I rarely laugh out loud at comics, but Dhaliwal approaches her fantastical premise at unexpected angles, revealing humor in the collapse of some old assumptions—and the continuation of others ... While the notion of a genetic disorder that causes all female births is less far-fetched than many post-apocalyptic premises, a village peopled entirely by reliably caring friends and family is ... in the female future there is no crime, just the occasional foible. Dhaliwal isn't pretending this is a realistic portrayal of humanity—or even one half of humanity. Woman World is just a humane comedy ... I also admire the comic as a comic. Dhaliwal's cartooning is effectively sparse, capturing ten women with just a few, instantly defining pen strokes ... I recommend you not miss it.
There’s an awesome openness to Woman World that cannot be denied; the triumph represented by a community flag whose symbol is Beyonce’s thighs is palpable. Woman World is proudly sex-positive and LGBTQ-affirming, diversity is a matter of course, and the only absolute directive is that you be yourself. But Dhaliwal is careful not to paint a world without men as an instant utopia; her use of color alone reveals that we’re a more vibrant species when the gang’s all here. The mostly blue, pink, and purple landscape turns gray scale when the Drs. Sharmas’ predictions come to pass. Color returns in short bursts—when the book depicts relics from the past; in an instance of extreme passion; when next generations learn to let their worry go and embrace what is ... Woman World is an often raucous and always moving project. It functions as a giant permission slip for every person to live authentically, external challenges be damned.
Dhaliwal hasn't just imagined a world without men; she's imagined a world where everyone is Aminder Dhaliwal ... a remarkably sly and devastating critique of patriarchy. Dhaliwal takes the occasional direct jab at our male-dominated world (she ridicules high heels and envisions positive approaches to menstrual cramps), but is content, mostly, to let her characters' gentle, comfortable lives speak for themselves.
The diverse cast of appealing characters, including a nudist mayor and transgender matriarch, focus on the practical realities of running a village, but the lack of conflict leaves plenty of time for leisure, including a memorable exploration of an adult novelty store. The sequential panels feature uncluttered, simple line drawings and grayscale tones that are energized through highly expressive body language and dry, humorous dialogue. Although their web-comic origins lend an episodic feel, several longer story arcs and the overall tone bind these vignettes together into a highly enjoyable, cohesive volume.
The simple-but-exuberant line drawing, with characters posing dramatically with bold facial expressions, alternates in black, white, and grays with pages of warm pastels. This comic is defiantly a comedy, albeit a dark one. Women’s creativity, sexuality, and fearlessness are unleashed by Dhaliwal’s end of days. These unlikely heroines are unafraid to meet Armageddon with irreverence as they laugh, love, and raucously live on in this unusual and charming farce.