Francis Tsai

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Francis Tsai
Francis Tsai
Born Francis Tsai
Nationality American
Area(s) comic book artist, illustrator, conceptual artist, author

Francis Tsai is an American comic book artist, illustrator, author and conceptual artist. He is of Taiwanese and Japanese ancestry.[1][better source needed]

Early life[edit]

Tsai was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Lubbock, Texas. He initially studied chemistry, before receiving a graduate degree in architecture.[2]


In 1998, Francis Tsai joined Presto Studios as Conceptual Designer where he provided visual development and game design for the video games Myst 3[3] and Star Trek: Hidden Evil.[4] In 2003, Tsai joined High Moon Studios where he was principal concept artist for the video games The Bourne Conspiracy and Darkwatch.[5]

Tsai has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.

Tsai is currently[when?] working on a five-issue graphic novel miniseries called Tracker for Top Cow Productions.[6]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Tsai also contributes covers and interior art for Marvel Comics.[7][8]

Tsai provided interior artwork for Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology[9] as well as covers and interior artwork for the serialized graphic novel Mercy Thompson: Homecoming,[10] which reached number eight on the Comics Bestsellers list in October 2009.[11] In a generally favorable review of the novel, Martha Cornog wrote, "Francis Tsai's and Amelia Woo's painted art, especially their beautiful wolf depictions, make this all visually believable."[12] Tsai also created interiors for trade paperback Impaler.[13]

Dungeons and Dragons[edit]

Tsai provided interior artwork for a number of Dungeons & Dragons manuals for Wizards of the Coast, including Sharn: City of Towers, Monster Manual III, d20 Future, Races of Eberron, Lost Empires of Faerûn, Explorer's Handbook, Tome of Magic: Pact, Shadow, and Truename Magic, Power of Faerûn, and d20 Future Tech.[14] Tsai created the artwork for the Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition Dungeon Masters Screen.[15]


Tsai provided visual development in the TV and film industries contributing concept artwork for Motion Theory's Gatorade "Inside Crosby" and Lenovo Thinkpad "Rollcage" commercials[16][17] as well as the movies Sucker Punch and TMNT - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[18] Tsai worked on Tracker, a miniseries from Top Cow Productions and Heroes and Villains Entertainment about an FBI agent who has contracted a virus that turns him into a werewolf.

Books and magazines[edit]

He is a regular contributor to ImagineFX magazine, where he has created a series of workshops including topics such as using 3-D in 2-D, effective character design and game concept art.[2]

Francis Tsai wrote and illustrated the book Fantasy Art Academy: 100 Ways to Paint the Coolest Fantasy Figures for F&W Publications and recently released another book Extreme Worlds in November 2009.


Tsai has won numerous professional awards for his work.[19][20][21][22]

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis[edit]

In 2010, at the age of 42, Tsai was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The disease cost him the ability to move his arms and hands; he hasn't held a pencil since early 2011. He discovered he could digitally paint on his iPhone with his right big toe while holding the iPhone with his left foot.[23] Once he lost the ability to move his feet, Tsai began using the PC Eye from Tobii in conjunction with a Kiosk Tablet to communicate. By early 2012, Tsai began creating art again using the eye-gaze technology with drawing programs Sketchup and Photoshop.[24] His eye-gaze art has been featured in the media including CNN and computer art magazine ImagineFX (August 2013).[25]

Personal life[edit]

He currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Linda. The two met as architecture students at the University of Texas.[26]




  • Machine Flesh
  • Fantasy Art Now: The Very Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art and Illustration
  • 50 Robots to Draw and Paint: Create Fantastic Robot Characters for Comic Books, Computer Games, and Graphic Novels
  • How to Draw Fantasy Females
  • Fantasy: Illustrated Fantasy and Sci-Fi Magazine
  • Erotic Fantasy Art


  1. ^ Francis Tsai on Facebook
  2. ^ a b Parker, Charley (2007-04-11). "Francis Tsai". Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  3. ^ Kauffman, Jeremiah; Philip Jong (October 2000). "Francis Tsai: Interview". Adventure Classic Gaming. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  4. ^ Crawford, Rowan (1999-11-22). "Under Cover: Francis Tsai". Loony Games 2 (3). Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Francis Tsai at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Phegley, Kiel (2008-06-23). "Marvel Artists on the Cutting Edge". Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  9. ^ "Secret Identities Available April 15 Press Release". 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  10. ^ Schwartz, Neil (2008-09-29). "Mercy Thompson: Homecoming Preview". Dabel Brothers Publishing. Retrieved 2009-05-05. [dead link]
  11. ^ Reid, Calvin (2009-10-12). "Comics Bestsellers", Publishers Weekly 256 (41): 14.
  12. ^ Cornog, Martha (2010-01-15). "Graphic Novels", Library Journal 135 (1): 80.
  13. ^ "Top Cow releases "Impaler" TPB". 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "IMDB". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  19. ^ Published & Gold Award – “The Train Station” by Francis Tsai
  20. ^ Published & Bronze Award – “Devils Alley” by Francis Tsai
  21. ^ Published & Certificate of Merit – “Sunlight” by Francis Tsai
  22. ^ Published & Certificate of Merit - "Bourne Shootout" by Francis Tsai
  23. ^ [5]
  24. ^ [6]
  25. ^ [7]
  26. ^ Gallaga, Omar (November 2, 2013). "Visions made real". Austin American-Statesman. 
  27. ^ Top Cow Releasing Tracker on November 11th

External links[edit]