PaulMadonna AllOverCofeeTrilogy

Sunday, February 4, 2024, 4:00 pm PST

—-POSTPONED—-All Over Coffee @ 20: Reception for Paul Madonna

Price: Free

(We regret to inform you that todays reception has been postponed due to inclement weather. We hope to reschedule as soon as we are able.)

Join City Lights in a toast to Paul Madonna in the poetry room celebrating 20 years of the All Over Coffee Project.


We regret to inform you that today’s reception has been postponed due to inclement weather. We hope to reschedule as soon as we are able.

Join City Lights in a toast to Paul Madonna in the poetry room celebrating 20 years of the All Over Coffee Project.

All Over Coffee presents some of the most beloved and never-before-collected pieces from the weekly comic series. Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle, this timeless work, which includes collaborations with many prize-winning authors, has been collected into three volumes.

Purchase ALL OVER COFFEE here


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.

City Lights published the books All Over Coffee and Everything Is Its Own Reward. West Margin Press published You Know Exactly.

Paul Madonna is a San Francisco-based artist and writer. His drawings and stories have appeared in numerous international books, journals, and newspapers as well as galleries and museums, including the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Oakland Museum of California. He is the Comics Editor for, has taught drawing at the University of San Francisco, and frequently lectures on creative practice, even when not asked. He holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and was the first (ever!) Art Intern at MAD Magazine (1993-94), for which he proudly received no money.

What has been said about All Over Coffee

“[Paul] Madonna, Bayview-based artist, illustrator, writer and award-winning author, is renowned for his long-running city-inspired comic strip series ‘All Over Coffee.’ Once described by Madonna as ‘a comic strip without the comic,’ the series paired intricate sketches of The City—a street corner, a view of Alcatraz or a deserted alleyway—with poignant, poetic text. The infusion of art and literature challenged typical comic strip conventions, attracting a regional cult following and setting Madonna on a path of artistic discovery.”
—San Francisco Examiner

All Over Coffee was in many ways a gift to the city. It immortalized the San Francisco that locals see every day; not the one most commonly depicted in movies and on TV. Because of its grounding in familiar corners, sidewalks and liquor stores, Madonna’s art can also ask viewers to explore their own psyche, or to suspend their disbelief, or to go on a journey with him they weren’t expecting. And sometimes, just sometimes, it’ll be so close to home, you’ll think he’s made a personal visit.”
—KQED Arts & Culture

“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.”
–Boston Globe

“Miraculously exquisite. . . dreamy and surprisingly emotional.”

“When his international images are paired with his sparse, poetic words, the effect is haunting. Though Madonna travels the globe, it’s not the famous sites or wonders that catch his attention. . . and the experience of being in his world is mesmerizing.”

“A deeply satisfying, ruminative meditation on life seen through the eyes of appealing, but imperfect, characters. . . highly recommended.”
–Foreword Reviews

“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.”
–Dave Eggers

“Madonna captures snapshots in time as he explores the relationship between image and text. . . that’s so gorgeously rendered in Madonna’s precise yet fluid pen-and-ink style, it feels like it could be anywhere and everywhere.”
–Publishers Weekly

“Explores the nature of the creative process and is a blend of artistic media, with more than 100 ink-on-paper illustrations of locations in China, Japan and Thailand interspersed throughout the novel.”
–Shelf Awareness

“Almost any book is sure to please the bookish, but a book that can pique the interest of bibliophiles is as precious as a padparadscha sapphire. Here are some such gems. . . Artist and author Paul Madonna pens a mystery novel full of unexpected plot twists and lively characters accompanied by more than 100 strikingly rendered drawings that bring this novel to life. This tale of love, murder, books, and art is presented in a three-volume box set.”
–Publishers Weekly, Holiday Gift Guide (Illustrated Books)


This reception made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.

Type of Event:

Registration Required:

Start Date:
Sunday, February 4, 2024, 4:00 pm PST

End Date:
Sunday, February 4, 2024, 5:00 pm PST


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