JamesVallesteros: Blog https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog en-us (C) 2019 JamesVallesteros.com james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:06:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:06:00 GMT Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con 2016 https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/11/stan-lees-los-angeles-comic-con-2016---jv-review

Stan Lee's Los Angeles Comic Con 2016
October 28-30, 2016
Los Angeles Convention Center

November 11, 2016
by James Vallesteros

Stan Lee’s annual comic book and horror gala made its way to the Los Angeles Convention Center on another Halloween weekend. 2016 marks the first year of its rebrand as Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con, formerly Stan Lee’s Comikaze. In previous years, it has become a hit with fans and draws thousands of people to downtown LA. The tradition continues as the 3-day extravagant is filled with eager fans wanting to display their creative cosplays and industry artists and writers showcasing their upcoming projects.

As in previous years, this convention has been heavily catered to the fans of geek culture and entertainment. Although it only housed one side of the convention center, LACC made its presence known in the South Hall. Driving down on Figueroa Street on that Saturday, your eyes are met with colorful costumes from all types of fandoms lining up to get inside. Inside the main lobby is a sea of characters coming to life. Attendees are greeted with smiles and photo-ops with the cosplayers’ creative costumes. Scattered throughout the lobby are staff personnel that kept a sense of order in a high-crowded area.

Upstairs in the exhibit floor is where all of the artists, celebrities, and vendors can be found. There were a good variety of vendors to check out that can offer satisfaction to any nerd’s needs. Perhaps the most engaging aspect of any comic convention is the opportunity to meet some of the people behind it. Whether it be an artist, creator or writer, you are likely to not just meet them, but also have the opportunity to ask them questions. One of the biggest differences of LACC from other fan conventions is that their panels are displayed on the mainstage of the exhibit floor. Panels are not hidden away in closed doors but in the wide open as you are walking on the exhibit floor.

With so many fan conventions happening on almost a weekly basis throughout the country, one would assume the ticket prices to go up as a way to compete with others. However, the organizers of LACC are clever to bring a large number of vendors to ensure ticket prices remain low. Fans are able to enjoy and celebrate with other like-minded individuals without breaking the bank.

Fan conventions are growing and so are the attendees. Each year the numbers continue to climb and it is not looking to move backwards at anytime soon.  The one thing that was time-consuming for attendees is picking up their badges on the day of. Perhaps mailing out the badges to pre-sales can trim out the lines leading up to the entrance door. Nonetheless, the staff was able to move the crowd rather quickly.

The cosplay scene is perhaps one of main features of any con. It is also the most enchanting. Fans are able to display their love of a character through the art of cosplay. Whether it is an extravagant costume that took hours to complete or one that was quickly put together, the end result is the same…to celebrate the love for a character in their own special way. With our digital age, Social Media is splattered with some of the coolest costumes emanating from the convention. Thousands and thousands of photos are taken each day for keepsakes and even for professional use as photographers snap away to not only showcase the costumes, but to also sharpen their skills.

There were multiple events happening in Downtown LA as the League of Legends World Championship Finals were being held next door at the Staples Center. Intentional or not, it turned Downtown LA into a colossal celebration of nerd culture. Although it was a quite a sight to see so much spillover between events, it did create major congestion on the streets going to Downtown Los Angeles.

Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con is a strong get-together for fans to rejoice their geek lifestyle and a place to meet others who share the same fandoms. It is more intimate that other fan conventions. Attendees are able stand together instead of being separated in rooms during panel discussions. LACC is a major player in the con scene as proven with the climbing numbers each year. Each year just keeps getting bigger, better, and stronger. 2017 already has a date: October 27-29. Stay tuned for ticket details at www.stanleescomiccon.com.

 

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james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/11/stan-lees-los-angeles-comic-con-2016---jv-review Fri, 11 Nov 2016 11:08:56 GMT
Punk Spider-Verse Photoshoot - JamesVallesteros.com https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/9/punk-spider-verse-photoshoot It's been a while since I brought out the equipment to a non-convention event. This time I had the pleasure of doing a fun photoshoot with the duo of BBoySpiderman Cosplay and Maid of Might Cosplay. They brought out their awesome Punk versions of Spider-Man and Spider Gwen. Since the fictional characters are from New York City, I scouted out places here in Northern California that would closely resemble something out of the five burrows of New York. The location was a place that I've driven through countless of times and it embodied a scenery of the hustle and bustle of New York.
 

It was a bridge that goes over the freeway into the Bay Area's Railroad Transit (BART). It can easily be translated as a NY subway station on photos. After setting foot onto the bridge, we knew right away we would create some magical photos. The covered bridge gave the perfect environment for an off camera flash and we were able to capture images that played well with the location.
 

BBoySpiderman's Punk Spider-Man is one of the coolest Spidey costumes I've seen and Maid of Might's Punk Spider-Gwen was also a standout spectacle to the eye. Together, the cosplay couple easily translated magic for my camera to capture.
 

I will be coming back to this location for more shoots for costumes that calls for it. I have some great ideas with some cosplay friends of mine. If you want to do a shoot here with me, let's talk. Let's create magic for all to see.
 


 

Visit the gallery at http://www.jamesvallesteros.com/p904866079
 

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james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) bboyspiderman cosplay cosplayer gwen maidofmight marvel photography photoshoot spidergwen spiderman https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/9/punk-spider-verse-photoshoot Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:22:14 GMT
MiniBobaFett Unboxes July 2016 LootAnime by LootCrate https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/8/minibobafett-unboxes-july-2016-lootanime-by-lootcrate MiniBobaFett unboxes the LootAnime for July 2016 from LootCrate.

Start your own LootCrate subscription today at lootcrate.com/minibobafett

Save 10% with the code MINIBOBAFETT


]]> james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) lootanime lootcrate minibobafett https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/8/minibobafett-unboxes-july-2016-lootanime-by-lootcrate Tue, 02 Aug 2016 04:30:00 GMT Upcoming Cons for the remainder of 2016 https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/8/upcoming-cons-for-the-remainder-of-2016 As we are more than halfway through the year 2016 already, the summer con season is just about done and fizzled out. But there are plenty more conventions that the fall will offer and I cannot wait to be at these events to see familiar faces and meet new ones.

Here is a list of conventions I will be attending for the remainder of 2016:

August 20-21: Stocktoncon - Stockton, CA
August 27-28: Heroes & Villains Fan Fest - San Jose, CA
September 17-18: Long Beach Comic Con - Long Beach, CA
October 28-30: Comikaze - Los Angeles, CA

Of course, there will be other cons that will pop up and I will be updating this list. I hope to see you guys there!
]]> james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/8/upcoming-cons-for-the-remainder-of-2016 Tue, 02 Aug 2016 04:21:16 GMT Anime Expo 2016 - JV Review https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/8/anime-expo-2016


 

Anime Expo 2016
July 1-4, 2016
Los Angeles Convention Center
 

 

July 14, 2016
by James Vallesteros
Photos by jamesvallesteros.com

For most part of the country, Americans spend the Fourth of July weekend with family in their backyards cooking up tasty BBQ items. In a certain part of Los Angeles, thousands of people stockpile the Convention Center on Figueroa Street to celebrate the nation’s largest Anime Convention, Anime Expo. Hitting a record breaking 100,000+ Unique and 305,000 Turnstile attendance, 2016 marked its first year to reach such phenomenal numbers.

Bringing guests from all over the world, Anime Expo, which is organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, attracted fans all over the country. Filling up the West and South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, attendees were treated to a heap of entertainment and cosplays along with the intense Japanese Culture inspired vendors, artists, and exhibitors. In order to accommodate this event’s growth, the Kentia Hall parking garage was converted to the Artist Alley. There was a lot to experience during this extravagant weekend and attendees were able to immerse themselves throughout four days.

 
@minibobafett as Sora from Disney/Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts 3 Video Game

One of the prominent changes made this year were to stop non-badge holders from entering the South Hall lobby area. In past Anime Expo’s, the lobby area was open to all and only the exhibit floor required badges. With the recent shootings in Orlando and Dallas just weeks prior to AX, it was necessary to enforce it. On a side note, many attendees were standing in zig-zag lines outside of the convention center to pick up their badges on Day 1. Some complained about wasting over two hours in line which could have been used to spend time inside the exhibit floor. Many attendees are open to the idea of having badges sent to their homes prior to the event to save themselves from standing hours in line in the hot July Los Angeles weather

 
The Fire Nation was hot at AX 2016.
@petahface as Fire Lord Ozai, @mikumouse21 and @nipahcos as The Banished Prince Zuko, and @disneycutiepie as Princess Azula

The enormous growth since the prior year, the staff of AX were equipped with knowledge and were able to maintain a safe environment for all. Staff kindly asked people to not block major common areas that were used to get from one place to another and sustained a level of professionalism in the process. A trait that is rarely seen at other conventions I have attended before.

Anime Expo is directed towards the promotion of Japanese inspired popular culture but all walks of life gathered to showcase their art in the form of cosplay, art and creativity. Cosplayers came out with top tier costumes for all to see and appreciate. Many of the craftsmanship to these costumes clocked in hours and hours of work. The love and inspiration of a certain character really brings out the creativity from someone as seen with their costumes. Attendees, photographers (pro or novice), snapped away with their phones or cameras to take home a piece of memory with them. Children enjoyed the cosplay scenery as most of the characters worn by cosplayers are not commonly seen in theme parks. It is a breath of fresh air to see an animated character come to life.

  
@disneycutie as Silk, @sabrinaspaceprincess as Sabrina (Pokémon), @princesssunshinee as Xion (Kingdom Hearts 3)

This year saw the world’s first Anisong World Matsuri event that featured an assortment of live music and experiential performances. Electronic pop icon DJ TeddyLoid provided music during AX’s fashion show alongside unforgettable performances from J-Pop band Dempagumi.inc. From premiers such as Makoto Shinkai’s “your name”, exclusive clips of season two of FLCL, and industry top dogs like Shoji Kawamori, Kenji Horikawa, and Nami Sano, Anime Expo provided a place for these creative people to gather and for fans to get a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) anime anime expo convention https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/8/anime-expo-2016 Sat, 16 Jul 2016 04:00:00 GMT
Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 Review https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/3/silicon-valley-comic-con-2016-review

 

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016

March 19-21, 2016

San Jose McEnery Convention Center

 

 

by James Vallesteros

March 27, 2016

Ever since Wondercon left the San Francisco Bay Area for the a more dominant market in Southern California’s Anaheim, nerds in California’s northern region have been waiting for a proper replacement for once was a staple of nerd gathering in the Bay Area. Enter Steve Wozniak and his venture for the inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con emanating at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

For years, the alternative was the annual Big Wow! Comic Fest in San Jose but as a fan convention attendee for several years, it didn’t have the feeling that Wondercon delivers because of the machine behind it. However, the inaugural event fulfilled the expectations, and it garnered positive reviews from the people I talked to during and after the event.

Perhaps one of the most prominent offering was bringing the main cast of Back to the Future to one place for fans to share their love and passion for the franchise. As the main attractions, it brought in many fans flocking to see their favorite time-travelers, Doctor Emmet Brown and Marty McFly. A replica of the time-travelling DeLorean was on display and fans were able to get photos with the Flux-Capacitor Powered time machine.

Fan Conventions have been around for years, but cosplay has become one of the most popular attractions. Although the cosplayers are not officially part of the guest list, they are indeed part of the show. Many cosplayers brought their A-Game and showcased their artsy and innovated ways of translating costumes from movies, comics, and television to real life.

Although the overall experience of SVCC was a success, there were a few things that attendees found to be overwhelming. The 3-Day Badge price was a major complaint having heard from others that it was too expensive for a first-time Fan Convention. The Parking situation in Downtown San Jose is horrible especially on Saturday. We spent more than an hour getting re-directed to finally get a parking space.

Overall, Silicon Valley Comic Con is a must-go Fan Convention. It has the star power and they deliver quality service inside the exhibit halls. Wondercon seems to be staying in Southern California but fans in Northern California are very content with SVCC. We look forward for next year and SVCC has quickly become of those “can’t-miss” conventions.

For the latest news about Silicon Valley Comic Con, you can visit the official website at www.svcomiccon.com.

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james@jamesvallesteros.com (JamesVallesteros) https://www.jamesvallesteros.com/blog/2016/3/silicon-valley-comic-con-2016-review Sun, 27 Mar 2016 23:00:00 GMT