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Over Easyby Mimi Pond
Synopses & Reviews
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 being denied financial aid to cover her last year of art school, Margaret finds salvation from the straightlaced world of college and the earnestness of both hippies and punks in the wisecracking, fast-talking, drug-taking group she encounters at the 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. Gradually she 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 who grows from a naïve, sexually inexperienced art-school dropout into a self-aware, self-confident artist. Mimi Ponds chatty, slyly observant anecdotes create a compelling portrait of a distinct moment in time. Over Easy is an immediate, limber, and precise semi-memoir narrated with an eye for the humor in every situation.
"Pond's autobiographical graphic novel, set in California at the end of the 1970s, describes the period shortly after she left art school due to a lack of funds, taking a job first as a dishwasher, then as a waitress at the Imperial Cafe in Oakland, Calif. All the regulars and staff at the cafe have pseudonyms, and she becomes Madge. She's on the cusp of adulthood, and society is about to move from an era of dreamy love to one of angry punk. This affecting portrait is filled with well-observed characters, all going through transitions of their own, including poetry-writing cooks who are jumping into marriage, and wise-cracking, love-seeking waitresses commiserating over busted romance. This is no rose-colored memoir, though — neither figuratively nor literally, as the book is printed in turquoise duotone, giving everything a serene feel that suits such long-ago memories. Pond's work is realistic enough that the characters are familiar, but cartoony enough that we can laugh at their foibles. And she takes a realistic look at the counterculture of the period; sometimes even the hippies get on her nerves, which may please non — baby boomers tired of the over-glorification of that generation. Her detailed portrait of thee 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) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Mimi Pond is a cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. She has created comics for the Los Angeles Times, Seventeen magazine, National Lampoon, and many other publications, and has written and illustrated five humor books. She has also written for television: her credits include the first full-length episode of The Simpsons “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” and episodes for the television shows Designing Women and Pee Wees Playhouse. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the painter Wayne White.
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