Just What the Heck is Going Wrong With Walker Stalker Con/Fan Fest?

Walker Stalkers LLC has run a number of conventions both here in the US and overseas under the Walker Stalker Con, Heroes & Villains, and Fan Fest labels. But recent events have left many in the con scene wondering what the heck is going on with the James Frazier run company.

Over the last year we’ve seem some high profile event cancellations. While refunds have been slowly trickling in, some people are still waiting. Additionally, its been confirmed that photo op provider Celeb Photo Ops has ended their association with Walker Stalkers LLC.

This does not exactly paint a great picture of the organization.

None of that compares, of course, to what’s been happening with their London based events. In the United States these events are run by the Tennessee registered Walker Stalkers LLC. The London based events were likewise initially run by the Frazier owned “Walker Stalkers Limited.” Last year the UK registered company declared bankruptcy though, and is currently in liquidation. The London conventions are now run by “FanFest Events Limited” using the Fan Fest, Heroes & Villains, and Walker Stalker Con names under license. FanFest Events Limited, which lists Michael Guthas as its director, was founded at almost the exact same time that Walker Stalkers Limited filed for bankruptcy.

Effectively Walker Stalker Con shed its debt by reincorporating under a new name — which, while perfectly legal, does not indicate a stable financial future for the the London events.

We reached out to Walker Stalkers LLC while writing this piece, but have not yet received a response. Honestly they’re not an easy group to get ahold of, as the Walker Stalker Con Facebook page does not accept incoming messages (and the visitor posts are suspiciously blank), and the Facebook page linked on the FanFest Events FAQ page doesn’t appear to exist.

I ended up emailing the organization at their publicly linked “info@fanfest.com” email address, even though I was initially hesitant to. You see Fanfest dot com has some… issues. I verified that Walker Stalkers LLC still owns the domain before emailing, but it appears that the website was hacked and now redirects any visitors to download some pretty nasty malware. And while this certainly isn’t the con’s fault (web sites get hacked all the time), the fact that it hasn’t been fixed is definitely worrisome.

You shouldn’t go there, but here’s what happens if you do:

I mean, if the company website is sending people to malware and no one’s noticed, what else is going wrong?

There’s a rumor on Reddit that the US corporation has filed for bankruptcy, but we haven’t been able to find anything in PACER to confirm this. In all likelihood this is the UK situation being conflated with the organization as a whole. There are additional claims in that thread, but while they may be interesting speculation, we have not been able to confirm them.

While their cons continue to push forward, it’s not exactly looking great for the future of Frazier’s organization. While a recovery is certainly a possibility, they are currently at a tipping point. Walker Stalkers LLC will need to do a lot to win back the trust of con goers, and it certainly won’t be an easy task.

Update 4/29 (6pm): While Walker Stalkers LLC has still not responded to our request for comment, the organization did post this public statement earlier today on Facebook:

They still have not removed the malware from their website.

Update 5/1 (9am): Just a minor update to mention that the Fanfest dot com no longer seems to be directing to malware, and is now just resolving to a blank page.

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also writes and draws the webcomics UnCONventional and The Chronicles of Crosarth, which leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”