By Mimi Pond. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Hardcover, 272 pages, Monochrome, 2014.
A FAST-PACED SEMI-MEMOIR ABOUT DINERS, DRUGS, AND CALIFORNIA IN THE 1970S
Over Easy is a brilliant portrayal of a familiar coming-of-age story. After getting denied financial aid to cover her last year of art school, Margaret Pond finds salvation from the straight-laced world of college and the earnestness of both hippies and punks in the wisecracking, fast-talking, drug-taking Imperial Café, where she makes the transformation from Margaret to Madge. At first, she mimics these new and exotic grown-up friends, trying on the guise of adulthood with some awkward but funny stumbles and then slowly realizes that the adults she looks up to are a mess of contradictions, misplaced artistic ambitions, sexual confusion, dependencies, and addictions.
Over Easy is equal parts time capsule of late 1970s life in California – with its deadheads, punks, disco rollers, casual sex and drug use – and bildungsroman of a young woman from naïve, sexually inexperienced art-school dropout to self-aware, self-confident artist. Mimi Pond’s chatty, slyly observant anecdotes create a compelling portrait of a distinct moment in time. Over Easy is an immediate, limber, and precise memoir narrated with an eye for the humor in every situation.
Praise for Over Easy
Pond's fantastic new graphic memoir, Over Easy, tells the colorful story of her years employed at a restaurant in Oakland.USA Today Pop Candy
Over Easy is one of the first great books of 2014 in my estimation — a sharply observed, warm and witty comic.The Comics Journal
Pond indeed shows the life in the restaurant realistically yet magically […] Characters are richly drawn and described, showing people the way they should be after stewing in thirty years of memories […] Nothing is off-limits to Pond's dreamlike portrayal of the world.Seattle PI
Pond is a gifted illustrator....she's also a very funny writer with a pleasingly sardonic voice.San Francisco Chronicle
This graphic memoir captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity…There’s an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.Salon, Ten Spectacular Graphic Novels from 2014
It’s a great book, no matter where you read it, but I can’t think of a better book to read while sitting at the bar in your own local diner, sipping on coffee while plates and half-overheard conversations clatter all around you.Robot 6 / Comic Book Resources
[Mimi Pond's] detailed portrait of the Imperial Cafe’s small community, as it remains unaware of its own directionlessness, offers a warm take on universal themes of seeking and belonging.Publishers Weekly, starred review
Hauntingly beautiful, breathtaking, ferociously intelligent… Over Easy simply comes with the highest praise, and quite simply, deserves to be read.PopMatters
Her lines are unpretentious and airy, and her people aren't overwhelmed by their affectations; Pond can capture facial expressions with a line or two.NPR
A whirlwind of sex, drugs, punk rock, and breakfast food, Over Easy will transport you back to a simpler time when hippie culture was fading away, casual sex and drug use were par for the course, and art school was unforgivingly expensive. (Okay, some things never change.)Nerdist
Stocked to the brim with colourful characters, from the waitresses living out their women’s-lib lives with a rotating cast of boyfriends, to the caustic cooks who write poetry when they’re not flipping eggs, the Imperial is the kind of sandpaper-y place that hones artistic ideals into the tools necessary to start picking apart life.The National Post
Pond’s been a favorite for years, but this work, an extended autobiographical narrative, may be her masterpiece […] The characters are limned so vividly that anyone who has lived through the era can vouch for the open heart, visceral authenticity and seedy flavor that Pond so expertly captures and conveys herein. Highly recommended.Miami Herald
For lovers of tawdry tales from the '70s, told with smarts and sensitivity, Over Easy is a gold mine.Los Angeles Times
…A sublimely evocative depiction of California in the 70s.The Guardian, Best Graphic Novels of the Year
Pond recalls her youthful grunt work and floundering love affairs with such wry, observant nuance that she imparts a poignant sense of glamour to that run-down world of dive bars, thrift shops and cherished greasy spoons.Globe & Mail
[Over Easy is] gentle and generous, smart and well drawn...Each line and scene is infused with weight, love, and memory. Pond is one of the great cartoonists working today.Flavorwire
Surprisingly tenderEntertainment Weekly Must List
There’s a tactile thrill to reading about the down and dirty of 70’s kitchen life that makes me want to abandon my computer forever.Kevin Tang, Buzzfeed
Pond dishes up a memoir that’s light on the nostalgia and heavy on the humor...The book feels like an honest time capsule from a city and era that don’t exist anymore...Her illustrated anecdotes about sexually liberated wait-staff mingling with pretentious punks serve as a sincere ode to the maligned city and decade. I wolfed it down and wished for a second course.Bitch
While the pictures themselves stick to just [a] few hues, the story and characters of Over Easy are bursting with colour.AV Club
Mimi Pond’s Over Easy will 86 the blues after the lousiest shift of any year.Austin Chronicle