Mimi Pond’s biggest claim to fame comes as a writer for TV, having written the first full episode of “The Simpsons.”
But Pond also has an extensive career as a cartoonist, and her work has been published in the Village Voice, The New York Times and more.
She’s now celebrating the release of her new graphic novel, “Over Easy,” a semi-memoir about her time working at an Oakland, California, diner in the 1970s. amNewYork spoke with Pond.
Why did you want to share this story?
The very first day I went to work in the restaurant I knew that it was a story. The place and the people there were so dynamic and had so much forward propulsion. It was just an absolute gut instinct. I wasn’t sure at the time how I would tell the story. That only took another 15 years of taking notes and sorting through before I even began writing it.
How much of this graphic novel is fictionalized?
Everyone wants to know percentages! I can’t really say. So many of the characters are amalgams of a number of people. There are absolutely true episodes — me waiting on drunk hookers on my first day waiting tables, one of the waitresses having sex in the bathroom during the lunch rush … one of the prep cooks suddenly becoming the favorite stud of a bunch of lesbians — I couldn’t make this stuff up, but details are manipulated to make the story more cohesive.
Do you still talk to the people in the book?
I have never stopped being in touch with those people, many of whom generously shared their own memories and stories with me and helped me immeasurably in shaping this book. We are still close. The experience of that time and that place has really bonded us.
What’s next for you?
I have to finish part two of “Over Easy!”
If you go: Mimi Pond is at McNally Jackson on Monday at 7 p.m., 52 Prince St., 212-274-1160, FREE