In Cyclopedia Exotica, 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.
Through this parallel universe, Dhaliwal comments on race, difference, beauty, and belonging, touching on all of these issues with her distinctive deadpan humour steeped in millennial references. Cyclopedia Exotica is a triumph of hilarious candor.
Notes on This Title
This title contains depictions of racism against cyclopes, who are in this fictional setting treated in some ways as analogous to a racial or ethnic group. It has an ensemble cast, which includes Arj, a bisexual man, and Bron, a queer man.
The creator originally serialized this comic on Instagram before it was collected in print.
2021 ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Best Graphic Novels for Adults
2021 Harvey Awards Nominee for Book of the Year
2021 Harvey Awards Nominee for Digital Book of the Year
2022 Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication - Nominee
“[T]he characters in Dhaliwal’s stories sparkle.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)
The New York Times: “How One Graphic Novel Looks at Anti-Asian Hate”
Publishers Weekly: “Women and Monsters: PW Talks with Aminder Dhaliwal“