Saturday Morning Cartoons: Symbiosis

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 Cameron!

Symbiotic (2)

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Cameron is an illustrator hailing from Ohio. When she’s not drawing, she’s probably very, very quietly having loud thoughts about: queer things, her eventual shop, what to watch next on Netflix, food, names for her future pets, and tumblr.

Cameron has written 76 articles for us.


  1. Sophie

    Love this, so true! And the drawings are gorgeous! On a lighter note, at first I read “Or even the less common ammensalism,in which male coexistence is impossible”. Time to go back to sleep :)

  2. Cameron, your work is the first thing I encountered on Autostraddle. It is gorgeous and resonant and thought provoking. I always sit with it for a long time after I see it.

    Thank you.

  3. Relationship Status:Black Walnut Tree.
    Thanks for this, very thought provoking!

  4. hotsawce

    Wow your illustrations are so beautiful! There is something very comforting about them. I guess the texture. It’s funny that I love the bee and impala pics the most– since mutualism is my favorite and most positive concept from the bunch. Thank you so much for this!

  5. “do no harm, but take no shit” — I needed to hear this. Thank you!!

    • cleo

      Me too! Putting it on a post-it note in my office.

  6. Mik

    Hello I didn’t want to be a jerk and “but actually” in the comments of Cameron’s beautiful post but clown anemonefish actually do have a mutualistic relationship with anemones! They clean the anemones and give nutrients through their waste and also scare the bad guys away. If you go diving or snorkeling and get too close to an anemone you’ll see the anemonefish rise up and try to chase you away, the little cuties. Their swimming motion within the anemones also helps to circulate the seawater which allows the anemone to take in more oxygen even in areas without much current. Anyway Cameron’s words and drawings were beautiful as always, I hope this isn’t super rude of me. I just love the ocean a lot.

    • Mik

      Oh shit I’m so sorry I totally meant to put this in the a+ box what a dumbass. I’m sorry Cameron I love your cartoon!

    • 1000% totally cool. I kept going back and forth on that one because it was listed under both commensal relationships AND mutualistic relationships on a bunch of different resources. So it came down to “Cameron, do you want to draw clownfish?” and the answer was “Yes, yes you do.” Which was a bit of an irresponsible choice. I accept my fate.

      • Mik

        I am embarrassed and ashamed and need to find an anemone to go hide in. Your clownfish are very cute and I’m happy that you drew them.

  7. This is beautiful, both the drawings and the message. Thank you Cameron.

  8. x

    I want to stitch “Do no harm, but take no shit,” into a throw pillow.

  9. OMG DUDE I was off the site for what 2 days and this comes out!!!! DO NO HARM BUT TAKE NO SHIT. Sounds like it should be inked into the skin =p

  10. Daisy

    Thank you, for reminding me and all of us that relationships are partnerships and we all matter.

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