Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal, color by Nikolas Ilic

Cover for Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal, color by Nikolas Ilic

Woman World
by Aminder Dhaliwal, color by Nikolas Ilic. Drawn & Quarterly, September 2018. 256 p. ill. ISBN 9781770463356 (paperback), $24.95.

Reviewed June 2019
Alex O’Keefe, Arts Digital Projects Librarian, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University, alexandra.okeefe@yale.edu.

Aminder Dhaliwal’s Woman World contains more laughs than readers might expect in a story about a future without men. The book follows a district of diverse women navigating day-to-day life, often providing humorous answers to what are actually serious questions. She treats gravity with levity, which particularly shines in interactions like a grandmother explaining the past to her granddaughter born after men’s extinction. While there are overarching narratives, its origins as an Instagram comic show. The exploration of individuals and their interpersonal relationships are nested in short, gag-oriented bursts, making for a fast and funny read.

Dhaliwal’s art hearkens back to classic newspaper comics, as the bulk of the work consists of black and white linework and greyscale shading with occasional full-color pages or panels. This approach should not be mistaken for lack of detail; Dhaliwal visually depicts each woman with unique traits. Her well-crafted, emotive expressions play up the funny and sentimental scenes, making her style integral to the success of the work. Dhaliwal’s writing reveals more invisible identities while her art showcases the diverse women that make up this world. She presents a complex group of women who are accepted for who they are, promoting the acceptance of every woman in this new world.

The book includes some jokes and imagery that may not be considered suitable for younger readers, which should be taken into particular consideration for public libraries (the leader is always nude for instance). Woman World is a hilarious addition to any library comic collection, especially those with an emphasis on women studies, diversity in comics, or women creators.

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