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Editor's Note: July 25/Aug. 1, 2014

EW editor Matt Bean has members of the EW Staff share their varied past experiences at Comic-Con

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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
I’m no stranger to gatherings of the joyous and deranged, but the Comic-Con vets on staff have assured me I’m in for a helluva baptism when we decamp for San Diego this week. I’m hoping my lesser festival experience serves me well. A half-dozen trips to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas taught me to regard Silicon- and silicone-enhanced sales pitches with equal measures of skepticism. I participated in several Tuba Christmases, learning to transcend shame via costumed group catharsis. Seventeen hours in a cramped RV before the second Bonnaroo inured me to long lines and suspect odors, and then there were the lessons learned at an Outdoor Retailer show (Sweat-wicking boxers? Clutch); the Photo Marketing Association (Say ”cheese”! Again!); and how could I forget the Great American Beer Festival (Uh…that’s how I forgot).

Point is, this ain’t my first rodeo. So to prep for San Diego, I asked our staff — who have been covering CCI since 2003 — for a debriefing. I can’t say I wasn’t warned…

1. Beware Rank Impersonators
”There was this one guy in a Chewbacca outfit who started rocking an unfortunate smell after walking the floor and hot July streets for three days. Did I say one guy? Because I meant 28.” —Senior Writer Dan Snierson

2. Be The Man(ganiello)
”It was the summer of Magic Mike and Joe Manganiello had body-rolled me recently at a lunch (long story), and so I asked for a repeat at our panel. The rest of the panel joined, even Alan Ball. It was a proud moment.” —Senior Writer Tim Stack

3. Avoid Smooth Moves
”Last year I saw Nathan Fillion, Joss Whedon, Seth Green, Tom Hiddleston, and the King in the North [Game of Thrones‘ Richard Madden] all getting down on the dance floor. If memory serves, Fillion was trying his hand at twerking.” —Senior Writer Sara Vilkomerson

4. Guard Your Peepers
”I was working at the EW photo studio, and we were told the cast of Cowboys & Aliens would be late. When Harrison Ford, Jon Favreau, and Daniel Craig arrived, Craig apologized, citing ‘nerd on nerd’ violence at the panel. Apparently one fan stabbed another near the eye with a pen for crowding his personal space.” —Photo Editor Michele Romero

5. Practice Unexpected Awesomeness
”I saw [Simpsons creator] Matt Groening wait in line 10 minutes to have Aaron Renier, a young cartoonist, autograph his book — he asked Renier to finish sketching for a kid in front of him. Still a fan like the rest of us.” —Design Director Tim Leong

Body rolls, pen shivs, and Chewbacca? Okay, 45th annual Comic-Con, I’ll be ready. And I hope you will be too: Follow all the action at ew.com/comiccon, on SiriusXM Channel 105, and on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #EWComicCon. Tune in, log on, and geek out.