Linda Thach takes over Market Street. Photo by Tory Germann. Design by Mark Coletti.

Aspiring superheroes, supervillains and monsters will descend on Wilmington June 20-21 for the Northeast Comic Con.

This is ground zero for fans looking to sample a lineup of pop culture memorabilia, guest appearances from TV and film stars, top comic creators, game publishers, and good-natured geeks dressed up as their favorite fantasy characters.

Comic books and the world of superheroes they have spawned are at the heart of the event, but it also doubles as a camp-tastic playground for rubbing elbows with the likes of Batman, the man behind S.H.I.E.L.D.’s superspy Nick Fury, and a cast member of Sharknado.

Another contributor to the Comic Cons growing popularity is the visual feat that is cosplay (short for costume play), where people dress up, often elaborately, as their favorite characters and have their pictures taken with fans (all you have to do is ask).

Our June cover model, Linda Thach, says cosplay is not only fun, it attracts brainy, creative and forward-thinking people who love harnessing the power of imagination.

“A lot of people kind of look at us like, ‘who are these people who go to conventions and dress up in weird costumes, and why would anyone do that?’” Thach says. “It’s a labor of love and more than just an extension of Halloween. It’s an art form that’s half craftsmanship, half showmanship. And the conventions are just one big party celebrating all the things about comics, anime, video games and pop culture. I think it would be hard for anyone not to have fun in a place like that.”

The Northeast Comic Con: 99 Fordham Rd., Wilmington | Sat. June 20, 10am-6pm and Sun. June 21, 10am-5pm | advanced tickets on sale at necomiccon.net

 2015 Northeast Comic Con Highlights

Batman: Before Christian Bale and Michael Keaton, there was Adam West. Best known for the title role in the 1960s ABC series Batman and its theatrical feature film, West has also done voice work in Family Guy, The Simpsons, Futurama and Johnny Bravo.

Jim Steranko: Besides being a magician and professional fire-eater, Steranko broke artistic barriers in comic book art for literally thinking outside the box. He came up with fresh innovations in sequence that allowed more breathing room on the page and tapped into forms of surrealism, op art and graphic design. His most famous comic work was with Marvel’s 1960s superspy feature Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hip Hop & Comics: Moderator Patrick Reed, editor of Depth of Field Magazine and writer for Comics Alliance, MTV Geek, Sony Music, and CBR hosts a panel and Q&A about hip hop music and comics featuring recording star ESOTERIC, legendary graffiti artist Eric Orr, and Keith Haring, the collaborator and creator of Rappin’ Max Robot, the first-ever hip-hop comic

Celebrating Henson: Gigi Edgley, who starred in the Jim Henson produced sci-fi television series Farscape and currently hosts the Jim Henson Creature Shop Challenge on the Syfy channel, will be joined by puppeteer Bill Diamond (Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and The Muppet Caper) to lead a Sunday panel on Henson’s legacy.

Super Cars: Photo Ops with the Batmobile and Batcylce from the 1966 TV show, and in Back to the Future II, Marty McFly took the DeLorean time machine to 2015 to settle some family issues — little did he know it would end up at the Northeast Comic Con.

The Beatles: A panel and Q&A featuring Chachi Loprete, host of Breakfast with The Beatles on WZLX, and Vivek Tiwary, 2014 Eisner Award Winner for his graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story.

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Exploring everything from food and shopping to arts and entertainment so you can experience the best of what Greater Lowell has to offer.