WSC was lacking one thing: BRRRAAAIIINNNNNSSS!
Chicago convention season started with a lumbering gait and a bewildering moan at this year’s Walker Stalker Con.
Now, I love me some zombies and I love what they represent: mindless, reanimated corpses with an insatiable hunger for flesh. Every time I read or watch something zombie related I wonder if I would be one of the first to turn or live long enough to see myself become the enemy (yes, I just quoted The Dark Knight, and no, I probably won’t work another reference into this article). Well this was an instance where I would have certainly survived. Walker Stalker Con was a reverse zombie apocalypse; for every one hundred attendees, there was maybe one zombie. I believe the reason for the high survival rate was directly affected by climate and location. February in the Midwestern United States usually leaves the region in a deep freeze, and 2015 was no different. Lake Michigan was frozen, with chucks of ice covering the surface as far as the eye could see. The wind howled, blessedly interrupted by the surrounding skyscrapers, or inversely funneled and thrown at you by the damned things. The walk was long and arduous from the isolated parking garage, located off of Lower Wacker drive (think The Dark Knight chase scene, with less Batmobiles and more homeless people (huh, I guess I did reference it again)). Our final destination was Navy Pier, which was always in sight, but never within reach. There was always another stairway to climb or river to cross.
Finally arriving at our destination and entering Navy Pier proper, we then had to make our way to the convention hall where WSC was being held, which was another journey in and of itself. This is where the humans became the horde, passing never ending bars and gift shops in hopes of sating their Con appetite. After receiving a bile green colored wristband we were then allowed entry into Walker Stalker Con. From the surface it had all the characteristics of a convention: vendors, signings, panels. But the more I explored, the more I realized something was missing. Something integral to conventions of every type, and a major reason why I attend them all together: cosplay. Where the hell are all the zombies! I want blood and gore, filth and guts, cleavage and perverts taking photos of cleavage! And again I believe this boils down to the climate and the venue. It is difficult to walk over a mile in tattered clothing and subzero temperatures. I know this is a young convention, with a young audience, so I believe with some experience, and also a venue and date change, Walker Stalker Con has the potential to become a great event.
I did take one thing away from this experience however, if there ever is a zombie apocalypse in Chicago, run to Navy Pier as fast as you can, because they won’t find you there.