Lela Lee (born in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress and cartoonist, television writer and the creator of the animated cartoons the Angry Little Asian Girl, Five Angry Episodes and the comic strip Angry Little Girls.
Angry Little Girls
Angry Little Girls was developed from Kim, the Angry Little Asian Girl, a character she developed in 1994 when she was a sophomore at UC Berkeley. Four years after initially creating the first episode of the Angry Little Asian Girl, she created four more, and sent the five episodes titled Angry Little Asian Girl, Five Angry Episodes to festivals. Later she submitted her comic strips to syndicates in hopes of getting syndicated in newspapers. But after numerous rejection letters and realizing her work would never fit in the mainstream, she decided to buck the system and draw whatever she was inspired to. With the newly created characters, including Deborah the disenchanted princess, Maria the crazy little Latina, Wanda the fresh little soul sistah, and Xyla the gloomy girl, Lee turned it into a weekly comic strip self-published on her website www.angrylittlegirls.com. After finding her true voice, a publishing deal came quickly thereafter. In 2005, the first book of collected Angry Little Girls strips was published by Harry N. Abrams.
She is also a film and television actress, with roles in the 1998 film Yellow and the 2002 film Better Luck Tomorrow. She was a series regular in the short-lived Sci Fi Channel series Tremors, and had a recurring guest role on NBC's Scrubs. Lee made a guest appearance in the first episode of Season Four of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, ironically playing an angry Asian woman, who launches a physical and verbal attack on star Larry David after he suggests 'Tang' is a common Chinese name. Lee was also in the episode "Animal Pragmatism" of Charmed as Tessa, a college student.
Lee, the youngest of four children, spent her earliest years being raised on a chicken farm by her grandparents in Korea. A few years later, she joined her family in Van Nuys before they moved to San Dimas, and cites her traditional Korean upbringing while growing up in an area with few other Asian Americans as a central influence in her work.
As of February 17, 2015, Lee is involved in a trademark dispute with Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man. The dispute was recently made public on each of their respective blogs. Lee has since removed several of her blog posts in regards to the subject amidst an intensifying response from the public that precipitated shortly after Phil Yu's blog post response. There appears to be no resolution at this time.
- Yu, Phil (February 17, 2015). "I am being threatened with an Angry Asian Lawsuit". Angry Asian Man. Blogger. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
- Angry Little Girls
- Interview on PBS's Searching for Asian America
- Interview with UCLA's Asian Institute
- Interview with AsianWeek
- Lela Lee at the Internet Movie Database