Kymera Press announced on Thursday that its comic, Ivory Ghosts, has been ordered for the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum’s gift shop. Written by Dr. Caitlin O’Connell, this thriller adapts her eponymous novel, a crime story about Africa’s illegal ivory trade with art by Debora Carita. It’s a perfect companion piece for the museum’s current African Bush Elephant exhibit, which highlights many of the threats the species faces today.

The latest Smithsonian tenant, Ivory Ghosts, follows the work of undercover agent Catherine Sohon. Posing as an elephant census taker, Sohon is in Namibia to investigate elephant poaching and ivory trade – and solve a murder. It’s a comic that highlights very real issues for elephants and comes from one of the best possible sources. Dr. O’Connell is, herself, a world-renowned expert on these highly sought after pachyderms. Her book’s new home at the Smithsonian isn’t her first collaboration with the museum either. The Stanford University instructor’s research would eventually become the primary subject of the Smithsonian’s award winning documentary, Elephant King.

To create this conservationist comic, Dr. O’Connell worked with Carita, inker Laurie Foster, colorist Liezl Buenaventura and letterer Saida Temofonte. 

For Kymera Press, a publisher that aims to support women in comics, Ivory Ghosts is a welcome addition to its library. “When Dr. O’Connell approached me at San Diego Comic-Con with the idea of turning her novel into a comic book, I jumped on the project,” explained Debbie Daughetee, Kymera Press CEO. “This story is so incredible and I knew it had a life of its own that could not be contained within the direct market. Kymera has always been about breaking barriers and it’s great to have the comic in such a prestigious institution as the Smithsonian.”

Ivory Ghosts is available now at your local comic shop and the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum.

Ivory Ghosts smithsonian