It is a well-known fact that I am a TV junkie (the term “couch potato” is so degrading … and so last century). I consider myself a connoisseur of prime-time soaps. Challenge me to a round of sitcom theme song trivia, and I shall proceed to kick your ass. I proudly own the complete box sets of the following series: “Battlestar Galactica,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Will & Grace,” “Six Feet Under” and “The Golden Girls” – I could go on and risk humiliating myself further, but I’ll stop there.

Thank the gods there’s a place where, once a year, I can congregate with my similarly obsessed brethren and worship all things pertaining to the boob tube: San Diego’s Comic-Con. Where else can you sit and ogle the casts of “True Blood,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Teen Wolf?” Where else can you get a first look at the hotly anticipated new shows of the fall (ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and “The River,” Fox’s “Terra Nova,” NBC’s “Grimm”) as well as returning favorites (“Fringe,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead”)?

This year marks my fifth visit to the Con, and I can’t help but look back on my past experiences: meeting the cast of a new musical dramedy called “Glee,” sitting in on a “Lost” fan podcast, being charmed by the cast of “Pushing Daisies,” shaking hands with Joss freakin’ Whedon, taking pictures with the cast of “Community,” getting a sneak peek at the second season premiere of “Heroes” (when it was good) – these were moments that would make any fanboy burst with joy across the blogosphere. And this one did.

This year’s annual event takes place July 21-24, and if this happens to be your first excursion to the ground zero for everything pop culture, allow this veteran to share a few tips to get you ready for the four-daylong insanity that is Comic-Con:

1) Study the map of the San Diego Convention Center and its neighboring buildings – as well as the schedule of all the panels you wish to attend – as if your life depended on it. It’s better to go in with an itinerary to follow throughout what will surely be a hectic weekend.

2) When in doubt, plant yourself in Hall H for an entire day (this also goes for you film geeks out there).

3) Although freaks fans book hotel rooms a year in advance, you can still find some deals (You may have to settle for accommodations on the outskirts of downtown.). Or, hit up any friends, acquaintances or distant relatives you may know in the area and get up close and personal with a couch.

4) Eat well. There’s only so many hot dogs, cookies and random junk food one can ingest inside the chaotic convention center, and you’ll need all the energy you can get while waiting in long lines to see your favorite celebs or idols in one of the many exhibit halls.

5) Bring a tube or a large canister of some sort to carry the dozens of posters you will roll up and collect from all of the booths promoting new movies or television shows.

6) If you insist on wearing a costume (about 25 percent of attendees do), make sure it’s something comfortable you can wear all day long and nothing too elaborate – unless you want to be stopped everywhere you walk and have your own personal paparazzi flash you with cameras (There’s also a masquerade ball where you can show off your creativity and win a prize or two.).

7) Start your Christmas shopping early. See a poster, knick-knack or piece of memorabilia your mom/cousin/nephew would drool over? Put it aside, especially if it’s a part of a giveaway, and save it as a gift you can give come December.

8) And on that note, bring plenty of cash for all the crap you’ll eventually buy. No one wants to pay those annoying ATM fees.

9) All in all, brace yourself for the sensory overload you will experience once you step inside.

Pencils down. You ready? Hope to see you there!

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