Let me tell you about Fred Chao.

Fred Chao is arguably the nicest person in the business, and I don’t say that lightly. He’s always got time for a hello, and his generosity is unmatched.

I met Fred for the first time shortly after Johnny Hiro #1 came out. I forget which con it was (Heroes Con 2007, I think). I really dug the book, and there was very little that was coming out at the time that was comparable to it. I dropped off a couple of issues of SubCulture for him at the same time. At the 2008 Comic Geek Speak Super Show, Fred did a sketch for my Girls with Guns sketchbook, free of charge. In fact, he seemed flattered and humbled that he was even asked. And check out this noise:

Bitchin!

I saw Fred most recently at New York Comic Con. He had just finished an interview with Indie Spinner Rack, and I was next on tap to talk to Charlito. We had a nice, long talk about the industry, our work, and other assorted trivia. He’s a true joy to be around, and I look forward to our next meeting–hopefully this time over drinks!

As mentioned earlier, Fred’s the creator of the rediculously good (and highly acclaimed) Johnny Hiro, from Ad House Books. And, as irony would have it, the Johnny Hiro TPB, complete with oodles (2 new issues!) of new, unseen material, just came out this past Wednesday. This is good stuff, Maynard (it was nominated for FOUR Eisner Awards in 2007), and worth the fifteen quid cover price without a second thought. Click on the Ad House Books link and get it NOW. Go ahead. I’ll still be here.

Back? Good. Fred’s stuff has also appeared in Found: Requiem for a Paper Bag as well as the Awesome and Awesome 2: Awesomer (coming soon!) anthologies. And Fred’s official website is at http://www.fredchao.com/.

And here’s his generosity illustrated here. Fred did not one, not two, but THREE guest strips. The first two run today and tomorrow, and the third one I am saving for the very last guest strip I run (sometime next week) because it is my favorite of all of them that have been done.

Thanks, Fred! I owe you big for what you’ve done!