‘Walking Dead’ inspires new convention in Atlanta

Kevin Galbraith, 24 of Marietta, Ga., undergoes a three-hour make-up session to transform into his zombie character with the help of effects make-up artists Andy Schoneberg (right) and Kevin Wasner on the set of AMC’s television show, “The Walking Dead,” in Senoia, Ga.

ATLANTA — Cable TV’s “The Walking Dead” has inspired a new convention, a podcast and a one-man play.

The podcast and Atlanta-based convention are the creations of Eric Nordhoff and James Frazier, also known as the “Walker Stalkers” because of a road trip they made last fall from Nashville, Tenn., to Georgia to see the AMC show being filmed.

The convention, Walker Stalker Con, is expected to draw 10,000 or more participants when it’s held early next month, Nordhoff said.

“The Walking Dead” characters battle zombies known as “walkers” in the streets of downtown Atlanta and in forests, small towns and a prison south of the city.

The convention will feature appearances by some of the show’s actors, including Norman Reedus, who slays walkers with a crossbow as Daryl Dixon; Andrew Lincoln, who plays Sheriff Rick Grimes, and Lauren Cohan, also known as Maggie Greene on the show.

Nordhoff and Frazier are neighbors in suburban Nashville, and had gathered every Sunday in Frazier’s basement to watch “The Walking Dead.” They’d heard talk of a big day of filming in Senoia, the town south of Atlanta where much of the show is produced, so they got up before sunrise and made the trip to Georgia.

“We got to meet I think eight members of the cast,” Nordhoff recalls. “Somebody called us the ‘Walker Stalkers’ when we were there.”

The two decided to develop a podcast that has become popular with fans of the show. The podcast features discussions of many aspects of the show’s storyline and interviews with people behind the scenes.

In April, Nordhoff and Frazier came up with the idea of holding the convention, which will take place Nov. 1-3.

The show has also inspired one of its actors to stage a one-man play.

Robert “IronE” Singleton, who played “T-Dog” in the first three seasons of the show, will portray 18 characters in “Blindsided by The Walking Dead,” which tells the story of how he grew up in the Perry Homes housing project during Atlanta’s crack cocaine epidemic before he found work as an actor. The show has drama, comedy, dance, spoken word and rap.