Maybe you don’t want to bother with the crowds. Maybe you’re stuck at home because your brother-in-law is coming up for the weekend. Maybe you forgot to buy tickets.

Whatever your situation is, it’s a sure thing that you don’t really want to miss Comic-Con but fate has forced your hand, and the rest of you, to stay right where you are. Which isn’t in San Diego (disregard if living in San Diego).

But have no fear, dear reader! We hear your plight and even empathize with it, which is why we have created the essential list of everything you’ll need to have your very own Comic-Con in the convenience of your own home.

Trust us. Your brother-in-law will love it.

What You’ll Need

1. A Hotel For the Night

They won’t let you stay on-site for Comic-Con either, so unless you planned on camping out hobo-style on the concrete outside of Hall H amongst the Twilight fans, get ready to pony up for a place to crash.

Make it more realistic! Book your hotel 6 months in advance.

Low cost alternative! Camp out hobo-style on your lawn or ask a friend to crash at their place for the weekend.

2. A Shuttle to the Convention Center

In this case, the Convention Center is your home, but you’ll still need a ride to get from your hotel to enjoy the festivities. Hire a charter bus and force the driver to shuttle back and forth between your house and the hotel you’re staying at every half hour. The convenience is only matched by the price.

Make it more realistic! Hire a bunch of regional theater actors to take up all the seats so you have to stand. Pay them extra for laughing at your “Negative, Ghost Rider” references.

Low cost alternative! Take the city bus or, if your hotel is close enough, walk to your house in the heat of the day. If you live in a cooler climate, hold up a battery-powered toaster to your face to simulate the San Diego experience.

3. Your Best Cosplay Outfit

Once you’ve arrived at your house, you’ll want to show off your fandom in the most overt way possible. But what do you choose? Star Wars? Star Trek? Manga? Captain Planet? Atticus Finch? The beauty of dressing up is that you get to choose your favorites. Bring several outfits and make a weekend of it.

Make it more realistic! Bring an accessory. A lightsaber works best no matter what the costume.

Low cost alternative! Wear your normal clothes and be mocked by the actors you hired.

4. Free Hugs

One of the mainstays of Comic-Con is the groups of people holding signs that advertise Free Hugs. Join the fun by offering free hugs to anyone who walks into your living room all weekend.

Make it more realistic! Transform yourself into a teenaged girl to make those hugs even creepier.

Low cost alternative! Save your calories and don’t give out any hugs at all. Or charge for them and make a little bit of money back to finance your trip.

5. Stan Lee or Jon Favreau

Face it. You’re going to need a staple celebrity there to present a panel or twenty. Pro tip: if you shout “Excelsior!” into your television screen, Stan Lee will appear within thirty minutes or less. There’s no telling how to get a hold of Jon Favreau, but we’re pretty sure you can email him here.

Make it more realistic! Invite your local comic book shop owner there to moderate.

Low cost alternative! Warren Ellis is probably available, but he may drink all your rubbing alcohol.

6. Someone to Critique Your Artwork

It’s no surprise that you’re here at your own Comic-Con for the comics, but you’re also here because you’re an aspiring artist yourself. Have your wife or whoever hasn’t gone to stay with her mother for the weekend sit down and give you an honest opinion about that muscle-bound Amazon warrior you drew.

Make it more realistic! Do not, under any circumstances, have them sign you to a comic book deal.

Low cost alternative! Critique your own work and you’ll save the money you’d spend consoling yourself with Klondike bars.

7. A Lack of Sleep

No one in San Diego will be sleeping this week because as soon as someone does, everyone will draw penises on his/her face. Challenge yourself by staying awake for as much of the weekend as possible. Entry #8 should be of assistance.

Make it more realistic! Constantly wonder to yourself, “Why am I paying for a hotel room if I’m not sleeping?”

Low cost alternative! Not sleeping doesn’t cost any money, but make sure you have good health insurance.

8. An Inordinate Amount of Alcohol

The pressures to drink while at Comic-Con are many. After the last panel of the day, you may find yourself wanting nothing more than to curl up and not go to sleep, but then Samuel L. Jackson storms into your bathroom, hands you a bottle of Hennessy, and gives you a dirty look until you chug.

Make it more realistic! Drink until you see the sun come up so that you’ll only have a few hours to debate whether to go to sleep and risk missing the panel you really, really wanted to see (the one with Stan Lee and Jon Favreau) or not.

Low cost alternative! Steal Warren Ellis’s rubbing alcohol or trick him into breathing on you.

9. Vendors

You’ll need one or two people to set up shop outside your kitchen and try to sell you old prints of half-naked drawings. Speaking of which, go ahead and take everything out of your kitchen that isn’t deep fried, greasy and four times what it would normally cost.

Make it more realistic! Call up EA Games and see if they’ll set up a booth near your master bedroom.

Low cost alternative! Buy as much as you can and sell it on Ebay. It’s what everyone else is doing.

10. A Giant, Ever-Growing Crowd

Remember those actors you hired for the shuttle? You’re going to need about 999,980 more.

Make it more realistic! Make them walk or take the bus to your house so they’re in the right mood for the day.

Low cost alternative! Cardboard cutouts work, but they don’t shove you nearly as much.

What will you have at your own Comic-Con?


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