February 14, 2023  •  By Christine Pasalo Norland

Hello Barkada at Virtuous Con 2023

The third annual Virtuous Con: Black History Month takes place virtually on Saturday and Sunday, February 25–26, 2023!

Founded in 2021 by award-winning science fiction author Cerece Rennie Murphy, Virtuous Con is an online convention that serves as a vehicle for independent science fiction, fantasy, and comics creators to grow an audience for their work. As in previous years, Virtuous Con: Black History Month 2023 features a strong mix of virtual programs and an interactive virtual vendor floor. 

Tickets are $10 before a nominal ticket processing fee, and enables you to attend livestream programs as well as explore and interact with entrepreneurs on the virtual vendor floor. All ticket sales go towards supporting Virtuous Con's mission, programming, and operations.

Hello Barkada was excited to return to Virtuous Con: Black History Month with "Give Us the Punk," a new punk comics panel that builds on last year's "We Need the Punk." This year's panel featured artists Bianca Xunise, FeliceY, and Raeghan Buchanan and livestreamed on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. ET from the Dwayne McDuffie Room. Panel playback information will be shared soon!

Color profile photos of Give Us the Punk panelists. L to R: Bianca Xunise, FeliceY, Raeghan Buchanan, and Christine Pasalo Norland.


Livestreamed on Saturday, February 25, 2023 11:00 AM ET Dwayne McDuffie Room

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Comics creators Bianca Xunise, FeliceY, and Raeghan Buchanan discussed what it means to be punk in art and comics, the artists and thinkers who've inspired the direction of their work, and which recent and upcoming projects they're excited about in comics, music, and beyond. Moderated by Christine Pasalo Norland. Inspired by comic artist Sharon Lee De La Cruz's panel "Punk Feminism" for the 2021 Latinx Comics Arts Festival.

Bianca Xunise (they/them, @biancaxunise) is an award-winning cartoonist from Chicago who is part of the Six Chix collaborative comic distributed by King Features Syndicate, and is regarded as the first nonbinary cartoonist to be syndicated in the mainstream press. In 2017, they won an Ignatz for their self-published zine Say Her Name. Their debut graphic novel memoir Punk Rock Karaoke comes out in Spring 2024 from Penguin Teen. 

Felice "FeliceY" Haley (they/them, @sludgestar.felicey) is a nonbinary Caribbean American artist, wrestler, and zinester based in Somerville, MA, who loves working on comic projects, social justice media, and other rad art. They are the creator of the webcomic I Need to Start A Cult that follows Junie, a musician who's tired of working in the service industry, as they bounce their ideas of starting a cult off of their friend Shar. Their contribution to Hello Barkada Comics, "I Just Need a Pad," is now available.

Raeghan Buchanan (she/her, @peppermint_raygun) is an artist in Columbus, Ohio, who makes comics focusing on Black punk culture. Buchanan founded and co-runs POCtoberArt, an online gallery that features illustrations of Black/POC punk, funk, and rock musicians to document and create a visual dialogue between artists and bands. Besides doing industry work-for-hire, she has most recently created self-published books Strange Glances and the POCtober Sketchbook, as well as The Secret History of Black Punk which is available on Silver Sprocket. 

Christine Pasalo Norland (she/her, @hellobarkada) is the founder of Hello Barkada, a programming coordinator, and a freelance writer who contributes to comics and pop culture site Popverse. In 2022, she received a Kinnard Award from the indie comics press Laneha House in recognition of her work to cultivate an inclusive arts community.


The Give Us the Punk Spotify playlist I put together takes its cue from Raeghan Buchanan's new indie comic The Secret History of Black Punk, featuring musicians and bands included in the comic. As someone whose self education in punk is just beyond newborn phase but not yet teething stage, I'm super grateful for the work Raeghan has been doing for years. The playlist is made up of 15 songs from such artists as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The 1865, Poly Styrene and the X-Ray Spex, Nova Twins, The Selecter, ESG, Bad Brains, Pure Hell, Killer of Sheep, Big Joanie, FUPU, and Death. Enjoy!

Does holding space for these works matter to you? Become a Barkada Backer and support independent arts journalism and programming for, about, and by us who have historically been marginalized. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about arts & culture, help support our comics series and programs, and much more. Become a Barkada Backer today!


White text on a darkened, brown-toned photo of the San Diego Convention Center facing Downtown San Diego. Text says, "Hello Barkada at Comic-Con 2023. Hello Barkada presents two panels at SDCC, featuring animation pros Pearl Low, Christina Moreland, Elizabeth Ito, and Natasha Kline, and comics pros Jamila Rowser, Nidhi Chanani, Victoria Ying, Marco Finnegan, Kiara Valdez, and Amanda Meadows."
White text says, "Allowed special panel edition. Writers and editors Amanda Meadows, Jamila Rowser, and Kiara Valdez discussed what does it takes for creators to publish stories that excite them while being treated as humans, not machines." Text on a darkened side-by-side photos of Amanda, Jamila, and Kiara.