Good news for zombie fans this year as many of the horror and sci-fi conventions are featuring a Walking Dead reunion theme with past and present actors from the show ranging from the top billers to the men and women who regularly feature as various different zombies. There are plenty of other attractions to get excited about as well including many other celebrity guests, special effects workshops and costume competitions.
MonsterCon – Greenville, SC (July 18-20)
The largest three day multi-fandom and pop culture convention in South Carolina features plenty of celebrity guests but is far more than just an opportunity to get some autographs. MonsterCon will have a special effects workshop with RJ Haddy from SyFy’s FaceOff, a film festival as well as a costume contest. The competition will be pretty stiff so if you want to stand a chance then you better get some zombie contact lenses to perfect your costume. There are plenty of great tutorials online on how to make a great zombie costume as well.
However, if it’s your first cos-play attempt then don’t be intimidated by all the cos-play experts you will run into. MonsterCon welcomes the veterans and the newbies equally and there will even be a special event on the first day to help new cos-players and show them that absolutely anyone can take part in this awesome hobby.
Of course, don’t spend so long sorting out your costume that you miss the special Behind the Scenes of The Walking Dead Q & A with plenty of cast members including several who play multiple different zombies, such as Sonya Thompson (who was also in Zombieland) and Michael Koske who has played more zombies on the show than anyone else. You’ll also get to see Savana Jade Wehunt who played The Governor’s daughter Penny.
Monster-Mania Con – Cherry Hill, NJ (August 15-17)
The Crowne Plaza Hotel plays host to the semi-annual horror film and memorabilia Monster-Mania convention this year, which will include a guest panel of Walking Dead stars including Lawrence Gilliard Jr (also of The Wire), Alanna Masterson (Tara) and Steven Yeun who plays everybody’s favorite geek, Glenn.
There are plenty of non-zombie guests to get excited about too, including fan convention stalwarts and original Batman and Robin, Adam West and Burt Ward. You will also get to see the T-1000 in the flesh as Robert Patrick makes an appearance along with actors James Remar, Kenny Johnson and Verne Troyer.
You can also meet wrestling legend and occasional action movie star Rowdy Roddy Piper, and look out for Bill Moseley who played Otis in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects.
Scare-A-Con – Verona, NY (September 12-14)
One of the best horror and sci-fi fan conventions of the Northeast incorporates a film festival, a special film makers’ meet and mix gathering, their own awards ceremony and a psychic fair. There are plenty of themed parties as well including Saturday 13th’s ‘Zombie Massacre-ade Costume Party’ which will feature live entertainment.
There are loads of celebrity and horror-themed guests booked for Scare-A-Con over their three days at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, including two of the actors who have portrayed the iconic Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise, C. Thomas Howell and the always awesome Chris Sarandon – he of original Fright Night and The Princess Bride fame. Plus gentlemen of a certain age who were falling in love with Baywatch babes long before Pamela Anderson arrived on the scene will be pleased to note an appearance by Erika Eleniak.
Zombie fans are in for a celebrity treat as well as Scare-A-Con will feature both Lew Temple and Vincent Ward who played Axel and Oscar on The Walking Dead, plus you will also get to see Eugene Clark who played the legendary zombie Big Daddy in George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead.
Walker Stalker Con – Atlanta, GA (October 17-19)
This convention is the pick of the bunch for Walking Dead fans, and what better place to have it than in Atlanta. Walker Stalker has the most cast members and crew attending as guests, including currently alive characters and those who have long since been eaten by the undead and/or shot by their friends and/or family.
Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies will be in attendance alongside their equally perished pals Michael Rooker and Laurie Holden. Among the actors portraying currently alive characters are the increasingly awesome Chad Coleman (Tyrese) and Josh McDermit (Eugene). Melissa McBride has also recently been added to the guest list and there may be more additions yet. Also keep your eyes open for the actors who played Michonne’s pet zombies, though they’ll probably have their arms and bottom jaws attached so you’ll need a keen eye.
Greg Nicotero and Jay Bonansinga will also be answering questions and more than likely revealing little tidbits about the next season. And who knows, attend in an awesome zombie costume and you just might get noticed by the show’s bosses and hired to eat somebody’s face before taking a hammer to the head!
If conventions aren’t really your thing but you’d still love to zombie-up with like minded folks then you need to get involved with the zombie walk phenomenon. Movements like the Crawl of the Dead have swept across America and have gone worldwide with people from all walks of life dressing up in their best zombie costumes and coming together to create their own wandering horde of the undead.
There are so many nowadays that I won’t simply pick one and publicize that, but there are plenty of websites which document and advertise up coming zombie walks and you should be able to find one near you. And if you can’t then you can simply organize one yourself!
Some of these zombie walks even have competitions for the best costume, so you’ll want to do a bit more than splash some fake blood on your face and wear a torn t-shirt. Get some zombie costume advice from some of the many online tutorials (there are also plenty posted on our blog) and perfect your costume with something like these white contact lenses to give yourself the creepiest appearance possible. Then just get out there and help bring the zombie apocalypse down upon your own home town, all the while screaming BRAAAAAAAAIIIIINNS!