Cartoonist Creator of Angry Little Girls/Angry Little Asian Girl and Actress on the SyFy Series Tremors
In 1994, while a sophomore at UC Berkeley, Lela Lee first created “Angry Little Asian Girl” after viewing offensive and chauvinistic cartoons in a festival of animation. Her friend took notice of her intense anger and challenged her to make a cartoon about herself. That night, she stayed up drawing on typing paper with crayola…
In 1994, while a sophomore at UC Berkeley, Lela Lee first created “Angry Little Asian Girl” after viewing offensive and chauvinistic cartoons in a festival of animation.
Her friend took notice of her intense anger and challenged her to make a cartoon about herself. That night, she stayed up drawing on typing paper with crayola markers. Using video editing equipment from a class, the first episode “The First Day of School” starring the “Angry Little Asian Girl” was born.
However, Lee was embarrassed by its candor and anger, so the video sat in her drawer until 1997 when she finally decided to revisit the video. After drawing the first episode and adding four new ones, she sent the collection of short episodes to the same festival of animation that spurred her to create the cartoon. Ironically, they asked for exhibition rights and the video reviewed sparkling reviews by the LA Times and the LA Weekly.
Lee was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in the suburb of San Dimas.
She was ridiculed and humiliated as a child for something she could not help: her gender and her ethnicity. Those experiences influenced her comic strip. After viewing the video, one network told her, “It’s really cute and funny, but there’s just no market for Asians.” Angered by this response, Lee went back to the drawing board. She knew from the feedback she was getting that both Asians and non-Asians really understood the underdog spirit of ALAG. So Lee created more characters and expanded the name to “Angry Little Girls” which acted as an umbrella name for all the individual characters.
“The sole reason I created this comic strip, was to address everything that I had to go through growing up. My parents couldn’t coach me through the racism I got as a child. They were too afraid. And the other adults, well, they just didn’t understand. No one wants to talk about what happens to people everyday. But I do. The reason I keep doing this comic strip is because not only do I really feel strongly about the subject matter, but with the positive feedback I have gotten, it has made me understand that I have hit on a nerve of some sort.”
Inspired by the buzz, Lee decided to make a batch of 300 shirts. Her friends bought the initial shirts. Soon, Lee’s phone was ringing off the hook with requests for more. Lee sold out and in 1998 launched the web site www.angrylittleasiangirl.com to meet the demand and to have an unadulterated outlet for her comic strip.
Currently, Lee is working on getting the strip syndicated as well as finishing her graphic novels with each of the characters starring in their own book. Lee also appears on the SciFi series Tremors as Jodi Chang. She has also guest and co-starred on Scrubs, Charmed, Friends, Felicity, and Rude Awakenings, among others.
Though her childhood experiences were not funny at the time, with hindsight Lee has realized that the situations she endured offer humorous misunderstandings and opportunity for redress. She hopes her comic strip will help readers realize that angering situations can have a positive outcome.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Cultural Switching & Gender Judo, the Double Burden Asian Women Face in the Workplace
Asian women who are raised in traditional Asian households are taught to be submissive, quiet and deferential. Yet the American workplace values traits such as confidence, leadership, strength and individuality. These opposing value systems often create inner conflict. Asian professional woman find themselves walking a tightrope with opposing expectations on each side. Are they Asian enough or are they American enough? What are the solutions to feel whole and valued both at work and at home? From Lela’s own experience navigating work and the expectations of two cultures, young Asian women will walk away with a better understanding of how they can navigate their future career paths.
The Model Minority Myth Dissected
The model minority myth is widely discussed as something that limits the authenticity of how Asians are in real life. Asian Americans blame the media, but who or what is really to blame for the model minority myth? Is the wrath one will face for bringing shame to their Asian family doorstep contributing to the larger generalization of Asians? Collective criticism and activism in Asian America is growing online, but is it really getting to the heart of the issue or is just a way to control non-conforming Asians with shame and guilt to keep the good face we’re taught to uphold? A look at who’s being bashed and who’s being praised by online voices will show us if the collective “face” of Asians in America is really ready to break the model minority myth…
I’m Asian, American & Angry!
Asians are considered the quietly assimilated model minority in America. But this perception is often not true. Subtle and overt racism exists for many Asian-Americans who are living in a country that regards them with stereotypical perceptions. Lee’s work “Angry Little Girls and the Angry Little Asian Girl” shows the frustration of being “Asian, American, and Angry!”
Finding Your Voice: Advice for Women of Color
When you’re a young woman, finding your voice can be a challenge. Women are raised to be obedient, pretty, nurturing. Females are not allowed to express anger. When you’re a minority woman, the challenge to find your voice is compounded with the expectations of race on top of expectations of being female. As a young woman, Lela Lee experienced this double-edged challenge. Yet, in the face of strict traditional parents with their Mother land cultural standards and the dominant societal views on women in America, Lee was able to find her true voice and find an outlet. Lela shares her advice for finding a voice as a woman of color.
Angry Little Girls - Stan Lee's Comic Con 2017
1 HOUR OR LESS