This year’s Most Promising New Talent – at least as far as the Ignatz Awards are concerned – is Bianca Xunise, a Chicago-based cartoonist whose work appears on The Nib, Hello Giggles, Bitch Magazine, and NYLON Magazine. “Say Her Name,” the comic she won the Ignatz for, is specifically a powerful statement about the weight of being black in America–the cartoonist is threatened by police just for trying to share her metro card with some boys. But don’t let Xunise’s tough subject matter mislead you – her art style is a delightful retro mix of Tove Jansson and 60s advertising art, with a charm that makes the struggles she chronicles both more universal and more painful.
Another recent comic with an indelible message is the much shared “Black Women Aren’t Here To Save You”
Although much of Xunise’s work deals with racial issues, a lot of it is also just plain cute, fun stuff, like a memorial to George Michael’s Last Christmas
Here’s one of her Instagram comics, about her mother.
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Since it's Mother's Day I wanted to also finally show you guys the comic I did with @bitchmedia There are several reason for why I adore 80s music but one of the main reasons is because it reminds me of my mother and her journey into becoming the artist she is today. At the end of the day I'm very sentimental and a lover for nostalgia. Hope you enjoy!
Sadly, this comic for Hello Giggles called “Do jeans shrink in the drawer?” which would answer one of life’s enduring mysteries, doesn’t seem to be online anymore. One hopes it’s part of an upcoming Xunise print collection!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.