March 1, 2024

[PRESS RELEASE] What’s The “Delay”?: Difference Engine Launches Open Call for Second Southeast Asian Comics Anthology

1 March 2024, Singapore — Difference Engine is excited to launch its open call for Southeast Asian illustrators and writers to submit story pitches for DELAY: A Comics Anthology, the Singapore-based comics publisher’s second collection of short comic fiction. The anthology is slated for publication in 2025. 

From 1 March – 26 April 2024, creators can submit their ideas for Southeast Asian inspired narratives that interpret the theme of “delay” in unexpected ways. With the one-word prompt as a broad canvas from which a multitude of angles can be explored, creators are encouraged to put their own spin on the subject whether it is about looming milestones, resisting mainstream expectations, or doing life at one’s own pace.

Following the success of Difference Engine’s first anthology SOUND: A Comics Anthology (2020), Malaysian illustrator and educator Charis Loke reprises her role as co-editor of the anthology alongside Filipino prose and comics writer Paolo Chikiamco who was previously one of the contributing creators for SOUND. Both veterans in the Southeast Asian comics industry, Loke and Chikiamco’s combined experience in editorial direction, comics creation, and visual storytelling speak to their capability as an editorial team guided by creative collaboration and a strong sense of identity. 

Speaking in anticipation of the forthcoming submissions, Loke commented, “I’m excited for stories that use relationships between text and visuals to craft specific sensations of time on the page. Make us feel! Make us wonder! Make us see the world differently without being didactic about it.”

Chikiamco added: “I’d like to see stories that are comics stories first and foremost, submissions that are created with an eye to the strengths and capabilities of comics as a medium, with modes of expression that simply wouldn’t work anywhere else”.

The open call anthology format has been crucial in Difference Engine’s initiative to discover, develop and showcase the talents of local and regional creators. Difference Engine Co-Founder and Publisher Felicia Low-Jimenez remarked: “As a young independent press, SOUND was pivotal in establishing Difference Engine within the regional comics scene. The anthology helped to connect us to so many talented creators across Southeast Asia, many of whom we’re excited to potentially work with in the future. Particularly with our new foothold in the US and international markets through our partnership with Diamond Book Distributors, we hope DELAY will present new opportunities for us to grow and amplify Southeast Asian voices”.

Echoing Low-Jimenez’s sentiments, Chikiamco also concluded: “Difference Engine is proudly Southeast Asian, this anthology is proudly Southeast Asian, and we want (the) stories to be as well”.

Follow Difference Engine on:

For enquiries, contact:

Olivia Djawoto
Marketing and Communications Manager
Difference Engine

More like this