Lela Lee created the “angry little Asian girl, the first day of school” her sophomore year (1994) while studying rhetoric at UC Berkeley. She was too embarrassed to show the short video. So it sat in a drawer for several years before she blew off the dust to add four more episodes; Pat, Saturday at the Park, Lunch with Sally, and Park Bench, compiling the original “5 ANGRY EPISODES.”
The primitive, punchy video garnered much praise (Reviews) giving Lee the crazy idea to make a batch of 300 t-shirts. Lee begged her friends to buy the shirts and surprisingly, by word of mouth, her shirts sold out. This gave Lee the confidence to launch her website in April of 1998.
Lee was caught in the buzz of animation. The short video was acquired for exhibition by Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. Since Lee lives in Los Angeles and also works as an actress (Credits), she went on many meetings for her cartoon idea. Everyone agreed it was a great idea, but when asked why they wouldn’t bite, the answer Lee received was “there’s just no market for Asians.”
True to her alter ego, Lee got angry and created more characters. Deborah, Wanda, Maria, Xyla, Pat, Patsy Pup, Percy Cat, and Chuy the Travelin' Chicken. "Each character brings a different point of view and reaction to anger--just like people would in real life. Lots of people love this comic strip and find themselve relating because there is nothing else out there for them." And Lee continues to serve the market and audience everyone else said did not exist.
Finally in April 2005, the first Angry Little Girls compilation book was released by Harry N. Abrams. Just 2 months later, the book had gone into its' 4th printing! Now Lela is on her 6th book; Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls coming out in March 2011. (The 4th and 5th books were "little books" released in February 2009 by Running Press). Angry Little Girls also appears on other products such as t-shirts, canvas tote bags and wallets by the Outfit, back-to-school items like binders, alarm clocks, pens, pencils and lunchboxes made by NakajimaUSA.
Lela lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 2 sons and their pet cat.