Born Edgar Francisco Clement Ibarra in Mexico City in 1967, Clement is one of the most important cartoonists of his generation, embodying the rise of the alternative comics scene in Mexico. Though he did not receive any formal schooling, Clement’s style of illustration is masterful and immediately recognizable. Thematically, he favors topics related to religious mythology (Amerindian, Judeo-Christian, Roman), globalization, and Mexican history. In his early twenties, he worked for the newspapers La Jornada, Excelsior, and El Nacional, contributing to their Sunday magazines. He also labored as illustrator for commercial publications like PC Magazine and Cine Premiere.
During the 1990s, as part of a collective, he was the co-founder of El Gallito Inglés (later known as Gallito Cómics), a seminal publication in the Mexican alternative comics scene. He also started imparting workshops at the National School for the Arts and the Cultural Institute of San Luis Potosí. In 1994, Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) awarded him a grant in recognition of his work as a young cartoonist. In 1995, thanks to this grant, he published the first installment of Operación Bolívar, an accomplished graphic novel and perhaps his most influential piece of work to date, which set the tone for Mexico’s alternative comics scene during this period, eventually giving way to Los Perros Salvajes (The Savage Dogs) and Angeleros in the early 2010s.
Clement’s work has been recognized internationally, resulting in substantial travel abroad. Starting in the late 1990s, he traveled to Canada (as resident at The Banff Centre for the Arts in 1996); the San Francisco Bay Area (as resident at the Kala Institute in Berkeley in 1997); and Paris (as guest at the Cité des Arts and exhibit coordinator at the Centre Culturel de Mexique in 2002). During this same period, he taught workshops at the Universidad Iberoamericana and the children’s museum El Papalote; organized two comics convention (1999, 2000); and contributed to the business daily El Financiero as editorial cartoonist.
In 2000, the Taller del Perro issued the full version of Operación Bolívar, to be published again by Caligrama in 2006. In 2002, Clement collaborated in a campaign against kidnapping led by the government of Mexico City. Since 2004, he works for Studio F, coloring for Marvel’s Wolverine.
Clement’s titles include Súcubus-Íncubus (2000), Eclipse (2000), Kerubim y otros cuentos (2007), Ohm Kemala (2008), Ex Hybris (2011), Los Perros Salvajes (2012) and Angeleros (2012). His work has been included in Sensacional de Chilangos (2001), an anthology published by the government of Mexico City; ConSecuencias (2005), a comics catalogue published by the Instituto de la Juventud; and Historias de la Historia (2010), a text edited by INAH, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. In the private sector, he has illustrated for Editorial Clío in 2005 (Macbeth), Editorial Castillo in 2007 (Sonríe, El hombre que se convirtió en toro, and Querido Tigre Quezada), and Ediciones B in 2013 (Rockboy: antisocial).
–Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste
- Campbell, Bruce. Viva la historieta : Mexican Comics, NAFTA, and the Politics of Globalization. Jackson, MI: University of Mississippi Press, 2009.