Comics, games, books, merchandise, manga and pop culture!

Our interview

Originally published on 15 July 2019.

Area 52 is a store that deserves serious recognition. They have created a space for everyone to come and play games in a family-friendly environment right in the heart of the city. Plus, they hold a variety of events, including female-only Dungeons & Dragons night and kid’s only events. Most are free or very low-cost.

Area 52 is also the largest independent seller of pop culture items in Tasmania. You’ll discover:

  • a HUGE range of puzzles (we would even go so far as to say the biggest range in Hobart)
  • unique board games, including the only place in Hobart that consistently stocks Catan
  • a large selection of sci-fi books
  • one of the best Manga selections in Australia
  • everything you need for Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Marvel fan
  • and a library of comic books (with the ability to order in).

Upstairs of Area 52 is dedicated entirely to a ‘play space’. You’ll find a board game library and cute pet guinea pigs.

Everyone is welcome to visit and play a board game with friends. Andrew told us that over summer there were a group of French ship workers who could barely speak English. They came in every day to play board games because, despite their language gap, they understood the games.

Area 52 has been open since the 90s and Andrew has owned it alongside his wife, Jenny, for 6 years. Upon finding out that Area 52 was for sale, Andrew was worried that if it closed there wouldn’t be a space for kids to do something after school or a place in the city to buy comics. So Andrew took it on!

Andrew hails from New York and he brings a passion of getting kids interested in reading with him.

“I was very lucky growing up and I had a lot of great opportunities and people who kindled my interest in reading, kindled my interest in role playing games, nerd stuff, these types of hobbies and I really wanted to apply that to Hobart. I wanted to bring it here and give people an opportunity to play and do stuff,” said Andrew.

Andrew tells us that his favourite thing about his job is seeing kids grow and succeed. “There will be kids that are having trouble in school or not getting along with other people. Then you fast forward a year or two and they will be coming regularly to events and activities, they are getting structure and meeting other kids. They are just full of life. It really gives them something to do.”

And Andrew’s favourite game to play currently? Spirit Island. A game where you play as an angry spirit to try and drive settlers off the island.