This is joey lopez reporting about the Latinx Pop Lab – BIPOC 2023. As previously posted, UT Austin’s LatinX Pop Lab hosted a BIPOC Conference in 2022, it was a huge success.

This year was no different. Conceived by Dr. Fredrick Luis Aldama and facilitated by the stellar LatinX Pop Lab staff and volunteers, the event grew in size and content. Instead of two days, it was a three day affair this year with panels, lectures, workshops and an animation expo.


My role this year was to garner interviews of as many participants as possible. Artists, presenters, volunteers, organizers and anyone that Anthony Ramirez and I could track down was asked for an interview. Which reminds me, THANK YOU Anthony, aka Dr. Ramirez, for all your help! For those who do not know, Anthony is no longer a student a Texas A&M University. Dr. Ramirez is now an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Houston-Downtown in the Arts and Communication Department.

A/V Nerd Time (Skip if you are not interested in nerdy A/V stuff)

For the nerds out there, I decided not to use a big camera setup for the interviews, instead I used my iphone 14pro, a tripod and Rode Wireless ToGo lavalier microphone.

For the super nerds, I used Filmic v7, shooting in 10bit HLG. The app give full manual control over your audio and video settings which is super nice and shooting in 10bit color depth gives you the ability to color grade at a prosumer/professional level that has traditionally been reserved for mirrorless and dslr style cameras and of course cinema cameras.

I hope to host a workshop on this topic soon. For now, check out this short video:

Back to our regular programing.

The scope of BIPOC 2023 really opened up avenues of discussions LatinX Comics and Gaming. The schedule shows more depth into more topics than last years. Panels critically explored comics, video games and popular culture through representation, semiotics, semantics, rhetoric, race, gender and many other lenses. I was able to record two great panels:

BiPOC POP 2023 – “I as We Comics” – Panel

BIPOC POP 2023 – “Queering BIPOC POP” – Panel

In addition to panels there were multiple workshops, here are just a few titles:

  • “Cosmic Memory Making For Visual Storytelling”
  • “Creating Your First Comic”
  • “Making BIPOC Boardgames”
  • “Learning the Manga Way”

It was amazing to see artists, students, academics and community attendees taking part in the workshops and literally find new ways to express themselves.

Vender Space

The vendor space was twice as big as last years, giving more floor space to multiple artists to show their works. I was able to meet and talk with so almost all the artists at length and of course I walked away with some great art! Here is a short video I took after the first day of attending and what I picked up from the creators and artists.

Anthony’s Reflections

What’s up, everyone? Anthony here! Thank you for the shoutout earlier, joey. I really appreciate it.

As joey previously mentioned, I had the opportunity of helping him conduct interviews and help Dr. Aldama and Samantha Ceballos-Sosa (Latinx Pop Lab assistant, graduate student extraordinaire, and co-founder of the Capirotada Collective) with their social media posts. Much like joey, besides being a professor of media and popular culture, I also like to dabble with new media.

This year’s BiPOC Pop was my first as a professor, which felt very weird for me. I constantly felt like I was in a weird state of in-betweenness or for those who study Gloria Anzaldúa or Latinx related work, I was in a state of nepantla (the Nahuatl word which means “in the middle of it” or “in-between”). To be completely transparent, I was very anxious due to this in-betweenness and other personal factors, but what helped calm these nerves of mine down was the amazing sense of community that was around me.

Similar to BiPOC Pop 2022, this year featured an amazing cast of creatives and scholars whose work centers around popular culture in some capacity. For each of these two BiPOC POP conferences, the highlights for me is always centered around the community building aspect of things. I got to network with so many artists, creatives, and scholars whose work is incredible. On top of that, I was able to reunite with la familia Lopez and the Capirotada Collective. Being able to spend time with these amazing group of people helped center me in ways that I needed.

I also got to see Dr. Aldama again and I am always in a constant awe of his presence and sheer community building attributes. This is something that inspires me as a young professor to help build community for individuals like the attendees and presenters of BiPOC Pop. Being able to intersect critical and creative work together into an amazing event is something that blows my mind in the best possible way, and it drives me to want to be a better presence for this community and for my own community.

I was also able to participate in a panel discussion centered around Latinx representation and identity in video games. Within this panel, I was with some of the best and up-coming scholars within Latinx video game scholarship including: Dr. Regina Mills and her student, Caroline Shee, Dr. Carlos Gabriel Gonzalez Kelly, and moderated by the legend himself, joey lopez, phd. While I have not done a lot of research on video games, I was able to share my experience of playing video games and the influence of having video games in my life. I also had the opportunity to share with the community that joey, Dr. Arthur Soto-Vasquez of Texas A&M-International, and I will be contributing a chapter to an upcoming collected volume curated by Dr. Mills and Dr. Kelly. Stay tuned for that!

Again, I just want to thank Dr. Aldama, Samantha, and everyone from the Latinx Pop Lab for such a wonderful event. I look forward to next year’s BiPOC POP 2024!

For more on Dr. Anthony R. Ramirez, be sure to check out his website: or follow him on Instagram: @dranthonyrramirez


As stated we were able to collective over 30 interviews from attendees. In these interviews you learn about their work and their thoughts on attending BIPOC 2023.

Leave a Reply