What would a world without men look like? Aminder Dhaliwal’s debut graphic novel, Woman World, envisions a world where men have slowly become extinct due to a birth defect, with women left to rebuild society as they see fit. Banding together in groups under flags like “Beyonce’s Thighs,” and “Beyonce’s Heels of Triumph,” the women in this dystopian (utopian?) world are charged with ensuring the survival of mankind, while dealing with the sort of everyday personal issues that still persist even as the world is being reshaped.
Based on Dhaliwal’s wildly popular Instagram comic, Woman World is a thoughtful and hilarious look at a group of women forging their own path in a world free of men. Dhaliwal’s predominantly black and white line drawings are set up in classic comic-strip format and end with a joke on nearly every page, making for a quick and breezy read that manages to balance feminist theory with Paul Blart: Mall Cop gags.
Dhaliwal populates Woman World with a great cast of characters navigating this new reality, from the constantly nude Mayor, to the one grandma who still remembers what “That’s what she said” referred to. The diverse cast of characters are forced to examine their thoughts on feminism, dating, and inter-personal dynamics in this new world, with thoughtful, and often hilarious results. So much of the comedy and drama in the book is simply told through the facial expressions of the characters, which Dhaliwal executes superbly with her clean and evocative drawings.
Woman World is both a celebration of womanhood and female relationships, and also a laugh-out-loud look at our current culture. Whether you take it as wish fulfilment or as biting sci-fi satire, Woman World is a refreshing and hilarious debut that showcases the arrival of an exciting new voice in comics. Hopefully Dhaliwal returns to this world soon.