old comic shops

Philly comic shop awarded $50,000 to open more doors

Comic book stores, like their retail cousins record shops, are often drawn to tight quarters. Even the “Android’s Dungeon,” the comic shop out of The Simpson’s fictional landscape, occupies only a thin slice of imagined real estate, squished between a barbershop and a diner. But Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, the brainchild of Philly resident Ariell Johnson, is spread out, light-filled and roomy –– the sprawling comic displays, coffee bar and plush couches are the first visual cues that the Kensington comic emporium is not like its peers.

This week, the Knight Foundation selected Johnson out of more than 4,500 applicants to receive a grant of $50,000. The eighteen-month old comic shop aims to open the world of comics to an “amalgamation” of audiences –– this grant will help the store reach even more.

Johnson’s proposal, “Up, Up and Away: Building a Programming Space at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse” will expand the shop into “Amalgam University,” where hopeful writers and illustrators can take classes on drawing, writing, pitching and publishing.

Johnson has already made waves in the comic world. When she opened the store in December of 2015, Johnson became the first African-American woman to own a comic book store on the East Coast. In addition to the largely white-male-authored mainstream staples, Amalgam stocks many works written by people of color, women and members of the LGBT community, as well as those by independent creators.

Because Amalgam sells self-published works, Johnson gets a lot of amateur submissions –– and many of them don’t meet the standards for retail.

“Often, the ideas are there, but they haven’t studied the craft,” Johnson explained. “It’s a comic book, but it’s also literature. Just like there are good writers of literature, there good writers and illustrators of comic books.”

Johnson wanted to find a way to equip aspiring comic creators, particularly those from disenfranchised communities without the means to go to art school, with the tools to compete with mainstream comic books.

Amalgam has already started on this mission –– they run children’s workshops, and partnered with RUSH, Danny Simmons’ arts philanthropy foundation –– an effort which Johnson said is made possible by their spacious venue.

“We do a lot of these programs in our space,” Johnson said. “But the building is actually much bigger. There are rooms behind the bathroom, which we haven’t renovated. This grant will allow us to open up those rooms to the public and create a permanent programming space. We’ll use it to its full potential.”

When the construction is finished sometime next year, Amalgam will be almost twice its present size, and Johnson hopes its impact on the Kensington and comic communities will follow suit. But the store has already influenced the area.

“I actually found out about the grant from a customer named Annie,” Johnson said. “She and her husband had recently moved here. They came in, introduced themselves and encouraged me to apply. Apparently, Amalgam was one of the reasons they moved to the neighborhood.”

Some of Amalgam’s patrons are like Annie –– devoted fans who factor comics into major life decisions –– but others have never read a comic before in their lives.

“We get a lot of newcomers asking for advice.” Johnson explained. “We listen to what people like, and we direct them into their lane. But once they get comfortable, they usually branch out.”

Amalgam, it seems, is doing the same.


sawasprout 🌱 (please click through to read!)

I was having sad thoughts of lonely kid miyuki, which made me return to my sawasprout au ideas. that au did basically start with miyuki wanting a good pitcher to play catch with and he is given seeds to grow one. one of too many other au’s i have.

You’re Adorable : A Story of Flowers, Friendship and More

So I want to post my Boku No Hero Academia fanfiction I am writing for All Might/Toshinori Yagi. It’s a xReader fanfiction. I hope you guys like it. :3


He first showed up on a rainy Thursday. You somehow remember this small detail because it was the day you normally watered the cacti growing in the greenhouse right next to your shop. Due to the rain however, you didn’t need to do much watering that day. It had just started pouring outside your flower shop, and seeing as it hadn’t been reported on the weather station, a good number of people were caught by surprise. You were arranging a “get well” bouquet for a customer when he stepped in, his wild blonde hair dripping slightly. Glancing at him, you noticed he looked more like a skeleton than a man. His face was gaunt, his cheekbones very prominent. His tall form was thin and his skin seemed like it was stretched out over his bones. At first, you wondered if he was an apparition, standing awkwardly in the doorway. Until he spoke…

“Pardon me. I hope I’m not being a bother. Forgot my umbrella.” he said, his voice deep and smooth in a way that suddenly sent shivers up your spine. You suddenly realized you had been staring, hands midway between tying a ribbon. Clearing your throat, you finished the final touches and rung up the flowers. He was still there, glancing at some camellias growing in one of the many flower pots littering your store. When the customer had left, it was just you and him. Noticing he was still soaked, and shivering slightly, you grabbed a towel from the back and approached him. Still studying the white camellias, he apparently didn’t notice you.

“’You’re adorable’.” you suddenly said, startling him slightly. He coughed, blushing profusely as blood dribbled from his mouth.

“A-are you okay sir?!”

He waved a hand. “I-i’m fine. Why did you all of a sudden say that?”

Still wondering if he truly was okay, you explained, “In the language of flowers, when white camellias are given to someone, it means you think they are adorable.”

“Oh! I see.” he said, placing his hand on the back of his neck sheepishly. Offering the towel, you grinned.

“Well, here’s something for you to dry off with. It’s my lunch break, but due to the weather, you can stay if you like. Would you like a drink while you wait out the rain?”

“I wouldn’t want to impose…” he explained.

Your smile brightened. He may appear a little spooky, but he was a real gentleman…

“I insist. Are you alright with coffee?”

He suddenly smiled. He was actually… kinda nice when he smiled. Accepting the towel, he nodded.

Shaking out of your inner monologue, you turned towards the back “Good. We can sit in the greenhouse. It’s nice and warm in there so you can dry off quicker.”


Setting down the coffee mugs on a slightly dirty table, you sat in a wooden chair as your guest did the same. Your greenhouse was massive, filled with many flowers and even herbs in various colors. Hydrangeas, lilies, orchids, nasturtiums, peonies, marigolds, daisies, buttercups, asters, and that didn’t even cover a portion of all the plants that filled inside!

Flecking some dirt off the edge, you waited for him to get comfortable before speaking. “My name is (Y/N) (L/N), by the way.”

Pausing in admiring the varieties of plant life, he replied. “Toshinori Yagi. Pleasure to meet you. But I must ask… Do you always invite random strangers to your lunch hours..? How do you know I’m not some villain trying to rob your store? I know I certainly look the part.”

Contemplating your words as you sipped at your coffee, you grinned.

“Admittedly, you were a bit surprising suddenly showing up, but I could tell when you first spoke you didn’t mean any harm. Call it intuition if you will.” smirking as he took a sip of coffee finally, you added “Plus, you don’t look that bad. A little on the ill side, for sure, but guessing from the blood earlier, that’s probably to be expected. Still, it’s the inside that counts, and so far all I see is a nice gentleman.”

“…Tell me about this shop. Is it yours?”

You noticed he was diverting the subject away from himself. He was definitely self-conscious. But you decided to humor him.

“It is. For two years in about a month honestly.”

“You run it all by yourself?”

“I have a part-time assistant. But I normally do it all myself.”

“You run a store and care for all these plants by yourself most of the time?” he asked with amazement.

“I do. My quirk takes care of the plants, so I really only have to worry about how to get the register to cooperate half the time.” you answered with a chuckle.

“Your quirk, huh?” Toshinori said.

“Yep. Whenever I sing, plants grow. If I’m really into the song, I can bring some back from the brink of death.”

“That’s… really useful. Does it work on other things?” he said hopefully.

You felt bad. Here he was ill, and you had to suddenly tell him that your quirk only works on plants. Your frown answered him however. But he still smiled…

“I kind of already figured it wouldn’t. So don’t feel bad. If you could heal people like that after all, I’m sure you wouldn’t be running a flower shop.”

You gave him a sad smile.

“A lot of times I wish I could heal people. But I can’t. So, here I am.”

“Cheating death would be nice, but still, you should be proud of what you can do. You grow so many beautiful flowers. And herbs can be used medicinally anyways. Maybe you can’t heal someone directly, but I’m sure you help.”

“I do sell tea made from my plants. And herbal remedies as well… So I suppose you are right.” smiling for real now, you finished your coffee. “Thank you for cheering me up Yagi-san.”

He smiled again. It was more than nice you decided. He looked downright cute when he smiled.

“So tell me, do you have any hobbies?” you asked.

He blushed a bit. “I collect movies. Especially ones from America. Super hero ones are the best.”

“Marvel or DC?” you asked.

“I honestly like both.” He said, happy you knew something about his hobby.

“I lived in America briefly. I remember I used to live by an old comic book shop, so I occasionally bought a few. I still have them I think?”

“I’d love to read them if I could…” he admitted.

“Hmm… if you promise to come back sometime, I can lend them to you?”

He paused.

“You don’t mind?”

“I like you. You’re easy to talk to, and I find myself interested in knowing more about your collection of movies. You are more than welcome to come back to my shop.” You said with a reassuring smile.

“Thanks (L/N)-san.”

“Dude, call me (Y/N)-chan. I feel this is a start to a wonderful friendship.” You said, extending your hand.

Shaking it, he said, “I believe you may be right.”
Links to the rest on AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11932791/chapters/26972208

Lingering Guilt

for @jejecchi just because

 Inigo loved his father very much.

 He remembered his father’s laugh; how it bounced with such zest and joy that always, always brought a smile upon his face. He remembered his father’s voice; how it lulled with such love and care that always, always eased his nervous heart. He remembered his father’s smile; how it curved with such glee that always, always splashed red in his vibrant cheeks.

 But most of all, Inigo remembered his father’s hand; how soft they were, clasping against his own, giving him complete reassurance that he was safe; that he was loved.

 Sandy brown eyes only gazed lazily at the sorcerer sitting across the table. He saw as Henry tilted his head left and right while reading the tome in his hands. He watched as the cheerful man hummed a tune that he too felt familiar with. Chin cozily rested inside the palm of his left hand, Inigo let his mind wander to the memories of his childhood, to the memories that he had long kept buried ever since the dreadful years go by.

 The tiny curve of his smile twitched slightly, tugged down to a line that simply showed traces of a frown.

 While Inigo observed his still blissfully distracted father, he let his thoughts wonder to the day that had changed his life forever.

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i love in old comic books where the artist clearly has a better understanding of human anatomy than animal anatomy so there’ll be like a cat with a dudes torso