Walker Stalker 2016 – The Walking Dead Convention rolls into London….

Walker Stalker 2016 – check out why there were zombies walking around Olympia in February!
Review and photography by Graham Hilling

Walker Stalker is a Zombie, Horror & Sci-Fi fan conference that focuses specifically on the cult TV show The Walking Dead. It’s a big deal, traveling around the USA and for the first time coming to Olympia in London.

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Clearly this is no two bit affair, it is professionally run, with tons of staff and volunteers to ensure everything happens smoothly and with as little fuss as possible.

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There are various events taking place each day of this 2 day conference, with the main focus on connecting the fans with the stars of the show. Given the number of visitors, this inevitably leads to very large queues but they all move quite quickly and you just have to accept that this is the price you have to pay if you want a chat and an autograph with a star.

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In addition to the booths of the stars there are also a lot of photo opportunities, although more queuing required for these too. I’m struck by the number of look a likes walking round the arena, there is a German guy (I think) who looks more like the Abraham character from the series than Michael Cudlitz who actually plays him!

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Dutifully he is rewarded by selfie requests and seems to be enjoying the whole experience and 5 minutes of fame!

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There are also panels, where a few of the stars go onto a stage and are interviewed and there is an opportunity for the fans to field questions to them. This is a great way of connecting a large number of people and getting a brilliant insight into the minds of the people that make The Walking Dead the amazing show that it is.

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I’m particularly struck by the panel of Chad Coleman (Tyreese) and Tyler James Williams (Noah) who come across as a thoroughly nice couple of guys.

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Talking about their death scenes and how the show has touched them, they’re very engaging individuals.

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There’s also a panel with Greg Nicotero, who has directed a load of Walking Dead episodes as well as doing the makeup on them. He’s also been involved with the sister show, Fear the Walking Dead, and has a resume as long as your arm.

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Very interesting listening to him describing how he “sees” the shots when directing and how the final cuts end up being uncannily similar to the way he originally visualised them.

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There’s loads of other insights into what makes the show tick too.

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There are also a whole host of other things to do, with stores scattered around the arena, selling everything from ornamental swords and blades to jewellery to the sort of stuff you might need in a Zombie apocalypse!

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Lots of comic book stores and a few stores selling iconic artwork too. All pretty interesting and enough to keep you busy for quite a while. Tucked away on one side there is a makeshift maze where you can walk through and do battle with the walking dead themselves….

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There is also what the Walker Stalker people call cosplay, this is basically a competition for the lookalikes and people who want to dress up as people from the show. They all go up on the main stage and are judged.

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Some impressive work here to be sure! Some people have spent quite a while perfecting their characters!

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I can wholeheartedly recommend the convention to any fans of the show and anyone who is generally interested in sci-fi, it’ll be back next year too and I would suggest getting in early because the tickets sell out real quick!! And you could also pick up a pair of zombie slippers!!

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