Ariell Johnson And Her New Philadelphia Store, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse
If black people and women have been traditionally marginalised in comic books, black women have been even more so.
Which is why it might be eventful to note that a new comic shop that has just opened in Philadelphia before Christmas is the first comic shop on the East Coast to be owned and managed by a black woman.
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in 2578 Frankford Ave, Kensington, Philadelphia is the baby of one Ariell R. Johnson who tells Philly.com that “I got the idea for the shop about 12 years ago, when I was still attending Temple University… My favorite coffee shop was directly across the street from my comic book store of choice. So, each Friday, I would buy my books at Fat Jack’s, go across the street to Crimson Moon, and read everything I bought. I just loved the vibe of the coffee shop . . . and I loved being able to indulge my comic-book obsession in a comfortable environment that wasn’t my house. When the coffee shop closed its doors, I was devastated. That’s when the idea came to me.”