Singapore-based publishing house Difference Engine announced its global scheduling plans after sealing an exclusive deal through Diamond Distribution. The company has committed to publishing comics of all ages that highlight and enlighten audiences with authentic stories of Southeast Asian representation and is now available in comic and book retail stores in the US.

Co-founded by publisher Felicia Low-Jiminez, Difference Engine will kickoff their distribution of thought-provoking narratives starting with the series WORK-LIFE BALANCE: MALEVOLENT MANAGERS AND FOLKLORIC  FREELANCERS, by Benjamin Chee and Wayne Rée. This genre-bending work introduces some Southeast Asian mythology as you can read in their official description:

When a menacing multinational arrives on Southeast Asian shores, familiar creatures like pontianaks, manananggals, raksasis, and ba jiao guis are forced out of their jobs. Some give in and sign up for mundane corporate life, but others would rather fight than join the broken-spirited hordes of the (desk)bound.

You can check out the official pages soon to hit stores right here with our exclusive preview:

When asked about the new series, Low-Jimenez remarked: 

“We’re excited to make this big leap and bring our comics to readers in the US and internationally! Southeast Asia is a thriving region with a diverse array of comics cultures, and Difference Engine wants to share this with the world. There’s no better way to kick this off than with Work-Life Balance: Malevolent Managers and Folkloric Freelancers, a prose-comic hybrid which throws the doors wide open to the world of Southeast Asian mythology and the limitless potential of comics as a medium.”

“We’re honored that Difference Engine chose to break into the international market with Work-Life Balance. We can’t wait for the whole world to discover the folklore we grew up with which is such an important part of Southeast Asian culture—albeit in a painfully familiar office setting,” followed both Chee and Rée. “Work-Life Balance is also our love letter to storytelling with two genres across two mediums coming together in service of one story. We hope it resonates with everyone, whether you’ve struggled with your sense of identity or just think your supervisor’s a demon.”

Once this debuts, the monthly release of this initial slate continues with AMAZING ASH & SUPERHERO AH MA, the first in this middle-grade action-meets-slice-of-life trilogy that captures the adventures of a grandma-grandchild superhero duo as they also deal with the challenges of aging and dementia. Afterward comes SOUND: A Comics Anthology, a collection of short fiction comics by Southeast Asian creators responding to the question “what does sound look like to you?”, pushing the boundaries of visuals and words to depict the unseen; followed by AFTERLIFE: THE BOY NEXT REALM, a young adult “romantasy” graphic novel about a sister determined to save her brother with the help of a spirit keeper from the next realm over. The launches then tail with TWO TAILS, a manga-inspired wholesome tale of friendship and self-discovery where Rara, who dislikes animals, has an accident that turns her into a two-tailed cat with only one opportunity to regain her human form.