Paul Madonna is an award-winning artist and writer. He is the creator of the series All Over Coffee, which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle for twelve years, and the author of four books. His drawings and stories have appeared internationally in numerous publications as well as in galleries and museums, including the Oakland Museum of California and the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum. Paul holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and was the first (ever!) Art Intern at MAD magazine. He is a former editor for, has taught drawing at the University of San Francisco, and frequently lectures on creative practice, even when not asked.



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PRAISE for Paul Madonna:

"Absolutely stunning… an all new art form."    

    — 7x7 Magazine

"Deeply satisfying… Madonna’s prose is magnificent"    

    — Foreword Reviews

“Paul Madonna has created a gripping and deeply mysterious novel about the nature of artistic creation and the wayward, confounding path of inspiration. It's a gorgeous book, with its words and pictures striking up a dialogue that's sharp, funny, strange, and the fuel for a page turner. I want everyone I know to read it so we can talk about how cool it is. ”    

    — Glen David Gold, Carter Beats the Devil

"Miraculously exquisite... dreamy and surprisingly emotional."    


"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."     

    — Publisher's Weekly

"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."     

    — The Boston Globe

"Madonna's detailed but unfussy drawings bear the same human touch as so many of the buildings he depicts... 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."     

    — Art Practical

"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." Top 11 books of 2011    


“Check out Paul Madonna's surreal guide to the city's zeitgeist, a sketchbook of "sideways" cameos in ink-wash drawings of San Francisco's eccentric architecture and streetscapes, captioned with poetry, haiku or overheard conversations."     

    — The Australian

"Simply delightful. I really don't like much out there, I really don't, but On to the Next Dream I couldn't put down. It was sharp, clever, honest and maybe the funniest book on eviction ever written."

    — Bob Eckstein, New York Times bestselling author

"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 has created a kind of San Francisco Realism, details so absurd, cruel, and beautiful that they can only come from our infuriating home. If Charlie Kaufman squatted in an illegal sublet in Armistead Maupin's mind, this would be the lovely tenant."

    — Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life

"The book is fantastic. Of time and tenderness. Beautiful drawings. Beautiful text. Ethereal and serious at once. The book is its own reward."     

    — Maira Kalman, author of The Principles of Uncertainty

"Paul Madonna has not only pressed graphic fiction way beyond its present boundaries, he has created a new and stunning art form where the stand-alone brilliant visuals and the hauntingly human words synthesize into a pure and irreducible aesthetic vision. This book taught me something fundamental and true and beautiful about the ineffable thereness and thingness of life. Everything is its Own Rewardis a work of genius."     

    — Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“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 stripsare 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, Maakies

“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

"Paul Madonna's On to the Next Dream is bleak, terrifying, hilarious and lovely."

    — MariNaomi, Turning Japanese

"For years I've been intrigued and charmed by Paul Madonna's careful and thoughtful drawings of overlooked nooks and by-ways of San Francisco. In his new book he now combines them with manic, delirious, and increasingly paranoid writings as he struggles with the all-consuming City dilemma of gentrification; of who came first, who gets to stay, which wave of usurpers is more 'real' and deserving than the next, and finally, what happens when someone decides it’s your turn to go. Beautiful and engaging."

    — Sandow Birk, visual artist

“This magnificent book is so many things—it’s illustrated with more than a hundred of Paul’s drawings from Thailand, Japan and China—and in-between those images is a killer literary novel. I have fallen really hard for this book, not only for its compelling characters, but in its themes of identity, love, the creative process, mental illness, escape, loss, how one moves through the world as an artist, and where ideas and creativity lurk.”

    — Melissa Cistaro, author of Pieces of my Mother



   The Bindery (The Booksmith)
   1727 Haight St, San Francisco
   7-8 pm


   Book Release!
   The Booksmith, at the Bindery
   1727 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA
   6 - 8 pm

   SFMOMA Bookstore
   151 3rd Street, San Francisco
   5:30 pm

   Valencia, CA
   1:00 pm

   In conversation with Andy Weiner
   Book Passage
   51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA
   7:00 pm

   Reading & Signing
   Moe's Books
   2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA
   7:00 pm

   Master Class
   Kepler's Books
   1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA
   7:00 - 8:30 pm

   Distinguished Speaker Series
   Lafayette Library
   3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA
   1:00 pm

   Northern California Independent
   Booksellers Association
   San Francisco, CA
   6:00 pm

   Open Studios
   3 Fish Studios
   4541 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA
   11:00 am - 6:00 pm

   In Conversation with Paul Buhle
   Wisconsin Book Festival
   Central Library
   201 W. Mifflin Street
   Madison, WI
   7:30 pm

   Small Business Saturday
   Book Passage
   Ferry Building, #1, San Francisco, CA
   11am - 1pm

   Reading & Signing
   Powell’s City of Books
   1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR
   7:30 pm

   Castro Art Walk
   Local Take
   3979 17th St, San Francisco
   6-9 pm