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May 3, 2019

SOUND: A Comics Anthology

Traffic. The crackle of food. An argument.
What does sound look like to you?
Send us your stories now. 

Difference Engine would like to invite writers and illustrators to submit story pitches to our comics anthology, which will be published in 2020! SOUND: A Comics Anthology is an initiative to develop and showcase the talents of local and regional creators. Coming on board as guest editors are Budjette Tan and Charis Loke, both veterans in the Southeast Asian comics industry.

We’re looking for comics that are:

  • Original fiction of any genre in the theme of “sound”
  • Inspired by Southeast Asia 
  • 10-20 pages long
  • Black & White
  • Written in the English language

Creators must be:

  • Living in Southeast Asia
  • Of Asian descent
  • Aged 18 and above upon submission

There will be two rounds of selection – Round 1 (Call for Submissions) and Round 2 (Further Development).

Stories selected for publication will receive a page rate of USD$30.

The deadline for Round 1 is 31 July 2019, 11.59pm GMT +8. 

For more details, read our rules and regulations at the bottom of the webpage, or download the PDF (they’re the same!).

Read our FAQ here.

If you are a writer looking for an artist, or an artist in need of a writer, head to the Facebook post here to introduce yourself to fellow creators.


Entry Form (PDF)  / Entry Form (Word Doc)

Rules and Regulations (updated 28 Aug 2019)

SOUND: A Comics Anthology Information Booklet 


Our Guest Editors

Budjette Tan Trese Comics

Budjette Tan

Budjette grew up in a haunted house and was told to sleep early because there were aswang flying outside his bedroom window. These stories inspired him to write the comic book TRESE, which he co-created with artist Kajo Baldisimo. TRESE will soon be adapted into a Netflix anime series.

“I’m excited to see what kind of stories we’ll get for the anthology because the topic is very challenging. I feel it will push the writers and artists to figure out how to tell a story about sounds, music, songs, voices, noises, in a medium where your main weapon of choice are visuals and words. It feels great to be working with a team that shares a passion for telling stories, most especially through comic books.”

Charis Loke Comics Editor Illustrator

Charis Loke

Charis is an illustrator and educator based in Penang, Malaysia. Her work draws upon literature and visual culture, exploring both real and fictional worlds. She is the Comics & Illustrations Editor at New Naratif and a committee member of Arts-ED, where she works on community-based arts and culture education for youth.

“So many Southeast Asian storytelling traditions — wayang, chanted epics, songs of healing, recited poetry — are rooted in oral forms. With this in mind, SOUND is an exciting opportunity to explore what comics as a storytelling medium is capable of. How might you push visual boundaries to depict the unseen? How might you meld word and image to be sound itself, not merely a representation? How do you tell stories with, without, about sound?”


Rules and Regulations for SOUND: A Comics Anthology

1. Theme

The theme of this comics anthology is “sound”. The stories must be inspired by Southeast Asia.


2. Content Eligibility

Content must be:

  • Original fiction of any genre. Not currently under review or previously published by a publisher. We accept stories that have been self-published on personal blogs, websites, Patreon, or elsewhere. We will also accept excerpts from longer work if they can be understood as a standalone without the need for additional context.
  • 10-20 pages long
  • Black & White
  • Written in the English language
  • Suitable for readers age 13 and above, containing no explicit content, including but not limited to graphic language, depictions of violence, drugs, and sex

Creators/creative teams whose stories are selected will be working with the anthology editors to prepare it for publication.


3. Creator Eligibility

Creators must be:

  • Living in Southeast Asia, of Asian descent
  • Aged 18 and above upon submission
  • Creators can submit as an individual or as a team.
  • Multiple submissions are accepted, up to a maximum of 3 per creator.
  • Creators/creative teams must own all copyrights to their submitted work.
  • Difference Engine reserves the right to request for verification of eligibility.


4. Submission Guidelines: Round 1 (Call for Submissions) 

Submissions must include:

  • A written story pitch outlining the plot, including the ending (500–800 words) typed in Arial, font size 11, single-spaced
  • One page of thumbnails or one page of character/settings concept sketches
  • A portfolio sample of 3 illustrations
  • A short biography of each creator (50–100 words)
  • A completed and signed entry form

All of the above needs to be compiled into a single PDF file no more than 10MB.

Label the PDF file with the title of the story.

Email the file to readcomics@differenceengine.sg with the subject header “Anthology Submission: [title of the story]”.

All submissions must be in soft copy. 

Timeline for this round:

  • Round 1 Call for Submissions closes on 31 July 2019
  • Creators will be informed by 31 August 2019 if their submission has been selected for Round 2 Further Development


5. Submission Guidelines: Round 2 (Further Development) 

Creators/creative teams will be requested to submit:

  • A full script with page and dialogue instructions
  • Five pages of thumbnails
  • One page of finished comics

Timeline for this round:

  • Round 2 submissions close on 30 November 2019
  • Final creators/creative teams whose stories are selected for publication will be informed by 31 January 2020


Sound Antho_Important Dates_v2


6. Publication Details

Creator/creative teams selected after Round 2 will be offered a contract in January 2020.

Sound: A Comics Anthology will be published in print and digital formats.

Estimated Publication Date: end 2020.


7. Payment

Stories selected for publication will receive a page rate of USD$30 (or the creators’ local currency equivalent). Creative teams may determine the payment division between them.

Each creator will receive 2 complimentary copies (up to a maximum of 6 copies per submission).


8. Rights Requested

Exclusive first world anthology rights for 1 year from the date of publication in both print and digital formats.

Continuing non-exclusive rights to print and reprint as this anthology for 5 years from the date of publication in both print and digital formats.

Copyright to the published work will remain with the creator(s).



Difference Engine will take all reasonable efforts to ensure that your personal data is securely handled according to the guidelines set out by the Personal Data Protection Act of Singapore.


Updated 28 August 2019 

Difference Engine reserves the right to amend these rules and regulations at any time without prior notice.



Entry Form (PDF)  / Entry Form (Word Doc)

Rules and Regulations (updated 28 Aug 2019)

SOUND: A Comics Anthology Information Booklet 


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