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By Matt Rodriguez

Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014: Day 1 - Reconnaissance

October is the best month of the year for horror fanatics. Not only does it include Halloween and month-long reruns of horror films, but it’s also when AMC’s The Walking Dead starts up again for its new season. Another reason October rocks? Walker Stalker Con. The yearly convention in downtown Atlanta (and multiple other cities, too) celebrates everything horror, with a heavy focus on The Walking Dead, and allows fans to meet many of their favorite actors all in one place. The three-day convention features plenty of panels, guest appearances, and special events.

While Shakefire has been a sponsor of the convention in previous years, I myself have never attended. This year I vowed to change that. Friday kicked things off and with two more days ahead of me, I decided that the best thing to do was get a general idea where everything was.

Walker Stalker Con takes place at AmericasMart in the heart of downtown Atlanta, merely a few blocks away from where AMC shot the beginning episodes of The Walking Dead. The convention takes up three entire floors of the building. The first two floors have plenty of vendors selling all kinds of items, from amazing artwork to Pop Vinyl collectables. If you’re looking for something specific relating to The Walking Dead, there’s a solid chance you’d be able to find it here.

Autograph tables are also located on both the first and second floors. This is where fans can go and get an signature of picture with their favorite celebrities. Some tables, like for Andrew Lincoln or Norman Reedus, have queues that wrap around an entire corner of the convention hall. If you’re going want to get their autograph, best get here early.

After walking around for a bit and getting my bearings of the layout, I went a grabbed one of the official Walker Stalker Con Atlanta posters. Our plan is to get as many celebrities as we can to sign the poster and then auction it off for charity at the end of the convention. If you recall, we did this last year and raised over $700. Be sure to look to Shakefire for more details on how you’ll be able to bid for this year’s poster.

Finally there’s the third floor of the convention center. This is where all the main panels will take place. It’s where I’ll hopefully be seeing the Bromance Panel between Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus on Saturday. It’s also where I saw IronE Singleton aka T-Dog from The Walking Dead perform his one-man show, Blindsided By The Walking Dead on Friday.

The performance was unlike anything I’ve seen before, combining spoken word poetry with scenes acted out from Singleton’s life. It was a powerful, spiritual, and raw performance that gave audience members a very personal look into the actor’s life. IronE Singleton is a damn talented actor, singing, dancing, and performing every part in the piece. He could be absolutely hilarious one moment, and then go transition into something much more emotional. If you’d like to learn more about Singleton’s life and career, you can read his autobiography Blindsided by The Walking Dead.

And thus ended the first day of Walker Stalker Con. Be sure to follow @Shakefire and @Majiesto on Twitter to get all the latest WSC happenings throughout the weekend and check back here daily for more recaps from the convention floor.