How often have you been in a public place and found yourself eavesdropping on the table next to yours? Heaven help the unsuspecting couple that dines next to me. I don’t mean to, I really don’t, But if someone nearby speaks loudly, I’m suddenly engrossed in their conversation, nodding my head or frowning as a good listener should. I think we’re probably all that way to some extent, and that’s what makes this comic strip collection of All Over Coffee such a huge success.

Unbelievably detailed pen and ink sketches of San Francisco skylines, architectural details, occasional interior scenes with no people, and a few lines of text make up these uncommon comic strips. Posted in the San Francisco Chronicle and on SFGate.com since 2004, All Over Coffee has gotten a mixed response ranging in “I love it” to “What the heck?!” Initially I was in the “What the heck?!” camp trying to make heads or tales of the comic. But as the book progressed, I enjoyed it more and more, feeling like I was gazing down over the city where all these conversing people live, eat, and work. It’s an amazing effect and completely original, something you’ll want to go back to and look over again and again. I definitely will.

So are Madonna’s comic strips taken from real life or does he make all that stuff up? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. He explains everything at the end of the book.

If you really want to see this for yourself, or if you’re already a fan, I’ve got a special treat. Not only do I have one beautiful hardcover copy of All Over Coffee to give away, it’s autographed by Paul Madonna. As always, all you subscribers are already entered into this and every future giveaway. You can also leave a comment here telling me what grabs you about this book (something more than “sounds good” is kindly requested), or leave a link to this contest on your blog. Do all three and you’ve got three entries. A winner will be chosen on April 17th, 2008, at 12 midnight EST.

To see more of his artwork, check out Paul Madonna’s website.

74 Comments

  1. Love this! I’d love to sit and study his work.

  2. This would be a great book to win and read!

  3. as a psychotherapist I cant help but listen in to others conversations – it is just what I do!!!!

  4. Need this book to read

  5. Who doesn’t secretly love to listen to other people’s conversations? This book sounds like a guilty pleasure to read.

  6. This can go by that “Sex” book by the other Madonna.

  7. Something fresh to read and outstanding pictures to look at!

  8. I love irony and slightly twisted humor.
    I also love comic strips and weird little drawings and pranks and sarcasm and eavesdropping.
    I’m like a female version of Jim from The Office.
    I think I could relate to this book and spend many happy hours cuddling up to it.
    Thank you for the contest.

  9. SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT BOOK

  10. This sounds very interesting. And who doesn’t love to listen in on others’ conversations? I know this gossip girl does

  11. Christina Almond

    Sounds very cool! Would love to win this! :)

  12. Melanie Miller

    The art work and philosphy are a wonderful blend, just as my own cup of coffee!

  13. Sounds like a great book.

  14. I’m a big SF fan. I’d also like to see more of the comics/art/poetry than the one example. Please pick me!

  15. Comfortable and enjoyable winnings if possible; especially after the horrors for income tax. Many Thanks Sarah W

  16. I want this!!!

  17. please enter me :)

  18. I’m a people watcher, which means that I inadvertently pick up on conversations as well. I love that someone has taken this and turned it into art.

  19. this sounds like a great book.

  20. Love coffee Love to read. What more could you want.

  21. Since SF is my favorite city I am intrigued by a book about SF with sketches.

  22. I would love to read this book.

  23. Samantha Pruitt

    i love books when you’re like “what the heck!” and then you’re like “i love it!”

  24. I would love to win this book
    because I love the artwork in
    comics and I have been to San
    Francisco,it is one of my favorite places.Thanks for
    the giveaway

  25. I’m interested in seeing someone else’s perspective of San Francisco.