Work-Life Balance: Malevolent Managers and Folkloric Freelancers

About the book

Available in bookstores in Singapore and Malaysia!

When a menacing multinational arrives on our 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.

Benjamin Chee’s comics and Wayne Rée’s prose intertwine in this collection to bring you familiar Asian mythology in an even more familiar setting: the realm of dead-end work, glass ceilings, and truly hellish bosses.

Why read this book?

• A refreshing take on Southeast Asian myths in a modern-day setting

• A masterful conversation between prose and comics that drives a story of an evolving Southeast Asia across generations

• Intricate comic artwork that reflects the story’s imaginative world-building

• A long-awaited reflection on soul-draining work culture and bosses from hell

Praise for Work-Life Balance: Malevolent Managers and Folkloric Freelancers

“Think you’re stuck working with monsters in your office? Rée & Chee’s Work-Life Balance takes a whole new look at the possibility, using an interesting text/comics balance rarely seen.”
—Paul Levitz, President & Publisher of DC Comics (2002 – 2009)

“I read Work-Life Balance in one single sitting, then I went back and read all my favourite bits again! This is a tongue-in-cheek paean to the supernatural world of Asia and beyond, lovingly recreated in Benjamin Chee’s breathtakingly intricate set pieces and character designs. The story is full of fun, fast-paced action; taking a breath now and then to ponder upon all the things we (not just momoks) have to sacrifice in pursuit of making a living.”
—Meihan Boey, Author of The Formidable Miss Cassidy (Epigram Books Fiction Prize Co-Winner 2021)

“The power of juxtaposition is one of the strengths of graphic novels, and here comics are placed alongside prose to further provide a layered tale of identity, culture, and how we choose to define ourselves. Wayne Rée and Benjamin Chee have created a fine fantastical examination of the way communities reflect us, shape us, bring us together or tear us apart – something that isn’t very pleasant even for creatures that can segment their bodies into two.”
—Paolo Chikiamco, Editor of Alternative Alamat anthology and Co-Creator of Mythspace

Benjamin Chee
Benjamin Chee

Co-Creator

Benjamin Chee works as an artist in games, and creates comics in his free time. He created Charsiew Space, a story about smugglers in spaceships cooking forbidden pork. He has published six other titles since then, and has also been collected in anthologies such as LONTAR Issue #5, Liquid City Vol. 3, Asian Monsters and SOUND: A Comics Anthology. Find him online at www.charsiewspace.com

Wayne Rée
Wayne Rée

Co-Creator

Wayne Rée is the Co-Creator of the prose/comics mash-up, Work-Life Balance: Malevolent Managers and Folkloric Freelancers, and the short comic about mental health, Worlds Apart: A Conversation About Mental Health. His work’s been included in several fiction publications, most notably Infinite Worlds Magazine and LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction. He is also the co-creator of the narrative podcast, Ghost Maps. Find him online at www.waynereewrites.com

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