- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (8 August 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770462821
- ISBN-13: 978-1770462823
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.4 x 21.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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The Customer is Always Wrong Hardcover – 8 Aug 2017
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"Sharp and ambitious... If Pond's last book was a sitcom, The Customer is Always Wrong would be an HBO drama with a Sunday night time slot."--Jezebel
"The sobering wake-up call to naive nostalgia... [The Customer Is Always Wrong offers] a look at the end of a wild ride, punctuated by deeply profound moments in a time that could swallow you whole."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A book filled with ghosts... An Oakland that doesn't exist anymore, a culture that doesn't exist anymore, and people that don't exist anymore, in more ways than one. "--Hollywood Reporter
"A charming, loosely autobiographical story of Pond's early years."--National Post Best of 2017
"Set in late 1970s Oakland, this comedic graphic novel from Over Easy author Pond follows a waitress named Madge whose career as a comic artist finally starts to take off."--Entertainment Weekly
"Mimi Pond is a treasure, one we ignore at our own risk... Her latest book -- a thick, semi-autobiographical bildungsroman called The Customer Is Always Wrong -- might be her greatest work to date. It's a lengthy and detailed portrait of a young woman working at a restaurant in late-'70s Oakland and the cast of characters around her -- some of them shady, some of them lovable, and all of them compelling. Pond's hand is confident and her figure work hops balletically across the page; her facial acting is simple, but searing."--Vulture
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Since then, I have followed her work, as best I could, and was happily surprised when she published her memoir of her time working as a waitress through, or rather after art college <em><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18490689-over-easy" target="_blank">Over Easy</a></em>.
I didn't know there was more to tell, until she came out with this latest, the second part of her story, of her time as a waitress, while she tried to establish herself as a cartoonist. This wraps up her story nicely, and shows that the world of restaurants, and easy drugs, and what happens to all the people in the first book.
You don't have to have read the first book to understand what is going on, in fact it has been three years since the first book came out, and I didn't bother to reread it before I dived back into it, although, once I did finish it, I went back to reread <em>Over Easy</em> again.
If you have liked Mimi Pond in the past, if you have read her other books, well, this is really nothing like them, although the humor is there. Here she is examining a time in her life, where she is running around, with what we used to call a "bad crowd". She is young, on her own, and trying to escape Oakland, after having escaped San Diego, to get her career on track to being a cartoonish.
It is a hefty book, coming in at nearly 500 pages, but the story needs those pages to be there, to see what was happening, to tell her version of what happened, thought as she says, she has moved things around, to make a better story.
Would recommend this to everyone, to those who want to be cartoonists, to those who have been in the service industry, to those who have eaten at restaurants, and to those who know how Oakland was in the '70s.
The characters, including the author, all reveal surprising depths as it goes along. The author does an impressive job of remembering the moments about people that surprised her, revealing they were not really what she thought, while most people would have just tended to edit their memories to maintain a more consistent worldview. There's an emotional vulnerability here, without getting bogged down in bummerhood.
The art is competent, gritty and a bit basic, which works pretty well with the gritty characters. Really this isn't even my preferred genre, but I definitely liked it.
In a world where we're constantly being fooled into watching or reading or listening to some manufactured nonsense, "The Customer Is Always Wrong" is a dose of honest, super classy, no-bullshit, storytelling and cartooning.
It's smart and touching and relatable and everyone who loves stories about life and real people should read it.