Free Comic Book Day: See 'The Avengers,' then read it for free

Free Comic Book Day, celebrating its 10th year, usually coincides with the release of a big budget superhero movie. This year, Free Comic Book Day falls on the same weekend as the premiere of the much-anticipated 'Avengers' adaptation.

Zade Rosenthal/AP/Disney/File
In this film image released by Disney, Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor, left, and Chris Evans portrays Captain America in a scene from "The Avengers." Saturday, May 5, is Free Comic Book Day, coinciding with the film's release.

If you’re one of the millions of folks seeing “The Avengers” this weekend, the film may leave you hankering for more superhero action. Well, you’re in luck. Move over, Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo, and make way for the 10th annual Free Comic Book Day.

Since its inception in 2002, Free Comic Book Day has been celebrated as a way to support comic stores across the country, most of which are independently owned. The event is coordinated by Diamond Comic Distributors, the lone large distributor for the comics industry.

In addition to rewarding dedicated readers, one of the celebration's larger goals is to attract new potential readers to comic books. Because of this, the holiday usually coincides with the wide release of a highly anticipated comic book film adaptation. Past team-ups have included the three most recent  “Spider Man” movies, both “Iron Man” films, and this year, the latest big-screen adaptation of “The Avengers.”

But the giveaway offer isn’t limited to superhero comics: All genres are fair game, including Disney comics, Japanese Manga, Tokyopop, newspaper strip staples like “Archie,” and work from independent artists.

Participation level varies from store to store, but the comics given away will be special edition works packaged specifically for the holiday. This year’s offerings include special editions of “The Avengers” (of course),  “Peanuts”, “Transformers,” and, for the youngest comic book fan in your clan, “Yo Gabba Gabba.”

In addition to the comic books, many vendors offer free swag like movie posters, keychains, and T-shirts.

To find a participating comic book store near you, and to see specific events offered by different vendors, visit Free Comic Book Day’s official website here.

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