t wear the stilettos.  You will be standing in line a lot. There’s a line to get in. A line for photo ops. A line for autographs. A line for food. A line for the bathroom. You get the picture. Those 6 inch stilettos may make you stand tall next to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but they will make your life miserable. Plan accordingly.

-Cash me outside. But for real. Get your cash from anywhere but the ATM inside the convention center to avoid hefty fees. Remember, all autographs and table photos are cash only. Prices vary by attendee so come with more than you think you need. Because when you see that Ross Marquand will make a video for you while doing a Matthew McConaughey impression you are gonna give the WSC gods all your money.

Selfies with Josh McDermitt are the BEST!

 -You have to take at least one table selfie. My vote is always with either Josh McDermitt or Michael Cudlitz. Both have a penchant for taking hilarious selfies and taking time with their fans. Also, they give the best hugs. Don’t take my word for it. DO IT!

-Pack snacks like you’re preparing for the apocalypse. Because you never know if the lines for refreshments will be insane/if the zombie plague might occur while you’re waiting in line for a $15 sandwich. And if it does happen, you already have a great talking point for convincing Steven Yeun to join your very own Survivors Club.

Norman Reedus meeting and greeting fans at WSC Atlanta 2016

-Thou shalt not bite Norman Reedus. Or kiss, or grope, etc, etc. It’s an emotional moment. I get it. 😉 You’ve been planning your wedding to Norman since he had the dark emo hair in season 4. But so has every other female in the building. So let’s keep the honeymooning in our heads and hide our crazy, k?

-Meet and greets are short. Notice this is called a Meet and Greet. Not a Meet and Bare Your Soul for half an hour. Some guests are able to take more time with their fans. However guests like Melissa McBride who are there for one day only, will likely move very quickly. If there is someone you really want to meet, hit their line first. Prepare your heart with one thing you really want to say to them. Introduce yourself. Say hi. They are people too. They just happen to be really really really cool people.

Kia during her magical photo op with Danai Gurira

-Photo Ops are fast. Read that sentence again. Your photo op is now over. That’s how fast it is. This is not a meet and greet. Don’t even think about asking for an autograph. Many guests do welcome fans to have fun with their photo ops and many choose to pose creatively. If you have something special in mind, be prepared to tell the celebrity quickly or show them a photo on your phone as an example. Then throw that phone down FAST. I cannot reiterate this enough, guys. Be prepared to move quickly. Have everything off of you that you don’t want in the picture and place it on the table in the photo op area. Also, find out ahead of time if the guest you want to take a picture with allows cosplay weapons if that’s something you are in to. Some guests do not allow anything resembling a weapon. Please be respectful of their boundaries!

90s soap opera or photo op with Jeffrey Dean Morgan?

-Take in a panel!  Depending on who you want to meet/how many folks you want to meet, you can spend several hours of your day in line. But one of the great things about WSC is getting to take in the panels. Cast members take fan questions and give you a behind the scenes look at The Walking Dead.

-Do a lap around the convention floor and visit the vendors. There are so many! I’m not just talking about buying t shirts, though you can certainly find some great ones. Make sure to check out the Zombie Charm School booth where you can take photos with some of the best TWD cosplayers around including The Daryl Dude.

Kia and the cutest little Carol cosplayer ever

-Dress to impress! Cosplayers are one of my favorite parts about convention life. I have seen some amazing ones. Some of my favorites include the little kiddos dressed like our favorite survivors.

-Download the Walker Stalker Con app. From there you can access the full schedule of events and plan your days accordingly. Here’s the thing. If you don’t have anything you are dying to accomplish, by all means, be spontaneous and do everything on the fly! In my experience though, you will enjoy yourself more if you have at least some kind of loose plan.

-Make new friends! This is without a doubt my favorite part of the whole thang. I met my first WSC friend while standing in line to meet Tom Payne in Nashville in 2016. We then had lunch and discussed our love for our favorite show. Cindy is now one of my favorite people on the planet. There is a whole community of fans out there that is just as obsessed as we are. The Walking Dead fandom is one of the most loyal. Not just to the show and its cast, but to each other. I have made so many beautiful friends because of this show and this convention that I will be a WSC devotee for as long as they continue to have them.

For a complete list of guests attending WSC Nashville, click here. For venue information click here.
For hotel information, click here. You may also want to check out the FAQ on their website. For information regarding photo ops, visit Celeb Photo Ops.

 

 

 

Thirteen Best Walking Dead Couples

With the midseason premiere of season seven airing on February 12 and Valentine’s Day a mere two days after, we wanted to take some time to pay homage to the great romances The Walking Dead has brought into our lives. Though at times, they made us scratch our heads in bewilderment, they also gave us some epic love stories (We’re looking at you, Richonne and Glaggie)! Here’s a list of thirteen of our favorite Walking Dead couples.

13) Andrea and The Governor/Phillip/Brian/Whatever

Really, we only wanted to include this as another shining example of how. much. Andrea. sucks. Her M.O doesn’t change! First, she falls in with a group (or person, in the case of Michonne) who, for some inexplicable reason, feels a responsibility to look out for her. Then, she starts pouting about things like her gun or sleeping in a warm bed. At all times. Next, her obsession with those things completely blinds what little judgment she has and causes her to blow off the people who have consistently had her back. Seriously, how do you let Michonne walk out of your life because The Governor gave you a drink?! Phillip obviously honed in on that massive ego of hers because he said all the right things to make her feel like she was important, which blinded her to his true agenda. Though it was handled extremely messily and unprofessionally, we can’t be mad at the then showrunner for abruptly abandoning the plan to keep Andrea alive. Good riddance.

12) Negan and Lucille

Though the show hasn’t delved too far into Negan’s super creepy obsession with his barbed wire wrapped bat Lucille, we can’t help but be a little mystified by his attachment to this inanimate object. But attached he most certainly is! Whether he’s giving some captive audience another long-winded speech, bashing in the heads of some of our favorite people or just sitting down for a nice spaghetti dinner at Rick’s, Lucille is never far from Negan’s clutches. In fact, Negan addresses Lucille with such tenderness that it begins to make you wonder if there’s a real heart buried underneath the leather and presentation scarves. But then we remember that Lucille is made of wood and Negan is bat shit crazy.

11) Carl and Enid

Over the course of six and a half seasons, we have watched as Carl Grimes has grown into a young man. So when Enid was introduced, we knew it was only a matter of time before Carl caught feelings. Though the two got off to a rocky start thanks to Enid’s standoffish teenage angst and then her romance with crappy Jessie’s crappy son Ron, the two found their way to each other. Carl locked Enid in a closet at the end of season six in a sweet, if not misguided, attempt to keep her out of harm’s way. When Enid set out for Hilltop in season seven to see Maggie, her safety was threatened by walkers, but Carl’s terrible driving skills saved the day. The two shared their first kiss and rollerskated off into the sunset. Well, sort of.

 10) Tyreese and Karen

We admit that we were a bit perplexed by the apparent intensity of this relationship. Guess there’s nothing like a zombie apocalypse to take a relationship from 0-60!  In fact, we weren’t even sure we knew Karen’s name before she was unceremoniously murdered by Carol. However, this relationship combined with Karen’s death, set off a significant chain of events, culminating in Carol’s banishment from the group. We’re fine with a few brief conversations between Tyreese and Karen for that kind of pay off.

 

9) Sasha and Abe

These two civil servants found kindred spirits in each other after they went through consecutive bouts of PTSD and came out on the other side ready to try life again. We weren’t sure sure if we could buy it, (Sasha seemed far too serious for Abraham’s sophomoric, though hilarious thought process) but we couldn’t deny that his Say Anything moment – standing outside her house, declaring, “Could be 30 years for us here. That’s still too short,” was positively swoonworthy. Who knew Mr. Dolphin Smooth could emote such sincerity? Inspired by Glenn and Maggie’s growing family, Abraham realized he wanted a family of his own with Sasha. As with most good things on The Walking Dead, their happiness came to an abrupt end when Abraham fell victim to Negan’s bludgeoning. But not before Abraham made us feel all the feels when he flashed a subtle peace sign to Sasha, letting her know everything was going to be alright.

 8) Deanna and Reg

Yeah, they were delusional about what was actually happening outside those walls (and we’re not even sure Reg built those walls right; why were the supports on the outside where people could just shimmy up them?), but the fact that they worked together to create this safe zone for so many people for so long is pretty extraordinary. Plus, they’re out here throwing welcome parties for new Alexandria residents. It’s definitely a better welcome than the one our group got from Gareth.

 7) Abe and Rosita

Not everything has to be about true love in the zombie apocalypse; sometimes proximity is the name of the game. When we’re introduced to the two’s physical relationship – by way of a peeping Eugene – it seems like they may only be in it for the nookie, but there’s definite affection there. These two are another example of great teamwork. We love that she’s willing to stand up to him when he’s acting like an ass. They’re also a fascinating look at what happens when he’s just not that into you any more. And it’s the zombie apocalypse. And you still have to look at each other every day. And the person he left you for is one of the 60 people in the world you know. Yikes. After the brutal murder of Abraham, we have watched as Rosita tries to come to grips with the loss of the man she loved who did not love her back.

 6) Shane and Lori

Record scratch? Not quite. No matter how many mixed signals Lori gave to Shane, they definitely shared a deep connection, whether or not it was a long time coming (per Shane) or Lori’s need to just feel something again. This relationship was felt in all threads of the first two seasons, and even in part of the third. Members of the group were caught between their two co-leaders as a full scale soap opera played out behind the scenes. Their liaison caused a rift so deep between best friends Rick and Shane that they were both ready to murder each other over Lori. We’re glad Rick won that one, but it would have been interesting to see more of Lori and Shane actually together. Banished from the group, but together. Their relationship was easily more compelling than Rick and Lori’s. Plus, they gave us Li’l Asskicker! We’ll keep her with us, though, thank you very much.

 5) Aaron and Eric

Though we didn’t see much of the couple during season six, these two are still alive and kicking as Alexandria’s oldest (?) most established (?) couple. The way they care for each other is so cute. Aaron risked life, limb and the wrath of Man Bush (™ Negan) Rick to run to Eric’s side when a flare went off and it seemed like Eric might be in danger. Eric risked life and limb to go out scouting with Aaron, even though he’s terrible at it, to make sure that Aaron didn’t go out alone. They invite strays like Daryl in for a spaghetti dinner. What’s not to love?

 4) Denise and Tara

Though we’ve technically known Tara longer, we feel like we know Denise better. We saw her face paralyzing anxiety when she was suddenly thrust into the role of Alexandria’s only doctor after Pete was executed by Rick (Pete, that’s what you get for grabbing katanas that don’t belong to you!) and she stepped up beautifully. She came out of her shell, saved lives, got brave enough to plant a kiss on Tara and got a girlfriend in return. We were so sad (and shocked) when an arrow through the eye cut her life short. Tara carried on for what seemed like an eternity not knowing about the loss of her love, only to find out from Eugene upon returning to Alexandria from her run. In true Tara fashion, she maintained her glass half full mentality.

 3) Sasha and Bob

Bob entered Sasha’s life, seemingly unphased by the slight inconvenience of the world’s end. Every time she brought up another one of the byproducts of the crumbling of life as they knew it, he presented a quick rebuttal – a silver lining. Though it was the silliest of games, it exemplified Bob’s charm and sunny disposition and it quickly rubbed off on Sasha. When Tyreese was reunited with his sister and the rest of the group after the prison fell, he immediately noticed the change in her. We got to see Sasha’s beautiful smile light up her face time and time again and we have Bob to thank for that.

 2) Glenn and Maggie

They started with Maggie declaring “I’ll have sex with you” while on a run with Glenn and only knowing him for two days. Who would have thought that hook-up would have led to the show’s most stable couple? We saw Glenn go from a boy to a man, from walker bait to a leader and it was all fueled by Maggie’s love for and belief in him. Maggie’s whole heart was in Glenn and we saw her press on, under impossible circumstances to find him; it’s almost as if they knew each other’s need for the other to be alive actually kept them alive. Also, let’s not forget the beautiful relationship Glenn formed with Maggie’s father, Hershel. Maggie gave him strength, but Glenn gave her tenderness. Our hearts were filled with hope when we found out the pair were expecting only to be shattered to bits as Glenn uttered his last words, “Maggie, I will find you” before dying at the hands of Negan. Even after Glenn’s untimely demise, Maggie has continued to draw strength and hope from him, showing us that love really can survive death.

 1) Rick and Michonne

Woo! Where to start with the best couple ever? We’ve been on the Richonne train since season three. How could we not? They drew us in with their intensity, first as people who were extremely distrustful of each other, then as allies and partners. By the time season four rolled around, Rick and Carl were literally running to Michonne when she returned with smiles on their faces, and we knew that we had to see them make it official. After the prison was lost, we saw them reunite and function as a family unit, a dynamic that is still there to this day. In season five, we witnessed a subtle shift as Michonne moved into the place of Rick’s right hand, edging out Daryl. In season six, after the zombies thankfully took care of basic Jessie and whatever mental breakdown Rick was projecting on her, our dreams were realized in a quiet moment on a couch. During the front half of season seven, we watched as our dynamic duo dealt with the aftermath of Negan’s reign of terror. Rick was resigned to the idea of settling for a life under Negan’s rule if it meant protecting those he loved. However, Michonne was ready to go into battle. We ended the midseason as Michonne reminded Rick of how far they’ve come saying, “We’re still here, the two of us. We’re still standing, and we’re gonna keep standing.” Rick has Michonne’s loyalty. Michonne has Rick’s deference. Both things they were missing in their earlier relationships. We can’t wait to see what this power couple will bring to the show now that they know they’re strengthened in each other’s love.

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