Le Tea Leaf

My zines usually focus on literary comparison and its context to today's society by comparing stories around the world, or looking into current events socially and politically through excerpts and little comics. My topics range from looking at feminism, my experiences as an illustrator, my experiences as an Asian American of South East Asian origins, and jokes about my hobbies.

City:Garden Grove
  • Political/Social
  • Cultural
  • Feminist/Riot Grrrl
  • Illustration
  • Comics

Logo/Graphic
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What are your current zines about?

Tragic Waters (Extended Edition) is an ongoing project on the stories of unfortunate female figures who perish in some form of drowning. My theme explores how the calamitous tides of their times render their voices through analytical musings and illustrations; the extended edition of this zine includes more illustrations and stories as well as refined and expansive writing on how these tales affect women portrayal in media.

#FirstWorldBobaProblems (while the hashtag title will be used comically at times) is a parody series on the concept of #firstworldproblems and its dismissal of actual issues in our societies from the perspective of an Asian-American woman through illustrated comics and social media exerpts.

Just Add Cilantro and Scallions is a small illustrated collection of lists and instructions for Vietnamese and the like inspired recipes and meals; the selection of these are based on family recipes which I am trying to preserve as well as budget-conscious selections for healthy and tasty options when money is low.

Tiffnip Blues is a doodle collection of usually light anecdotal moments or slice of life experiences through the persona of a "Tiffnip".

What methods do you use to make your zine?

  • Handwritten/drawn
  • Photocopying
  • Digital

What type of binding do you use for your zine(s)?

  • Saddlestitched

When did you start making zines ... and why?

I started making zines after my partner invited me to check out the Portland Zine Symposium up in Oregon during one of my visits, and through there, I was exposed to the ongoing culture of self- and independent-publishing, which covered so many different issues and topics, as well as gave many people a platform to speak about their experiences, hobbies, and many more, which you can't find covered in the same respects as a heavily curated book from a big publishing house.

So after witnessing this event, and picking up my own zines, I started exploring my own ways to make them.

How do you create your zine content?

Sometimes it is just on timing and situational, but they all start through illustration and surround topics I'm very interested in - such as comparative literature and mythology, which got me started on my first real zine.

Why do you think independent publishing is important?

When I consider the power dynamics of established big-house publishing in today's time, such as comics and other things that are published, I question a lot about why some things get published, while others are not. In this regards, the accessibility with current and possibly future independent publishing is very important in allowing a lot of people from all backgrounds who typically do not have platform to express or voice another way of doing it.