I’m heading to Atlanta, Georgia, next week to cover the Walker Stalkers convention, which is to say a gathering of fans of The Walking Dead TV show from AMC, hosted by Nashville dwellers James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff, who run the http://www.thewalkerstalkers.com/ Walker Stalkers podcast and fan site.
Prepping for this has been fun. There is nothing like binge-watching three seasons of Walking Dead tv gore, plus various zombie movies. And the Walking Dead graphic novels are sitting on my shelf at home waiting for a binge-reading session or three. I’m hoping that next week I can talk to some zombie-lovers and Walking Dead fans about why they love zombies, and why they love this particular show.
I’ll answer that question for myself — I’ve just gotten into the zombie genre because it’s all about your deepest fears taking shape and closing in on you. Who hasn’t worried that everything we depend on is going to come crashing down and leave us completely vulnerable? And how do we cope if it happens?
Zombie stories tend to say the secret to survival is connecting with other people. That remedy completely goes against the self-reliance our culture tends to value. So zombie stories are a reminder that that’s really how we get through a lot of scary things in our lives — we have to ask for help, team up, and/or compromise, despite it being weird and painful. The rewards can be life-changing. At the very least, you might avoid getting eaten. And you might learn a thing or two about squooshing zombie brains.
That’s my zombie spiel. Let’s see if it changes after I’ve talked with some people in Atlanta next week.
Meanwhile, here are some pieces I’m using for background reading. Atlanta magazine is doing some nice behind-the-scenes coverage of the show, which is filmed there, thanks in part to the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office.
The Huffington Post:
The Fanbolt blog:
Meanwhile, Zombie Will Ferrell is coming to get you. Just click that there link.