Emerald City Comicon 2014

JV Review

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

Happy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

In book three of the Testing series, the United Commonwealth wants to eliminate the rebel alliance fighting to destroy The Testing for good. Cia is ready to lead the charge, but will her lethal classmates follow her into battle?

She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.

But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it's Graduation Day.

The Final Test is the Deadliest!

You can purchase Graduation Day at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
1 Winner will receive an ARC copy of Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau.

Click the Banner below for some awesome Giveaways.

Must 13+ to enter
*James Vallesteros is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#MiniBobaFett takes over Seattle (Video)

Here's a little video I put together of Jordan in his Mando Armor at Emerald City Comicon 2014.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: How I Met Your Mother - Series Finale

How I Met Your Mother - Series Finale

When FRIENDS ended in 2004, people desperately looked for a show to fill that void. The following year, a show debut that surely looked to be a potential replacement of our favorite 6 friends in New York City. Although Season 1 of How I Met Your Mother had elements similar to Friends, it certainly packed other elements that Friends lacked and it resulted as the #1 new comedy on television. I was instantly hooked on the show. The chemistry between these five actors were magical on the screen. The execution of the stories was something that viewers have never seen. The Ted and Robin debacle reminded us of Ross and Rachel, but only in a different light. From Season 1 through 9, my DVR religiously recorded 24 episodes a season and it was definitely the comedy show to watch.

Fast forward to Season 9 (the final season) and viewers will finally get to find out how Ted met the mother of his children. I totally threw out the notion of Ted and Robin ever getting back together because I felt that ship sailed two seasons ago. Still, I was curious as to how Ted met his wife. The 1 hour long finale had many expectations. I expected a lot of explanations. Why they haven't mentioned Ted's wife's name. Why Barney and Robin got married? They never seemed like they truly loved each other. As the minutes closed in at the 1 hour mark, we were finally getting answers.

I felt the last episode was rushed. They could've used the last season to make it worthwhile but it seemed the writers and producers decided to stuff all the things we have been waiting for in one hour. I was not a fan at how it ended. The empty glass that I have been waiting to be filled didn't even get a chance for a fill. The ending actually broke the glass and missed the chance of being one of the most memorable.


Emerald City Comicon 2014 - Seattle, WA

Emerald City Comicon is now over but there are plenty of memories from the Pacific Northwest's premier weekend of Nerdism and Geekery. It all happened over three days on March 28-30, 2014. ECCC's approach of mailing out badges or picking up badges from outside vendors was a great idea! We were able to step inside the showroom on Friday without having to line up to exchange tickets to badges. The fun began right as we went through the doors of the Washington State Convention Center, located in the heart of downtown Seattle. Security and the ECCC Minions were again very helpful and organized. Lines to go inside were done in orderly fashion. I've had my convention experience ruined before from terrible service but ECCC has never failed at that department.

There were many exclusives to hunt for at this event and they were selling out quick. Lines to the ECCC merchandise zig-zagged like a complicated maze but we managed to get our hands on some of the exclusive items. The ECCC program included a variant cover of The Walking Dead and a black plain lanyard to hold our badges. Of course I used my Darkhorse lanyard just because it looks way cooler.

ECCC 2014 Program Book

The showroom floor was packed of artists, vendors, and exhibitors. The booths were tremendously laid out for easy transport from one section to the next. Some of the premier booths like Dark Horse, DC, and BOOM! Studios provided lots of exclusives and awesome signings from their artists and writers.

Here are several exclusives we managed to get our hands on

Monsters & Dames 2014 Artbook.
Limited to 1150 individually numbered copies (we got #579). It is a collection of 80 pages of full-color, 9"x12"art featuring contributions from guests and artist of the 2014 Emerald City Comicon.

Adventure Time Mathematical Edition vol. 3 Hardcover ECCC Exclusive Variant.
This limited 500 copies variant cover by EK Weaver is written by Ryan North and multiple artist contributors. 

Adventure Time #25 ECCC Exclusive Variant featuring a famous album cover of a very famous Seattle band. Cover designed by Ian McGinty, written by Ryan North and art by Dustin Nguyen, Jess Fink, Jeffrey Brown, Jim Rugg, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb. Limited to 500 copies.

Here are a few comics that we were able to haul away.

One of the most memorable experiences for any convention is the clever and unique costumes that con-goers wear on the showfloor. I totally appreciate and give much respect to the hours that each and every cosplayer put in to the craftsmanship of their costume. Even the abundance of Deadpools and Finn The Human cosplays were just a joy to see. Some cosplays I've never seen were just tremendous. I saw a group of Survey Corps from the hit Anime/Manga, Shingeki no Kyojin, otherwise known as Attack on Titan. The Mikasa cosplay with the full 3DMG was simply amazing. And it wasn't just the young who were in full pledge cosplays, an elderly couple donned the garments of the spinach eating sailor, Popeye and his girlfriend Olive Oyl. Even Carl and Ellie Frederiksen from Disney/Pixar's UP made an appearance.

One of the main celebrity guests this year was Stephen Amell. He plays Oliver Queen on the hit CW show, Arrow. We had the pleasure to meet him last year at Wondercon during the DC booth signing with the show's cast. We are big fans of the character and also of the show so it was a no-brainer for us to see Stephen again. Lines to the photo-ops were handled professionally and the ECCC Minions made sure the whole experience fun and exciting. We were ecstatic when Stephen remembered my son from last year. Now that's what I call a real star! We also managed to line up for Kelly Hu's photo-op. I've always admired her work in films and voiceovers for cartoons. She was in awe at the sight of a mini Boba Fett and her expression in the photo totally showed it.

The signing areas for ECCC was also well-organized. Each ECCC Minions knew where and what time a guest was signing which made navigating the crowded area so much easier. Lines to the signing table zig-zagged from the middle aisle and it was always kept in order. Thank you ECCC for a tremendous job!

This year, my son went as Boba Fett once again. Unlike the year before, I tossed out all the store-bought garments and went full-pledge scratch-built the whole costume. From the helmet to the body armor, the gauntlets to the shoes, and the bodysuit to the jetpack, the countless hours I spent building his Mandalorian Armor was all worth it. I've learned so many things from crafting it together and it made me more of an admirer of people who passionately do this thing called, cosplay.

I also want to give a shout out to two people I met last year that I had the opportunity to meet once again. Rob V. - The passion you have for all things cool truly shows through how much you influence your sons. Mini Ironman was a star at ECCC. Erica G. - Thank you for liking all the silly pictures I post on Instagram. Your humble attitude shines genuinely bright just like an emerald.

Through the magical communication of Facebook, my son was fortunate to be invited and be part of a photoshoot by the Official Mandalorian Mercenaries. Seeing the little Mandalorian surrounded by other Mando Mercs was a topping on the cake for my overall experience at ECCC. Thank you, Talya R. and James B. We are forever thankful for your generosity and friendship.

Jordan as Mini Boba Fett

Bucket off and Honoring the father, Jango Fett

Mini Ironman & Mini Boba Fett

Kelly Hu, Olaf (Frozen)

Jordan with the Mandalorian Mercenaries

Mando Meet-up

Two tough Mandos.

With Super Cosplayer, Yaya Han.

A family that cosplay together, stays together.

I love the epic photobomb by Peter Pan!

Pyramid Head (Silent Hill), Catwoman (Erica G.)

Boba Fett shot first!

Always willing for a photo-op.

Anna & Elsa (Frozen)

Mini Doctors & Little Miss Vader

Elliott & E.T.

Pikachu, Ash, Mini Ironman, Deadpool & Mini Boba Fett

Jedi in sandals and Boba with a fan

Hanging out with the Mando Mercs

Skeletor, She-Ra, He-Man, Mini Ironman, Big Boba, Mini Boba, & Sonic

Ahsoka Tano (Snips)

501st Garrison Titan Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and R2-D2 (R2 Builders)

Weeping Angel (Dr. Who)

Han Solo

The Shredder and a pair of Assassins

The Power Rangers and Adventure Time Family

Author Frank Beddor and Scout Trooper & Ewok.

Jordan with a Mini Castiel (Supernatural)

Star Wars family and Disney Princesses

Despicable Me Evil Minion and G.I. Joe's Beachhead

Awesome Mikasa cosplay (Attack on Titan / Shingeki no Kyojin)

The Walking Dead's Glenn & Maggie. A couple of TK from Garrison Titan

Belle, Beast and Lord Darth Vader

We are already looking forward for next year. Emerald City Comicon is one of our favorite conventions to attend. The Pacific Northwest is very welcoming which is evident with all the nice people we have met in Seattle. ECCC remains to be on my top lists of events that is truly organized well. Lines to booth exclusives, photo-ops and autographs were well maintained. The panels, celebrities, guests, artists, fan tables, and exhibitors are amongst one of the best put together in a convention year in and year out. Thank you for a wonderful weekend in Seattle!