African Comics

3 Nerds Go Comic Book Hunting in Accra – Here’s What They Found 

Chances are, you’ve seen Black Panther and the plethora of other blockbuster comic book movies and TV shows that have dominated conversations around film in the last decade. Heck, maybe you were even moved by the passing of comic book legend Stan Lee even though you only remember him thanks to his numerous cameos.

Perhaps even, the success of all these blockbuster comic book movies coupled with Stan Lee’s death were so profound on you, you just wanted to purchase your own comic books – physical copies at that. In most parts of the world, your only hindrance to this would be how much money you have. In Ghana, access is your enemy.

But surely, there are comic book readers in Ghana and access to comic books can’t be limited to just family and friends bringing them from overseas? Which begs the question, are there any comic book shops or graphic novel shops in Ghana’s capital, Accra?  

That’s the question that sent 3 friends, Squid Mag co-founders, Kofi Sydney Asare and KaDi Yao Tay along with fantasy and fantasy authorr, Kofi Nyameye scampering around Accra on a hunt for comic books and graphic novels – African or otherwise.

RELATED: Who’s Making Comics in Ghana?

Kingdom Books and Stationery (Osu, Ako Adjei)

When you think books and stationery in Accra, Kingdom Books and Stationery is the first thing that comes to mind. Comic books however, we weren’t so sure but we took a stab at it anyway and made our way there first. We visited the main Kingdom Books and Stationery shop in Osu.

Were we rewarded? Of course, just not in the way we expected. After what seemed like a wild goose chase, we found some comic books. There were many copies of Asterix, and a few Tintin prints. We also found Iznogoud – Rockets to Stardom.  That was about it. None of the grandeur of superheroes and wild, wacky sci-fi tales.

There were some other illustrated books around but nothing comic book heads would be interested in.

I won’t recommend Kingdom Books and Stationery for comic books. If you’re looking for traditional comic-making supplies like pencils, pens and paper, however, Kingdom Books and Stationery is the place. All sorts of notebooks, sketch pads, pencils, pens…you name it, can be found there.

Locate Kingdom Books and Stationery at the address below.

Vidya Bookstore (Osu)

Kofi Sydney Asare, Kadi Yao Tay, Kofi Nyameye, Comic Book Nerds in Accra in front of Vidya Bookstore Osu
L – R: Kofi Sydney Asare, KaDi Yao Tay & Kofi Nyameye

Now, this is a gem! Did we find comic books and graphic novels? Yes! Did we find diverse options? Not really. However, compared to the other places we went, Vidya Bookstore fared better. They had manga (the only shop we found that had them), comic books and graphic novels.

Don’t be too excited though. We found only 3 manga titles, namely Naruto, Dragon Ball-Z and Cowboy Bepop. For graphic novels, and this is where Vidya made our day, we found Aya of Yop City by Maguerite Abouet, the only African comic book we found in the shops. We found another interesting graphic novel, a business graphic novel. This is more less an illustrated textbook. Introduction to the Theory of Constraint it was called. Other comics we found were Amar Chitra Katha and Big Nate, Revenge of the Cream Puffs.

Locate Vidya Bookstore on the map below.

SyTris Bookshop (East Legon)

SyTris Bookshop
Photo via HungryNG.com

We first discovered this bookstore when it was located within the Silverbird Lifestyle Store at the Accra Mall many years ago. We were very positive we would find a comic book haven at Sytrix in its current East Legon location. We were rather disappointed. We found 2 graphic novels – Bad Island by Doug TenNapel and Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi – and several Archie comics. But that was that.

Bad Island Amulet comic books for sale at SyTris Bookshop, Accra

There’s a little ray of hope on the horizon though. The awesome attendants informed us they had run out of comics and that they’d restock…”soon”. We’ll have to pass by again soon for an update.

Of all the shops, SyTris Bookshop seemed the most interested in local comics. The attendants showed particular interest in the copies of the Kugali Anthology and Kobe Offei and Setor Fiadzigbey’s Lake of Tears we showed them. That’s a win for local comics in our eyes.

SyTris is located just a street behind the A&C Mall in East Legon. Find it easily with the map below.

Papyrus (A&C Mall)

Speak French and need French comics? You’re in luck – sort of. Papyrus is a posh book store at the A&C Mall that caters to French literature and stationery. We found only one comic book and incredibly, it was Aya of Yop City or as it’s known in its original language, Aya de Yopougon.

Papyrus is located inside the ANC Shopping Mall.

EPP Book Shop (Legon Mall)

interior of EPP Book Shop in Acra.
EPP Bookshop Legon. Photo via EPP Book Services

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore this extensively since we got there just a few minutes before closing and staff were a little reluctant to let us in. We couldn’t really blame them. Did we find comics? Yes! They weren’t in one place and we didn’t have a lot of lighting. Right now, we’re simply happy with the knowledge that one of the more popular bookshops at least has some comics, even if they cater mostly to younger audiences.  

We’ll definitely return to EPP Books to properly explore available comic book options there.

Locate EPP Books (Legon Mall) using the map below.

Other Comic Book Shops We Couldn’t Check Out

We had a list of different book shops to check out but couldn’t. No idea whether they have any comic books but it doesn’t hurt to check them out. We’ll do that in a subsequent post. Perhaps you could beat us to it? Below are other bookshops in Accra that could potentially sell comic books.

  1. Kochba Business Service – Teshie Nungua Estates
  2. Finest Gifts – Dzorwulu
  3. Writers Project of Ghana (WPG) Office – North Legon
  4. Readwide Bookshop
  5. Marhabah Bookshop
  6. Challenge Bookshop
  7. Blue Knights Books
  8. Kaizen Books
  9. MB Stores
  10. Book Source GH

Takeaways

Based on the quantity and availability of comics we encountered, we conclude that, either comic books still aren’t a big thing here or perhaps, print comics aren’t as appealing to Ghanaian comic heads as digital copies. Or more likely, bookstores are oblivious to the generation of comic book lovers in Ghana who they can cater to. Thanks to this, these comic heads continue to rely on friends and family coming in from other countries like the USA, UK, Japan and even Nigeria for their dose.

From our own experience, while people want print comics, it’s just much easier to buy and sometimes, illegally download digital comics. It’s less stressful after all and you have a wider library to choose from.

Hopefully, comic lovers in Ghana come out of their shelters and generate enough buzz for book shops to see them as a viable market to sell to. And this is not even for African comic books exclusively. Want to see random photos of us just goofing off and geeking out? Please go here.

Where do you get your comics from?

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