GRAPHIC NOVELS

Woman World

Drawn & Quarterly. Sept. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781770463356. pap. $24.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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Years after all men on Earth die out owing to a mysterious genetic defect, a village of women strive to rebuild society, make sense of the ruins of the old world, and relate to one another without the burden of any sort of patriarchy in this thoughtful, hilarious first book from Disney animation director Dhaliwal, originally serialized through her Instagram account. After an opening sequence explaining the origins of the crisis (and perfectly skewering modern societies' inability to take action against an obvious, impending natural calamity), the balance of this volume is devoted to one- to two-page gags, the most memorable of which center on a grandmother old enough to remember the world before the male population died off and her young granddaughter whose curiosity about "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" provides a great recurring joke. For all the laughs here, Dhaliwal ultimately has larger ambitions—exploring love, politics, progress, and feminism with great compassion and a keen eye for what makes her characters human.
VERDICT It'll be hard to find a funnier, more moving or original debut this year.

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