Before he penned his famous travelogues about life in faraway countries, Pyongyang, Burma Chronicles, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, and Shenzhen, author Guy Delisle was an animator hoping to leave his job and become a comics artist. He tried his hand first at short stories, anecdotes, and experimental strips. Those comics are collected in the career-spanning collection World Record Holders out now from Drawn & Quarterly.
In this story, Guy recalls going to the library as a teen, methodically checking out comics daily, and developing an unexpected affection for the genius work of Argentinian cartoonist José Muñoz. Eventually at the Bsatia Festival sometime in the 1990s, Guy runs into the creator and hopes to tell him how much his work influenced his own. In the end, the meeting is but a quick handing off of a felt-tip pen. In true Delisle form, the story is incredibly genuine, truly relatable, and hilarious.
World Record Holders ranges from wistful childhood nostalgia to chagrined post-fame encounters, touching on formally ambitious visual puns and gut-busting what-ifs. It was translated by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall.
From World Record Holders by Guy Delisle. Copyright © 2022. Available from Drawn & Quarterly.