It is here.

Every year it's a slow burn, watching, waiting through guest announcements and the choices over who to see and what to do.

The annual Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo gets started Thursday, April 26.

For me it's about the show and the spectacle, but mostly it's about the people.

Many call it "Geek" or "Nerd" Culture but for most it's just a lot of fun to hang out with people who see the world in kind of the same way.

I love the Expo simply because I get to see what's almost become an extended family.

I see my friends from the U.S.S. King Edward, a group of folks who are basically the crew of a starship, from Star Trek.

They have a charter, follow the rules of the Federation and a command structure.

My friend Patrick Nicol from Okotoks is one of the crew, and through him I've been able to become friends with many of the others.

calgary expo 2017 012Okotoks Patrick Nicol (R) and others will be manning the USS King Edward booth at the Calgary Expo again this year.

I'll see Grant Shaw, the Tourism Administrator from Vulcan who'll be manning the Vulcan Tourism booth promoting all things Vulcan, including this year's Vul-Con.

vulcan tourism administrator grant shaw feb22 2018 002Vulcan Tourism's Grant Shaw will be taking in his first Expo since taking over the job as Tourism Administrator earlier this year.

There's always lots to see and do at the Expo from meeting celebrities and getting a photo with them or their autograph, to checking out all the amazing cosplayers and their incredible costumes.

I know some people think they're weird, you know, a bunch of grown up's dressing up like super hero's or video game characters, but for all of them it's a chance to show off some fantastic costume design skills and show how much those characters or genre means to them, all in a very non-judgemental environment.

That's one of the great things about Expo, or pretty much all con's, there's rarely any of the issues we see in every day life.

People seem to genuinely care and support each other, which is the way it should be all the time, but sometimes it takes dressing up as Batman to bring out the best in others.

I'm very much looking forward to the Expo again this year, and so are many of my friends.

One request I've been getting a lot of this year, particularly from my female co-workers, is to make sure I get some good photos of Jason Momoa.

He's the beefy Kal Drogo from Game of Thrones, and Aquaman.

He rarely wears a shirt in movies, and apparently many of the ladies don't think he'll be wearing one this weekend either.

Other big name guests include, Jeff Goldblum, along with Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thomson and Tom Wilson, who was "Biff" in "Back to the Future."

Princess Bride fans will be in for a treat as Chris Sarandon, Cary Elwes and Wallace Shawn will be there over the weekend.

There's plenty of panels and other interactive things for fans.

I'll be moderating a couple of panels this year, as I always do, both on Saturday, April 28.

The first goes from 11:15 to Noon in Palomino Room D for the "Spotlight on Vanessa Marshall."

She's an actress, and daughter of 80's icon Joan Van Ark and has lent her voice talents to many animated shows, not the least of which is the highly popular "Star Wars: Rebels."

The second comes Saturday afternoon in Palomino Room E, from 4-4:45 p.m. where I'll be hosting a Q&A with Youtube stars Lasercorn, Jovenshire, Wes the Editor and Sohinki."

While these may not be household names to you, chances are they are to your kids as each one has up to or more than a million followers on their Youtube channels.

russ at expoThis handsome devil will be back moderating more panels at the Calgary Expo this year. Photo courtesy the Calgary Expo.

Overall, it's going to be another epic four days and an event I just can't get enough of.

Oh, did I mention the shopping?

There's shopping.

 

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