With The Walking Dead back on TV, fans are now watching our scattered heroes as they struggle to regroup in the wake of the Governor's midseason prison attack. When I visited the show's set last year (as detailed in SFX 244 – pick up the issue digitally on Newsstand for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch , Zinio , Google Play , Kindle or Nook ), I discovered that the town in which Michonne, Carl, and Rick have been foraging is actually just around the corner from the road used for the Governor's third season home -- Woodbury. In reality, the town is Senoia, Georgia, and Woodbury's main street is a charming, newly refurbished little boulevard lined with eateries and stores, the most prominent of which, for Walking Dead fans, is the Woodbury Shoppe.
The Woodbury Shoppe is a zombie lover's mecca, chock full of all manner of Dead trinkets and souvenirs, including some unavailable elsewhere. Chief among these is the "Welcome to Woodbury -- A Walker Free Community" t-shirt, available in green, grey, or pale blue. Also unique to the shop is my favorite item, a small leather keychain designed to resemble one of the walker ears that everyone's favorite redneck Daryl Dixon used to wear on his necklace. Buy one, set it in a little box filled with red-paint-dappled cotton, and give it to someone you love!
Daryl's popularity is pretty evident from a quick glance around the Woodbury Shoppe, which -- alongside the action figures, mugs, messenger bags, and boxer shorts -- also offers cardboard standees of the bad boy with a heart of a gold, and earrings in the shape of his trademark crossbow. Of course Michonne's popularity may be gaining, as one can also purchase a full-size replica of her razor-sharp katana sword for only two hundred and ninety US dollars. Jawless walker pets not included.
If you pay the Woodbury Shoppe a visit, be sure to note the hallway to your right as you enter: it sports signatures -- and, in the case of zombie mastermind Greg Nicotero, a doodle -- from the Walking Dead's cast and crew. And when you're done shopping, stop by the bar next door -- the Southern Ground Social Club - for a down-home style meal and beer served in a genuine mason jar. It's owned by the same fellow who owns last year's now demolished prison set. Tell 'em Rick sent ya!
The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the US on Sunday nights and Fox in the UK on Monday nights at 9pm.