Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: Walker Stalker Con

Can You Feel the TWD Love Today?


As the energy built for the release of “The Walking Dead” Season 7 Trailer on July 22, 2016 at the San Diego Comic Con, the TWD Fandom Community was and still is all a twitter. The countdown for the Season 7 Premiere on October 23rd has officially begun.

Trailer Tease

There are many other Fandoms out there, but I don’t think any can equal the camaraderie and love between the TWD Fans. Except maybe the Supernatural gang, but their fan base is predominately of the female gender so there is really no comparison.

Unless you’re a Walking Dead Fan, you’ll never understand the bond we all have. I have never experienced such a tight community even though we are all over the world.

My son and I recently attended our third Walker Stalker Con in Edison, NJ and it was a breath of fresh air after the rudeness we experienced in Disney World while chaperoning my Son’s school marching band last April.

Yes, fans of a zombie apocalypse show are hands down nicer and friendlier than any guest I encountered in the Magic Kingdom.

At the Con there were thousands of people, all ages and from all walks of life, who descended upon the convention center to see the stars from their favorite show, “The Walking Dead.” You have couples, families and best friends, all coming together for a weekend of everything “The Walking Dead.”

It was a TWD Love Fest indeed!

Some are cosplaying, dressed as their favorite characters, while others show their love by the t-shirt they chose to wear, or even with a tattoo or two. We gather to not just meet the stars, but to say thank you for all they do to make our viewing experience an amazing one.

We stand in line, sometimes for hours, but at no time do we complain. While we wait to see our favorite actor/actress, we discuss the show and compare our thoughts and feelings about some of the most gut wrenching episodes. We also get to know each other and often make new friends.

We are most definitely making memories that will last a lifetime.

And the stars reciprocate this love. Welcoming each fan with a handshake, a hug or both, as we come to their booth to get autographs, selfies or both. And, even a brief Meet and Greet for those whose budget is tight or have come baring gifts, which was me the past two conventions. Handing out t-shirts to promote this blog and much to my surprise, at this one, Iron E. Singleton was wearing the t-shirt I gave him at the last Con.

On a side note, please be aware that although Meet and Greets are allowed, if they get excessive, the powers that be will limit them to late in the day or cut them off all together. So please don’t abuse this fantastic opportunity. Remember these stars are giving up their weekends to come to the con. Some coming right from the set, taking red eye flights, and heading back late Sunday for an early set call on Monday. Yes, they are doing what they love, but they still deserve time off.

What an amazing feeling it is to chat with the stars about the show, your family, their family, past projects, future projects, whatever it is that you might want to discuss. For anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes, some even longer depending on the situation, it’s just you and your favorite actor/actress. This is most definitely the highlight of the convention. You cannot put a price on this.

For me though, in addition to that, I can’t put a price on this time spent just my son and me. It wasn’t until we got home Sunday night after the con that I realized how much these conventions truly mean to me. We were barely in the door and my son was on his computer, chatting with friends and playing games. I know, he’s a typical teenager, but after such an amazing weekend it would have been nice to have the camaraderie between him and I linger on, even if just for the rest of the day.

As my son gets older and slowly pulls away from me in search of his independence, these conventions become two days to have my son all to myself. These times are beyond special. Our day-to-day schedule can be so full, with the only time we have together being dinner, and even that can be filled with conversation about what needs to be tended to, so time away from home, doing what we both love, brings pure joy to my heart in more ways than I can count.

As I’ve said many times before, who knew a zombie apocalypse would help me make it through my son’s teens and allow me to get closer to him.

Walker Kills

When my Son dragged me into the apocalyptic world of “The Walking Dead” back in 2013, I never thought the bond it created would be one that would be so valuable. At the time it was just something fun for the two us to do together. We would watch the show and discuss the episode. Since he reads the comics he always had/has insights that I would not pick up on. It created an open forum for discussions that sometimes would lead to subjects beyond the show. An open portal for territory we might not otherwise have discussed.

And here we are 3 years later completely immersed into the TWD Community, loving every minute of it and still going strong, if not stronger.

We are planning on heading to Georgia next Summer to do a repeat TWD Summer Road Trip, just as we did in 2014, but this time taking more time to explore. Hopefully my Son will have his license by then and can help with the driving.

Of course we will do all 3 Big Zombie Tours and include a visit to Nic and Norman’s, the restaurant opened in Senoia, AKA Woodbury, that is owned by Greg Nicotero, Norman Reedus and four additional producers. A TWD trip would not be complete without dining at this fine establishment. Who knows, we may just run into someone involved with the show?

TWD Road Trip Collage

I’m getting all a flutter just thinking about going back to Georgia. Planning this trip will bring light into the grey Winter days of January and February.

We have also decided once my Son turns 18 we will volunteer at one of the Walker Stalker Cons so we can experience things from the other side. This will take us up the end of my Son’s High School Years and usher in the next leg of his journey, College.

A journey that will most likely challenge both of us for different reasons. Let’s just hope the challenges are not of apocalyptic proportions.

I believe though, the toughest phase of the “Waking the Walker” Journey is still ahead of us. Dealing with all that’s involved in ones Junior and Senior Years of High School, plus all that goes into the process of selecting a career and college suited to get you prepared for that career, will most definitely test our stress and anxiety levels. Which in turn could pit us against each other, although I’m hoping the closeness we’ve achieved while bonding over TWD will help us sail through these years unscathed and create an even stronger bond.

Memories

The next two years will prove to be the real testing ground for my “TWD Apocalyptic Parenting Tactic.” Will it pass or fail is yet to be determined, but I can say so far it’s looking pretty good.

Why? Because I can most certainly feel the TWD LOVE, not just tonight, but every day!

 

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2016. All rights reserved.

Photos from my Personal Collection

http://walkerstalkercon.com/

http://atlantamovietours.com/tours/big-zombie-tour/

http://atlantamovietours.com/tours/big-zombie-tour-2/

http://atlantamovietours.com/tours/big-zombie-tour-3/

https://www.facebook.com/nicandnormansofficialpage/

http://www.scifiphotoguys.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The “CHARACTERS” We Play


Cardigan Carol and Carl. Watch out walkers we're packing heat.

Cardigan Carol and Carl. Watch out walkers we’re packing heat.

During a recent conversation with one of my Sisters, we got on the subject of my son and my cosplaying escapade at the Walker Stalker Convention in Philly the end of September. My son went as Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) from “The Walking Dead” and I went as Cardigan Carol (Melissa McBride); cookie baking, cardigan wearing Carol from the back half of Season 5. Since my Sister does not watch “The Walking Dead,” I gave her a little background on the characters, particularly Carol.

Carol - Season 1

Carol – Season 1

Carol - Season 5

Carol – Season 5

Cardigan Carol, with Carl

Cardigan Carol, with Carl

Explaining Carol’s transition from abused wife in Season 1 to a butt kicking, take no names, badass woman who rescued Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and company single handedly from the cannibals at Terminus. Noting once within the walls of the Alexandria Safe Zone she reverted back to the submissive, cookie and casserole baking housewife persona she once was, not because she believed it was safe to shed her badass mamma side, but for protection from the unknown. Not knowing who the people within the safe zone were and what they may or may not be capable of, she felt it best to hold back who she was at her core. Believing the old version of herself was the one the Alexandrians wanted to see. Plus, it would enable her to move around unnoticed, blending in, allowing her to be the watcher. Appearing to be just like them, not toughened by the walker world on the other side of the walls, Carol was able to fall right into place with the locals. Fortunately though, as we’ve already seen in Season 6, she has not lost any of her badass skills.

I was surprised when my Sister told me she sees me more as the badass Carol than the Cardigan Carol. Yes, I have on more than one occasion been the Momma Bear protecting my son, and even walked out of a dead-end marriage to save my sanity, but, comparing this to a character like the evolved Carol I would not. This made me ponder the “characters” we all play in our daily lives and how we see ourselves vs. how others see us. In addition, how much fictional characters may actually influence our behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

RESPECT


Even with a new year, some things never change. For me, it’s my struggle to wake my walker in the morning. As a matter of fact, the older he gets, the worse it gets. He is definitely cocooning in his new loft bed. In lieu of dynamite, I knew I had to find another tactic. Turns out that tactic came in the form of Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) from “The Walking Dead.” With the clock ticking away and my frustration building because my son wasn’t getting out of bed, I found myself standing at the bottom of the steps yelling “MOVE!!!!” as loud as I possibly could. After a week or so of this, I realized I sounded like Sgt. Abraham Ford from “The Walking Dead” Season Five opening episode. Once I made this connection it was all I needed to take it to the next level.

Sargent Abraham Ford

Sargent Abraham Ford

On the extremely tough mornings, I stand at my son’s bedroom door and in my best Sgt. Abraham Ford style voice and infliction I state “This is Sgt. Abraham Ford reporting for my new mission. It’s time to get up soldier. Don’t make me yell. Do I have to remind you what your job is?” By this point my son starts to groan and pleads with me to stop. The Sgt. informs him he will only stop when he gets up. He has a mission to complete and will be relentless until it is accomplished. My son gives in and gets up, slowly, but he still gets up. The Sgt. is fulfilled, his mission is completed, at least for that day.

I’ve found now that sometimes just the threat of sending in the Sgt. is enough to get my son moving. This made me wonder why a military style approach would have more impact than all the others? The only thing I could link this to was respect. In general, most military officers command respect just by their presence, so even though the Sargent in this situation is fictitious and Mom’s impersonating him, by ignoring his orders my son was being disrespectful. Granted, this could be a far fetched concept, my son could just find this so annoying it motivates him to move, but it made my mind meander to the topic of respect. Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: