Top 6 things to do for comic fans NOT going to Comic-Con 2009

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OK, so every comic book reader on earth knows that Comic-Con International — the biggest comic convention in the country and one of the biggest in the world — is going down NOW in San Diego.

Yeah everbody knows it's happening but, due to various different factors (like being broke and stuff), not everybody is going. So what's a San Diego-less comic fan to do this weekend? I've got a few ideas:

Get on the Internet: Obviously, if you're reading this, you're already online. And you probably know about the various news sites to keep you informed about all the cool stuff that's bound to be announced over the next few days. Still, I'd like to suggest you follow the Beat blog. It's written and such by Heidi McDonald and she's been obsessed over Comic-Con for the last few months it seems. She's bound to have some cool stories from the Con.

Live vicariously through Twitter: Get on Twitter and follow some folks who are at the Con. Heroes Aren't Hard to Find owner Shelton Drum is supposed to go I heard.

Go mobile: If you're not by a computer and you have a phone the supports Apps (like, you know, the iPhone), you can download the Comic-Con App. It promises to keep you up to date  with all the poppin' things poppin' in Cali. I plan to download it later. I'll tell you what I think when I do.

Read free comics: Here's your chance to finally read that stack of Free Comic Book Day comics you haven't got around to yet. Might I recommend Owly?

Even more free comics: As you probably know, the library is filled with great graphic novels. This weekend, visit a local branch and check out some good stuff — like the Wonder Woman collections from the 1960s where Princess Diana has no powers and uses kung fu. Cool stuff. If you live in Charlotte, the best library for graphic novels is the Checkit Outlet Uptown near the Green. It's not open on the weekend, but you have a few hours before it closes today. Hurry!

Raid the quarter bins: Now's the time to go longbox diving in search of off-the-wall comics from back in the day. I'm still building my collection of Defenders comics. Gotta get that story arc with the Mandrill! Talking monkeys rock.

Aaaaaand ... that's all I can think of. If you're stuck in Charlotte or wherever, don't fret. Jut follow my tips and you probably won't slit your wrists. Anyway, check back Monday for a roundup of all the big announcements from Comic-Con.

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