Singapore war heroine Elizabeth Choy is about to be immortalized in a graphic novel anthology by none other than the man behind The Art of Charlie Lim Hock Chye. Part of an in-progress project, Femme Magnifique, which aims to tell the story of 30 amazing women from around the world, Sonny Liew will be telling the story of Choy's time during the Japanese occupation of Singapore.

In case your history needs brushing up: Choy served in a volunteer unit, smuggled supplies to prisoners of war at Changi Prison and was, for 200 days, was a prisoner herself, during which time she was tortured and beaten. Even more remarkably, after the occupation, she refused to name her torturers, choosing to condemn war as a whole rather than any individuals.

Femme Magnifique is a project by former DC Vertigo chief editor Sally Bond and Kristy and Brian Miller of Hi Fi Color Design, and currently has a Kickstarter campaign. Choy's story will appear alongside other stories about underground railroad heroine Hariet Tubman, the first African American principal ballerina of the American Ballet Theatre, visionary science fiction writer Ursula LeGuin and many other women.

Here, Liew tells us why he chose to tell the story of Choy, and who some of his favorite female graphic artists are.

Of all the women you could have chosen, why did you choose Elizabeth Choy?

There are so many inspiring stories of women out there. It was hard to pick any one person. I decided to focus on Asia to help narrow the choices, and finally had to decide between Choy and Hong Kong film maker Ann Hui. I guess I picked Choy ultimately as a way to tell a Singaporean story in the anthology.

What are some scenes from her life you intend to cover?

Her experiences during the war would be central, but I also hope to cover her commitment and contributions to civil society as a member of the Legislative Council and educator afterwards.

Who are some of the other women in this project you're excited about?

I'm keen to see the stories about manga artist Rumiko Takashi, science fiction writer Ursula Le Guin and Kate Bush. Some of the other names I don't recognize, but I think that's part of the point of the collection, to introduce readers to stories about women who've a difference.

Any sqeamishness about being a man telling the story of a woman?

If all the contributors in the book were male, that would a problem, but given the diverse nature of contributors I think it shouldn't be an issue. Ultimately it's about stories well told.

Who are some women comic book artists in Singapore you are excited about?

Well, regionally, there's a new book from Malaysian publisher Maple Comics called My Giant Geek Boyfriend by an artist who goes by the pen name Fishball that looks really fun. Hwei Lim, also from Malaysia, has done some amazing artwork including Image Comics' Mirror. Christina Kabul's comics—she's Indonesian but based in Singapore—have always been interesting. I really liked the Robbit stories she contributed to the Liquid City anthologies. Foo Swee Chin has her own unique style that has found an audience in indie Manga in Japan, and last year I was excited to discover the works of Nora Abdullah, a pioneering Malay female creator who published work here back in the 1950s.

You were commissioned to do a bio of Georgette Chen. Do you see yourself doing more bios of women?

The commission was to do a comic on one of Singapore's pioneering artists. It was an easy pick for me because I always remembered Chen's work from the self-portait of her I saw on a book cover at the National Library. That painting really struck me, so I was always keen on finding more about her life and work, and the project was a perfect opportunity to do so. I don't think I'm focused on any particular type of subject for stories though.

Don't you kind of wish each woman got her own book?

I recently saw illustrated children's books at a store about the lives of Frida Khalo and others, so I think it's something that is already happening, and this collection is hopefully part of a wider movement and reaction against some of today's more reactionary politics and instincts.

Femme Magnifique is due out in September this year. To learn about who else is in the Femme Magnifique anthology, and how to back it, visit the Kickstarter campaign here.