A left for dead comic con might be making a virtual con comeback. 3fams Productions bought the assets of Walker Stalkers LLC last October. They plan to bring Walker Stalker Con to their VirtualCons app and have an in-person event in mid-2021. The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office recently announced a settlement with Walker Stalker LLC. A restitution fund will be set up to refund money to customers, celebrities, and vendors. Will 3fams Production succeed where Walker Stalker LLC failed?
The Old Organizer
As the popularity of The Walking Dead TV show declined over time, so did attendance at Walker Stalker Con. The old organizer fell into the trap of using cash from future shows to pay off past shows. Adding new shows to stay ahead of the old shows made the financial situation worse over time.
Attempts to stop the financial bleeding included:
- Merging Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains FanFest into one show for some cities.
- Left some shows unannounced or cancelled for some cities.
- Not refunding the money owed to fans, celebrities, and vendors.
That last point made a lot of people really angry.
Walker Stalker Con announced that it will stop touring and have only the Atlanta show in mid-2019. Celebrities of The Walking Dead announced that they were boycotting the Atlanta show. That was the final deathblow for Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains FanFest.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office sued Walker Stalker LLC in February 2020. As part of the recent settlement, Walker Stalker LLC will set up a restitution fund to issue refunds. A portion of the proceeds from the new Walker Stalker Con event will go towards the restitution fund.
The New Organizer
If you live outside of New Jersey, you may not know about 3fams Productions. Their shows are the SopranosCon, MobMovieCon, and BoxingCon. Out of the three cons, SopranosCon 2019 was their first and only in-person event.
- SopranosCon has nothing on the calendar for this year.
- BoxingCon and MobMovieCon postponed from mid-2020 to mid-2021 and postponed again for 2021.
- As for Walker Stalker Con, nothing new on their website or app.
They posted the announcement of acquiring Walker Stalker Con assets on Facebook. Some people left angry comments demanding their money back. 3fams responded that they weren’t legally responsible for what Walker Stalker LLC did. Some people got angrier by that response. That’s not how you build goodwill with a hostile fanbase to resurrect a dead brand.
3fams expanding from Mafia-themed cons to a zombie-themed con seems like a tough sell to me. The Walking Dead is ending after 11 seasons this year and the new spinoff series may not be as successful. The old series could sustain a fanbase to support its own con for years to come. If the fans, celebrities, and vendors are willing to forgive the past to move on with the future.
What can we expect from a future Walker Stalker Con? Not much.
I’m not expecting an in-person event. I pointed out in my last comic con video that in-person events were unlikely in this year and next. If an in-person event were to happen, it would be only in New Jersey.
As for the VirtualCons app, the new organizer hasn’t done anything with it in the last three months. Comic cons of all sizes have held many different virtual cons for the past year. The only thing stopping the new organizer from moving forward is a pissed off fanbase.