Angry Little Girls

Lela Lee, Author
Lela Lee, Author . Abrams $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-5868-5
Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Novelty - 978-0-8109-8756-2
Wall - 24 pages - 978-0-8109-8800-2
Hardcover - 110 pages - 978-0-7624-3114-4
Novelty - 112 pages - 978-0-7624-3115-1
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Lee created Kim, the angry little Asian girl, for a brief cartoon that was a response to insulting Asian characters in other cartoons. In this collection of her weekly strip, she expands the idea to include a bunch of girls of different races. The book aims for wry humor and occasionally achieves it, as when Xyla, the gloomy girl, says, "The thought of suicide is what keeps me alive." But actual laughs are rare. Lee's minimal drawing style recalls Peanuts , Life in Hell and South Park , and she tries to emulate their tone. Like Peanuts , she gives her child characters adult neuroses, cynical worldviews and a touch of sadness. But her plain approach never reaches that strip's subtlety. Nor does her satire come close to Life in Hell , which at its best was relentless about the state of love, work and childhood in the modern world. Instead, we have a trifle that seems too timid to say much about anything, ironically packaged with a hard cover and heavy, full-color glossy pages. (Apr.)

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