Malinky Robot’s Sonny Liew

Did you actually believe you could become a professional comic book illustrator when you were younger?
It did seem like a bit of a pipe dream, but maybe that’s because the avenues leading to it were so unclear here in Singapore.
Who are your favorite comic book superheroes?
Spiderman and Judge Dredd. If they fought, it’d be a draw.
We’ve all heard this riddle before, but let’s hear a comic book artist’s version of it—why do superheroes wear their undies outside?
I’m guessing it’s something really boring like the fact that it provides a color change in the overall look of the costumes.
Would you wear your undies outside?
If I was big into hip hop, I’d probably be flashing them left, right and center.
Would you encourage kids to doodle in their school textbooks?
Yes. How interesting can the lessons be?
How about their exam question papers?
I actually did that once in a written test for the boy scouts—and ended up doing a lot of pushups.
Name us one mainstream comic you find brilliant.
Calvin and Hobbes. Gorgeous art, funny gags. He [Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson] quit while he was ahead, and refused to merchandise his creations.
Do you ever dress up for Halloween?
Sadly, no. Just a lot of running around with cowboy hats and helmets in my own living room.
Do you think comic books can tell a moral lesson?
Anything can tell a moral lesson, except Channel 5 and 8 dramas.
Do you draw your books by hand or computer?
I draw by hand and often color by computer.
On average, how long does one comic book take to complete?
Depending on the comic, anything from a month to who knows what.
Would you advise aspiring comic book illustrators to stay in Singapore, or seek greener creative pastures overseas?
Going overseas certainly allows for easier networking through conventions and artistic communities. On the other hand, staying and striving to improve the scene here might also be worthwhile. It’s a tough call.
If there was one thing you could do to improve the Singapore comic book scene, what would it be?
Hopefully comic creators could strive to find their own independent voices rather than aping mainstream styles and content from the US and Japan.