July 6, 2021

Book Launch: The Makers Club: Starting Up!

Why do makers make what they make? How do makers handle successes and failures? These questions and more drive the heart of Difference Engine’s newest original graphic novel, The Makers Club: Starting Up!, the anticipated prequel to the compelling The Makers Club: Game On!.


This full-colour graphic novel is written by Eisner-nominated Malaysian creator Reimena Yee and Philippines-born comics artist Tintin Pantoja, and illustrated by Tintin. The book is suitable for readers between the ages of 9 and 14, and features educational resources such as inspiring interviews with entrepreneurs, discussion questions, and more!

Join secondary school students Aqilah and Yong Qiang as they embrace their inner makers and embark on their own journeys of creative growth, confidence, and self-acceptance. Even as they change as individuals and contend with their own struggles, their friendship and presence in each other’s lives allow them to achieve their own independence and take steps to actualise their best selves.


Created specially for the 21st century student, The Makers Club: Starting Up! addresses one of the biggest challenges students face: Solving complex problems that cross standard subject lines. In the book, readers can follow Aqilah and Yong Qiang as they solve real-life problems for themselves and those around them. By including themes that encourage interdisciplinary knowledge, critical thinking and creativity, The Makers Club: Starting Up! presents approachable ways to apply knowledge beyond traditional classrooms that are sure to inspire children and students of today!

Beyond broader themes, educators and students also get an intimate glimpse into the personal growth and the struggles of the two main characters.


Entrepreneurial and creative Aqilah is talented and hardworking in all things artistic and inventive, yet she struggles with self-doubt and the painful dips and highs that come with the ebbs and flows of inspiration.

The gently upbeat and independent Yong Qiang seeks to be a brave and supportive friend for everyone, even at the occasional cost of his own space to heal with the reality of living with muscular dystrophy.

Their friendship guides these two into a voyage of making, entrepreneurship, and design thinking. Guided by supportive mentors, both friends discover more about their abilities and vulnerabilities, and actualise their paths of independence and self-esteem throughout the course of The Makers Club: Starting Up!.


The processes of creation and growing up are rarely taught – they might seem effortless or intuitive, but they rarely are. When exhaustion and burnout strike, most young creators don’t know how to process these experiences of fatigue, and it is often hard to find understanding and support from others. In showcasing Aqilah and Yong Qiang’s struggles, we hope that readers will find affinity in these relatable experiences, and that the The Makers Club: Starting Up! will provide them with the strength to conquer their fears and reach new heights

For teachers, parents, and mentors who wish to gain insight and empathy into this experience of teens growing up and striving to make sense of the 21st century, The Makers Club: Starting Up! presents an approachable glimpse into the mind, heart, and world of young makers and their communities! Our team at Difference Engine hopes that young creators and entrepreneurs will find camaraderie with Aqilah and Yong Qiang’s stories in The Makers Club: Starting Up!, and be inspired to achieve their dreams!

Find out more about The Makers Club: Starting Up! here. Now available in print and ebook formats!

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