James Frazier and Eric Nordhoff, hosts of “The Walker Stalkers” podcast, never set out to become authorities within the fandom of “The Walking Dead.” It just sort of happened by accident.
As devoted followers of the hit AMC series, the two friends and neighbors were content just watching the show on Frazier’s basement movie theater in his suburban Nashville home. But when an opportunity arose to travel to Georgia for a chance to spend the day on the set with the cast of “The Walking Dead,” they just couldn’t pass it up.
After getting the opportunity of a lifetime, the two zombie fanatics decided to take their love of the show to the next level by developing “The Walker Stalkers” podcast, which has become a hit among fans. Frazier knew they were on to something big after director, co-executive producer, and famed special effects makeup artist Greg Nicotero agreed to be a guest on the podcast, which has since featured many of the show’s cast and crew members.
“Getting him on kind of gave us some instant credibility and it kind of snowballed from there,” Frazier told Boston.com in a recent interview. “It just grew and grew, to the point where we thought we could maybe do some sort of watch party. We did it for the finale that year.”
The watch party, which also featured an appearance by Nicotero, turned out to be a huge success for the duo, spawning what would become the “Walker Stalkers Con,” which Frazier calls a “bigger version of a fan meet-up.”
“It just took off into something bigger than we thought it’d ever be,” Frazier said.
Aided by supporters on Kickstarter, the pair held their first convention in Atlanta last year and received a ton of love from fans of the show. The con, which is set to come to Boston June 13-15, will return to Atlanta in October before going to Paris in December.
Frazier and Nordhoff, who also have convention dates set for San Francisco and Chicago next year, were surprised by the massive response by fans.
“We quickly found that there’s this kind of subculture of people that were just hungry for more ‘Walking Dead,’” Nordhoff said. “That’s kind of who rose out to join us in putting on these conventions.”
While the con has gotten the attention of fans across the globe, the pair doesn’t have any plans to turn a profit from the events.
“It’s all fan-run, it’s all fan-oriented. It’s put on by the fans,” Frazier said. “We’re just really taking a little bit of the lead on this, but this is not something that we intended to become nor will it ever be corporate in any way.”
As the pair continues to tour the country, Nordhoff, in particular, is excited to take the convention to Boston this weekend.
”I lived in Boston for two years. I lived in Sudbury and that was during the formative years where I remember realizing that I’m actually really a nerd,” Nordhoff said. “ It’s kind of cool that were are able to come to Boston and come full circle.”
While Frazier may not have ties to the city, he’s equally as excited to bring the “Walker Stalkers” to the Hub.
“We had other cities in mind that were maybe bigger and could support cons, but it’s one of those cities that we felt like had a vibe and that, I think supports comic books and nerd culture really well,” Frazier said. “People like ‘The Walking Dead’ there, and that’s what we really wanted to do. It’s one of the places that really loves the show.”Matt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @MattchidaMMA.