These Black Owned Comic Stores Will Improve Your Fandom
The era of the comic book adaptation boom continued into 2021, bringing Zack Snyder’s long-awaited cut to Justice League, Black Widow, James Gunn’s The suicide squad, Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Path Home on the big screen (or whatever screen you want, in some cases).
As for the television itself, we had the chance to WandaVision, Loki, Hawk Eye, Sweet tooth, Invincible, and many others.
Watching these superheroes and super villains on screen, live, and in animation can and often inspire fans to seek out the comics that inspired these stories. While there are many bookstores that these fans can donate their money to, these stores are generally not owned and operated by minorities, and not every comic book fan who isn’t a valid white man is always made to feel welcome or appreciated when they walk in the door. They are also not likely to find so many options curated by independent color designers trying to get much needed exposure. That’s why we wanted to create this list, highlighting some of the best and most famous black-owned and operated comic book stores across the country, giving you the opportunity to research them and spend your money there. money while learning about both familiar stories and all-new characters and creators.
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Since opening in December 2015, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse has gained media attention for being the first black-owned comic book store on the East Coast owned by a black woman. âI want to be very proactive and aware to make sure that we offer various titles,â said Ariell Johnson, store owner in a 2016 interview with CNN. âThe smaller stuff, the independent stuff, the more diverse stuff that you really need to look for and I think it’s worth it. Seeing people who are representative of you can be important in your development and your self-esteem.
In addition to purchasing Amalgam, you can also help support operations as the store continues to weather the pandemic through its GoFundMe.
Games And Comic Book Challenges (Decatur, GA)
For fans who love tabletop games as much as comics, Challenges Games And Comics has a wide selection to choose from. Games such as War hammer, Dungeons & Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering can be found alongside the usual Spider-Man, Batman, and X-Men books. And store owner Tony Cade is never busy, entering the comic book publishing space as the founder of Terminus Media (here he talks about that effort with Bleeding Cool in 2014) and conventions in as a promoter of The Atlanta Science Fair of Fiction and Fantasy.
Destiny City Comics (Tacoma, WA)
Few comic book stores can claim to be owned and operated by a professional wrestler, but Destiny City Comics can do it thanks to Ethan âHDâ Diaz, who has run the store with his wife, Stephanie, since 2019. (The store at the l ‘originally opened five years earlier.)
Diaz is excited about the growing diversity of comics, telling We R Tacoma in February 2020 that, “having grown up as a comic book fan in the ’90s, every hero was white or Asian who knew karate. I remember it. to have been a fan of Luke Cage because he was the only black superhero I knew. He had to be special because they gave him superpowers. Now to see this more diverse palette – and see how women have developed in comics – is great for people to see themselves in comics. â
Not only does the store openly support the African American and LGBTQIA + communities, but Diaz also considers the store’s importance in convincing readers to care and engage in certain topics when they are discussed and detailed in the comics. , as opposed to textbooks which seem more intimidating and less appealing due to the massive number of pages and lack of images. âA lot of times the pictures can help set the tone and give you an impression and gravity of what’s going on. I think when you can put a face to things or you have visual aids it helps you imagine, âhe told Rosie Mendoza Bautista of the Tacoma Ledger in June of this year.
Acme Comics (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Acme Comics is an Eisner-nominated boutique that has been part of the Greensboro, NC community since it opened in 1983. But they haven’t rested on their laurels, branching out with a podcast, an appearance in the documentary. My comic book country, and various other media appearances led by its COO, Jermaine Exum, who even has an alternate identity as Lord Retail and the super ability to engage fans of all skill levels. So much so that these talents even caught the attention of legendary comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, who connected with Exum through his Jinxworld forum, and has been in awe of Exum’s passion and knowledge every time. ‘he was sharing his thoughts on anything and everything comics related. Which then led Bendis to make a rare in-store appearance and sign a book at Acme Comics. According to Bendis, through a quote he gave to Joe Scott of Greensboro.com for a 2015 article on Lord Retail, Exum’s enthusiasm is one of the things that sets him, and by extension, the store apart. . Something that will surely be noticed if you have the chance to experience Acme Comics.
Megabrain Comics And Arcade (Rhinebeck, NY)
After the boredom of office life led him to co-create an unfortunately short-lived comic book, Jean David Michel was struck by another flash of inspiration and decided to open a comic book store. like the ones where he regularly shopped when he was younger. The one who would be a resource for the community and for the creators.
âIt was important for me to have a well-stocked LGBTQ section, a really good selection of BIPOC comics and graphic novels and, as a black man, a multitude of black comic creators,â Michel told Juliet Izon of The Times Union. in a May 2021 interview.
Not only was he able to make that dream come true by opening Megabrain Comics in 2017, he quickly became a business partner with local entrepreneur / rock musician / video game enthusiast Brian Tamm, and the backroom of Megabrain. Comics has been transformed into a video arcade for customers who love to be pinball wizards and fuck each other’s ass street fighter 2 as much as they love to read about One-Punch Man Kicking His Enemies’ Asses.
There are many other black owned comic book stores that deserve attention and business including Comic Cosmic Collectives And Games (Bowie, MD), Game Over Comics (Burlington, NC) and Wizard’s Wagon (University City, MO). These three stores, the stores mentioned above and any that you can find near you are all a good place to start for comic book fans who need to be represented, not just in the stories they are. read, but in places where these stories are bought and sold.