Saturday Morning Cartoons: Baopu #18

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 Praz and Yao Xiao. Today’s cartoon is by Yao!


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Yao Xiao

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 130 articles for us.


  1. Your work is beautiful, yet I also feel quite sad.

    My partner is currently facing a longer-than-expected wait from the ministry of immigration, coupled with “LGBT panic” in her birthplace and a tough last semester of school.
    We’ve had conversations very much like this. How do you stay positive?

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Lu!
      I’m so sorry to hear this. It is tough to deal with anything immigration related, because there really isn’t much wiggle room and the kind of ‘forgiveness’ that we are used to for a lot of other things in American life. I experienced a lot of stress out of fear for having to leave the country, and that my birthplace really would not accept me by how I am. I found therapy sessions very helpful, just to talk about all the issues without other people talking over you/your partner, even if it’s them expressing empathy/concerns. I know it’s because people care, but immigration is so complicated, people who don’t file immigration cases can hardly comprehend how hard and unforgiving it is. It was especially difficult to hear ‘I’m sure it’s going to be okay’ because it just might not be.
      Having said all this, I think giving myself room to recognize and talk about how stressed I was, was very helpful. And acknowledging that if anything bad happens, it’s not you/your partner’s fault and there’s nothing you could have done. Having friends who respect your concern and anxiety is also great. I know it’s very hard to relax in these situations, but once in a while it is okay to do something fun and feel happy about that.
      I wish you both best of luck, thank you for reading my comics <3

      • Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve shared it with my partner :)

        Therapy has been really helpful for her (and me too but for other subjects). We’re currently in different cities which is complicating things, but I’m conscious about listening and supporting, rather than telling her it’s going to work out fine. That is very solid advice.

        Keep doing what your doing! Your work is awesome :)

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