In February 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle began printing an enigmatic feature called “All Over Coffee.” Almost immediately, letters of love and hate, confusion and praise poured in. Accustomed to the familiar formats of comic strips and cartoons, some readers struggled to understand a creation that seemed to live both within and beyond those boundaries.
All Over Coffee blends the timing of comics with the depth of poetry. Artist and writer Paul Madonna has fused art, literature, and comics by pairing timeless cityscapes with philosophical musings and poignant stories in masterfully rendered ink-wash drawings that surpass the art of Ben Katchor in elegance and architectural detail. His work has been compared to “a meeting of the tone of Edward Gorey, the uniqueness of Chris Ware, and the artfulness of Raymond Pettibon.”
Quirky, whimsical, and often profound, All Over Coffee’s stunning imagery and thoughtful writing combine to create a conceptual world, both dreamlike and familiar. This selection will delight anyone who has ever lived in or visited San Francisco—or dreamed of doing so—with its original, off-the-beaten-path view of the city and its inhabitants.
Paul Madonna moved to San Francisco and began to self-publish comics after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University’s fine arts program and an internship at MAD magazine. In 2002 he launched his incredibly popular website, www.paulmadonna.com, posting a new cartoon each week. In 2004 the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate.com picked up his strip “All Over Coffee,” which continues to appear weekly.