Erika Hardison of the Huffington Post is reporting Ariell R. Johnson has opened what may be the first black woman-owned comic book store in the country. The Temple University alum opened Amalglam Comics and Coffehouse after realizing the synergy between coffee and comics while a student. She enjoyed reading comic books while having coffee in a cool environment and decided to create a space merging her love of both interests.
“Philadelphia now has a comic book store owned by a Black woman! As the comic/nerd culture increases in popularity, black comic book writers, artists and enthusiasts are increasing in numbers and are making their own spaces.”
In an article for Philly.com, Jerome Maida writes:
“Although Philadelphia has a rich tradition of quality comic-book shops – and could brag that Showcase Comics on South Street was the largest black-owned comic shop in the United States for quite some time – Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse will be the first black female-owned comic book shop to open its doors on the East Coast.
This ‘geeky’ hybrid hopes to contribute to the burgeoning Kensington section of Philadelphia. Amalgam hopes to build community around comics, coffee, and relaxing with friends, and also through hosting geeky and diversity-themed workshops, movie/TV screenings, book signings, and BYOB nights.”