Coffee is communion, at least in the world of Paul Madonna. In his own words, “We sit down, we talk about selling the house, traveling the world, getting a dog — all over coffee.”

Madonna, Bayview-based artist, illustrator, writer and award-winning author, is renowned for his long-running city-inspired comic strip series ‘All Over Coffee,’ which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday Pink Section for nearly 12 years. 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.

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Kathryn Hurd is a freelance writer based in San Francisco.