News / Arts & Entertainment

Thousands Attend Atlanta Zombie Convention

A zombie cake at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marissa Melton for VOA)
A zombie cake at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marissa Melton for VOA)
Thousands of people converged on Atlanta, Georgia, recently to attend a convention honoring the walking dead: zombies in general, and the characters of The Walking Dead television show in particular.

The convention was the first such gathering organized by two podcasters who produce a bi-weekly show called Walker Stalkers, celebrating all things The Walking Dead, including its post-apocalyptic Atlanta setting and the surrounding Georgia countryside in the U.S. southeast.

Actors from the show signed autographs, posed for photographs and answered questions from fans.

Lead actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays embattled sheriff Rick Grimes, made a rare public appearance.

His character leads a small contingent of humans who defend themselves and their encampment in an abandoned prison against sporadic onslaughts of wandering zombies, known on the show as "walkers."
A man holds a zombie doll at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marissa Melton for VOA)A man holds a zombie doll at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marissa Melton for VOA)
x
A man holds a zombie doll at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marissa Melton for VOA)
A man holds a zombie doll at the Walker Stalker convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Marissa Melton for VOA)

Lincoln, who is British, was intrigued by the role because it was unlike anything he'd ever read before.

"I’ve done comedy, I’ve done a lot of romantic roles, and things like that," he said. "And the opportunity to play a badass sheriff, I was like, 'Are you kidding me? Would I get to wear some boots and ride a horse and shoot people for a living? Count me in.'"

Some fans at the convention dressed as the show's human characters, while others decked out in zombie gore.

They wandered through a maze of stalls offering a variety of merchandise, including zombie-themed sculptures and an animatronic zombie doll that wraps its limbs around your waist and growls at passers-by.

Zombie culture is experiencing a renaissance in pop culture, but the allure of the genre may not be apparent to the uninitiated. While the thrill of blood and gore might be enough for some, the show's subtle hints at old-time movie Westerns may draw others.

For fan Robyn Gerris of Vancouver, British Columbia, the world of The Walking Dead means a chance to start over.

"The world needs a reset," she said, describing the world as a place where consumerism is out of hand and not enough attention is paid to human welfare. She says she likes the idea of a return to the basic needs of survival: food, shelter, companionship.

Convention organizers James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff air a bi-weekly podcast called Walker Stalkers. Because this year's event drew such interest, they have already announced plans for not one, but two Walker Stalker conventions in 2014.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

At Washington’s Blues Alley jazz singer Jane Monheit and her quartet perform songs made famous by Judy Garland. Monheit sits down with "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten to talk about her music, the singers who influence her, and her life traveling with family on tour.