New D+Q: Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal

May 11, 2021

New D+Q: Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal

With unbridled enthusiasm D+Q announces the release of Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal, author of the break-out success comic Woman World! Today is an incredible day for comics. Cyclopedia Exotica is a poignant, witty, and breathtaking critique of systemic racism. As Carmen Maria Machado puts it,

“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.”

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In Cyclopedia Exotica, a cyclops community lives among the majority two-eyed population. They face discrimination, fetishization, exploitation, call-outs, and a wealth of advertisements trying to sell them the “two-eyed look.” These ads are an astute parallel to the historical and contemporary ads persuading minorities to aspire to whiteness. The metaphor is flawless, and Aminder wields it to create one of the most compelling depictions of the minority experience. 

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Cyclops use dating apps, they work desk jobs, go to art galleries, have cyclops/two-eyed relationships, and the like. Sometimes there’s allyship, and too often there’s hate. Aminder writes all of thisthe discrimination along with the hilaritywith such grace that you learn just as much as you laugh.

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As Aminder says herself, “This book is dedicated to those who don’t feel seen.” Pick up your copy today. You can also read the excerpt in the New Yorker or check out Aminder’s profile in the New York Times!

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Cyclopedia Exotica

Aminder Dhaliwal

"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...

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Kaiya Smith Blackburn

Marketing Assistant, Drawn & Quarterly