cover image World Record Holders

World Record Holders

Guy Delisle. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 (136p) ISBN 978-1-77046-567-1

While the latest from Delisle (Factory Summers) is more of a B-sides and rarities collection, it still shows that his status as a top-notch graphic novelist remains assured. These selections veer dramatically from his trademark self-deprecating travelogues. Delisle includes nearly two dozen disconnected short pieces, oddities that will manage to lodge and linger in the reader’s imagination. Many selections engage in fantasy scenarios tinged with black humor, like the tale of an ordinary man driven to fury after being hounded by a paparazzi, or one where an artist’s body’s inexplicable deformations are narrated by an ostentatious dog (“But misfortune was about to wreak havoc”). Other, shorter riffs offer quick jabs, like the two-pager that sprints through a man’s entire life with staggered word balloons spelling out “always too much never enough!”—or the piece “The Sleeping Giant,” which delivers a powerful fairy tale kicker. A couple shorts feature Delisle in memoir mode, notably an incident where he is told off for being a “second-rate hack telling pathetic stories and pretending to be surprised about everything he sees.” This gently amusing grab bag is a must-have for Delisle fans, and it also provides a solid introduction to his artistry for newbies. (Aug.)