Events 100j

Published on August 8th, 2012 | by Kai Kiriyama

The Walking Dead #100 Release Party

The milestone 100th issue of The Walking Dead was celebrated in major cities all over the world, and I happen to live in one of the few Canadian cities that had a sanctioned Image release party. I decided to brave the hordes of geeks (and be geeks, I certainly don’t mean the comic book nerds, I love those guys! Think of it more in the way the use the phrase in The Walking Dead TV show) and head out into the night to check it out. I packed up my crew and we braved the busy streets of Calgary to get to our destination: Redd Skull Comics.

The party started at 7 p.m. And we were some of the first people there. We chatted with the Calgary Horror Con staff and swapped Walking Dead stories. We got a great chance to look around at the comic shop – I spent far too much time salivating over everything – as they finished setting up the events.

The first thing they had was a zombie makeup booth, and I (despite having worn my Merle Dixon season 3 hand prosthetic) decided to take a turn in the hot seat to allow myself to be zombified. The process was not as elaborate as what we’re treated to when Greg Nicotero takes us into his studio, but it was certainly fun. I had a couple of liquid latex wounds applied to my face, followed by grey face paint, tons of fake blood and dirt. The process took about 20 minutes all-in. Then we encouraged a few more people to have their faces gored up and zombified

By the time we got outside, it was closer to 9 p.m. This was when the main event started – a zombie walk down Edmonton Trail.

The most amusing thing about our shuffling horde was that it was comprised of mostly women, all of us dressed in summer attire, tank top sand skirts and shorts, and covered in dirt. Our little zombie harem shuffled our way down the street and around the block, dogged by those dressed as survivors, and of course, the cameras and photographers from Redd Skull and Calgary Horror Con.

We ended back up in front of Redd Skull where we moaned and tried to grab cars as they pulled past, we got a few screams, a few honks and waves, and more than a few rubberneckers. I think the best reaction we got was one woman who visibly shouted “Oh My God!” from her car as they drove past.

We all got a billion more photos taken, some inside the comic shop, some outside, and one where we all posed pressed up against the glass of the front door of the store and tried to get inside. The horde was getting restless.

By ten o’clock, my crew was hungry so we took off briefly to grab something to eat and drink as it was a sweltering 32 degrees Celsius (about 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and our makeup was melting. So we hit up the closest fast food joint and scared the norms. We unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of the zombies eating hamburgers and drinking coke, but we got more than a few questions, which we happily answered

Then it was back to Redd Skull for some after-dark zombie walking and some sweet in-the-dark zombie mayhem photographs. The horde was having so much fun outside that the other events and giveaways were totally forgotten.

As 11 p.m rolled around, we were treated to a pretty decent view of the fireworks that have been going off every night here due to the Calgary Stampede. The horde stood silently, mouths agape, blood dripping from open wounds and mouths, watching the fireworks light up the sky and lending an eerie post-apocalyptic smoke background to the air, though it was too far off to get any good pictures. I think the people driving by at that point were more confused than anything else.

Eventually, the horde piled back inside the store as all of the copies of issue 100 were put out for us to admire. There were 10 minutes before midnight and we were all too afraid to touch the comic before midnight. We all stood reverently, festering and sweating in our zombie makeup as we debated amongst ourselves over which variant covers we were going to pick up. I sold a guy on the Todd McFarlane variant, although I’m not such a fan.

I was lucky enough to scoop up the $10 foil cover variant and bought my sister a copy for herself. The horde was very polite about the whole thing. There was no pushing and fighting and scratching or biting to snatch up the rarer foil covers, and everyone was more than happy to wait their turn.

I ended up with 2 copies of issue 100 for myself and the first 4 trades of The Walking Dead as well as a handful of buttons and an intense desire to start haunting Redd Skull more often.

I have to hand it to Redd Skull, to Calgary Horror Con and to Image for really showing us how much fun a midnight release can be!

About the Author

Kai Kiriyama: (noun) An impish, female, Canadian, writer, seamstress, geek/nerd, time-traveler, insomniac, zombie-survivalist with a caffeine addiction, an over-active imagination and a fondness for B-movies and books. Usually seen indoors and sometimes in coffee shops with a notebook full of zombie-preparedness recipes for food preparation, scavenging tips and medical information.

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