Yes, it's taken me a month to become capable of doing this.
The first time I Saw Clément, he was 17 and I was 21. I was trying to stave off starvation by teaching people how to draw at their homes and he was looking to learn. I visited him once or twice at his parents' home and then ran out of new things to explain.
Next I knew of him, he had been taking in Yanick Paquette's convention-table drawing lessons with such obvious dedication and intelligence that when Yanick needed an assistant to help him make deadlines, he took Clément on as a permanent apprentice. It didn't take Clément that many years to become the best younger artist we'd ever met. He was in fact a lot better at our job than I at least ever was. Oh, screw it, he was better than Yanick too. Though not quite as fast.
He was dedicated to the work being beautiful at any cost to himself and if necessary at the cost of a little stretching of the schedule, and so the comic book industry was not so welcoming to him. Thankfully, animation and toy design were, and so he ended up deservedly well recompensed for his skill and hard work. Most notably, we can see his style brought to life in the G.I.JOE: RENEGADES television show. He was also one of the people who designed the IRON MAN toys based on the first Jon Favreau film and the Insecticons in the second Michael Bay TRANSFORMERS film. He also worked on a number of video games, but I don't know much about that shit, sorry. Have a look around Clément's DeviantArt page
and Google his name
, you'll see the beauty for yourself.
Clément was one of the funniest and most gifted raconteurs on this Earth. His observations were vivid and caustic and I will ruin them if I try to repeat them. I enjoyed watching Clément hate a movie that I loved more than I enjoyed the movie itself. I believe he hated every last one of John Woo's films, and watched every last one of them to make sure he had occasion to. He had an ear for the appropriate Hitler simile which it would be dangerous for most anyone else to attempt to emulate.
During a 2008 New York trip throughout which we shared a hotel room, he mimed my manner of sleeping in hotels as a diurnal variation on Dracula entombing himself for the day and then rising again come sunset. Apparently I don't move much in my sleep. This is also the trip where he met and fell in love with the lady of his life. (No relation between this meeting and my manner of sleeping. That I know of.)
Clément was under what became known as the Curse of Clément. He simply had bad luck. He had an ingrown toenail once, was once hit by a car while biking, his dad was rear-ended once with him in the car, his own parked car was destroyed in an accident in his absence, his various attempts at moving to California all failed... and he had skin cancer growing out of the side of his neck six years back. Cancer which he was told at the time had been entirely removed. But I can't get into that without getting very angry and really, who knows whether I'm right to be?
Clément was one of the sweetest guys around. He would show up for fun and he would show up to help. When a friend asked me to try and save her bartending job by inviting everyone I knew to come drink at a gay bar that would otherwise have remained empty on a Wednesday night, Clément was the only one who showed up. He did so wearing a pink shirt and proceeded to order a succession of various (often pink) drinks from the friend in question. He was my model for Kyle Rayner when I drew that one Green Lantern book, which was when I discovered that the car that had hit him had left him unable to move his right eyebrow much. He felt this cramped his acting style. Of course, that book, in which the other lead character was modelled after Stéphane Peru, completely breaks my heart now.
On the morning of my wedding, Clément was one of the people I diverted at the last minute as drivers because my organization-fu was insufficient. In fact I misremembered him having driven my wife herself to our wedding until recently. I now believe he in fact drove Jhayne and Tony.
Clément Sauvé died last January 26th. He had turned 33 last September. I last spoke with him over the phone two weeks and change before his death. He told me he intended to fight the returned cancer for every inch of himself for as long as he could. Though there was much less time left him then than he knew, I'm told he held onto that intent to the last.
Tags: clement_sauve, comics, me, obituary, stephane_peru, yanick_paquette