The 15th Annual National Free Comic Book Day will be celebrated on Saturday, May 7, at Maui Comics and Collectibles in Kahului, Kīhei Public Library, and other participating public libraries  on Maui and across the state.
Free Comic Book Day is a nationwide event in which all the major and independent publishers offer free titles that are distributed by comic stores and libraries.
At participating libraries, one free comic book each will be distributed to kids with a valid HSPLS card, while supplies last.
Maui Comics and Collectibles will also distribute comics to kids.
Comic book selections this year—approximately 50 titles—include Avengers, Captain America, Pokemon, Grumpy Cat, SpongeBob, Strawberry Shortcake and more.
The giveaway is sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i, Gecko Books & Comics, and Collector Maniacs.
The public is also invited to meet local comic artists at the comic store and participating libraries.
“Free Comic Book Day is held at comic shops and libraries across the nation to get kids interested in reading,” said James Silvani, a Kīhei-based cartoonist, illustrator and comic book artist.
Silvani will sign copies of his book, DRAW-A-SAURUS, and offer free sketches for the kids between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Kīhei Public Library. He will also make an appearance at Maui Comics and Collectibles.
Silvani’s credits include Disney’s Darkwing Duck, The Muppets, Ducktales, Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon, Penguins of Madagascar, Warner Brothers’ Animaniacs and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He also illustrates Muppet storybooks and creates exclusive Disney and Star Wars fine art for Acme Archives.
Todd Bernardy, the creator and artist for the Kukui Project, the popular local comic book, will also participate at the Maui Comics event.
Maui Comics will also hold the Bruce Ellsworth Memorial Comic Auction outside of the store (weather permitting) from noon to 4 p.m.
Ellsworth, a pillar of the comic book community since the 1980s, owned a chain of stores in Florida called “Tropix Comics.”
“He discovered the Blankis-Salida collection, among others, and was a senior advisor for the Overstreet Price Guide,” said Alika Seki, owner of Maui Comics. “He eventually moved to Maui and became my mentor, helping me to become an official price guide advisor.”
Kīhei Public Library is located at 35 Waimahaihai St. Call 875-6833 for more information.
Maui Comics and Collectibles is located at 333 Dairy Road. Call (808) 868-0219 for more information.
Other participating libraries on Maui include Kahului Public Library (90 School St.; 873-3097), Lahaina Public Library (680 Wharf St.; 662-3950) and Makawao Public Library (1159 Makawao Ave.; 573-8785).
Lāna‘i residents can receive a free comic by visiting the Lanai Public & School Library booth on May 7, 8 to 10 a.m. at the Saturday Market in Dole Park.