Tom’s Diner Goes Graphic In Mimi Pond’s Delightful New Novel
Mimi Pond’s Over Easy is part coming-of-age story, part shrewd dissection of a boho scene, and an altogether delightful graphic novel.
Perhaps Mimi Pond’s greatest contribution to the graphic arts will always be her writing for the first full-length episode of The Simpsons, but her fiercely intelligent contribution to the graphic novel-as-autobiography genre surpasses “Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire” with ease. Other comic coming-of-age memoirs (Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis) often use the graphic medium as a way of depicting horrific events like the Holocaust or the Iranian Revolution in a more accessible visual medium, Pond’s Over Easy depicts a story (in rich, pelagic turquoise duotone) that can resonate with any artistically inclined Millennial. After being denied the financial aid she needs to pay for her last year of art school, Margaret abandons the restricting world of academia for the Imperial Café, an out-of-the-way diner that functions both as a time capsule for Seventies-era California—Elvis Costello, Patty Hearst, and an Italian cook in an Afro make an appearance—and as a cocoon for Pond, who grows from a naïve proto-hipster into a woman confident in her art, and in herself.