Everything Is Its Own Reward
An All Over Coffee Collection

Press Reviews

Art Practical

"It's not the spirit of any particular place that Madonna captures so well but rather a quality of life, a state of mind, predicated on the luxury of having an existence in which the only dramas to speak of are personal."


"mesmerizing . . . When his international images are paired with his sparse, poetic words—sometimes thought-provoking one-liners such as 'You don't get anywhere without searching' and sometimes long, meandering sections of dialogue and story—the effect is haunting."

San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Madonna gets an extra chills-up-the-spine boost from his illustrations of semi-familiar San Francisco architecture and intersections, lucid as etchings of bleached Kodachrome shots."


"You don't have to have lived in or loved San Francisco to fall under the spell of Madonna's mysterious and largely unpeopled cityscapes. San Francisco isn't the only place he draws with the miraculously exquisite attention on display here (Paris, Rome and Buenos Ares also appear) but something about the fog off the bay makes it particularly well suited to his dreamy and surprisingly emotional pen-and-ink images. Madonna eschews well-known and much-photographed places in favor of the spaces between old Victorians, neglected corners, intersections that seem to cant dangerously into space, vistas of rooftops bristling with pipes and ganglia-like clusters of power lines, all paired with short enigmatic stories and reflections on art, memory and love. This book is the second collection of All Over Coffee, a 'strip' Madonna draws for the Sunday arts section of the San Francisco Chronicle. There's also a free app, too, if you'd like to see a sample, but only paper can do justice to the eerie radiance of Madonna's artwork, and the cumulative effect of its 176 pages is ravishing." -- Laura Miller

Metropolis Now

"Paul Madonna is a San Francisco-based cartoonist who has spent the last few years crafting – and crafting is the word – a comic strip that offers snapshots of the city he lives in. It's a city of big skies, telephone lines, clapboard buildings, street lights, advertising signs, TV aerials, storm drains and long shadows as recorded in pen and ink wash. It is the equivalent of a late afternoon in a favourite city, the hum of the day dying away before the buzz of the night begins.

Madonna’s book reminds us that the reason so many of us love cities is because they give us permission to be voyeurs, to observe others, to see other lives on display in front of us in the coffee shop, the supermarket, the traffic jam, the commuter train, the neon-lit street. They are full of stories."

Boston Globe

"Paul Madonna is a pen master. His work is difficult to categorize but that he was MAD magazine's first art intern may help explain his ability to capture human experience in its odd fullness. In his All Over Coffee comic strip, published in the San Francisco Chronicle since 2004, Madonna's evocative pen-and-ink drawings of cityscapes are accompanied by handwritten bits of overheard conversations, mini-stories, and zen-ish musings like: 'It takes perpetual work to keep life simple.' The new anthology Everything Is Its Own Reward: An All Over Coffee Collection (City Lights) is a treasure chest that comes with a pullout poster inside."

Publishers Weekly

"In this exquisite second collection from his long-running weekly San Francisco Chronicle series All Over Coffee, Madonna captures snapshots in time as he explores the relationship between image and text . . . With pieces depicting San Francisco, New York, Barcelona, and Tokyo, Madonna's work is something to savor."