Empty Bamboo Girl features the mundane and sublime adventures of an awkward, good, and sometimes-evil woman-child named Lillian “ah-Lin” Chan.
Why ‘Empty Bamboo Girl?” Well, the phrase jook-sing (竹升 in Cantonese/Chinese) translates into empty or hollow bamboo but is generally viewed as “a semi-derogatory term used to describe Western-born Chinese. The implication is that a person is Chinese on the outside, but hollow on the inside.” Our heroine struggles with being a part of – and yet, not a part of – two worlds. Sometimes, it can be frustrating and sometimes it can be funny.
The comic continues to make its home and has been published by the Sampan Newspaper, New England’s Only Chinese-English Newspaper, since 2006.
The Artist & Creator
By day, Lillian Lee (formerly known as Lillian Chan) is a Boston-based designer and illustrator who has been doodling ever since she could pick up a crayon.
She got rejected from her high school art AP class but persevered years later at MassArt after having studied journalism and working for a few years as an editorial assistant, web monkey, and a staff assistant at an all-women’s college. It just goes to show that the high school art AP teacher sucked.
In her free time, when she’s not on mother duty, she lion dances for the all-female Nüwa Athletic Club.
To see more of her design and illustration work, visit www.lillianlee.space.