Comic book shops throughout the Hudson Valley will be handing out free comics this weekend.

The annual Free Comic Book Day happens this Saturday, May 5. Much like Record Store Day is to music fans, the celebration's goal is to generate excitement for comic book fans and give the uninitiated a chance to discover the hobby for the first time.

Many stores throughout the Hudson Valley will be opening their doors and handing out free comic books to everyone who stops in. David Haass from Kirwin's Game Store in the Poughkeepsie Galleria says that they will start giving away comic books at 10AM. Every customer who comes by throughout the day will get five free comics and if they donate a dollar to the American Red Cross they will also be able to get an additional three books.

There will be special events for kids too, with an artist teaching children how to sketch their own comic book characters. Haass says that the day is a great way for people to get an introduction to the world of comic books. Die-hard comic fans are counting down to the day too, since many important storylines will be revealed in special comics released on Saturday.

Other participating stores include Alterniverse in Hyde Park, October Country Comics in New Paltz, POW Card Games in Esopus, Megabrain Comics in Rhinebeck, Main Street Comics in Middletown, Haven For Heroes in Port Jervis, Pop's Universe in Germantown and Kirwin's other location in Catskill.

You can call ahead to find out opening times and special deals at each location or visit the Free Comic Book Day website for more details.