Mimi Pond Knows From Waitressing

And dishes it up perfectly in her new 'Over Easy' graphic novel

Mimi Pond Knows From Waitressing

Experience shows and experience knows.

Having spent, in another life, thirteen years waiting tables in Austin's Magnolia Cafe (no, the one on Lake Austin Boulevard), I can hereby attest that Mimi Pond knows exactly what she's talking about – drawing about, here – when it comes to the more working-class, non-franchised end of the food-service industry.

The weeds of mealtime rushes, the relentless coffee refills, the hungover double-shifts, the drugs, the often contentious floor/kitchen divide, the musical-chairsesque sexual hookups with co-workers and customers, the drugs, and every shift's final insult-to-injury known as closing sidework: Pond captures the entire grease-stained, Bunn-o-Matic'd spectacle perfectly.

[Note: Yes, I know I said "the drugs" twice. Whattaya think, I'm some kind of fucking idiot?]

Over Easy, the sixth of Pond's cartoon books, is the first one that's a solid, single narrative – and we can only hope there'll be more like it. A sort of fictionalized memoir, this lovingly rendered tale follows young art-school student Madge who, suddenly bereft of scholarship funds, takes a job at The Imperial Cafe and is quickly entangled in the myriad dramas and dreams (and drugs) that come with food-ferrying drudgery. Specifically: Food-ferrying drudgery in a diner in Oakland, California, in the late Seventies. (The transitional culture depicted – the last hurrah of the hippies and the first raucous yawp of punk – is a bonus.) This is also the first Pond book from Drawn & Quarterly, the Canadian publishing house that makes books to last and to be cherished, and so of course it's afforded the excellent production values such fine work deserves.

Go ahead, buy a copy for yourself and your favorite waitron: Mimi Pond's Over Easy will 86 the blues after the lousiest shift of any year.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
Josh Frank brings the legendary unproduced movie to printed life

March 22, 2019

"Stella Alesi: Journeying" at Prizer Arts & Letters
The artist extends her protean skills toward the bold and minimal

March 22, 2019


Mimi Pond, Over Easy, Drawn & Quarterly, waitressing, foodservice, The Seventies, Oakland, diner culture, The Imperial Cafe

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle