In our previous Behind the Naratif post, we looked at how a creative team approaches the making of a comic. But what about comic artists who work individually? In this installment, comic artist Max Loh and editor Charis Loke discuss the unseen labour of non-fiction comics, fair wages, and how comics are more than the sum of text and image.

Portraits by Max Loh.

C: Max, you’ve done two longer comics for New Naratif: “What Makes Our Makan”, which is about food, heritage and authenticity in Malaysia, as well as “Duit Right: How to Fix Malaysian Political Financing”. What was the process of working on them like?

M: For “What Makes Our Makan”, I pitched the idea to New Naratif and worked on the script and the art myself. There was a lot of back and forth in the editorial process as we figured out the story and how it would be told.

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Max Loh

Max Loh is an as-and-when comic artist who flits between Malaysia and Singapore. He enjoys whittling at complex issues with words and images, stringing them together with emotions. While on his journey to find the ideal middle ground of practicality and passion, he'll gladly stuff his face with all the food he can get his hands on. Reach him at

Charis Loke

Charis is an illustrator based in Penang, Malaysia. Drawing upon literature and visual culture, she makes pictures that evoke wonder and curiosity. As a member of Arts-ED, she also works on community arts and culture education programmes for youth. Her work can be found at

Charis is Comics Editor and Illustrations Editor for New Naratif. Reach her at