In February, Skybound announced that Ultimate Fighting Championship co-founder David Isaacs would become President of Skybound EXP, the entertainment company’s live events and experiential marketing subsidiary. Skybound publishes comic books through Image Comics and includes all of Robert Kirkman’s (‘The Walking Dead’) work.
Skybound’s extremely popular ‘The Walking Dead Escape’ – an immersive zombie obstacle course experience for diehard ‘Dead’ fans – is now in its third year at San Diego Comic-Con. For more on the history of the experience and what’s new for this year, we spoke with Isaacs, who is managing the execution for the first time:
LR: Why have you and AMC created this experience at Comic-Con each year? How popular has it been?
David Isaacs: We created The Walking Dead Escape so that our fans could go from reading (the comic and novels), watching (the TV series) and playing (the videogame) The Walking Dead, to actually being immersed in the world of The Walking Dead. It takes the theoretical question “What would I do in a Zombie apocalypse?” and puts it to the test. It’s been very popular it’s first two years at Comic-Con – in fact it was voted favorite event of the Con – that’s why we are coming back for year three!
LR: How do you think this gives fans a way to experience ‘The Walking Dead’ in a unique way?
Isaacs: When you go through ‘The Walking Dead Escape,’ you are immersed in our world. You don’t always have time to think – you have to react and then keep going to survive.
LR: Have you seen any reaction to the experience on social media? Has it helped the show grow it’s audience at all?
Isaacs: We’ve seen tremendous growth in social media – check out out #TWDE and all the go pro videos on YouTube.
LR: What’s new for this year?
Isaacs: We’ve really added to the theatrical elements – there’s a story and an arc and things go haywire…and so it’s much more like the rest of the ways fans experience ‘The Walking Dead.’
LR: Anything else?
Isaacs: It’s really the ultimate for ‘The Walking Dead’ fans. Where else can you get made up by Greg Nicotero’s KNB EFX (they also create the Walkers for the series) or see how you’d fare in a real world zombie apocalypse?