A shop in Bedford is celebrating Free Comic Book Day as part of an annual worldwide event being held on Saturday, May 3.
Close Encounters, in Midland Road, will be giving away comics from a number of publishers throughout the day from 9.30am until 5.30pm.
Jeff Chahal, from the shop, said: “Its main aim is to encourage reading, as it is a proven fact that introducing children to comics at an early age helps with literacy levels.
“The comics are completely free of charge with no obligation for future purchases.
“This year we will be giving away comics from Marvel, DC, Image, Boom and many other publishers.
“We will also be running a one day only sale on selected first issue comics which are normally £2.99 but on Free Comic Book Day they will be only £1.”
Jeff added: “Comics are a fantastic gateway into reading for children and adults alike.
“People that can’t read or find reading tricky tend to keep quiet about it, and a comic is much less intimidating to start with than diving into a book.
“More and more we’re finding those that have preconceived ideas about the level of benefits from reading comics are changing their minds.
“Research shows that those who start by reading a wide range of comics often move on to reading books and vastly improve their reading abilities along the way.”
Visitors will have the chance to ask questions.
Although the shop stocks a wide range of comics, they say that not all comics are suitable for children.