Clément Sauvé 1977-2011
I’m tired of beautiful, talented people dying too soon.
I met Clément but twice, and the first time I didn’t even remember until he and Yanick Paquette reminded me:
It was at a convention in Toronto. Clément approached me with a portfolio of work, of which I approved. I asked him about his pace, and he professed that he was quite slow. Authoritatively, I replied that no matter how good he was, the faster artist would always get the job.
It was meant to encourage good work habits, but he was crushed, knowing already, at that young age, his own parameters. He went on to mostly do things outside of the sometimes brutal deadlines of comics, and it’s just as well; he was too good to be wasted on the monthly grind.
Later, he was working in Yanick’s studio at a time when I was writing (and sometimes drawing) Adventures of Superman. Yanick filled in on pencilling for issue #577 and I drew the cover, with Superman literally bursting through a window to intercede between a Kansas State Trooper and a thin young man with close-cropped hair and a t-shirt… much like the man reading my little yellow book in the upper left above, much like Clément.
So much so that in the studio they thought I had drawn him from life, but of course that wasn’t the case. I wouldn’t even know his name until seven years later, in an elementary school cafeteria on the other side of the world.
You meet a lot of people at the convention table, and you try to do right by them for a few minutes. It’s hard to remember that after you part, they might take that encounter back into their own lives, that it might make a difference for good or ill. I wish that Clément had had more opportunity to influence others in that way, to become a mentor befitting his talent. He had more to give than 33 years.
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