Striking Up a Balance

The seeds for Work-Life Balance were actually planted all the way back in 2015.

I’d co-authored and self-published a short story collection with a very limited print run that sold out pretty quickly. One of my stories in this collection was Mr Memphis.

Fast-forward to 2017. After completing work on what would eventually become Guidebook to Nanyang Diplomacy, Ben wanted to produce something smaller for Comic Fiesta that year, assuming that he had enough time and energy. He asked if he could reinterpret Mr Memphis and, that December, the comic debuted, coupled with a reprinting of the original short story.

By late 2018, Mr Memphis had pretty much sold out. One of the people who’d picked up a copy, however, was Felicia Low-Jimenez, co-creator of the Sherlock Sam series—and publisher at Difference Engine. In 2019, she dropped us an email about possibly doing something with a similar prose/comics dynamic as Mr Memphis. We started discussing ideas, but, well… there’s this whole pandemic thing you might’ve heard about.

At the start of 2020, we had a version of one of the prose stories done, but it got shelved for most of that year, much like a lot of projects in pretty much every creative industry at the time. Difference Engine gave us the option to take the book elsewhere, since we hadn’t officially signed with them yet, but both Ben and I felt that they were the perfect collaborators for it, so we all waited for things to either get better or for the world to come to a horrifying end.

Thankfully, it was the former.

In September 2020, we got another email from Felicia. The subject line read, “Restarting Work-Life Balance under Work-From-Home Conditions,” and if there’s one thing Ben and I love, it’s a play on words. (If there are two things that Ben and I love though, they’re a play on words and really good fried chicken.)


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