Saturday Morning Cartoons: Baopu #10

Welcome to Saturday Morning Cartoons, a segment where four artists take turns delighting you with their whimsy, facts and punchlines on Saturday mornings! Our esteemed cartoon critters are Cameron GlavinAnna BongiovanniMegan Prazenica and Yao Xiao. Today’s cartoon is by Yao!


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Yao Xiao is a China-born illustrator based in New York City. Yao Xiao creates artwork depicting a poetic visual world where complex concepts and human emotions are examined, amplified, and given physical form. Her work has helped people all over the globe connect at unique moments, from the celebration of the 20 Year Anniversary of the SXSW Interactive Festival, to the grand release of pop singer Katy Perry's single 'Dark Horse.' She has created deeply emotional and beautiful graphics for editorial print publications, pop music record covers, concert posters and book covers. Yao Xiao's serialized comic Baopu currently runs monthly on Autostraddle. It is an original comic exploring the nuances in searching for identities, connections and friendships through the fictional life of a young, queer emigrant. Baopu stands for 'holding simplicity,' a Taoist ideal of wishing to return to a simpler state. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy or her website.

Yao has written 66 articles for us.

62 Comments

    • Me too! I keep trying… and then I scroll back up to the comic and nope, it’s simpler and more magical than that. Like it opens a door to some unknowable space that words just can’t reach.

  1. This is just so beautiful…I feel like I want to write the words from those last three frames and keep it in a safe spot to read whenever life seems to get a little too crazy

  2. This is my first time reading Baopu comic and while certainly not comedic, it is really beautiful. I like the artwork and the captions (Is that what you call it in comic strips??) are so poetic. This could easily be a poem. Thank you. <3

  3. It’s a little early in the morning for this but–

    What is the sound people make when they feel safe?

    My immediate thought was, the sound of crying. Tears of relief, after so much time spent afraid and looking over your shoulder constantly.

  4. Love the intersection of nature, communication and silence here. The bodies and the spaces between.
    Reminds me of a poet, Stacie Cassarino, who I love…

    “Colonies of prairie-smoke
    and pods turning golden and papery,
    the grassy plains iterating patience,
    and things I cannot name.
    Begin with apples reddening.
    Begin with a woman touching
    the cities in your feet…”

    Thank you, @yaoxiaoart !!!

  5. Yao – There have been times where I have felt so much a part of the world, those times that I did feel safe, at peace, connected. Those moments, I felt safe enough to take a complete deep breath and actually exhale, times that the universe seemed to pause, and the split second silence was explosive…

  6. i love these cartoons and am glad that you introduced them, and that you rotate these very talented and unique artists.
    yao’s comics are not as in-your-face (often hilariously) relatable as the others’, but they resonate with me in a way i can’t really put my finger on.

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