The Reinvention of Francis Tsai

It’s been a heck of a long time since I did anything on all of the comic artists who have come from Lubbock — mainly because I don’t live there anymore, and it’s hard to remember to do them. But I found a good excuse to revisit the series…

Francis Tsai grew up in Lubbock — moved here from Hawaii when he was about six years old, but attended college at UT in Austin, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Chemistry and a Masters degree in Architecture.


He’s done work in a lot of different areas. He worked on an ongoing story in Marvel Comics Presents called “Vanguard”. He also did covers for Marvel on different titles, including “Marvel Adventures Iron Man,” “Marvel Adventures Spider-Man,” “Heroes for Hire,” and a one shot called “Exiles: Days of Then and Now.” He also worked on a book called “Tracker” for Top Cow a few years back.

He was also a regular freelancer for the game company Wizards of the Coast, working on Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and other projects. He illustrated a cover for PCGamer magazine for an issue focused on zombie games, as well as a lot of video game design work, and published a book on designing and painting fantasy characters called “Fantasy Art Academy: 100 Ways to Paint the Coolest Fantasy Figures.” And he contributed art to a book called “Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.”


Well, after that, things got rough. In 2010, he was diagnosed with ALS. And it barely even slowed him down.

He lost the use of his hands. So he started drawing with his toes. Then he lost the use of his feet. So a friend set him up with a computer program that would let him draw with his eyes. Here are a couple examples of the work he’s doing now.



I’ll assume that thunk I heard was the sound of your jaw hitting the floor.

Now Francis and some of his colleagues have put together a Kickstarter project for an art book called “RE:INVENT” dedicated to inspiring artists to reinvent themselves to allow themselves to escape from creative ruts and create the artwork they’ve always dreamed of doing. They’ve already gotten funded, but there are still 20 days left to go in the campaign. And if you like Francis’ art — both then and now — you should consider tossing them some coin. The artwork they’ve got so far is absolutely amazing, and the more money they raise, the better it’s going to get.

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