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Fred Carrillo was born in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines, the site of the local Mardi Gras known as the Ati-Atihan.
Fred showed promise at an artist at an early age, delighting his teachers in grade school when he would sketch pictures in his textbooks. When World War 2 broke out, the young Carrillo drew propaganda materials for the guerilla movement in Panay.
The war-time experience led to a job doing illustrations for komiks after the war. His first strip was Pompi, followed by Karias for the Bayani Weekly Magazine. He divided his time doing komiks and freelancing in animation with a friend who worked as a cameraman from LVN Studios. He moved back and forth from animation to stage design unti he finally settled with komiks illustration.
His first assignment was Adbentura ni Marko Polo that was supposed to appear in the pages of Aliwan Komiks, to be published by Liwayway Publications. The company, however, stopped publication of Aliwan and Carrillo was not paid for his artworks.
Pedrito Reyes, author of Kulafu, did not want to see Carrillo's talents wasted so he brought the young artist to Tony Velasquez, head of ACE Publications, for a possible stint. This was the start of a beautiful relationship to last more than three decades.
Carrillo was eventually made an exclusive illustrator for ACE Publications, where he initially did Daluyong, folowed by Daryo ang Mahiwagang Bata, in semi-cartoon style. Often besieged by deadlines, Carrillo soon gave up writing to devote his entirely to illustration.
Teaming up with Clodualdo Del Mundo, he illustrated Hercules, Prinsipe Paris Walang Kaparis, Misteryso, Paladin and Kayumangging Krisantemo. With Romy Lachica, a police reporter from the Manila Times, Carrillo did a daily mini series entitled "Ronnie Belo, Police Reporter".
It was at this time that Carrillo was made art director as well as editor of Espesyal Komiks. When ACE Publications closed down in 1962, he went freelancing with yet another company, this time for Graphic Arts Service, Inc.
In 1972, Carrillo's work started to appear abroad, specially in the United States for DC Comic,s Vincent Fago Productions and Pendulum Press where he adapted classics like William Shakespeare's MIdsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Swiss Family Robinson among others.
For DC, he illustrated stories for Phantom Stranger, Black Orchid, Weird War Tales and House of Mystery.
Fred passed away August, 2005