46 / matters magazine / fall 2018 Laughing at Us and With Us Graphic novel gently spoofs the liberal elite BY ELAINE DURBACH C hatting with Elly Lonon over coffee and fresh-baked scones - if you didn’t know any better - you might ex- pect her new book to be something sweet and ro- mantic, or perhaps about marriage and motherhood. After all, the scones were baked by her husband Rocco (from a store-bought mix, he hastened to say), eagerly assisted by 6-year-old Paul and 4-year- old Sam. With Rocco proudly pointing out his wife’s art works on the wall, and the kids, bright-eyed and charming, showing off their egg-carton craft project, the scene in their South Orange home could not be more cozily domestic. The book, however, is not that cozy. Amongst the Liberal Elite: Road Trip Exploring the Societal Inequi- ties Solidified by Trump (RESIST) is a bitingly satiri- cal graphic novel about a childless couple, Alexan- dra and Michael, who embark on a cross-country expedition. The couple have their hearts in the right place. They are idealistic and supremely well-mean- ing – like all of us? – but are frequently stymied by… well, by lower urges. They want to forego unrecy- clable materials and exploitative products, but they also like quality and convenience. It’s the slightly squirmy familiarity that makes it very funny. With an alacrity other first-time-in-print novel- ists can only dream about, seven agents responded immediately to Elly’s initial book proposal. She per- sisted till she reached and won over Meg Thompson and Cindy Uh at Thompson Literary Agency. They sold it with ease to powerHouse Books, which un- dertook to deliver it to the world in mid-October. (One of Elly’s first promotional events will be in Maplewood, at Words Bookstore, on October 30.) The months ahead promise to be a whirlwind, juggling home life with the eager demands of a na- tional audience. But high pressure isn’t new to Elly. Trained as an accountant, the 42-year-old from North Carolina came to New York City for graduate