Ariell Johnson Makes History!
Ariell Johnson is making history! The founder and president of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. in Philadelphia, has snagged the cover of “Invincible Iron Man #1.” Johnson is the first black woman owner of a comic book store on the East Coast. She says that the new cover is greatly due to a collaboration with her colleague Randy Green, whom spearheaded the project and conceptualized the cover.
When the email went out about potential variants for stores, he was really excited and took it upon himself to work out the [details]. It was really his hard work. I knew what it was supposed to look like, but having the actual art in front of you is so much different. It’s really exciting.
Johnson shared her excitement for the cover on Instagram.
And now life is complete! ? Thank you #Marvel & cover artist #ElizabethTorque ! And a big shout out to Randy aka @rsonthevoice for working so hard to make this happen! Available exclusively at Amalgam, email Randy at [email protected] to reserve your copy today. Photo Credit: @slingfilms #invincibleironman #blackgirlmagic
She says of her love for comics,
To think I made it a decade-plus and I had never seen a black, woman superhero is crazy because little white boys have so many [with whom they identify]: ‘I want to be Iron Man!’ ‘I want to be Batman!’ ‘I want to be Superman.’ ‘I want to be Han Solo!’ When you are a person of color, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with. I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures. Being introduced to Storm was a pivotal moment for me because had I not come across her, I might have grown out of my love for [comics].
I had a girl tell me I had an excellent book selection and she was 7 or 8. I don’t know how welcome she might feel in some other spaces. Women exist in this space! We’ve always been reading comic books, we just may not have been as open about it. I definitely get very positive feedback from not just little girls, but grown women too.
Congrats to her!