*Ariell Johnson, the founder of Amalgam Comics and the first African-American woman to open a comic book store on the east coast, will grace the cover of a Marvel comic book due for release in November.
Johnson, the owner of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in Philadelphia, will appear on a variant cover of the “Invincible Iron Man #1.”
She credits the achievement to her colleague Randy Green who headed the project and was the creative mind behind the cover design — drawn by Elizabeth Torque — which features Johnson and RiRi Williams enjoying a cup of coffee.
“It wasn’t a process I was involved in and then to see the final result, it kind of blew me away and he [Green] also was very excited.”
Johnson’s interest in cartoons began around the age of 10 after watching her favorite character Storm on Fox’s “X-Men.”
“It all came out of an interest of learning about Storm because she is the first black woman superhero that I have ever come across,” Johnson told NBC News. “I was really intrigued by her and I really just wanted to know more. I knew X-Men was a comic book and if I wanted to know about her I should read comics.”
Johnson began collecting her own comic books in college and her passion eventually blossomed into the founding of Amalgam Comics.
“Everybody knows about it now and we might not even have enough copies for everyone,” Johnson says.