100 – Robert Kirkman 100th Episode Celebration
In this episode of The Walker Stalkers with James & Eric, we celebrate our 100th Walker Stalker Podcast Episode! We get started with a fabulous interview with Robert Kirkman and also throw in some good ol’ reminiscing. We would like to thank all of the cast and crew for sending us Happy 100th Episode wishes! Without you, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about! Thanks for coming along on The Walker Stalker podcast ride for 100 episodes! Here’s to 1000 more!!
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TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS PODCAST:
“ Hello. This is a message for Eric and James from Scott M. Gimple. Umm I have crawled out of a dark editing room, or a mixing stage, or it is potentially a sound stage or it’s maybe a field littered with the work of Greg Nicotero or maybe it’s the production office in Atlanta. I have no idea because it is that time of the season. I wanted to take this moment to congratulate you guys on your 100th episode. I am very impressed with you gentlemen. Thank you for all you do and I will keep listening. Peace”
“ What’s up! This message is for Eric and James and this message is from Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. aka Bob Stookie of TWD aka The Walking Dead. Calling to give a huge shout out to Eric and James for their 100th podcast. That is awesome! Way to go dudes. I will see you guys in October…at Walker Stalker! Yeah boy! I’m out”
“Hey James and Eric it’s Daniel Thomas May. Congratulations on your 100th episode! I am repeatedly amazed at all that you guys do as Walking Dead superfans, it really is amazing. I am grateful to be a part of it and I am happy to call you both friends. Keep it up and I will see you both at the next Walker Stalker Con. “
“Hey Eric and James, it’s Kyla Kennedy and I wanted to call and wish you congratulations on your 100th episode of your Walker Stalker Podcast. Have fun making a hundred more! Woot Woot!”
“Hi James and Eric, Melissa Hutchinson here just wanted to say thank you for all that you do and…wait, hold on a second, someone wants to say hello to you….Hi James, Hi Eric it’s Clementine and I just wanted to say congratulations on your 100th episode..umm and at least one good thing has come from the zombie apocalypse. Ok love you guys…bye!… Hi, sorry, Melissa again. Congrats on the 100th episode and I can’t wait to see you in Atlanta! Bye guys!”
“Eric and James, happy 100th show. This is Vincent Ward aka Oscar from The Walking Dead. I just wanted to send some love out to you, much respect and Walker Stalker taking over everything. Once again I just want to say congratulations to you guys and um keep doing what you are doing alright?”
“James, Eric…..Greg Nicotero here. Just wanted to say congratulations on your 100th podcast celebrating this little old show called The Walking Dead. Congratulations guys…couldn’t be more proud”
“Yello! May I speak to Mr. or Mrs. Walker Stalker Con please? No? They are not there? What about James or Eric? Eric and James? Hey guys how are you? This is IronE Singleton aka..you know T-Dog from the Walking Dead. I just wanted to congratulate you guys and wish you the very best on your 100th podcast (cheers) and the crowd goes wild!! That is phenomenal guys you are two exceptional human beings you are great guys with very genuine and sincere spirits and you deserve the very best that life has to offer. I am so happy for you. Continue doing what you are doing. I am even happier to have a relationship with you and to of had this relationship with you going on for close to 2 years and I am very much looking forward to performing my one man show there at the Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta, Ga. October 17th at 8:00…be there! My one man show Blind-Sided by the Walking Dead..Again much continued success. I love you guys and your whole crew is phenomenal from Lee Ann to everybody else who continues to make big things happen for Walker Stalker. Keep doing what you are doing. All the best. God Bless from me, the wife, and everybody here at IronE productions. Take care, God Bless, peace.”
“Hey guys it’s Addy Miller. I just wanted to congratulate you on your 100th episode of Walker Stalkers. I miss you guys and I just wanted to thank you for letting me be a part of The Walker Stalker family. See you guys soon!”
“Hi this is Dean, the red back pack guy from beautiful downtown Woodbury, Ga. Calling to wish the Walker Stalkers a happy 100th episode. Looking forward to many more. Great job guys’
“Hey Mr. Eric and Mr. James it’s Meyrick Murphy and congratulations on your 100th episode! That is such a big accomplishment and I am so happy for you! I hope you guys have a zombie-rific day! And congratulations again!”
“Hey guys it’s Mike Cudlitz , Sgt. Abraham Ford , congratulations on your 100th podcast episode and thank you for all of your support. You guys are fantastic. It is awesome to see what being a fan of something can turn into, sometimes it is life changing. Alright guys we will see you in October. Take Care”
“Hey James and Eric, it’s Jay Bonansinga, your friendly neighborhood Walking Dead novelist sending you guys a big congratulation on your 100th podcasts. You guys are not only cool dudes but you are visionary’s and I salute you. You would see me saluting you right now if we were Skyping. I love you guys. Congrats and I look forward to seeing you soon and look forward to the next Walking Dead book Decent to hit the bookstores October 14, 2014. Love you guys. Take care, bye”
“Hey James and Eric it’s Parker Wierling your favorite asthma boy. Congratulations on 100 episodes. I am so happy to be a part of it. Keep doing what you are doing. “
“Hey James and Eric this is Chandler Riggs and Christian Serratos from the Walking Dead and we wanted to congratulate you on your 100th episode. Keep up the great work and we will see you at Walker Stalker”
“Hey I am Robert Kirkman and you are listening to the Walker Stalker Podcast and guys, congrats on your 100th episode. That’s awesome”
Eric- Cue cork popping music. 100th episode!
James– 100 episodes…Not only 100 but we have waited like 3 weeks to tape 100 because we wanted it to be awesome!
Eric– That’s right and I think we have delivered a good product on this one.
James– yeah- I will say we have had some great episodes lately but we really wanted to get back to putting a good amount of effort into them and we will start with this one right here.
Eric– That’s right. It’s well worth waiting for. As you heard in the beginning we’ve got Robert Kirkman for our 100th episode.
James– Unbelievable. We just wrapped up the interview. You will hear it here in just a few minutes. This episode sets a bench mark. One we were actually able to pull off 100 episodes which is amazing, but two- to look where we have come in a year and a half to now it is awesome. But it couldn’t be done without everyone that is listening right now. And all the people involved in the podcast and the events that we put on.. this is a tribute episode.
Eric- That’s right we are celebrating with you guys we are going to have some segments here. What we are going to do in this episode is of course have the Robert Kirkman interview coming up, we have people that have called in from the TV show, AMC’s The Walking Dead, so you heard in the bumper there you heard some really great intro’s. Thanks guys, thanks actors for calling in and wishing us a happy 100. It really makes it special. And then we are going to reminisce and we are actually going to bring in some champagne pop the cork and drink a little and reminisce a little.
James- Just to be clear this podcast will be recorded in 3 parts. One- we just did the interview, Two- we are sober and it is 12:57 on a Wednesday.
Eric– I am kind of high on coffee right now.
James– Well OK, so you get the uppers now and we will do the downers later. But we are going to do a little bit of recording now…but it would not be a Walker Stalker podcast if there wasn’t some alcohol involved so we are going to save that for tonight.
Eric– Yes, tonight we do the reminiscing. I can’t wait to see what happens with that. So it’s going to be fun and after this episode. I want to do a rewatch of season 4 and kind of take us/ carry us through to the season 5 premiere.
James– Yes, what does it mean … we are like 5 or 4 weeks away.
Eric– 4 weeks away
James-so we have got 4 weeks, 4 episodes a week.
Eric– 4 episodes a week??? No no no…1 episode a week for 4 weeks. Ohhh 4 episodes a week…gotcha… 4 real TV shows a week.
Eric- I am all confused on the episodes. Get me some champagne and I will be able to manage it.
James– I think I have only had champagne once.
Eric- Really? You are not a champagne guy, caviar dreams?
Eric– Well that just shows the difference between the two of us.
James– yeah, I mean.. alright so I am really looking forward to doing some reminiscing and to being goofy.
Eric– yes we are going to take you behind the scenes to some of our stupid moments, favorite moments, worse moments…most embarrassing moments. So hopefully it will be entertaining and fun for you guys too and for us too.
Eric– Do you want to get into the Robert Kirkman interview?
James– Let’s totally jump into it, this guy is amazing.
Eric– So here it is.. our interview with the creator of the Walking Dead, the origin, the Adam we should say… Robert Kirkman
Eric– well we are so incredibly honored to have the man, the myth, the legend Robert Kirkman right here on our 100th episode.. Welcome Robert Kirkman to The Walker Stalkers Podcast
Robert– Thanks guys thanks for having me, I am glad to be here.
James– Awesome we are really excited..
Robert– My phones is ringing in the background. I apologize for that
Eric- That is to be expected. We can imagine you have like 5 phones on all ears right now with all that you have got going on
Robert– I am doing two conference calls right now.
James– so we will understand the long pauses then. So the bif news this week is that the companion series was ordered for pilot and is there any tidbit you can share beyond what we already know.. just throw us a little bone even its tiny.
Robert– (laughs) the companion series I can in no way talk about at all.. It really sucks, imagine being me and being asked this all the time and having to repeat the same stuff. You guys are pretty well versed I think you guys already know but I will do a recap just in case. It definitely doesn’t take place in Georgia, does not use any of the characters that appear in the show thus far, you know that is pretty much all I can say (Laughs) it is all going to be new stuff. I am hoping that we will be announcing the title and some cast and possibly the location. You know I will give you a little bit of information. You know its been misreported that the spn off is going to be worldwide. I think someone misread a quote from Gail Anne Hurd and they/ I have seen some news sites that say “Oh they are going to be checking in on different parts of the world in the show” that is not the case. There is going to be one location that will be focusing on and one group of characters that we will be focusing on and building a show around that the same way we have built a show around Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon and all that stuff. So I can debunk that rumor that seems to be getting some traction.
James– How hard was it for you to go along with or create the idea that we are going to do a second show? I mean when the 1st one is the best show on television and then go “alright we are going to do a second one” did that take any nudging or convincing or was it something that you had something there and thought this is a great other place to go with The Walking Dead
Robert– Well first will call it Survivor…I certainly don’t think that The Walking Dead is the best show on television. It is definitely up there. I like Grey’s Anatomy but um… that joke it is completely falling flat. It certainly took me a second to get used to it. You know the comic book is a singular thing and it is our only window into that world and that its very important, there are reasons why I have never done a spin-off comic book series. Television being a different medium it actually opens itself up to being an exploration in a different way. People don’t really respond to a comic book spinoff the way they do to secondary television series and there have been several cases where the spinoffs have been substantially more successful than the shows that they originated from. So I that there’s you know more potential to do cool stuff and also I’m…I really like challenges so, you know, initially when AMC came to me and they were like “ Hey we would like to explore this idea of doing another show” I was like “ Well that might not be the best thing to do but I don’t know”. I thought about it for awhile and The Walking Dead is such a huge part of my life. It is something that I created when I was you know 22 I think and I have kind of grown up and become a different person to a certain extent as I have grown older with The Walking Dead, and the idea of me at 35 trying to compete with the 22/23 year old version of myself that to me was really exciting. You know what can this old, lazy…can I cuss on your podcast?
Eric– Yes you can (laughs)
Robert- how is that guy going to compete with that young scrappy….surprisingly when I look back at photos I am somewhat physically fit from what I could tell. I didn’t feel that way at the time but I was certainly thinner. You know, Let’s go head to head with that guy and see what happens. So what I am trying to say is that it is probably going to be a disaster but I think it would be a fun challenge to try and go back to that well and see if I can bring something new to the process.
Eric– Well it’s interesting because I am sure that yeah..35 year old Robert Kirkman can out smart 22 year old Robert Kirkman. I am absolutely sure about that. You are wiser, you are older. The weight actually adds more character to your life as well so don’t worry about that… At least it does for me.
Robert- (laughs) That’s what I tell my wife!
James- I tell my wife the same thing. I tell her it’s an investment.
Eric– It’s like a savings account..In case there is an apocalypse you have something to fall back on.
James– So Robert, you have kind of started to talk about it a bit but one of the things that Eric and I would love to know is when you came up with the concept of The Walking Dead , the 22 year old version of yourself, what was it like in terms of the grass roots, busting your butt promoting it? Can you let us in on that? What it was like when you were first starting out?
Eric- All the way up to when it got picked up as a series on television.
James– Or when the comic book got picked up
Robert- I don’t remember…(laughs) but it’s weird because you know for all that it has become, The Walking Dead started out as a very unassuming kind of thing. I had been pitching something to a company called Funka-Tron but it was pretty much a failure. I did a book called Battle Pope that did okay, I was a self-publisher and doing all sort of things that I didn’t want to do. All I wanted to do was be a writer and so I started pitching more and more books to Image and that’s when I got things like Invincible and some lesser known titles like Capes and other things like Tech Jacket that I had done that got published and then I wanted to do this horror book. I had pitched them a science fiction/ horror thing first called Dead Planet that Tony Moore had drawn some art for and they ended up not accepting that for various reasons and so I went back and thought about zombies and came up with something a little more grounded which you know, ended up being The Walking Dead. When we first published that it was part of a horror line that Image did that I think it was like a Frankenstein book and there’s a book called Sorta Dracula that’s pretty cool but it launched with 4 other horror themed titles that came out in October of 2003 as this big horror push. Walking Dead was the least ordered among them so I remember getting the sales figures for that month and thinking “Well I am in last place for the month, that’s great” I think the reason the first issue is so valuable is because there are so few of them. Our initial order was like 7,000 copies and you know that is kind of where we began. As far as the marketing and promotion, I really have to give it to Eric Stephens who is now the publisher of the company. He kind of spear headed this thing where he would send photo copies of the comics directly to retailers so when retailers were getting issue 1 before they placed orders for issue 1 they had copies of 1, 2, and 3 already in their store. So collectors out there, there should be some photocopy editions floating around there somewhere but they have probably all been thrown away. So you know he was dealing with retailers directly in a pretty face to face kind of way and I think that that is something that built interest in the series pretty early on. People had a pretty good sense of what that book was going to be and sales wise the comic book actually, I have said this to AMC many times, the (dead air)…in television the trajectory is very similar to what the comic book has and it’s kind of like everything happened the same but on a smaller scale. Our sales started skyrocketing on issue 3 and sales continued to build and build and build and there was a big jump on issue 7 and then to this day, thankfully- I am going to find some wood to knock on- the comic sales continue to trickle up which is a complete anomaly in comics. So we/I really lucked out I guess I should say. But it was definitely a really rough beginning just because every other comic I had ever done at the time had been a massive failure so I was used to getting really invested in a comic and have them get canceled. (Dead Air) So that is the reason when you read The Walking Dead. When you read the first 12 issues things seems to be pretty truncated. That’s because I was like I have this story for Rick, Shane and Lori and the book is probably only going to last 12 issues so …alright so that is all I am going to get so I had to tell that entire story in 6 issues. That is one of the reasons why in the TV show we expanded it. I would have expanded it in the comic but I didn’t know we were going to last so I at least wanted to tell that story. Another interesting tidbit is that they were originally supposed to leave that area where Rick had killed Shane at the end of issue 7 to get to the prison but when sales began going up and up and up I was like Ok I guess I will add some stuff because there was certainly more things that could be done on the way to the prison. I knew they were going to be in the prison for a long time so that is when I added them meeting Tyreese and then going to Wilshire Estates and all of Hershel’s farm so Hershel’s farm was kind of slotted in at last minute.
Eric– That’s brilliant. That’s neat I have never heard that story so really cool background. For me I was a fan of the show first and then I went back and explored the comics and it just made it so much richer for me to read the comics after watching the show. You just get into your head and your vision and you just love it that much more. Robert, you seem like such a – I think those failures- you seem like such a humble guy about all of this stuff, and I think those failures, I would imagine, with those comics all along your road really helped to pave the way for you to keep that attitude of “ you know what? This might fail and I am going to expect it to fail but hope for it to win” and if it’s a win then it’s like a bonus for you. Is that your approach? With everything you do?
Robert- I think it made me aware of just how much of a crap shoot everything is when it gets down to it because you know around the time I did The Walking Dead in that 3-4 year span I did like 12 other comics and I would not..I mean I could probably sit down and read every one of those now and go ‘ Well this one is a little better than The Walking Dead, this one is a little worse” Opinion wise, I don’t know that The Walking Dead was substantially better than any of those other comics but that is the one that hit. So I think that the idea of “Robert Kirkman was plugged into the Zeitgeist and he knew exactly what he was doing” people say those things and it’s not true. I was throwing shit at the wall and one of them stuck and so being keenly aware of that definitely makes me aware of just how lucky I am.
James- Now today with the books you are writing..
Robert- Well today I’m a genius! (Laughs)
James- You are a genius right? With today with all the books you are writing and the writing that takes place with the novel and the TV show how is it for you personally kind of having to hand of a little bit of control. Was it difficult for you, is it still difficult for you to be trusting of a property that is the biggest thing right now?
Robert- I mean it’s a necessity by design. I mean it’s just impossible for me to be handling everything 100%. So it was something that was difficult at first but it’s been kind of a smooth process getting into that because it started with the existence of the TV show. You know I went from having a comic book where I am in control of every word and I am certainly collaborating with Charlie Adlard on the series but I don’t really have Charlie saying “ Hey I would like you to change that dialogue’ or anything like that. We work really well together in that respect. But I go from that to being in a writers room where you know sometimes you agree with what people are saying and sometimes you don’t and everyone has got good ideas and you are kind of surrounded by people coming up with better ideas than you and your are kind of like “Well, crap this is kind of cool” and so I think from there it has just been a matter of picking the right collaborator. I think that with the novel series with Jay Bonansinga is somebody that has come in that knows how to write a novel. I would say that Jay Bonansinga knows how to write a novel way better than I do but I think that is because he knows how to write a novel and I don’t.
Robert- He is certainly able to understand the world and comprehend what it is to make The Walking Dead the Walking Dead and really just kind of come in and make it awesome. I really can say that about TellTale and about Dave Ericson who’s working with me on The Walking Dead spin-off. You know these are people that I am definitely able to work hand in hand with and you know to certain extent, especially with Tell Tale, you know just letting them run with the ball and sit back and watch with amazement .” Oh mY God.. I can’t believe what these people can do.” To an extent they are making me look bad. So that is really gratifying knowing that now we are working with this company called Star Breeze on Overkill another Walking Dead game that will be coming out soon and it’s in the really early stages. It’s going to be pretty phenomenal. In the pretty early stages these guys are coming in with all these suggestions and ideas, nothing I can really reveal, but it’s just like to a certain extent it’s fun because I am thinking “ Is that possible in a game?” are we really to that point where we can do things like that. It is really exciting but I think that as long as you know, I think that it would a huge mistake for me to go out into all of these genre’s that I don’t really know about. I have never written a novel before, I have never made a video game, and you know I certainly very new to television when I started. For me to go off into these branches and to say “I know better. The Walking Dead is my thing, you are going to do it my way” That would be a mistake and I think it’s been my ability to step back and let people that know these fields better than me collaborate the way they have that has allowed you know I mean I think its pretty remarkable that the novels are so good and the video games so good and the tv shows are so good. There should be a stinker in there you know.
Robert- I guess there’s “Survival Instinct” but I didn’t really work on that.
James- YES, I was hoping you were going to drop that. [laughs]
Eric- Alright so, before I get to, we have some fan questions we asked fans on our social media what would you want to ask Robert. I have one question for you, 22 year old Robert and now 35 year old Robert Kirkman, who were your influences. Who influenced you the most when you were just starting out and now contrast that with whose influencing you the most now. Both creatively and professionally.
Robert- Aw God jeez…
Eric- That’s a tough question.
Robert- Um, I mean most of my influences….
Robert- question, just start rambling, but um, starting out most of my influences were from comics and so if someone would ask me who is my influence I would say Erik Larson, Bob Fingerman who wrote a lot of like really indie comics that I feel like I learned a lot about normal human being interaction from his slice of life comics like Minimum Wage and stuff. You know, Richard Matheson, you know different things like that. Definitely George Romero. You know starting out on The Walking Dead I mean I can’t, you know, I like to say Robert Kirkman is to George Romero what Stephanie Meyer is to Bram Stoker?
Robert- The Walking Dead is essentially the Twilight of zombie movies.
James- Oh my gosh.
Robert- So anyway, cuz it’s just a soap opera.
James- I’m gonna tell, I’m gonna tell my wife that, cuz my wife doesn’t watch the show and I’m gonna say “honey, …yeah”…
Robert- My influence hasn’t changed all that much. There’s a lot of peers, I mean I read stuff that Brian K. Vaughan does and that stuff is always, you know incredibly impressive and embarrassing, you know to read cuz its like “I should be doing that and I’m not, what the hell’s wrong with me.” But I really you know as far as like there is a lot of television and movies and stuff that are starting to creep in as far as influences. I would love to try and you know copy exactly what it is that Quentin Tarantino does and somehow translate that into comics and tv but I don’t think I’m talented enough. I don’t think I’ve changed so much between 22 to 35, I certainly still you know… I eat a lot less pizza but I still like pizza just as much.
Robert- I mean I’m still the same idiot I was back then.
James- That’s awesome. One of the funniest questions we got. Please don’t take offence to this because I just think it’s hilarious. It’s, “I’d ask him” this is Jay Thede on facebook “I’d ask him, given the success the comic, multiple games, soon to be multiple shows, if one were to spend any time around him [meaning you] is the chah ching that must go off every few minutes actually audible or does he only hear it in his head?”…I thought that was a funny questions because I know how busy Eric and I are, I can’t even actually fathom how busy you are in terms of just everything that must go on in the day for Robert Kirkman.
Eric– Is there a routine in your life or is it pretty much you go with the flow every single day, how do you maintain it?
Robert- I just every time I hear a chah ching I switch from one project to the next, it really helps me move …
Robert- …through the various things that I have to do, the constant cash register sounds really kinda help me time my day out which helps me remain productive.
Robert- No, I get bored easily, I think, is something that really benefits me. So I am currently right now working on three monthly comics and three tv shows. Which is nuts. I’m not co-writing the novels with Jay anymore, he’s writing novels that I am kind of overseeing but I’m not really working on them as much. So he’s kind of gone off and done that and I kind of oversea Telltales stuff to a certain extent but you know for various reason but I’m like you guys just do what you do, that’s fantastic. And then there’s a lot of things behind the scenes that I’m still doing so you know there’s a lot of stuff going on but like I work on Invincible for an hour and then I’m like “bored with that” then I’ll work on some Walking Dead spinoff stuff and then I’m like “bored with that” and then the Outcast show and Outcast comic and then there are days when I don’t touch any projects but you know bouncing around like that keeps me so invested and engaged in everything that I’m doing that I feel like I’m you know I don’t get bored or get five hours into something and I’m like “uhhhh” God I’m still plugging away at this. I kinda like pop in and do stuff and pop back out. You know when you hit a wall writing you know a scene in the Walking Dead and you can you know go into your notes and go right into a scene in Invincible and hit that fresh and take your mind off of Walking Dead for a while and bounce back and forth. I think it helps. Hopefully it helps me write better but at the very least it keeps me excited and energetic all day. You know it keeps me working which is good. Because I always have to be working or I’ll die.
Eric- [laughing] That’s awesome.
Robert- But that’s another problem.
Eric- Alright, so, is there, do you have, have you ever done a cameo on The Walking Dead tv show and/or have you put yourself in the comic somewhere or told Charlie, “hey put me in there” on such and such. Have you ever done that? Is there anything we don’t know that appeared?
Robert- I have told artist absolutely under no circumstances ever draw me in a comic. I’ve actually had artist not, I’ve had artists do it, there’s a scene in Thief of Thieves where Shawn Martinbrough drew me and Nick Spencer and the editors of the comic and stuff like in the comic and I was like “uhhhh God, I don’t want to make this artist redraw this panel but I don’t really want to publish this.” because then it seems like I directed this guy to draw me in a comic which seems so arrogant to me.
Robert- But I don’t despise cameos, every time Peter Jackson shows up in a Lord of the Rings movie, I’m like “here’s that guy”. It totally kicks me out of the movie and I think I’m the weirdo like I’m not criticizing Alfred Hitchcock and M. Knight Shamalyn people seem to love it and its cool but for some reason it just bugs ME. I don’t know if you guys watched the Spawn movie back in the day but this alley scene between Spawn and the violator and Todd McFarlane himself, the creator of Spawn. In the shot like he’s above in the alley, to my recollection there’s like a good 2 ½ minute shot of Todd McFarlane in that alley watching the fight, you see that fight and I know that is not really how that scene goes but I loathe cameos so deeply that that’s’ how I remember that scene. I don’t really want to be in The Walking Dead, that would ruin the entire scene for me if I had to watch it in the editing room or at premier or on tv sometime. When I see myself, I’d by like “Oh I’m done” I can’t watch this anymore, I’m terrible. I just, I don’t know, it’s something that bugs me, that’s why I’ve never done it. And never will.
James- Cosplay is so huge for The Walking Dead, especially at the events we put on. So if you could cosplay as one of your characters from The Walking Dead, comics or television, who would it be and why.
Robert- The one that wears normal clothes, I don’t know, I value my comfort above all else, so if someone came up with the most confortable clothes ever but they made you look like a giraffe, I would just walk around all day looking like a giraffe and not care. I just want to be comfortable so I guess you know, I would dress up as Michonne cuz then you could wear that poncho and maybe not any pants under the poncho.
Robert– I would just wear a poncho and that would be fine. So yeah. I mean I own multiple pairs of pajama pants because to a certain extent they are my work pants, unless I have to go out for a meeting or to the office or something, I usually wear pajama pants all day. Because I like to feel like I’m naked at all times.
James- Are you working from LA or do you still live in Kentucky at all, or …..
Robert- No I’m in LA, when I go into the writers room and stuff, I wear pants, I don’t want people to think I’m a maniac but I do, you know, if I’m writing a script for the show or you know when I’m doing my comic writing and stuff, I usually do that from home. Just because it’s easier. So when I’m at home I am usually in various states of undress. Like the mailman doesn’t like me.
Eric- James and I are in our boxers right now.
James –From Eric’s basement.
Eric- Yeah we do these in my mom’s basement.
James- Are you ….
Robert- In my 20s it was underwear all the time because I worked from home, I lived in Kentucky, I never went anywhere. My friends would come over and knock on the door and they would know “oh I knocked on the door and then 2 or 3 minutes passed while Robert goes to find a pair pants because otherwise he’s just in his underwear.” And then in my 30s I graduated to pajama pants because no one wants to see you in your underwear.
Eric- As one should.
Robert- Although I do have nice legs because I carry around a lot of weight so my legs are very shapely.
James- Are you a UK or a UNL fan or neither.
Robert- I don’t often know what sport is happening, so people will say “hey did you watch the UK game?” and I’ll go “I don’t know, is that football or basketball right now?” I have no idea. Every now and then I’ll watch a game but I’m certainly not a sports fan.
Eric- Alright. Ok so we only have a few minutes so we want to ask you our three questions that we typically ask. We’re based in Music City, Nashville, TN. We’ve got to ask you three music questions. The first question …
Robert- Oh boy!
Eric- Yep, yep. Are you a music fan? This is not the question but do you know a lot about music or are we going to totally like throw you with this one?
Robert- I would say I’m not a music aficionado but I listen to music, I have music, but I’m certainly not a music expert.
James-These are softballs.
Eric- Yeah, these are softballs. Alright so …
Robert- I’m still nervous.
James- Alright so, here we go, real big softball: Who is your favorite musician or band?
Robert: I would have to say, it’s hard to nail down, but if I nailed it down, it would be Neil Young.
Eric- Neil Young, classic, love that. I kind of expected that actually. I wasn’t gonna like; I would have been really surprised…
Robert- But my top five is like messed up absolutely messed up.
Eric- Give us your top five.
Robert- Neil Young, Nick Cave, Presidents of the United States of America, George Michael and AC/DC.
Eric- Now wait a second, wait a second. George Michael, George Michael throws me big time. Which George Michael are you talking about? the Monogamy era or…
Robert- Just the album Faith. Like that’s, I don’t need, I don’t need Wham or whatever and I don’t know how many other albums he did. My mother had the Faith album when I was a kid so I heard it like a billion times. I don’t know I was like 10 or something.
Eric- Yeah… Father Figure.
Robert- Oh yeah, I could sing most of those songs, but I’m not going to right now.
James- That’s actually the second time you come on, we have everybody sing the second time they come on. We write a song together. We now expect that you will never come on again.
Eric- He’s never coming James, you shouldn’t’ve told him. Anyway, second question is…
Robert- I’m just too busy guys, I’m really sorry, I can’t do it.
Eric- Ok, so what is your favorite concert you’ve ever been to?
Robert- Well, see, there goes the whole, you know, not really a music aficionado, I’ve only been to three concerts in my life. And those concerts are, are you ready for this, Tori Amos, Marilyn Manson, Natalie Merchant.
James- This is like what, early 90s?
Eric- That is so cool.
Robert- Tori Amos and Marilyn Manson was when I was a teenager but my wife and I went and saw Natalie Merchant when I was in my mid 20s.
James- But hey, you had Weezer at the 10th anniversary celebration.
Eric- That counts.
James- That counts as a concert.
Robert- I guess that’s my 4th concert.
Eric- Have you ever been to an Emily Kinney, have you ever seen her sing in some way?
Robert- I haven’t, I haven’t. I mean to.
James- You should.
Robert- I should.
James- Matter of fact, there happens to be one of those, her concerts, at Walker Stalker Con next month in Atlanta.
Eric- In Atlanta.
James- Which, that was the number one question we got when we polled for questions was, if Robert Kirkman was going to show up or not. So, you know, you don’t have to answer it, but I just want you to know that there’s fan pressure out there.
Eric- There is fan pressure.
Robert- I will definitely show up to those one day, I promise. It’s just a time thing, I’m supposed to be in some writers room or another so. It’s easier for me to go to the conventions that AMC makes me go to which are the New York Comic-con and the San Diego Comic-cons so, they do those for promotion on the show so they actually shut down the show, they fly actors over, they you know really make windows for that, but you know, other conventions… I feel like I am making too many excuses, but I will make it work someday I don’t know if I’m going to make it to this one.
James- Last question: so given these musical questions that you’ve answered, if you could pick one musician, it doesn’t have to be somebody that you listen to. If you could pick one musician, what musician would make, do you think the best zombie on The Walking Dead?
ROBERT: Best zombie on The Walking Dead, musician. Um…David Bowie. David, David Bowie would probably knock George Michael out of my top five, but uh
ERIC: We’ve never had anyone say that.
RK: I think David Bowie would be a great zombie!
RK: Great zombie. Well, he’s handsome, but he’s thin.
JAMES: Would he pull a Labyrinth and sing?
RK: I think Greg Nicotero could do a lot of good work on him.
ERIC: Oh! And he loves that!
RK: But, what?
JAMES: Would he do like Labyrinth and sing? That was Bowie, right?
RK: Oh, that would be great! A singing, dancing David Bowie zombie with a big gigantic crotch you can’t help but stare at? I would enjoy that.
JAMES: Yes! (laughs)
ERIC: (laughs) Well, it would kinda be like a reenactment of the 80s hit with him and umm, what’s the guy from the Rolling Stones? I’m blanking out here.
ERIC: Mick Jagger. Those 2 together would be amazing zombies, I think, too. So. Didn’t they have a hit together, in the 80s?
JAMES: Walking Dead the Musical
RK: Mick Jagger is almost already a zombie!
ERIC: He really is. He really is. Alright, well Robert, thank you so much. Um…I hope this wasn’t too painful for you to come on our podcast. Thanks for celevreating this 100th episode for us!
JAMES: We really appreciate it
ERIC: We wouldn’t be here without you
RK: No, hey, congrats! It’s a big accomplishment for you guys and I always hear good things about this podcast. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get on here. But, great job so far and here’s to a hundred more!
JAMES: Thank you.
ERIC: Thanks. Get back to your pajama pants.
RK: And only a hundred more! You have to stop at 200!
JAMES: (laughs) Well, yeah, well, we stop when you stop, so if we’re 10 yrs into the Walking Dead that means we’re in for the long run.
ERIC: Right, exactly.
RK: Oh boy.
JAMES: Oh boy! Exactly! (laughs)
ERIC: Robert, well hopefully we’ll see you again soon, and good luck and all the best this month leading up to the season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead. Congratulations.
RK: Awesome man. Thank you so much for having me.
ERIC: Alright. Take care
JAMES: Thank you.
Music plays (George Michael, Faith)
ERIC: Well, we’re back everybody! Back from Robert Kirkman. It was a good interview, wasn’t it?
JAMES: It was awesome and it took us literally 100 episodes to get the guy to come on. You know, it’s funny when we first started out doing these things and sending out these interview requests, it never changed for Kirkman. It was always like a one line, “Sorry, Kirkman’s too busy,” or “Robert’s too busy,” and, it’s like, “Really? To take 15 minutes?” And, I mean, obviously talking to him, he seemed like he was busy doing other things.
ERIC: Well, he was busy looking for his pants.
JAMES: Right. But, yeah, it was great to finally have that guy on!
ERIC: It was really great. Hey, listen. It’s our 100th episode.
ERIC: Can you freakin’ believe it? 100?
JAMES: I can’t! I told my wife that and she’s like, “So that means you’ve spent at least 200 hours in his basement.” And that’s probably an underestimate!
ERIC: You’ve spent more time in this basement than my wife has, or any of my kids have. So, congratulations.
ERIC: This is your second home. You’ll always have a place to come.
JAMES: Yeah it is!
ERIC: So, what we’re going to talk about tonight is…
JAMES: We’re going back!
ERIC: We’re going back in time!
JAMES: We’re going way back.
ERIC: I just feel like singing Cher “If I Could Turn Back Time”
JAMES: Oh really?
ERIC: Yeah, that’s a good song.
JAMES: I don’t know, I was thinking some Motown thing. “We’re going back baby.”
ERIC: Yeah, well, that’s your thing, man. Only you can go that deep with your voice. Alright, so, we’re gonna talk about our favorite moments. We’re gonna talk about our worst moments. And, just kinda reminisce tonight.
ERIC: So James.
JAMES: So Eric.
ERIC: Let’s go back in time to Episode 1.
(Plays Clip from Episode One)
ERIC: Well, welcome to the very first podcast of James and Eric, The Walker Stalkers.
JAMES: The Walker Stalkers.
ERIC: Welcome James.
JAMES: Welcome Eric.
(End of clip)
JAMES: What was episode 1? I mean, literally, the only thing I remember is your daughter coming in.
ERIC: Both our daughters coming in.
JAMES: Both of them? Was it both of them?
ERIC: Yeah. I thought both our daughters were running in giggling, and we were like, “Scram! Get out of here!!”
JAMES: Yeah. We’re recording a podcast. And not only were they screaming, but the audio was terrible.
ERIC: Oh yeah!
JAMES: We didn’t have $600 microphones.
ERIC: No. I had about a…
JAMES: $600 per microphone!
ERIC: This is true. Yeah, no, I think I spent maybe 40 bucks on that blue snowflake.
JAMES: We’re, like, huddled around it. And, we’re over in that corner at that time.
ERIC: Totally different acoustics over there in that corner.
JAMES: Yes, by the glass.
ERIC: Right, right. I was always worried, actually, when I was working by that glass over there next to the window, I was doing these podcasts about The Walking Dead. I was kinda always looking behind my back to see if somebody would come to the window.
JAMES: Well, that too and always, picked up noise over there.
ERIC: It did, yeah. This is a much better cozy spot over here. But, anyway, so yeah, we got through it!
JAMES: We did!
ERIC: We got through it, and people listened, I think!?
JAMES: No! Nobody listened!!
ERIC: Nobody did.
JAMES: You know, what’s funny is that we, I remember we taped that one, and then we were like, we were hanging out somewhere, and we were talking to our neighbor, Brian, the survivor man.
ERIC: Right, well that was when we were into guns.
ERIC: Both of us. We didn’t even talk about each other.
JAMES: I know, but we were thinking about it.
ERIC: Yeah, we were thinking about gun safety.
ERIC: I think it was right around the election, there was some, I don’t know, it was kinda the thing to do was to look for guns.
JAMES: Yeah. But, Brian, is our neighbor, and, just sort of to refresh everybody, he’s the guy that goes and buys the used cop cars and then drives them around to ward off people, that he’s an undercover officer. Which he’s not.
ERIC: He’s not.
ERIC: But he likes to play one in our neighborhood.
JAMES: Yes, he does. He likes to sit in between the streets, and just sit there, so when people come flying through, they slow down.
ERIC: That’s true! It happens with me all the time when I see Brian approaching.
JAMES: But I think the thing that worried me most from that interview with Brian, and this was one of our first interviews where we needed to…
ERIC: This was our second interview.
JAMES: Our second interview. Is that, when he’s like, I know who in this neighborhood has guns, and I’m ready to go take them.
JAMES: You know. Right?
ERIC: No! Man, I was like, totally…Scared? Worried? Impressed? I don’t know what to say.
JAMES: Yeah, I don’t either.
ERIC: But the guy, we’ve never had him on since.
JAMES: No. No!!
ERIC: We love you Brian, but, you know. C’mon man! But, I have been more respectful of him ever since then. So yeah, that was December 18th, 2012…
ERIC: …when we had Brian on. And then, right before Christmas break. I don’t even, I mean, those first 6 podcasts were just kind of…
JAMES: They were bad!
ERIC: They were just bad! Yeah…
JAMES: I mean, who really listened to us?
ERIC: I don’t even know.
JAMES: I don’t even think any of our core team actually listened to us that early.
ERIC: Well, that was…
JAMES: Did they?
ERIC: No, I don’t…Maybe. Maybe. We’d have to ask them, but, we did create people.
JAMES: We did.
ERIC: We created our own listeners.
JAMES: Right. And, there were 2. We had Chris Pendleton.
JAMES: And, what was the other guy’s name.
ERIC: Walter, from Dusseldorf, Germany.
JAMES: Yes. And, Chris Pendleton’s not real. I mean, 100 episodes in we’re breaking it right here.
ERIC: We’re breaking news right here. There’s at least 1 person I know who thinks he was real.
JAMES: Yes. “Hello Duncan. This is Chris Pendleton. I just want to say that I really enjoy the comics. Oh yeah!” Um yes. Chris Pendleton wasn’t real. We needed callers. We had a call line, we were asking for calls.
ERIC: We DID have a call line!
JAMES: And we couldn’t get callers, so we had to create them! And I don’t think we really ever got our first real caller until we really got our first real interview. Right?
ERIC: Yeah, Greg Nicotero.
JAMES: Nicotero. And we got people to call in.
ERIC: That’s right. Episode 7.
JAMES: And we did. We had to create Chris Pendleton, and then through Facebook and Twitter we were hustling, trying to get our name out there, to get just a couple callers. And we literally got a couple.
ERIC: Well, we were posting, and initially, we wanted to, we kinda thought we would position ourselves as the “authority” for fans to go to for The Walking Dead.
JAMES: We wanted to be a news site.
ERIC: On the website. So we had a lot of, we even had a few sort of semi spoiler type things.
JAMES: Yeah, some behind the scene type picture stuff of like, Morgan, up on the roof in Clear. We were trying to figure out who we wanted to be.
JAMES: And so, we were a news site at first. And you know, I even remember after we interviewed Gale Ann Hurd, you know, like, a story broke, and I went and asked…Oh! It was Glen Mazzara getting fired! And I contacted her assistant, asking for a quote. laughs
JAMES: And, she’s like, “Who are you?” We’re The Walker Stalkers! She just did an interview with us. We’ve got a hundred listeners! Yeah. We were…
ERIC: We were trying to figure out who we were.
JAMES: Who we were gonna be.
ERIC: We were pre-adolescents at the time. We were just filling up our website with all kinds of stuff to the point where, about a year later, we actually have somebody on our core team that handles our website design.
ERIC: And all of our online…
JAMES: But the podcast has really just turned into the podcast. WE don’t put any news up. We don’t really cover news anymore, except for within the podcast.
ERIC: Well, if there’s a season premiere, we’ll put that up there, but no. We realized we cannot compete with those daily websites.
JAMES: Well, we choose not to.
ERIC: We don’t want to, really.
JAMES: That’s just not what we…I think that Nicotero episode was the episode that gave us our first bit of definition. We set up the fan aspect interview of that. And I think we really enjoyed it. And then, out of discussing these music questions that we asked him at the end, which we still as today for the first time guest, we did the parody song. And I think that’s where we quit from, we’re just another podcast, to, we’re gonna have fun. We’re gonna involve the fans and we’re gonna have fun. So I think that episode kind of defined where we would go forward from there.
ERIC: Yeah, I totally agree. It was just hard to figure out who we were. And then, once we had Greg on, he was huge to come on and take a risk and come on with us. But I think the thing that was amazing was you were very persistent in getting guests, in getting actors, and I think a lot of people wonder, “Well, how do you get all these actors? What’s your secret for getting?” Cuz you’re the one who books the actors for our podcast.
JAMES: Yeah. There’s nothing! I didn’t do anything special. There’s no real secret to it. I just went on IMDB and found their managers and just asked. But it was, honestly, it was Nicotero’s credibility, by saying we had Greg on, that got them to then pay attention to us.
ERIC: Yeah. And right after that, the next podcast, #8, was Michael Rooker.
JAMES: I know.
ERIC: Yeah. And, I think at that time, we had no idea. He knew he was off the show already. I think he was…
JAMES: Yeah, he did.
ERIC: It was at least 2 months later after he died.
JAMES: Yeah, he’d already been killed off.
ERIC: Right right. So, he was great to have on, and then Gale Ann Hurd, third. And then Emily Kinney. What were some of the early interviews? Some of your favorite moments of some of the earlier interviews? Those first 4 or 5?
JAMES: Rooker was tough. Rooker was a tough one. And I’m anxious to meet Rooker.
ERIC: Well, let’s talk about the Rooker one.
JAMES: Yeah, because Rooker…You were gone.
ERIC: I was gone.
JAMES: I had to do Rooker’s interview on my own. But he seemed so preoccupied with everything else going on. I got put on hold a lot.
ERIC: He was in a car. He was on a cell phone
JAMES: For a bit, and then he got home. And then somebody showed up. And it was just like, alright dude. You know, are you getting to do the interview or what? I was already nervous as hell because it was only our second interview and our first with any actor on the show. And his manager Juliette Terzioff was so awesome to put us together, but it was all nerve wracking.
ERIC: The whole thing. But what was funny about it was we recorded that podcast before we did our interview. We anticipated that Rooker was gonna have the filthiest mouth.
JAMES: We did. laughs.
JAMES: And he DIDN’T!!
ERIC: And we had the most fun! Actually, I think that was the first time that I’d really said the F-word that many times in front of somebody. I usually don’t swear. It’s just not…I don’t know why. It’s just not in my nature to just let it loose. And it was really freeing.
JAMES: Wanna play a little segment of it right here?
ERIC: Yeah, let’s play a little bit of it.
ERIC: Live from Nashville, TN. I’m Eric!
JAMES: And I’m James *bleep* (laughs) And we’re The Walker mother*bleep* Stalkers!! Eric! We have bad*bleep* Michael Rooker, AKA Merle, on the show today.
ERIC: Right. So, in honor of Michael Rooker, and Merle, this is a foulmouthed episode.
JAMES: Yes. We will be bleeping out as many words as we can. Even if they don’t need to be bleeped, we will bleep them out.
ERIC: That’s right! As a matter of fact I am just gonna say **BEEP** right now and I have just beeped that out.
JAMES: He just said “Shoot” and he bleeped it out.
ERIC: I didn’t really say *BEEP* which I just did bleep out. This is fun.
JAMES: This is going to be hilarious
ERIC: This is going to be a lot of editing I gotta do. Thanks a lot
JAMES: Yes I apologize but this was a brilliant idea in honor of one of the most hated but loved characters on The Walking Dead.
ERIC: Absolutely. You had a brilliant idea earlier today you texted me and called me and told me about this and I thought it was perfect.
JAMES: It was the best *BEEP* idea I have come up with in a long time.
ERIC: Absolutely *BEEP* Genius James! It is just going to let out all of my inhibitions right now. I am going to feel so much better because I have just said *BEEP HONK BEEP HONK* again.
JAMES: I just promised my wife that we wouldn’t say **BEEP BEEP*
ERIC: But you just did! High five bro that’s awesome
ERIC: So yes that was our attempt at cussing and um…
JAMES: actually you know what?
ERIC: We should play the real one…
JAMES: My wife made a comment to me yesterday . She said “You cuss so much more than you used to”
ERIC: I wasn’t going to tell you but I think that is so true.
JAMES: It is true
ERIC: Why do you think?
JAMES: I don’t know why. Maybe I don’t think its as big a deal as I used to. Cause I would never swear unless I was just furious. But now I just find moments where it is just appropriately funny and I think that is really the only reason that I do it now.
ERIC: [Laughing] well I mean just it loose…but the fact that Rooker didn’t cuss at all and I purposely put in some fake beeps…fake censorship for the Rooker interview. Poor guy. I wonder if he even knows that we did that.
JAMES: Probably not
ERIC: It’s alright. It was a lot of fun. That episode took me like 8 hours to edit because I literally had to find all kinds of bleeps and beeps and noises to put in there.
JAMES: Like Homer Simpson
ERIC: All kinds of stuff. It was fun, it was a lot of fun. I remember being on the road doing that and then Gale Anne Hurd.. Um my favorite was the song. You actually said “Go write the song for Gale Anne Hurd” and she loved Bruce Springsteen so I came up with Hungry Heart something with Gale Anne Hurd. It was one of my favorite songs.
JAMES: The music we have done.. at least some of the most rewarding stuff for me, I love the fact that we just get to sing and be silly. I know..we know a lot of people hate it. They get on our podcast and they just want to hear somebody talk about The Walking Dead and get the theories out there and be done. Then they get the extra added entertainment
ERIC: [laughs] whether you like it or not. They get it with us.
JAMES: So either they enjoy it and they keep listening or they are like “we’re done”
ERIC: They fast forward but that is alright. That’s who we are and that is who we will continue to be. Um I remember Emily Kinney, the next interview after that I wasn’t as nervous with her..
JAMES: No but remember they forwarded to us her album, her EP. And you know everyone has this image of Beth Green and you get these songs like “ I love sex in the morning” or “sex in the morning is for lovers” and we are like OMG
ERIC: And we are like “Who is this person?” and I was going down the road to start diving into that question and I was about to ask it and you were like “No! No don’t go there” and I kind of turned the question around and asked it a different way . I didn’t end up going for the full monty on that one. She was really sweet. She has done a lot of stuff for us like for the convention, special interviews
ERIC: Yep, she’s doing the possibly a tour at the convention this year in Atlanta..leading a tour. Some pretty cool stuff. She’s awesome. Um yeah then we had Lauren Cohan and you had Chad L. Coleman by yourself. That was a fun one too. He loved your song.
JAMES: Chad was great. That was probably one of my top 2-3 favorite songs was the Chad L Coleman song. It just came together so perfect
ERIC: He’s like “That’s hot man”
JAMES: “We gotta record that when I am down in Atlanta”
ERIC: I wonder how many drinks he had on our/ during our interview?
JAMES: During our interview? I don’t know about during but we have had drinks with Chad
ERIC: We have had drinks with Chad. He is a fun guy to hang out with. Then as we kept going with 13,14,15 we started getting back into season 3 live. When we started it was right in between the hiatus, the winter break. I think that was really good. It gave us something fresh
JAMES: Right, the other podcasts weren’t doing any podcast so people were looking for new stuff and we were providing it. We were building our audience and filling that void. I think that if we had started at the beginning of the season we may have been over looked.
ERIC: Who knows? I mean there is tons of traffic..tons of other guys that are doing these podcasts out there…who we love who are inclusive of. We learn from those guys and they participate..
JAMES: We were listening to them before we even started our podcast
ERIC: Yes I mean Walking Deadcast with Jason and Karen
JAMES: The Talking Dead
ERIC: Yes all of those guys are awesome. The Watching Dead guys. Bald Move guys. I remember the Dallas Roberts interview. Who plays Milton. Only because I got to act a little scene with him which was fun. We got to play a little role of let’s go on a run type thing so I am going to play that for you right here:
ERIC: Hey, Hey Milton.. Where’s James? I haven’t seen him around in a long time.
DALLAS: Uh I think he went out for supplies..we were pretty wiped out.
ERIC: Oh I just could of sworn that I saw him and a couple of other people leave back behind the north gate.
DALLAS: Yes, you know he didn’t ask. It is supply day. That is probably where he is, I am sure he will be back soon though.
ERIC: Well where is he? I mean he’s got a podcast to do
DALLAS: uh..on a run?
ERIC: On a run? What do you mean on a run? That doesn’t make any sense
DALLAS: uh…ahhh…he’s on a run
ERIC: Alright fine. I am going to go take of things myself. We are just going to do this podcast alone. Bye Milton
ERIC: yeah so that was one of my favorite moments.
JAMES: That was really cool
ERIC: I wish we could get him to the conventions.
JAMES: He just keeps saying no
ERIC: What is that about? I think that he would be a favorite. Chicks dig Milton. Nerds are cool. That’s why I am so cool.
JAMES: I think he would do really well. Yes nerds are cool. And I think it helps your status Eric.
ERIC: Oh boy, I mean we had….we started getting into the pros the professional guys. The main dudes
JAMES: The main guys
ERIC: We had Lenny James. This was like in a weeks time, less than a weeks time. We had Lenny James who plays Morgan who is a huge well respected actor. Then we get Andrew Lincoln the bomb diggity. Right? Were you nervous?
JAMES: You know I hadn’t been nervous in a while but then I had gotten really nervous with Andy. And remember we only had like 15 minutes with him and it was like 15 minutes…that’s it. I just remember being impressed with how courteous the guy was. He was just easy going and fun. Man, I think right there we kind of like…yeah….we have done…really done something here.
ERIC: Yes and that was right …that was March 11th.. We had already planned our finally party. We had already announced it for Season 3. I felt like we were getting in a groove. It was exciting because we had sold it out. What did we have…like 80 tickets sold and that was like a big deal.
JAMES: It was a big deal! We ended up selling like 110. It felt packed and big and a ton of people.
ERIC: Yes.. we will get into that in a second. Then we had Norman Reedus we did something really cool if I do say so myself. We did that contest beforehand which got a lot of traffic to our website and got a lot of the ladies talking. The contest was what? Send us your favorite picture with Norman or send us your favorite picture related to Norman. It’s on our website, it’s one of our highest topics.
JAMES: I think that was when we first started to learn just how big Norman Reedus is. We watched the show and Daryl Dixon is a huge character and everybody loves. He is a fan favorite. We met him when we were in Senoia the first time and all the girls were going crazy. I even said to him “You are really enjoying this aren’t you?” and he kind of just laughed at me saying. Now in retrospect OMG we didn’t realize how big he is.
ERIC: He came out twice for the fans that day. Spent a lot of time hanign out and talking. To have him on he was just really gracious and then the following week was Laurie Holden who had just literally been killed off….no she hadn’t been killed off. She had just been getting a lot of bad press.
JAMES: remember we went in saying that we were going to make it really light and fun from her. We got these two young girls from England who were just fanatics for her and I was going to take the position that I was just head over heels smitten with her and we really just wanted her to feel loved and appreciated. Everything had just been so negative towards her, about her character, but of course she is the one that takes the brunt of it. You know, Andrea and the governor..how stupid. Andrea and Shane…she falls for the bad boy and now she is putting the prison at risk. All this stuff and people were just mean to her. Let’s just have fun
ERIC: We doted on her
JAMES: We did and
ERIC: She was the first cast member that we ever met when we arrived on set that November day . So we just wanted to love on her and she really appreciated that
JAMES: She did and then we saw her 8 months later at the first convention and the first thing she said to me was that was one of my most favorite interviews ever I needed it
ERIC: She was about to head out to Europe. Obviously at that point she knew that she had been killed off and died. So uh it was good therapy for her and we were happy to do that. Then we had several really really great interviews and then we had our finale party at Easter. Easter weekend in Newnan
JAMES: Newnan just outside of Senoia
ERIC: We had our whole family there. I remember how crazy nervous we were wanting everything to come off just right. We came off such a high that night or that next day. I remember that relief and that exhilaration that we had just done something…
JAMES: Well we secretly knew we had Melissa McBride coming and nobody else knew that. Daniel Thomas May and E. Roger Mitchell came and we announced that and we were going to watch this finally on our 12X24foot screen with 110 people
ERIC: At the Alamo in Newnan
JAMES: And we knew that Melissa was coming and she was late
ERIC: She was.. we kept looking back
JAMES: She showed up what? Half way into the episode?
ERIC: No she didn’t show up until the end didn’t she?
JAMES: It was close
ERIC: It was pretty much over
JAMES: I was asking Daniel “Can you text her?” I had her email and she wasn’t responding and then out of…Jayden waves from the back and she was hanging out in the back with Jayden and Alex- those are our sons- and we bring her up and she gets up and watches the last few minutes and then she didn’t even want to get up on stage and do the interview with us. I don’t think she knew what to expect from us but she was great
ERIC: Very gracious
JAMES: She got up with us and did a live podcast along with DTM and E. Roger Mitchell that had just been killed
ERIC: They were! They had just watched themselves die
JAMES: Which was really cool. But that was like wow we kind of did something different
ERIC: It was a step
JAMES: That night people were already asking if we were going to be doing a premiere party. That is when I first met Daniel. He had been on our podcasts
ERIC: He sounded amazing. He was the only one that had a professional microphone
JAMES: right, because he does books on tape so the guy lives by his voice. So I met Daniel and we hit it off really well and I turned up to help him go to Orlando to do a convention.
ERIC: Right because you guys were talking, you had thought about doing more convention stuff.
JAMES: Well, talking to these guys and I think somebody had asked about an appearance for one of them and I said that I would see what I could do
ERIC: Because you are an attorney and that is what you do
JAMES: I was going to help Daniel get down to Orlando and that is what sparked the whole thought that you and I could do a convention
ERIC: So you went down in May
JAMES: And we had already announced that we were going to do a premiere party
ERIC: we did and we pre sold 200 tickets to it and you came back from that thing and you were like “ I think that we could do a convention”
JAMES: It wasn’t like a convention. It was more like we could do it on a bigger scale.
ERIC: Like a conference or something
JAMES: Like a big giant fan meet up
ERIC: Um and… hahaha
JAMES: And I am sitting there and Norman Reedus was supposed to be there and he cancelled. But his manager Sean Clark was there so I went down and talked to Sean and I am like “Look this is what I think I am going to do. Do you think this is something you are interested in?” I don’t think that Sean gave me much attention honestly. I think he probably hears it all the time. Who is this guy? Oh wait..
ERIC: We have an interruption
JAMES: Is it a ghost?
“Happy 100th episode James and Eric I am not making you any cake but at least you have your beers so you can put a candle in it”
ERIC: That was my wife everyone. Thank you honey for the well wishes. All right..
JAMES: Alright so we are talking convention ..so this is kind of where the convention got sparked. I came and said that I think that we can do this. You being the entrepreneur.. I like to throw that word around.. were like we could use some crowd sourcing.
ERIC: Was kickstarter my idea?
JAMES: Yes it was
ERIC: It freaked us all out!
JAMES: Yes it did freak us all out. Freaked you out to the point of quitting
ERIC: One of my several quits
JAMES: We started the convention and we actually worked with the Westin. We needed $70,000 to put this thing on. If we could get a quarter of it we should be able to do it. So we started that Kickstarter for $15,000. We had a lot of secondary and third cast and then we got Lauren Cohan to agree to do the convention
ERIC: Which she ended up cancelling last minute
JAMES: Last minute. But it kept growing from there.
ERIC: We only had 2,000 raised with 2 weeks to go and we needed $15,000 or we weren’t getting anything. That’s another time that I quit.
JAMES: That was the first time you quit
ERIC: No I think that was number 2 or 3. I can’t remember
JAMES: No it was first because I remember thinking that I was finally getting some dialogue with Sean Clark and I kept telling you to hang on we were going to get him and halfway through Kickstarter we ended up getting Nicotero. I felt like getting Nicotero was going to give us the credibility that we needed to get Norman and it did. We got him.
ERIC: We could announce Norman and I think the thing that was awesome we did was daily contest. We picked a winner every day. We ended up getting like 160 supporters, initial backers on Kickstarter. We are forever grateful and you are forever listed in our About Us page so it was..I remember how elated I was. You and Jayden had just come back from seeing Paul McCartney is concert. I was picking you guys up and halfway through your journey you called me and said “ We got it!” and we celebrated. It was the best feeling
JAMES: You know it’s …what’s cool is that we still get those moments. What is crazy we won’t even be a year old when we get down there to do #2. What was it? October 30- November 2? Something like that? I still get so excited when we get a guest we weren’t expecting. This is just so much fun
ERIC: We need that though. Those kind of moments. It is funny looking back. It was just a little over a year ago. We were coming off the Summer break we had nothing to do. There was no Walking Dead so that is how we spent our Summer… preparing for The Walking Dead and the convention.
JAMES: I would sit over here with you and we would just work. We would work on stuff that we didn’t even know what we were working on.
ERIC: Let’s talk about the podcast that we did during that time. I know that we talked a lot about Walker Stalker Con at that time. We had some other memorable interviews like asthma boy you remember Parker Wierling. We did our Walker Stalker Con announcement June 14th and we had Asthma Boy June 21st then we kept talking about Kickstarter and you went to SDCC and you had a live event with Jason from Walking Deadcast.
JAMES: Travis Love and DTM and Theo Crane and Nick Gomez
ERIC: Prison Gang
JAMES: and Tyler Chase
ERIC: You guys were out there all having a good time.That is where you met Scott Gimple because they had just announced the new show runner.
JAMES: They did and ran into Gregg on the floor and Gimple was with him. That was really cool
ERIC: That is when we did right after that we did the first Shandy cast
JAMES: Just before that we did the first promotional video. The back pack…hitchhiker
ERIC: Was that right?
JAMES: Yes Gimple brought it up. He talked about it with Gregg and they wanted to recreate it.
ERIC: I am surprised we haven’t had more views on that. I mean I know that we had several thousand views but …
JAMES: I think a lot of people haven’t seen it because it is not fresh and we didn’t promote it
ERIC: That was just fun.. Me playing Michonne and you playing Rick and my son playing the hitchhiker. Our two younger kids eating the dead people on the side of the road as zombies. It was a lot of fun
JAMES: that is the stuff that I love that we get to do. Just spend some time being stupid and I think it is not for everybody. There are people that want to watch and listen to The Walking Dead and come to our cons they want to meet the actors they just want straight panels they don’t want any of this peripheral fun stuff that we do. They think it is stupid
ERIC: That is the minority though
JAMES: Yes, but that is who we are that is always who we will be moving forward. I know and you know that there are things we can’t talk about but there are some really amazing things when we start Season 5 that we will be breaking and announcing. I don’t think we ever imagined that when we started a podcast about The Walking Dead how much we would be a part of it
ERIC: We had no idea
JAMES: We aren’t a part of the show let’s just be clear but how much we are just being a voice of the fans
ERIC: The Walking Dead family
JAMES: Right creating the family and also creating a place where everybody can come together. It is just unreal. I think that when it is all said and done and there is an article in an encyclopedia about The Walking Dead there will be a part about The Walker Stalkers and that’s the cool thing. I never imagined that we would have any type of impact but look where we are
ERIC: Right…Well we have had some bad experiences on the podcasts as well. What are some of your least favorite…well maybe not least favorite but some of our worst moments. My worst was the beer cast
JAMES: Why the Beer Cast?
ERIC: It was funny but it was really dumb. We were so dumb. I had never been more drunk on a podcast. It was stupid fun
JAMES: Here is the one thing. We have always been the PG Walking Dead podcast. Over time we have become the PG 13 podcast. I don’t think that we will ever be the R rated podcast. We have now mixed it up. When we have gone toward the PG 13 side we have pissed off some people that are very conservative in their listenership to us. We have said some things- we don’t need to get into specifics about what they are
ERIC: I have got loose lips…periodically I get loose in the lips
JAMES: You do…. I drop…I cuss now and you
ERIC: I make controversial statements periodically
JAMES: I think that is kind of the stuff…I don’t think those are bad moments but I think you and I both want to please people all the time and that is a good thing and I think that we want to make everybody happy
ERIC: We get upset when everybody isn’t happy
JAMES: We realize now that we will never please everybody. I think those are kind of bad moments. I think some others…the toughest moments for me the most frustrating was the Rooker interview. I felt like why do you agree to do the interview if you don’t want to do the interview. It seems to me that there was one other interview that the person we interviewed was just kind of not interested at all. It was like why are you doing an interview with us if you have no interest at. I don’t think it was the main cast I think it was like somebody secondary.
ERIC: I don’t know. That is not anybody that I really remember. The only one that I remember we had on the podcast that I wished we had talked more with.. or actually..the biggest disappointment to me was that we had this really amazing amazing interview with Melissa McBride that most people don’t know about because of a stupid technical glitch that just totally… I couldn’t fix. I paid 100bucks to a service. They were able to fix about 30% of it.
JAMES: You know she was willing to come back on and do it again
ERIC: We will have her on again
JAMES: You know another moment is Jenna Moraska from Survivor. She did a post episode show with us and I tell you what this girls knows Walking Dead and can talk about everything. We sat there and everything was fine with Eric’s computer and when we got it the audio was one sided. It was just us and not her. If she still listens to us it would be amazing. She was furious! “How does this happen?” It happens. Here is the thing when you do a live show and people listen to you people hear you. That is a different mechanism than what is recording it. We could hear and talk but the recording mechanism failed. I would love to have her back on. She was amazing.
ERIC: She was amazing. We do need to have her. We thought that we should have her co-host with us. We were thinking it was that good. I think she signed with E
JAMES: She does their morning something…
ERIC: She got a great gig. Anyway those were some pretty tough failures on our part.
JAMES: I don’t think there is anything else that is terrible moment
ERIC: But some of my other favorite moments and maybe we disagree with this but I really enjoy the instant reactions that we have had over the course.
JAMES: I like the dialogue but I hate the technology like when we are sitting there and it is silent and we are waiting for somebody to say something. It just…
ERIC: Or it is like delayed or there is an echo
JAMES: or when the person is just lousy.
JAMES: let’s go to so and so and we are looking at each other (snore sounds) oh so glad we picked this person it’s not that we want to discourage you guys from calling but it is to encourage you guys to come up with better questions. [laughs] better thoughts
ERIC: We definitely come off from a high most of the time after the instant reactions and we are going to still do the instant reaction podcasts but um…I think we will just keep improving it and working on it and keep making it better. You guys are awesome and that is one thing I enjoy is kind of celebrating with fans. One of the best moments you had was the one talking about Daryl being gay
JAMES: Well that’s just kind of a crack pot theory
ERIC: That was from the last episode of season 4
JAMES: and low and behold Kirkman comes out and makes a statement about it and I feel vindicated. Not that it was a crack pot theory but there was enough circumstantial evidence that kind of supported it. I think that the none fanatical Daryl people kind of though “ I kind of see it” but the fanatical female Norman Reedus/Daryl Dixon fans with their blinders on….I was terrible
ERIC: I know. You were thrown in the doghouse especially Cheri. Let’s just give a shout put to Cheri Morford who will not forgive you for that.
JAMES: I think one of the things that pissed people off about me was that I felt that a lot of the episodes were just fillers. Filler episodes. Of course had this huge argument. “These are more character driven and we are getting more back story and character development” It was like great but the episode still sucked. It drove a lot of people crazy but it was really good criticism of last season. I think that everybody is still kind of blending in the 4 seasons together. Last season was a tough season..the first half.
ERIC: You know another thing that happened last season was that we talked a lot more about the comics. We both read the comics and I think that a lot of people didn’t like that we were talking about spoilers
JAMES: I am going to tell people, we are going to be talking a lot more about the comics. I think we will make them more segmented when we talk about the comic and then we can talk about how the comic then relates to the show then nobody gets spoiled. But
ERIC: We don’t like spoilers like the ones that announce what is going to happen
JAMES: No, No but we are now done with Season 4 and you have had 10 years to read the comics
ERIC: Exactly, Exactly some thing is going to happen. It is not a spoiler..it is a theory
JAMES: and you are listening to a Walking Dead podcast we should be able to freely talk about the comics tothis point.
ERIC: Exactly of course. The thing that people think… we are affiliated with the show because we do the convention. We are not at all. We are completely separate from AMC but we also ..people think that we have some insider information about what is going to happen.
JAMES: We don’t and I am sure that AMC feels that we are the last people that should get any of that information.
ERIC: Exactly because we are going to be talking about it and I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know anything. Now there have been times when we have accidently heard something…
JAMES: Everyone has..we get spoiled the same way everybody else does. People throw up zombie Merle all over the internet
ERIC: It’s going to happen
JAMES: It happens
ERIC: We were pissed when that came out
JAMES: I mean my least favorite website is spoiling the dead
ERIC: You said you hated them
JAMES: The more I think about it I do. I just don’t like what they do. They are getting web clicks for attempting to ruin it for everybody
ERIC: I think it is low..
JAMES: I don’t think you are a supporter of the show if you want to ruin it for everybody
ERIC: It’s selfish
JAMES: It is totally selfish..
ERIC: Anyway bud..100 episodes. A lot of those have been filled with panel interviews that we have had. We play just about all of our favorite panels from Walker Stalker Cons past. We still have all of those Boston Walker Stalker Con panels that we haven’t played yet. So much coming
JAMES: Some of my favorite things that we have gotten to and we talked about this on the way back from checking out the facilities. Some of the things we have gotten to do with the podcast is just being able to give back charity wise. We raised a lot of money last Christmas. We helped out Nixon by getting his wheelchair lift into his van
ERIC: we pretty much got his whole van paid for
JAMES: We had a place that matched our dollars. I think we helped out about 15 families that was like over 60 kids that we got gifts for Christmas because of the podcast and the conventions. Amazing
ERIC: This is why we/I get excited about doing what we get to do. Just this week I heard about a friend of ours that has a degenerative disease that will eventually go blind and deaf and will lead to an early death. He is a huge Walking Dead fan his mom has texted Krissy at least 10 time since then sobbing crying “just told my son what is what he is going to get to do that weekend in Atlanta” we love doing that kind of stuff
JAMES: It really is the coolest thing we get to do. You are going to make me cry because honestly you made me cry when we got up to do our first panel in Atlanta. Just getting to do this. At the end of the day remember we get to put this on and connect with all these people with a show they love and the actors they love. That there is amazing But then we have people coming from Make- A- Wish from other types of organizations that help other individuals. We let in active service members in for free. It is just huge respect for what ya’ll do. It is phenomenal. We will continue to do this for as long as we are allowed to or until someone tells us to stop. That is the best thing about this. It is exhausting. I think that I posted this to someone today. It is exhausting but when we get there it is going to be so worth. It is amazing what we get to do this year
ERIC: Not to mention honestly some of the friendships and relationships we have made on or core volunteer team. Last year at this time we knew no one that was volunteering for us. We had only met them at the finally party
JAMES: No most of our core volunteers only started to help us after the premier party. Remember Robin and Brad came up and they were going to help us set up because we knew them. Then turns out Brad leads volunteers and Robin is the convention floor manager now.
ERIC: Guthas leads our press
JAMES: And none of these people did this stuff before. They have pure passion like us and they love to do it and we are in debt to them for their efforts and their service.
ERIC: It is just so much fun to have these people in our lives and get to know them. So another…what is going to be in store for the next 100 episodes of The Walker Stalkers
JAMES: You have been talking a lot about a re-watch of season 4. We got to get on it. Our mission is to watch the first 4 episodes. So when you get back episodes 1-4 will be watched and we can come back next Sunday night.
ERIC: Yes next Sunday night lets talk like this.
JAMES: Let’s get back to our regular Sundays. We have got some huge stuff to announce
ERIC: Finalizing some announcements
JAMES: In the next 3 weeks?
ERIC: Probably yes
JAMES: We will be able to announce it. Some new things for us specifically for the podcast
ERIC: A new pretty major sponsorship
JAMES: I would say more partner really. It’s amazing what is going to come from all of this. We will be excited to share that. Probably…we are 4 weeks away. We will have our first set of interviews with the cast. Lauren Cohen is on the list. She has made us a promise that she will be the first one to be on this season. We are going to hold her to that
ERIC: AMC is going to allow them
JAMES: I have already seen a few interviews but we are going to wait. We don’t really want to talk to them if they can’t talk about anything so we will hold off.
ERIC: We have a whole bunch of celebrities that are going to be coming on and I think we are going to up the way we do our podcast
JAMES: We will do biweekly for sure. Sunday night we will have our reaction and midweek we will have a preview and cover other things in the Walking Dead world, comics, toys,
ERIC: We are going to do some reviews. I did an interview with Hacksaw Jack by myself, just a tester. Which we will do again when you are around and he will be our TellTale games review.
JAMES: you and I have to get on that. That is one of the areas that we have been lacking in.
ERIC: Game playin..
JAMES: I did see that in a couple of weeks it comes out on XBOx one which is what I own..
JAMES: Hello tell tale can you ship it to us…
ERIC: So good stuff man…Congrats on 100
Clink of glasses
ERIC: Cheers to you and I am going to finish the last bit of my shandy…
JAMES: I beat you to it..I finished
ERIC: You finished your last bit of Jack Daniels or Whiskey …whatever
ERIC: Alright man that is the end of our podcast…a couple of things to mention. Walker Stalker Con live, live experience if you guys haven’t checked that out yet
JAMES: If you guys can’t make it to Atlanta WSClive.com 20 bucks get you all panels and exclusive one on one interview room where you get to ask the questions in Atlanta this year. It is great opportunity for you to interact and of course walkerstalkercon.com and the podcast is Thewalkerstalkers.com. Be a part of it this year guys. We really want you to be an interactive part of the con and the live experience and of course as always the podcast
ERIC: That’s right and if you get a chance go to ITunes and write a review. We have thicker skin now so if you want to be critical that’s fine but it doesn’t matter. Give us a review and a rating.
JAMES: Where are Buzz H?
ERIC: he probably still listens waiting for us to talk about him. So go ahead and write a review on ITunes. That’s it guys and here’s to another 100 thanks to you!
JAMES: Here’s to another 1000…pressure is on
ERIC: Take care…bye