Reviewed by Sally Ingraham
The story behind Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal is one that is starting to be almost normal in comics. It was a biweekly strip that appeared on Instagram, earning 25,000+ “likes” with each new installment. Drawn & Quarterly acquired the comic and made the excellent print version which was released earlier this fall. It includes new content which I believe creates a more complete narrative arc. The transition from scattered strips to a graphic novel is in this case pretty smooth, and Woman World is an entertaining and thoughtful read.
The premise, as you might guess, is a world without men. A birth defect gradually brought an end to them, and after a series of natural and man-made disasters, the world begins a new chapter in history with only women.
The comic is set in one particular village, and focuses on about a 1/2 dozen women there as they rally together and figure out how to move forward. They elect a mayor, build a hospital, make records, deal with anxiety and relationships, and learn how to continue reproducing. Grandmother is the only one left who remembers the world with men in it.
The relatively simple drawings hold a lot of emotion, and although the strips lend themselves to a mini-sitcom feel, there is plenty of character development and minor conflicts to overcome. The book is also hilarious – and in this moment in the present world where I sit reading it, there is something particularly satisfying – and comforting – about Woman World…