TORONTO: Young Indo-Canadian Aminder Dhaliwal is drawing critical praise for her debut graphic novel, Woman World, after it was published by the Montreal-based comics major Drawn & Quarterly (D+Q).
Dhaliwal, 29, grew up in Brampton town in the greater Toronto Area and now lives in Los Angeles. It was in LA, where she works as a director at Disney TV Animation, that she got her inspiration for this fictional work. In January 2017, Dhaliwal participated in the Women's March in LA, and that's where she "had the spark" of the idea that became Woman World.
Many of those she interacted with subsequently "realised that feminism isn't a very approachable topic." Playing withe the idea of a birth defect causing the extinction of men, she posted her first comic on Instagram on International Women's Day last March.
It turned into a hit, which took Dhaliwal by surprise, as she "was just posting it for my friends." At its peak, the omic garnered nearly 150,000 followers on Instagram, which she took to as it let her post 10 panels at a time and allowed users to swipe between them, so she could "time the punchline" for her posts.
With a full-time job in animation, she promised herself to take a break after she reached a 100 comics. "I had no real plans for what I was going to do with the property."
She thought of self-publishing, but decided to cold call D+Q, one of her favourite publishers and a leader in the graphic novels space. "I sent it in just hoping they would read it and lo and behold! they asked if I would publish with them."
Dhaliwal's project is a work of good humour. "I wanted to take a utopian approach... because there were already post-apocalyptic, dark future versions of this or something like this." Still she has received her "array of horrible comments" for Woman World. But her intent was never antimale. "I never tried to do a malicious comic; the women in the world usually miss the men or, in general, are very melancholy, they never celebrate the extinction of men." Dhaliwal is looking forward to promoting the book in North America.