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Lee Lai

Lee Lai is a cartoonist, illustrator and educator from Melbourne, Australia who is currently living in Montreal. She has Chinese ancestry through her Hong Kong born father. Lai self-published a zine prior to debuting a full length graphic novel in 2021. Lai’s short story comics have been featured in a number of magazines including the online magazine Liminal.

Fiction (Graphic Zine)

First Year

2nd ed.
Lee Lai supported by the Cha-Ching Comics grant, 2017.
Limited edition of 150 copies.

Fiction (Graphic novel)

Stone Fruit

Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 2021.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Bron and Ray are a queer couple who enjoy their role as the fun weirdo aunties to Ray’s niece, six-year-old Nessie. Their playdates are little oases of wildness, joy, and ease in all three of their lives, which ping-pong between familial tensions and deep-seated personal stumbling blocks. As their emotional intimacy erodes, Ray and Bron isolate from each other and attempt to repair their broken family ties — Ray with her overworked, resentful single-mother sister and Bron with her religious teenage sister who doesn’t fully grasp the complexities of gender identity. Taking a leap of faith, each opens up and learns they have more in common with their siblings than they ever knew.

At turns joyful and heartbreaking, Stone Fruit reveals through intimately naturalistic dialog and blue-hued watercolor how painful it can be to truly become vulnerable to your loved ones — and how fulfilling it is to be finally understood for who you are. Lee Lai is one of the most exciting new voices to break into the comics medium and she has created one of the truly sophisticated graphic novel debuts in recent memory.

Awards and Honours

2022 Doug Wright Award for best book (Finalist)

Links

Lee Lai’s comic “Nice Young Man” in Liminal, 22 March 2021

Publisher Fantagraphics Books