‘THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG’ BOOK EVENT
Ask any longtime East Bay punk about their favorite old-school diner, and they’ll likely name Mama’s Royal Café. The greasy spoon in North Oakland has been a haven for artists, musicians and other eccentric Bay Areans — both as patrons and employees — since it opened in 1974, way before the retail and residential boom of the Temescal or Piedmont Avenue neighborhoods it borders. For those who harbor a soft spot for Mama’s and/or Oakland counterculture history, you’ll want to check out The Customer is Always Wrong, the new Drawn & Quarterly release from cartoonist Mimi Pond. This follow-up to her 2014 semi-autobiographical graphic novel Over Easy takes readers back to the early days of Mama’s (or Imperial Café, as it’s called in the books), telling the story of Pond’s alter-ego Madge, a young artist who works as a waitress at this one-of-a-kind local gem.
Mimi Pond will be signing copies of ‘The Customer is Always Wrong’ from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, at Starline Social Club, 2236 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (at West Grand), Oakland.