For readers familiar with his travelogues, these panels are far removed from those amusing anecdotes set in unusual locales. What stays the same is his understated humour and ability to take on the role of impassive observer, enabling us to draw our own conclusions at leisure ... There is a looseness here that is almost immediately apparent, a sense of freedom that presumably comes from not being compelled to draw within the prescribed boundaries of a travelogue. It explains the somewhat experimental approach, hinting at a past career in animation, and creating the impression of being allowed to look at practice sessions before a main event. It’s the equivalent of being invited to a soundcheck before the concert has begun ... There is much to enjoy here because it reveals a lot more about the artist than his more popular, often autographical work does ... There is much tongue-in-cheek wit here — thanks in no small part to translators Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall — revealing a playfulness to Delisle that is often lost in his weightier observational humour about places like North Korea and Jerusalem ... The nicest thing about World Record Holders is how it gives us an inkling of the breadth of Delisle’s imagination. Unfettered by time, or the need to chronicle the history of a place, he soars, and it makes for a wonderful sight.
... showcases plenty of such droll, occasionally disturbing, shorter pieces spanning decades of his stupendous career. Little escapes his sharp observations that land with perfect timing, including a quiche-eating dead bird, an ax-wielding tree with a vendetta, and the exacting art of doing nothing. While Delisle’s distinct on-the-page avatar remains immediately recognizable—as a festival guest, exhibit honoree, reluctant companion to a panic attack–stricken neighbor—the collection also features strikingly different artistic styles from simplified line drawings to shade-heavy panels and highly-detailed scenes. 'Sit down . . . Pick up the pencil,' Delisle convinces himself, so that we lucky readers can once more sit down and pick up his newest book.
While the latest from Delisle 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 ... Other, shorter riffs offer quick jabs ... This gently amusing grab bag is a must-have for Delisle fans, and it also provides a solid introduction to his artistry for newbies.