Kevin Royal Johnson
Kevin Royal Johnson founded Royal Books in 1996. He is originally from Arkansas, got an Engineering degree at Vanderbilt University, and after 15 years working for the government in DC, decided to move to Baltimore and do something more interesting. Royal Books originally operated on the fourth floor of a giant building that produced chemical sealant for underground pipes, and in 2002 made a permanent move to its present, more proper location on 25th Street.
Kevin has authored two books on the first edition sources for American film noir, The Dark Page (1940-1949) and The Dark Page II (1950-1965), both published by Oak Knoll Press. In 2012 he curated an exhibit of rare cinema-related photographs at the American Film Institute, Behind the Fourth Wall: Actors and Directors on the Set 1926-2001.
His third book, The Celluloid Paper Trail: Identification and Description of Twentieth Century Film Scripts, was published by Oak Knoll Press in late 2019.
In the past two decades Kevin has worked with the archives of John Cassavetes, George A. Romero, Beauford Delaney, Chris Offutt, Andrew Offutt, Glenn Branca, Dana Andrews, Robert Kanigel, Vincent Peranio, and many others.
Kevin likes pimiento cheese sandwiches toasted on one side, a good burger, and obsessing over vinyl. He enjoys watching movies and listening to music in a fashion that might be described as autistic, organizing information for purposes that remain mysterious, reading comics and comic strips published prior to 1979, studying film history, and avoiding film criticism. He resides happily on a quiet hill at the northwestern edge of Baltimore City, said by some to be unreachable unless you know the password. He does not want to go camping, avoids crowds, and depending on the topic either has little to say or can't stop talking.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ezra Warwick was born and raised in New Orleans, but traveled north after high school, following the siren call of cooler, calmer climates. After receiving a degree in sociology from Bard College they moved to Baltimore, and, after a series of largely desultory "B" jobs—baker, barista, bartender, babysitter—finally found suitable employment at Royal Books in 2019. Ezra handles the store's daily operations, including processing orders, cataloging and editing, communicating with consignors, and assisting with appraisals and collections. When not handling books, scripts, and other forms of rare paper, they enjoy weight training at the gym, testing out new skincare, walking their neurotic chihuahua Lula, and cooking Cajun food with a glass of wine in one hand—although mostly they spend their time curled on the couch, watching movies with their wonderful husband, Ryan. Ezra likes artisanal leather, bel canto, alleys, crooked teeth, NTS Radio, secluded swimming holes, and Letterboxd, and may be bribed with strong coffee and sour candies, should the need arise.
Tim Boniface was born and raised in Baltimore and is a fine arts graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has managed book stores and art supply stores, as well as having been a proficient technical illustrator and a begrudging graphics artist. Today his energies are focused on cooking, endlessly rereading his beloved Thomas Pynchon novels, listening to nearly any and all music, and watching far too much television with his sweetheart of the last 25 years, Chris. An avid film lover, his ideal movie would be Carl Theodor Dryer's Ordet cast with the characters of Alex Cox’s Repo Man with a soundtrack by The Residents. He’s quite elated to find himself immersed in the books, scripts, and ephemera here at Royal Books and promises to lovingly prepare your orders as though they were his own. Sous les pavés, la plage!
Lucy Nguyen grew up in Virginia, but has since settled in Baltimore after graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in illustration. As a long time appreciator of antique books and 20th Century art and design, they've been pleased to document Royal Books' collection and design the tri-annual catalogs since 2022. When they don't have their nose stuck in old paper, whether it be at the store or from their own stash, their love for animation, comics, and fashion is fueling a never-ending stream of drawing, writing, and sewing projects. In their remaining free time, you can find them watching the lastest prestige TV drama or a '90s anime with their partner Diana and their two cats Luna and Soleil, or meticulously perusing a vintage clothes rack.
Elizabeth (Beth) Kopp was born and raised in Maryland and moved to Baltimore in 2020 to attend Goucher College as a transfer. She graduated with a degree in history in 2021 and has a love of women’s history, particularly focused on late Tsarist and early Soviet Russia. She currently lives in Remington with her 4 year old cat Georgia who loves to hang out while she reads romance novels. When not reading with her cat she enjoys trying out beginner knitting projects, binging reality television, and sometimes bouldering at the local climbing gym so long as her climbing buddy is in town.
Jodi Feldman is originally from New Jersey, but most recently came to us from California. She moved to Baltimore in 2016 to escape the never-ending hamster wheel that is life in Los Angeles. She discovered a gift for math and administrative arts while volunteering at Maximum RocknRoll in the 90s and parlayed those gifts into being the Punk Rock secretary. She then parlayed those gifts into being the kooky art-lady accountant that she is now. She currently resides in Hampden with two totally adorable cats and enjoys spending the weekends with her totally adorable life-partner, Andy. She enjoys distractedly watching “things" with a book in one hand, usually with her glasses on top of her head. Her vision of a perfect film would be Bob Clark directing a Tarkovsky film or Tarkovsky directing a Bob Clark movie. She likes early mornings, rock n roll radio, reading in bed, going to sleep before 9, and driving with the windows open. She doesn’t sit in chairs properly and always falls asleep in the movie theater. She also really loves to swim.