Location: Anime NYC
Interview Date: 11/17/2018
Anime Herald: What is the backstory for Bloody Sweet?
Narae Lee: I wanted to tackle the problem of bullying at schools, and among children and younger people. Originally, I was planning on doing a short story. While exploring these themes, I thought about witches having been bullied. Korean witches (called Mudang) suffered this.
Anime Herald: Why did you decide to write about bullying?
Narae Lee: Bullying is a big problem in society. When I talked with the people around me, especially younger people, it seemed like everyone had experienced it. It’s a universal experience.
Anime Herald: The art for Bloody Sweet has some BDSM elements. Is that something you were going for?
Narae Lee: (Laughs) Yes.
Anime Herald: You’ve mentioned working in the American market.
Narae Lee: I worked as the artist for James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series.
Anime Herald: Will you be tailoring your work to attract more of the American audience, or are you mostly focused on the Korean audience?
Narae Lee: I’ve been in talks with the publishers of Maximum Ride for about four years to do an original project of mine. We should have some more solid details in the next year, or so.
Anime Herald: Can you share any details about the project?
Narae Lee: It’s an action title with a female protagonist.
Anime Herald: Who are some of the comic or traditional artists who inspired you?
Narae Lee: Among fellow Korean artists, I like Ha Il-Kwon. As far as movies go, I like [The] Hunger Games and the Divergent series.
Anime Herald: Do you have any questions for us?
Narae Lee: The hot topic in Korea right now is gender issues. For the past six months, I’ve been staying in Canada. Compared to Korea, the gender issues and the legal issues around it are a bit more advanced (progressive). It’s a step forward from how things are in Korea. I’m a little curious [as to] how readers and other people feel about those issues in America.
Anime Herald: I don’t think Americans realize how things are in Korea, so we don’t necessarily understand the context behind Bloody Sweet. However, we have our own gender issues.
Narae Lee: I’m interested in taking on those issues in my next project.
Special thanks to Narae Lee for sitting down with us. Thanks to Anime NYC for making this interview possible.