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
Paul Madonna on KQED's Spark
Madonna draws "All Over Coffee," a lyrical and often enigmatic comic strip published in the San Francisco Chronicle. Spark catches up with the artist as he begins work on a Mission District scene for his strip.
Bay Area authors' books among best of '07
Dec 23, 2007
"Having said that, here are what I consider to be the top books - fiction and nonfiction - of 2007, as well as what I though to be the best book of the year...
All Over Coffee (City Lights) by Paul Madonna: The comic strip All Over Coffee leaves some people cold, while it makes others curl their toes. While I could do without the elliptical, disembodied dialogue, the drawings are wonderful. And as packaged in this collection by City Lights, they can be downright beautiful. The solitary charm and mystery of San Francisco are somehow captured in Madonna's art; it's as if he's distilled the essence of hanging out alone in an apartment, contentedly watching the weather change outside, just happy to be here."
Oscar Villalon, San Francisco Chronicle
"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