open book store

when i’m old, i want to open a little book store filled with queer/lgbtqia+ books and diverse books in general. little nooks for people to read in will be hidden within the stacks, and, if i have some tea and little desserts, i might offer them to the people who look like they need it. i’ll make sure news of it spreads to teens who need a safe place to read about people like them. that sounds like a fantastic retirement to me.

Year-old Kensington comic book store and coffeehouse getting attention

Since Ariell Johnson opened her comic book store and coffee shop in Kensington in December 2015, she has taken the world by Storm.

In fact, her childhood fascination with Storm, the X-Men superheroine, led her to comic book and sci-fi fantasy geek fandom in the first place, she said.

She has been profiled on ABC News, CNN Money, and MSNBC, not to mention various nerd and geek websites, as the first African American woman to open a comic book store on the East Coast.

And in November, she was depicted on a variant cover of the Invincible Iron Man No. 1 comic book, along with Riri Williams, the 15-year-old African American superhero character known as Ironheart.

Storm “was the first black woman superhero I ever saw,” Johnson, 33, said at her shop, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, 2578 Frankford Ave.

“In addition, she was a powerhouse; she was one of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men universe. She controlled the very elements. She wasn’t a sidekick. She was the main event, which was exciting.”

Johnson said all the attention has been good for business.

“I think we’re doing well. We’ve had a very strong first year, and an untraditional first year, with all the hubbub around the shop,” she said.

Diversity in comic books has been met with some backlash from mostly male fans who assert on YouTube videos that characters should not be suddenly changed to black or gay. Some have called it pandering to attract more women and people of color to comics.

Johnson has not hesitated to speak out about the importance of the comic book world becoming more inclusive.

That means having characters who represent everyone - black, white, Latino, Asian, and people of all religions and sexual identities.

She makes sure to carry books written by and for women and people of color.

Johnson said people like them as heroes in fantasy and science fiction can empower young readers.

“When young girls come in here and know that a woman owns the shop, a black woman owns the shop, and they can see titles where girls are the heroes and not just the love interests or the sidekick … when they see women and girls taking the lead in things, that’s really powerful,” she said.

Since word of Johnson’s success got around, celebrity comic book writers have visited Amalgam.

The store was packed a couple of months ago when Ta-Nehisi Coates came for a book signing to accompany the release of a new comic in his Marvel series Black Panther.

She has also welcomed Greg Pak, author of X-Treme X-Men and other titles, and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon who coauthored a graphic novel, March.

Amalgam is spacious and colorful, with a red couch at the front window and blue and yellow armchairs nearby. In fact, it’s like entering a live comic strip tableau.

Small round tables have comic book logos: symbols for ThunderCat, Captain America, and Spider-Man.

Johnson said she became enamored of superheroes while watching television cartoon shows as a child.

“I’ve always liked shows about super powers,” she said. “I grew up watching ThunderCats, He-Man and She-Ra. But none of those shows had any black characters featured.”

When she was about 11, she saw herself in the character Storm in X-Men cartoons.

“In addition to being black and a woman, she had dark skin. The only thing that didn’t look like me was that she had white hair and blue eyes.”

A Baltimore native, Johnson came to Philadelphia to attend Temple University and earned an accounting degree there in 2005.

It took a decade of working for other people, first in retail and later as an accountant, before she decided to fulfill her dream.

Inside Amalgam the other day, Sam Woods Thomas, the commercial corridor coordinator for New Kensington Community Development Corp., said the coffee shop was the only one in the neighborhood.

Still, he said, things are looking up, with a new apartment development in the next block that people are comparing to the Piazza in Northern Liberties.

But he said it’s small businesses like Johnson’s that are key.

“They bring life back to the block,” Thomas said.

Selfixhe Ciu was an Albanian writer and the first Albanian woman writer to ever publish literature in Albania. On 28 November 1935, when she was 17, Selfixhe Ciu published under the plume name Kolombja, a poem on the Populli newspaper. She was studying in Florence, Italy, when the Italian invasion of Albania occurred, in 1939. She then returned to Albania with her husband, Xhemal Broja, and opened with him a book store in Shkodër. She joined the ranks of the Communist Party of Albania, along Drita Kosturi and Nexhmije Hoxha, and was one of the organizers of an illegal antifascist demonstration in February 22, 1942. For that she was arrested and condemned to death, but then later released. After World War II, in 1947, she was imprisoned, then exiled by the communist communist regime. Her husband, Xhemal Broja, followed her into internment. In 1998 Ciu published her memories, as well as poetry and other publications, into a book, entitled Tallazet e jetes (English: Winds of life). She died in 2003.

When entrepreneur Ariell Johnson opened her comic book store and coffee shop in Kensington, Pennsylvania back in December 2015, it became an instant hit both locally and nationally. 

Being hailed as the first African American woman to open a comic book store on the east coast

she immediately caught the attention of ABC News, CNN Money, MSNBC, and tons of other web sites and blogs.

“When young girls come in here and know that a woman owns the shop, a black woman owns the shop, and they can see titles where girls are the heroes and not just the love interests or the sidekick… when they see women and girls taking the lead in things, that’s really powerful.”

She’s The Boss

#BlackGirlMagic #BlackExcellence 


10/18 // Book of the Damned // Calm Before the Storm

“But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be“

Lord almighty, I forgot how obscenely attractive this boy is. Someone lend me two extra months to watch Gilmore Girls again.

All sorts of ailments were attended to at the Simitarium. It was not a place Clara liked to visit. 

Uncle Cornell spoke to her of her father, Dr Nathan Watts, who had been a talented phycisian once, before he retired and opened his book store. 

 Clara knew that Dr Watts was not actually her father. She pretended to be interested her uncle’s story. 

summary of my art from 2015!! i’m super happy to have achieved my art goal of drawing at least one portrait a month ヾ(´ヮ`)ノ

some other notable achievements: 

☆ started experimenting with backgrounds 

☆ started drawing more than head-shots (more full-body/waist-ups/etc)

☆ continued to rely less on refs and changed things up 

☆ slightly increased realism with less use of outlines

you can see more of my improvement compared to last year’s art here! {x} thank you for staying with or joining me this year!! i look forward to another great year with you all~❤❤

edierone  asked:

You are opening a used-book store. It doesn't have to turn a profit. You can stock it with anything you like - the bookstore version of "if you build it, they will come." What titles, genres, authors do you put on your shelves? What events do you hold, if any? Do you serve any food? Who spends a lot of time there?

I put: 

Every middle grade fantasy book I read as a child. 

Every single YA book I can find. 

Some classics.

Every collection of poetry by Sylvia Plath and T S Eliot. 

I hold: 

Storytime for kids, but in sign language. Children’s books interpreted. Book events for marginalized people. 

Absolutely I serve food. It’s all breakfast food, all the time. Tea and coffee and hot chocolate, alcohol if you want it, but not much. Cats roam the bookstore as they please. It’s a safe quiet space, and I am content.

Obit of the Day: Last of the “Two Fat Ladies”

By her own accounts, Clarissa Dickson Wright might have died long before she became a British cooking celebrity in the 1990s. The daughter of an abusive alcoholic who then nearly drank herself to death Ms. Wright recovered and became part of the delightful BBC cooking show Two Fat Ladies that made her and co-star, Jennifer Paterson, beloved on both sides of the Atlantic.

Growing up in wealthy family of a famous surgeon - the first to remove a bullet from near a patient’s spine with resulting paralysis - Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmeralda Dickson Wright (her parents could not agree on a name) lived a dangerous secret. Her esteemed father was a violently angry drunk.

Ms. Wright recalled that it was “like living with a wild animal in the house.” He beat her, as well as her mother and siblings, on numerous occasions. At different times her father broke her ribs, nose, and hit her with a red-hot poker. (Tragically, even when her mother would go out of the house with obvious signs of abuse, polite society kept it quiet and Ms. Wright believed that her father’s colleagues protected him.)

And yet it was through her father she also developed her taste for fine food. He imported pigeons for their kitchen and the refrigerator shelves were lined with caviar. She would also read recipes to the family’s illiterate cook.

Finding refuge in boarding school, Ms. Wright flourished academically and decided to become a lawyer. She became England’s youngest barrister at the age of 21 and the first woman to practice admiralty (maritime) law. She was excelling professionally.

But her life fell apart in 1975 with the death of both of her parents within months of each other. Her father left his estate to his brother while using his will as one last opportunity to abuse and belittle his family. (He claimed that Ms. Wright was “an afterthought” who put him “in fear of his own life.”) Her mother left her 2.8 million but it was her death that devastated her.

Ms. Wright began to drink. At her lowest point she was drinking two bottles of gin a day and a bottle of vodka in order to “get out of bed.” Her outsized intake of alcohol affected her job performance and she was disbarred for three months. This is when she first began to cook.

Working in other’s people homes simply to make a living, Ms. Wright remembered hitting bottom when police escorted her out of a house party for which she had prepared dinner for failing a breathalyzer test. At this point she get help for her alcoholism.

After her time in rehabilitation, Ms. Wright continued to cater private events and then opened two successive cook book stores. It was in her second store in Edinburgh that she met producer Patricia Llewellyn. Ms. Llewellyn paired Ms. Wright with Jennifer Paterson in 1996 for the premiere of their country-focused cooking show Two Fat Ladies. (Click here to watch their Christmas special.)

Criticized for both their appearance and their high-fat recipe choices, the women became huge hits on BBC and around the world. Their easy back-and-forth, and choice of transportation - Ms. Paterson piloted a motorcycle with Ms. Wright in a sidecar - may them eminently watchable. Their personal chemistry existed even though the duo had met only once before the television program began production.

The show ran three full seasons and ended early in the fourth when Ms. Paterson died of cancer in 1999 at the age of 71. Ms. Wright would continue working in television starring in several specials and even her own series, Clarissa and the Countryman. She also starred in a BBC documentary The King’s Cookbook, which looked at the 700-year-old cookbook of Richard II and attempted recipes from it.

Clarissa Dickson Wright, who refused to be called a chef, died on March 15, 2014 at the age of 66. 

Sources: Telegraph (which is a wonderful obit), BBC, The Guardian (Jennifer Paterson’s obituary), Wikipedia, and

(Image of Jennifer Paterson, left, and Clarissa Dickson Wright circa 1996-1999, in their traveling outfits for Two Fat Ladies. The photo is copyright of the BBC and courtesy of the LA Times)

Basic Character Bio

Name: Luke “Shadow” Riverson

Age: Looks 30, Is 667 years old

Species: Shapeshifter

Allegiance: Self AllegianceAmbrose Coven (Through his sister Viper)

Occupation: Book store owner

Extra Info: Getting worried over where Viper was after a while, and tracking her down, Shadow found the town of Shafter and decided to stick around for a while at least to see how a town like this would work out, opening up a book store to have his favorite things around him.

Face Claim: Ian Somerhalder


It’s been eight years since Lisa Simpson got to meet Dan Clowes (”Husbands and Knives”, Season 19, episode 7, airdate November 18, 2007) and tell him:

“I really identified with the girls in Ghost World. They made me feel like I wasn’t so alone.”

We totally feel the same way  <3

A summary for those who haven’t seen the episode: Comic Book Guy goes out of business because an alternative comic book store opens across the street, providing a better and cooler service to the kids of Springfield. The Simpsons attend an in-store signing with Maus author Art Spiegelman,Watchmen author and notorious recluse Alan Moore, and Daniel Clowes, creator of Ghost World

Watch a clip here:


beauty and the beast in a modern, magical world

An imaginary live-action musical set in a modern world where magic exists. Your favorite characters all have unique magic- meet the characters in part one and see how their story unfolds in part two.

Belle (Gina Rodriguez) is a librarian in a magical town. She has the gift of book magic- books fly and dance to her will and whisper their secrets in her ear. She loves her job at the library, but has dreams of opening her own children’s book store and one day- writing a children’s novel herself. 

The beast (Charlie Hunnam) used to be a man. A very, very, very rich man who was angry and unkind. He was unkind to the wrong person, and was cursed to be a hideous beast with horns, claws, and fangs. He hides away in his decaying mansion. He has recently begun sneaking into the library at night to research his curse. But the beast’s claws rip the pages and he finds himself getting frustrated and angry. One night, he can’t control his frustration and releases a loud roar that wakes a sleeping librarian who stayed past closing…