Imagine, if you will, a world in which superheroes such as Spider-Man, Batman and Green Lantern battle supervillains such as Darkseid, the Joker and Dr. Octopus at Portland’s Time & Temperature Building.

Mort Todd, a cartoonist and filmmaker who was raised in Yarmouth, has imagined such a world. In fact, he’s drawn it.

Todd will be one of more than 100 artists, writers and publishers coming to Portland on Sunday for the third annual Maine Comics Art Festival at Ocean Gateway on Portland’s waterfront.

He’ll bring along a couple of Portland-centric prints — “Panic Over Portland,” featuring the above-mentioned aerial fight, and “Monsters Menace Maine,” featuring Godzilla battling a giant lobster near Portland Head Light — to sign and sell.

“Yeah, I did the famous Congress Street landmark,” said Todd, who also designed this week’s cover of GO with all-original characters. “The Time & Temperature Building is kind of like the Empire State Building of Portland.”

But the festival is about more than just signing and selling.

Rick Lowell and Laura O’Meara, owners of Casablanca Comics in Portland, organized the show to not only promote comics, but “to focus on the creative aspect,” said Lowell. “We’ve been to a lot of other types of festivals over the years that were more creator-focused and we really liked that, as opposed to shows that just focused on dealers selling comic books.”

The Lowells wanted comic book fans to see and meet the artists and writers who created their favorite titles — to interact with the people behind the characters.

Andy Runton, creator of the popular children’s comic “Owly,” said it’s important for people to meet the artists.

“Especially for little kids,” he said. “It took me years to realize that guys actually did this. That was a big deal for me — when I realized real people did this, not a machine.”

Runton will conduct a workshop at the Portland Public Library at 11 a.m., where he’ll introduce fans to Owly, a wordless comic that uses illustrations and icons to communicate its story.

“You’d be surprised, but some people actually have trouble with that, they’re so used to reading words,” he said. “When you read regular comics, a lot of people see the pictures, but really only read the (dialogue) bubbles. With Owly, you have to slow down and read other things, as if you were watching a silent movie.”

Runton, who lives in Georgia and will be visiting Maine for the first time, will talk about visual storytelling and answer questions from the crowd during the festival. “Basically, I’ll talk about how to draw, read comics, tell stories,” he said.

Owly is sort of Runton’s alter ego. When he started attending college, he lived at home. His mother was worried that he was staying up too late working on projects, and started calling him a night owl. Runton would leave her notes each morning, letting her know what he had done. At some point, he started drawing an owl on the notes. The owl eventually became Owly.

When he finally decided to create a story for Owly, he left out the dialogue because, he said, “I did not write dialogue well.” Later, he began using symbols and icons to further explain the story.

“I’m really excited I was invited,” he said. “It’s interesting. Unlike a lot of things, when it comes to books and comics, you really have to put it in someone’s hands and let them discover what it is. We’re competing with things a lot louder than we are — music, videos. When someone sees you creating, they get really excited about it.”

Todd, who lives in New York City but plans on staying in Maine for the summer, said comic book festivals give the creators a chance to be recognized.

“It’s just fun meeting comic fans and hanging out with the other creators and seeing what’s going on,” said Todd. “And it’s also about selling stuff, getting people infected with your work.”

In addition to his prints, Todd’s exhibit will include other projects he has worked on, including comics, a short movie on Italian comics, and music videos. Todd has twice served as editor-in-chief of Cracked magazine and has worked for numerous comic book companies, including DC and Marvel.

Other featured guests include:

Lincoln Peirce, a Portland resident and creator of the comic strip “Big Nate.”

Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon, artists for the IDW comic book series “The Last Unicorn” as well as “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Rogue Angel.”

Rick Parker, artist for the graphic novels “Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid” and “Harry Potty and the Deathly Boring,” as well as the comic-book adaptations of “Beavis and Butt-Head” and “Tales from the Crypt.”

Joe Quinones, an artist for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse, whose work includes covers for “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Star Wars.”

Colleen AF Venable, creator of graphic novels such as “The Ferret’s a Foot.”

“There’s something for absolutely everyone there,” said Lowell. “It’s not just guys in tights beating each other up.

“If someone comes to the festival and sees some of the amazing artwork that’s being created and stories being told, they may have a different opinion of comics than when they first came in.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]