My first ever experience at Comic-Con International

By Tom Spiegel

Even if I have always been an avid movie and comic book fan since I have a memory, I had never really been graced with the opportunity to experience the San Diego Comic-Con due to various reasons. But this year was going to be different; my goal was to at least make it to the outskirts of the convention center and take loads of pictures of sweaties in full-blown cosplays. But what I got was a little bit better, just a tad shy of the full experience. While visiting my favorite video game shop, I encountered a nice lady employee who told me about a chance to work at the Con for a few days, suddenly getting paid to attend the event seemed like an excellent idea. The catch was that I would work as a security guard on the main entrance floor, without getting to go down to the exhibit hall. This was my first chance to actually get to say that I attended Comic-Con, so finally, I decided to go through with the experience. 


I gotta say, apart from the excruciating pain my feet went through during all four days of the Con, the experience was actually pretty amazing. I got to interact with thousands of sweaty fans whose faces told the story of a place like no other, a convergence that congregates hundreds of thousands of fans who love movies, comic books, and pop culture, who are mostly quite respectful for one and other. My post was at one of the main entrances in the registration area; I had to deal with people who wanted to go out of the building for various reasons and needed to be re-directed by yours truly in order to get to the other side. For the most part, I had absolutely no problems dealing with people who just wanted their freebie bags, their collectible pin, and limited edition Jack Kirby book with articles about his impressive career. Since I wasn't allowed on the main floor, that was the best I could aspire to get, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. 

I did attempt to sneak into the main floor, at first I did get past the security guards, but I miserably failed after only five minutes of walking in I was politely asked to leave the premises. It was worth the try; I got to take a picture of K2-SO from Star Wars: Rogue One. After that failed attempt, I knew that my main objective was to take as many cosplay pictures as I could, and that's exactly what I did. 

The Strong Cosplay Game

It's hard to imagine how much work goes into making most of the elaborate costumes that make it to Comic-Con, I got the pleasure of taking over 60 pictures that I share with you at the very top of this article. All the toddlers with their cosplay are the ones that get me every time. However, perhaps the most beautiful costumes are the ones I got to see an old couple dressed as Han and Leia, who were walking around the floor holding hands and looking cuter than anything I got to see during the whole weekend. I also got a chance to find a couple of celebrities who were walking across the room to get to a panel. One of them was legendary comic book sweaty John Schnepp who has a show on Collider called Heroes. He was nice to me when I recognized him but looked a bit rushed to get to a panel.

However, the other famous person I met was one of the most recognized film critics in recent history; his name is Scott Mantz. As soon as he realized I knew him, he was incredibly gracious and asked me to take out my phone for a selfie; it's cool when people who get famous don't let it get to their head just like Mantz did with me and many fans I'm sure. But is I want to talk about highlights, there are other details of my whole trip that I can mention, for one I got to attend the event with my brother Diego who volunteered and hung out with me after every shift. Another great moment was when I met the lovable Moose, a local who goes every year for the autographs and got to take a picture with Chadwick Boseman. During a few breaks I got while working, I decided to spend time with him and got to meet a great human being who was one of the nicest people I met. 

For next year, I will try to get a badge for sure, either as a professional or press so I can cover more details of the event for this website. I do believe that we qualify to get in there without a problem, we'll do everything we can to get the full experience of the Con. But as a first time, I really can't complain about everything I saw. And the best part of it was that I got to hang out with some very nice people, both staff, and attendees. Let's hope next year increases my love for the experience. 

Picture taken from Moose Polk's Facebook page

Picture taken from Moose Polk's Facebook page

CRSSD Festival Spring 2016

Photography by Felicia Garcia, Skyler Greene, Glen Silva, Gabe Tiano

Kinofilia Coverage: Arik Chapin

CRSSD Festival Spring 2016, located at the grandiose Waterfront Park in San Diego (SD), California, showcased a delightful set of electronic, house, and techno artists. CRSSD is an upcoming boutique music festival showcasing some great underground and mainstream talent in the electronic scene.

The artists and venue were reason enough to be beyond hyped for this event, which draws the surfers, burners, weekend festies and new wave hippy hotties into one nice electronic stew. CRSSD is located right next to the water and the back drop of high rises is reminiscent of an Edward Hopper painting.

With a rainstorm on the way, Saturday was looking to be the day to get it in before Mother Nature decided to make an appearance. The CRSSD venue is nicely spaced out between three main stages: The Palms, City Steps and Ocean View. By 4PM Damian Lazarus was throwing down at the City Steps; bouncing and bobbing was mandatory at this point. As the sun began to drop the bathroom lines swelled.

“I’ll take one of that!” Time to bust out the blanket and settle in for a Jon Hopkins sunset set! The deep ethereal sounds of John Hopkins slowly moved the crowd in and out of a trance state; Hopkins likes to spin to the heartstrings and pull at your emotional vessel. Time slowed and feelings morphed with light through the veins.





Dust the grass of your back and high five your neighbor! Spiritual naptime was over as Ben UFO took the stage just in time to get trippy. Odesza, with cliché yet necessary “face melting visuals” jammed their way through an amazing closing set as the rain began. However, due to unfortunate sound issues, many were left shouting, “TURN THE VOLUME UP!”

Sunday was a coin toss in terms of weather and artists. The rain poured down in the AM in an attempt to wash the hangover away. The Sunday lineup made it tough to choose between artists, but there were definitely some hits and misses. Hi-Lo killed it and Tycho had an incredible live (sunset) performance. The musical maniac was great to watch live as he produced colorful sounds and ambient waves. I overheard that it was hard to hear Chet Faker’s vocals due to sounds issues (again). He also only had an hour set to close out a sold out CRSSD. Tales of Us dropped out due to “health issues,” but Maceo Plex dropped in to save the evening. His high intensity set was a wonderful way to finish the festival.

CRSSD festival is leaving its mark on the San Diego music scene. With a five star location, talent, and vibe, it’s tough to go wrong with this house and techno festival.

P.S. Please add more bathrooms next time. Those lines were out of control!!!