Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal
"Dhaliwal created a fictitious community facing xenophobia, fetishization, and media misrepresentation. It's resonating with her thousands of Instagram followers."―Robert Ito, The New York Times
“The characters in Dhaliwal’s stories sparkle. They’re tenderly rendered and their problems are real... The struggle of the cyclops unfolds in metaphors for race, sexuality, gender, and disability, tangling with ideas about fetishization, interracial relationships, passing, and representation.“―Carmen Maria Machado, author of In The Dream House
Following the critical and popular success of Woman World―the hit Instagram comic which appeared on 25 best of the year lists―Aminder Dhaliwal returns with Cyclopedia Exotica. Also serialized on instagram to her 250,000 followers, this graphic novel showcases Dhaliwal’s quick wit and astute socio-cultural criticism.
Doctor’s office waiting rooms, commercials, dog parks, and dating app screenshots capture the experiences and interior lives of the cyclops community; a largely immigrant population displaying physical differences from the majority. Whether they’re artists, parents, or yoga students, the cyclops have it tough: they face microaggressions and overt xenophobia on a daily basis. However, they are bent on finding love, cultivating community, and navigating life alongside the two-eyed majority with patience and the occasional bout of rage.
Cyclopedia Exotica is a triumph of hilarious candor.