— TWDDEADTALK.com (@twdtalk) October 25, 2016
In Memoriam REST IN Peace Vernon you were a Huge Fan
Written by Skot Pierson our own Zombie Guru
For those of you who don’t already know, Vernon Newton lost his year long battle with cancer.
For those who didn’t know, it was for him that I shaved my head last year as a part of the ‘Brave The Shave’ event, in which all my hair (well, except for my ‘ZZ Chops’ of course) went first to trimmers, and subsequently to Wigs4Kids. Gina Jones shaved her head in support as well.
Vernon Newton was the driving force behind one of the largest and BEST Walking Dead groups on facebook, The Walking Dead Fan Base. He set out to do it nearly three years ago, disgusted with sites that had no morals as to what they posted from day to day. And so, to this end, he masterfully put together as merry a band of misfits as EVER graced an Admin list, and thus, the Fan Base was born.
Though our numbers top out at over 60,000 strong now, he found time to make birthday memes for individual members, all the while coming up with new and innovative ways for us to enjoy our series.
With everything from ‘Creech Creates’ and ‘Zombiepalooza Radio’ to the ‘Walking Hope’ as platforms, he garnered the best in actors, both anonymous-walkers as well as mainstream stars.
Eventually they came, not just from TWD, but rather from all aspects of the zompoc creation and the zombie genre as a whole, from ‘Z Nation’ to all the theatrical releases of recent years.
They came, I believe, because the spirit of Vernon’s group reflects how they themselves see the show: A fantastic combination of life and death and UNdeath, as they weave in and out of our characters lives, intertwining within the lives of the people in the series.
As Yvette Nichole Brown once said:
“It’s not about the zombies… it’s about the people.”
However, be it creators, actors or fans, it is certainly no lie to say that there is always something going on in the Fan Base, be it getting lost in the endless posts sent in by fans, getting locked into the analysis-mode of trying to figure out where the writers want to go THIS time, or simply having a brain-scratcher over in the trivia contests. He held contests and none of the admins were ever gifted a prize from any of the contests!! He played zombie movies on Sundays when the walking dead was in Hiatus.
The result? An addictive group that has only gotten better with each passing year.
Another benefit to Vernon’s group is that, if you have not seen an episode on the particular Sunday, you really don’t have to worry; you see it usually takes 48 to 72 hours for all time-zones of the Fan Base to see an episode (we have members from all around the world), and so spoilers are kept to a single post so as not to ruin your viewing pleasure.
One thing that Vernon has NEVER sanctioned or tolerated in his group are spoilers they were deleted and the member banned. He respected AMC & every member of the cast and crew by doing this. He also would not allow any bashing post against a cast member. He ran one of the BEST damn groups on Facebook, and he did it by BEING A FAN, rather than give in to the over hyping of every spoiler for personal gain as many have done, both before and since.
Likewise, there is NO bullying of members in his group either. Bullies are instantly removed and banned, leaving the Fan Base a place where you could get lost for hours looking through the scores of posts from other fans, trivia courtesy of whatever admin happens to be on at the time, and the occasional contest or two.
I can say honestly, and without any fear of contradiction, that I am PROUD to have known Vernon Newton.
I want to add that all the admins feel the same as Skot & Vernon never gave up on the group even when his body was tired and frail with cancer he kept the group going and thriving he was there everyday to help a fellow fan or promote someone who was trying to make The Walking Dead Even Bigger than what it has become.