CYA Nationwide: Philadelphia, PA
'Nationwide' highlights local comic stores and attractions in cities across the United States. This time: a trip to Philadelphia, PA. Quick visits to Brave New Worlds and Amalgam Comics, plus a few minutes at Barcade.
Right around the corner from historic Elfreth's Alley, nestled in Philadelphia's Old City among art galleries, bookstores and boutiques is Brave New Worlds. A small but well stocked shop, BNW is equally viable as a weekly destination for mainstream books as it is for shelves of independent fare. A store highlight is the small press shelf, which features many locally printed or locally created books. I picked up Mango Lizard #1 by local creator Dave Proch, as well as What is a Glacier?, a biographical comic by Sophie Yanow put out by Box Brown's local press Retrofit Comics.
Four miles north in Kensington, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is more than just a building: it's a community space. When it's doors opened in 2015, it was the first store on the east coast with an African American female owner. The store's stock is limited but it features many books written by people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ community - including local creators. The store received a $50,000 from the Knight Foundation in early 2017 to help push forward their goal of their 'Amalgam University', a way of providing resources to local creators without resources to help turn their ideas into reality. The store also holds a multitude of events ranging from open mics, film screenings and comedy nights - you can BYOB or enjoy coffee or baked goods created in-house.