today isnt todd francis’s birthday. hes 23

todd has been a talented artist, cartoonist, harmonica player, and subtle comedian for as long as ive known him. he was my assistant arts editor at the daily nexus for a little while and then he became illustration editor and i got to work with the video guy.

what todd brought to the arts section and to the nexus was a truly creative mind that was rooted in possibilities. you only had to talk with him for a few minutes to have his mind juices start flowing. youd say, i want a Spike Lee thing, or i just wrote about this or that and how everythings Wack and todd would quietly get to work and have something great in a very short time. after a while i just said, todd every week i want you to have a huge image on the front cover and your drawings will be the center of arts week. of course i was fired before we could do too many of those covers but each one was terrific and weird and, now, collectors items.

todd has always been funny, always been amazingly talented, and has always drawn in a style that is equal parts tragic and dark and funny. usually all at the same time.

when i first moved to frisco after being transferred there by philips magnavox todd and i lived together in a pretty cool 2bdr apt on folsom near 23rd street. todd had a snake. somehow there was a hole in our apartment and mice made themsleves at home. for about two weeks that snake was fed lots of freshly trapped mice. meanwhile todd was (and maybe still is) a vegetarian. which was always interesting when he offered to cook dinner. believe it or not but for a long time i had never had a meal without some meat. todd taught me how silly that concept was.

for the longest mr francis has been designing skateboards and tshirts and graphics for element skateboards. the other day, fellow santa barbara mafioso joel brand posted a link to the video above on facebook and i couldnt stop laughing because todd hasnt changed one iota, not even in video. its beautiful. please enjoy.

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