cover image The Customer Is Always Wrong

The Customer Is Always Wrong

Mimi Pond. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-77046-282-3

Pond’s second autobiographical graphic novel picks up without pause where her first, the revelatory Over Easy, left off: with young Madge slinging hash at an Oakland diner packed with oddballs from the 1960s counterculture. Madge’s career as a cartoonist starts to come together as the rest of her world seems to be falling apart: the guys she falls for are flakes, her coworkers are devolving from lovable potheads into genuinely troubled junkies, the local criminals get desperate and dangerous, and even her boss, the wise and poetic Lazlo, is increasingly adrift. As in Over Easy, Pond makes readers feel like regulars at the Imperial Café, immersed in the ongoing soap opera behind the counter. Her loose, ink-washed art, honed during her years drawing for National Lampoon and The Village Voice, provides the perfect easy entry to the Imperial and a fond remembrance of a time past. (Apr.)