After completing the second book of All Over Coffee, I wanted to take the strip in different directions. The question was: How do you work in the same format, with the same materials, at the same frequency, and get different results?

The answer came from returning to my fundamental intentios of creating the strip, which was to tell stories using text and images. So I decided that I needed to change my approach to one of those elements. This couldn't be changing my own hand or voice (which in essence would be keeping the series the same), but to invite an element of surprise into my process. And the only way to come up with ideas different than those I would normally think, would be to take me aout of the equation. Not entirely of course, but to invite other creators into the process, which would force me to address my process in ways that would enable me to rethink work patterns, patterns I may have settled into without knowing.

I began by approaching writers and proposing we create two pieces: One where I draw an image then present it to them to write for, the second where they write a story and I respond with a drawing. As usual for All Over Coffee, the relationship between text and image is not meant to be literal, and so I asked that the writers think about the images as metaphors or mood rather than direct illustrations.

After two years of working with writers I decided to change the process again and began working with artists. Rather than divide the process into two as I had before, we would both contribute visually, so that the collaboration became more like a conversation happening on the page, with both of us drawing or painting or using words.

In this time of collaboration, I've also continued to write and draw new strips of my own. The process of collaborating has been both exciting and challenging, and has allowed me to rethink the strip. And the series has entered a new stage of exploration and variety that I think honors my original intention of being freee to reinvent itself.

Below are links to collaborative strips and bios on the participating authors and artists. Beneath each strip there is also a note citing which came first, the image or the text.


Drawings & Prints
Mailing list

All Over Coffee HOME

Paul Madonna
Main Studio
  Writers and artists collaborating on All Over Coffee strips:    

John King
John King is the San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic, a post he created in 2001. Before that his gigs at the paper included several years covering City Hall, which included a Paris foray to keep an eye on Willie Brown. In 2011, Heyday published his book Cityscapes: San Francisco and Its Buildings, based on a feature that like All Over Coffee appears in the Sunday Chronicle. John grew up in Walnut Creek and here’s a note of serendipitous trivia: his father worked for 20 years in the tower shown in Paul’s drawing (which Paul didn’t know when drawing it).


published: 01 05 14
Writing first


Douglas Schneider
Douglas Schneider is a painter who lives and works in Oakland, CA. He received his BFA from California College of the Arts. His paintings blend passionate gestural brushwork as well as meticulous realism, integrating abstract expressionism, conceptual art and Pop Art. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco as well as numerous private collections and has shown extensively throughout the country and abroad. More of his work can be found at:
Or at either of his galleries, Caldwell Snyder, and Melissa Morgan


published: 12 15 13
Paul began the drawing, then Doug worked on it, then Paul wrote the story

Susan Steinberg
Susan Steinberg is the author of the story collections Spectacle, Hydroplane, and The End of Free Love. She has been the recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, and a National Magazine Award. She earned a BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in English from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She teaches at the University of San Francisco.

published: 11 03 13
story first

published: 12 08 13
image first

Annie Galvin
Artist Annie Galvin moved from Ireland to San Francisco in 1989, two weeks before the earthquake. She lives in a little house out by the beach with her printmaker husband, Eric Rewitzer, and together they run 3 Fish studios, a storefront art business where she can paint, cut paper, and doodle whenever she wants. 3 Fish Studios
published: 10 20 13
John Martini
John A. Martini is a native Californian and a life-long researcher into the history of the American West. He worked as a National Park Ranger for more than twenty-five years at parks around the country, then was stationed at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area as a Supervisory Park Ranger. He completed his long career with the National Park Service at the Presidio of San Francisco serving as Curator of Military History. He now works as an independent historian and consultant Find more about John at
published: 09 22 13
story first
Kristen Tracy
Kristen Tracy is a novelist and poet. She’s published many books for teens and people both younger and older than that. She also spent some time volunteering as a gardener on Alcatraz. She now lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Brian Evenson, and their lively son, Max. Her new book, Too Cool For This School, comes out this August from Random House.
published: 07 21 13
story first
Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler has published thirteen novels and six volumes of short fiction, one of which, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has also published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream. Among his many other awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and two National Magazine Awards in Fiction. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University. Read more at
  #624, 625, 626
published: 03 10,17,24, 2013
Drawn from Chico, CA

images first
Stephen Elliott
Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books including Happy Baby and The Adderall Diaries. His first feature film, About Cherry, was released in 2012 and distributed theatrically by IFC. He's the founder of the literary website The Rumpus.
published: 02 10 13
Drawn from Manhattan, NY

story first
Lou Beach
Lou Beach is an illustrator, artist, and writer. He recently published 420 Characters, a book of short fiction which also features 10 original collages. He inhabits many states of mind but is most at home in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife, the photographer Issa Sharp. Their days are spent hob nobbing with celebrities and the literary elite, heads of state and captains of industry. Lou is debonair, fluid in twelve languages and an expert marksman.
published: 03 25 12

image first

published: 03 11 12
Drawn from Faria Beach, CA

story first
Matthew Dickman
Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008). The recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and the 2009 Oregon Book Award from Literary Arts of Oregon. His poems have appeared in Tin House Magazine, McSweeny's, Ploughshares, The Believer, BOMB online, and The New Yorker among others. W.W. Norton & Co. will publish his second book in 2012. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
published: 12 18 11
Drawn from Dolores Park, San Francisco

image first
Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler is the author of four novels, and as Lemony Snicket, far too many books for children.
Photo by Meredith Heuer
  #557, 559, 560
Triptcyh, published, respectively:
1030; 1113; 1120 2011
Drawn from the San Francisco Opera House

the first image inspired Dan to write the story, which then prompted the second two images
Andrew Sean Greer
Andrew Sean Greer is the author of four works of fiction, most recently, The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli. He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco.
published 09 25 11
Drawn from Georgetown, DC

story first

published 07 03 11
Drawn from Santa Monica, CA

image first
Isaac Fitzgerald
Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and been given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals by the age of 25. He has also written for AlterNet, The Bold Italic, McSweeney's, and Mother Jones. He is currently the managing editor of The Rumpus.
published 08 07 11
Drawn from Manhattan, NY

story first

published: 12 11 11
Drawn from Zeitgeist, San Francisco

image first

Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed's acclaimed memoir, Wild, was published by Knopf in 2012. Her debut novel, Torch, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2006 and was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award and was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year by writers from the Pacific Northwest. Strayed’s personal essays have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Allure, Self, Brain, Child, The Rumpus and The Sun. She’s won a Pushcart Prize and her essays have twice been selected for inclusion in the Best American Essays. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
published 10 16 11
Drawn from Bodega Bay, CA

story first

published 06 26 11
Drawn from Conneaut, PA

image first
Joen Madonna
Joen Madonna lives and writes in San Francisco, where she also works as a business consultant to artists and writers. With a degree in Cultural Geography from Berkeley, she follows her insatiable curiosity for urban evolution and human culture by traveling and exploring emerging art. She has recently spent time in Paris, Rome, New York, Los Angeles, Ethiopia, Shanghai, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Dubai. Joen was given her unusual name by her father, who took it from the author of a textbook on Gestalt therapy, and pronounced it incorrectly. He died 19 days later, never experiencing the awkwardness the legacy of her name gave her.
published 10 24 10
image first
published 10 31 10
image first
published 11 07 10
image first
published 11 28 10
image first
published 12 12 10
image first
Market Street Posters (6)
published Summer 2012
Richard Lang
Richard Lang is a poet, short story writer, painter, and printmaker. He can sometimes be seen performing poetry as The Poetry Jukebox.
He is a recipient of the Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in poetry which funded the production of his "Restaurant Stories." Zyzzyva Magazine featured two of his stories in its Fall 2010 issue.
Richard is President of Electric Works, a gallery, store and fine art printmaking and photo studio located in San Francisco’s SOMA district where he helps to realize the artistic and literary visions of such writer/ artists as David Mamet, William T. Wiley, Sandow Birk, Kay Ryan, and Enrique Chagoya.
He lives in western Marin County with his wife, Judith Selby Lang. The Langs, as a collaborative team, combine their devotion to art-making with a love of nature and science to produce an ongoing series of art works about the oceans and the environment. One Beach Plastic has produced 42 exhibits concerning ocean born plastic.
published 03 08 09 & 07 31 11
Drawn from SOMA, SF

story first