Ariell Johnson of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse Shares Her Favorite Comics

 
Photography: Steve Ling

Photography: Steve Ling

If the woman above looks familiar, it's because this time last year her face, along with her story, was plastered all over mainstream and indie media for being...super! (I know, I know. You can hold the applause for that one.)

Meet Ariell Johnson, the founder of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse located in Philadelphia, PA. Founded in January 2016, the shop has gained national attention which eventually led to Ariell being featured on a variant cover of "Invicible Iron Man #1."

After collecting comic books for over a decade, it was inevitable (along with a lot of dedication and business savvy) for Johnson to share her collection on a larger scale with the Philadelphia community. Although Johnson is solely a comic book store owner, in our mind, she is an undercover super hero that is fighting crimes and opening minds!

With the one year anniversary of the shop now under her super utility belt (someone take this laptop away from me), I thought that it would be the perfect time to ask the shop owner for her comic book suggestions:

1. Marvel or DC?
Marvel

2. Do you have any suggested comic books for new readers?
Some favorites among new readers in our shop are:
 - Saga
 - The Wicked & The Divine
 - Black Panther
 - Black
 - Monstress

3. What's your all time favorite comic series?
The first comic that I ever purchased was a 4 issue mini-series called "Storm & Illyana: Magik".  This is one of the best X-men story lines in my opinion, and it also has a sentimental place in my heart because this is the series that officially started my comic book collection.

4. Why should more people read comic books?
The comic industry, both mainstream and independent, are creating really solid stories.  I think people who don't know much about comics still think that they are primarily for kids, which isn't true.  Don't get me wrong, there are some great All-Ages titles  too, but there is a lot of content for adults.  It's not just capes anymore either.  

Comics span all genres, not just superheroes, so if you like horror, Sci-Fi, "shoot 'em ups", or comedy there is something for you.  And back to the little ones, it's a great way to introduce children to reading.  We have a lot older customers that come in and say that comics taught them how to read.  

And to be perfectly honest, reading more is NEVER a bad thing, so why not comics.  They unlock the imagination, inspire, and help you learn to think outside of the box. 

Make sure to check out Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse if you are ever in Philly and to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.