A Month of Writing Stars - Fred Chao

Every day this month I'm going to feature a current comic book writing "star," someone who I think is a very good writer.

I'm mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis?

Here is the archive of previously featured writers.

Today we look at the writer of another great new series!


Fred Chao has worked as a freelance illustrator and designer for a number of years, but what I'm here to tell you about it his great comic book series that he does for AdHouse Books called Johnny Hiro.

Johnny Hiro is a fun, entertaining and slightly subversive comic book about a young man named Johnny Hiro who keeps getting caught up in crazy action-packed situations reminiscent of famous Japanese genre pieces.

To wit, in the first issue, we learn that Johnny's girlfriend is the daughter of a great 70s' Action Hero, so she is suddenly kidnapped one morning by a giant lizard (think Godzilla) and naturally, Johnny has to save her in his pajamas.

Chao's art is quite good, but the real spotlight of the stories to me is Chao's writing - each issue is formulated brilliantly and has a really interesting way of making fun of old genre tropes while at the same time also CELEBRATING the same tropes. There's a kind, gentle quality to the teasing that goes on in Johnny Hiro.

It's an awfully fun comic, and I believe it was nominated for a bazillion Eisner Awards last year (which was richly earned).

Oh! I forgot the amusing tagline for the book - "Half Asian, All Hero!"

I believe #4 and 5 are due out some time this year!

I look forward to them.

Be sure to check out Fred's website here.

And his blog here!

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