#RoyalWomenInspire Ariell Johnson has a love for all things Marvel and it’s a passion that has made her a successful Royal Woman.
The 33-year-old is the president and founder of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. in Philadelphia, which makes her the first black female owner of a comic store on the East Coast. She opened the store last year. But if that isn’t a big enough accomplishment, Marvel is honoring Johnson by putting her on the cover of the upcoming comic book, “Invincible Iron Man #1.” The move is all thanks to her colleague, Randy Green.
The Philly native will share the cover with the new Iron Woman, Riri Williams, who is an intelligent, black, 15-year-old MIT teenager.
Johnson tells ABC News her love for comic books started around the age of 10 or 11, when she discovered the “X-Men” character, Storm, who is arguably the first, black female superhero. Storm gave Johnson a sense of pride and self-identity.
“Being introduced to Storm was a pivotal moment for me,’ she tells ABC News, “because had I not come across her, I might have grown out of my love for comics.”
Johnson has been the proud owner of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. for the past year. She joins the legacy of #BlackGirlGeeks and inspires Royal Girls and Royal Women alike to embrace the geek. We all love what we love, whether it’s a bunch of comic books, science-fiction, all things “Harry Potter” or a 24-hour-marathon of “Game of Thrones”. Johnson encourages us to embrace the geek in us that we may have and most of all, she makes it cool. When a customer walks into her store, Johnson makes sure each person is made to feel welcomed.
“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,” she tells ABC News. “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.”
The “Invincible Iron Man #1” goes on sale next month. Let’s hope we can see her and other Royal Women on more comic covers in the future!
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.