We are back again this week with another installment for ‘Girls Rule, Too’! This week, we will be discussing business woman, Ariell Johnson. Over the past couple of years, Johnson has made history in more ways than one!
In 2015, Johnson believed in her dream and passion for comics so much that she subsequently opened up a comic book coffeehouse, called Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. located in Philadelphia. Johnson is now being recognized as the first Black woman to own a comic book shop on the East Coast.
According to Atlanta Black Star, Johnson had her own traditions before her business came into fruition. She talks about how every week she would go buy her comics, from another local comic book store, and then go to the coffee shop across the street and indulge in her new books.
After the old coffee shop went out of business, Johnson recounts Amaglma 'as the birthing of a dream come true'. Johnson says, “The goal is to be an inclusive geek space [Amaglam], so it’s not just comics; it’s gaming, it’s sci-fi, it’s horror, whatever you geek about, we want to make room for you!” But outside of the atmosphere of the coffee house, she had a bigger goal in mind, "I was hyper aware that comic books are dominated usually by white men, but when I was creating the store, I wasn't really thinking about myself [or] about being first," Johnson said. "I was more so thinking about wanting to create a space that celebrated diversity."
Amazing, right?! Well, it gets better.
Comic book editors over at Marvel thought Johnson was so much of a hot sensation that they featured her on the cover of the new 'Invincible Iron Man'. She will be shown along side new Iron Man character, RiRi Williams.
The original cover will feature RiRi, of course. But, to send recognition to Johnson, there will be a specific variation cover issue that will only be available at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc.
You can check the cover below.
Shoutout to Ariell Johnson for doing her thing!