All Over Coffee
Introduction by Andrew Sean Greer
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
May 27, 2007
"Its principal appeal lies in the visuals -- inkwash drawings in a monochromatic palette of grays and sepia tones that suits a city famous for its fogs. . . . his real strength: his ability to suggest the small places and details that are unique to San Francisco. . . when he focuses on smaller scenes, on the details of houses and apartment buildings, Madonna's work becomes wonderfully evocative. He captures the feeling of the narrow, faceted spaces where the walls, bay windows and drainpipes of adjoining row houses meet. He limns the odd bits of sky framed by shingled roofs, chimneys and power lines with deft lines and brushstrokes. A study of horizontal siding and multiple chimneys shaded by evergreens displays an unmistakable sense of place: The architecture is nothing special, but it could only be San Francisco."
"A comic strip with no characters, plot or comedy – just exquisitely observed, fine-lined drawings of sunlit San Francicso, captioned with bittersweet fragments of dialogue. For fans of . . . Pekar's slice-of-life miniatures; the architectural landscape of Ben Katchor's cartoons."
The Morning News.org
"Artist Paul Madonna’s work, which the San Francisco Chronicle
began publishing in 2004, is an outstanding example of a brilliantly original hybrid of illustration and essay presented in ink-wash drawings, making a place for itself in the mainstream."
"The architecture of residential San Francisco is about detail, willful eccentricity, an almost rococo approach to line, and a steadfast devotion to art for its own sake, beauty as its own reward. Paul Madonna's work gives itself fully to all of these notions, and to the city as a whole, and in doing so reminds us why, block by block and view by view, this is one of the most beautiful cities in the world." – Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What
“Paul Madonna does amazing work, very precise but loose. He puts a lot of thought into waiting for just the right moment to stop looking around. These strips are a reminder to stop now and then and admire a corner of a room, a window or a rooftop. There are lovely details everywhere, at any time, no matter where you live.” -Tony Millionaire, author of Maakies
"Paul Madonna's collection All Over Coffee evocatively demonstrates the evolution of his eponymous San Francisco Chronicle strip. The juxtaposition of floating scraps of overheard, disconnected conversations and masterful pen and ink drawings of San Francisco, the city he lovingly documents, reminds us of the serendipity of city life, its physicality and atmosphere, its unanticipated discoveries, its random intersections, its coincidences and ironies. Madonna opens a window into the specificity of place, time and circumstance, providingan articulate perspective and critique of where and how we live." -Cathy Jensen Simon, Principal, SMWM Architects
"I can't believe how Paul Madonna can make you feel so mighty to be human at one moment, and then so completely humbled the next. This is my favorite poetry book of the year." – Beth Lisick, author of Everybody Into the Pool