Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Paul Hornschemeier  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Other

Born: 1977 in Cincinnati, Ohio


Illinois Connection

The author moved to Chicago after graduation and began work on Forlorn Funnies. He currently resides in Chicago where he is still at work on the Forlorn Funnies, various music projects, and illustration work for clients from

This American Life


Life Magazine


Biographical and Professional Information

Even as a child Paul thought he might publish his own comic books one day. While majoring in philosophy and psychology at Ohio State, Hornschemeier was introduced to the graphic novel Ghost World by Daniel Clowes and was impressed. He saw that comics could be a venue for exploring issues that are far from superficial. Following graduation he began publishing his own black and white comics.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Life with Mr. Dangerous
ISBN: 0345494415

Villard. 2011

Somewhere in the Midwest, Amy Breis is going nowhere.

Amy has a job she hates, a creep boyfriend she’s just dumped, and a best friend she can’t reach on the phone. But at least her (often painfully passive-aggressive) mother bought her a pink unicorn sweatshirt for her birthday. Pink. Unicorn. For her twenty-seventh birthday.

Gliding through the daydreams and realities of a young woman searching for definition, Life with Mr. Dangerous showcases acclaimed cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier’s gift for deadpan humor and dead-on insight with a droll aftertaste—an unlikely but welcome marriage of the bleak and the hopeful.

Mother Come Home
ISBN: 1560979739

Fantagraphics Books. 2009

Back in print: the debut graphic novel from the author of The Three Paradoxes. Mother, Come Home is Paul Hornschemeier's piercing graphic-novel debut: it secured the cartoonist's place as one of his generation's most skillful and ambitious practitioners. Mother, Come Home quietly studies the inner lives of recently widowed David and his 7-year-old son, Thomas. Thomas struggles desperately to keep up appearances while his father, a professor of symbolic logic, becomes lost in abstractions. Father and son begin to retreat into their fantasies, but only one emerges. Mother, Come Home is masterfully drawn: Eisner-, Harvey-and Ignatz-Award-nominated Hornschemeier's controlled brushwork is clean, and his nine-panel page layouts pace David's inexorable descent into utter despair. Hornschemeier is equally precise when it comes to Mother, Come Home's color palette: subdued but warm, which suits the story's melancholy and contemplative mode. Mother, Come Home is a powerful work, and, because of its universal themes of anguish and loss, has resonance beyond its core audience of alternative-comics readers.

All and Sundry: Uncollected Work 2004-2009
ISBN: 1606992856

Fantagraphics. 2009

A hefty volume of uncollected work from the acclaimed creator of The Three Paradoxes.

All and Sundry: Uncollected Work 2004-2009 corrals Paul Hornschemeier’s work from the last five years ― work previously ungathered, and in many cases never before seen in print.

These works span the globe, from periodicals to museums, including: con¬ceptual drawings and comics of Ulysses S. Grant created for an exhibit in Paris

an award-winning cover exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

the seventeen-part serialized tale of divine intervention, non-linearity, and social webs “Huge Suit Visits the People” created for the celebrated German newspaper Frankurter Allgemeine Zeitung

and comic strips for The Wall Street Journal and CNN featuring the unlikely cartoon protagonists of Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, and the “gray fox,” Anderson Cooper. In addition to these oddities, All and sundry collects covers and designs from multiple foreign editions of Paul’s books, ranging from Holland to Korea, as well as short, illustrated prose (thus far seen only in the pages of the anthology MOME).

The collection concludes with extensive selections from sketches and sketchbooks, providing an unusual glimpse at the chaotic world of Hornschemeier’s work, before the polishing of lines and colors of the printed page. Here we see how works have developed and what the future holds for still gestating projects.

All and Sundry, perhaps more than any previous collection of Hornschemeier’s work, demonstrates the variety and depth of the artist’s interests and pursuits, and invites an examination of the entirety of his process, from first fevered scrawl to final, pristine brush line. 208 color illustrations

The Three Paradoxes
ISBN: 1560976535

Fantagraphics. 2006

An intricate, complex autobiographical comic blending multiple threads of reality and fantasy, each drawn in a different style, coming together as one story questioning change, progress, and worth in the author's life.

The Three Paradoxes is an intricate and complex autobiographical comic by one of the most talented and innovative young cartoonists today. The story begins with a story inside the story: the cartoon character Paul Hornschemeier is trying to finish a story called "Paul and the Magic Pencil." Paul has been granted a magical implement, a pencil, and is trying to figure out what exactly it can do. He isn't coming up with much, but then we zoom out of this story to the creator, Paul, whose father is about to go on a walk to turn off the lights in his law office in the center of the small town. Abandoning the comic strip temporarily, Paul leaves with his camera, in order to fulfill a promise to his girlfriend that he would take pictures of the places that affected him as a child. Each "chapter" of the story is drawn in a completely different style, with strikingly unique production and color themes, and yet, somehow, despite (or perhaps because of) this non-linear progression, it all comes together as one story: a story questioning change, progress, and worth within the author's life.

Return of the Elephant by Paul Hornschemeier

Adhouse Books. 2004

RETURN OF THE ELEPHANT SC - (Paul Hornschemeier) The story of a solitary man and the ulterior motives involved in a visit from a longtime friend of the family. Two-color interiors. 48 pp. MR. Graphic Novel

I Know God Smiles on These Good Times
ISBN: B000L6J7F2

I Don't Get It Graphics. 2001

Back issue comic.

Omega: The Unknown TPB
ISBN: 0785119434

Marvel Comics. 2007

This is the story of a mute, reluctant super hero from another planet, and the earthly teenager with whom he shares a strange destiny - and the legion of robots and nanoviruses that have been sent from afar to hunt the two of them down! Created in 1975 by Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes, the original Omega the Unknown lasted only ten issues, but was a legend to those who recall it - an ahead-of-its-time tale of an anti-hero, inflected with brilliant ambiguity. One of Omega's teenage fans was award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem, who has used the original as a springboard for a superbly strange, funny, and moving graphic novel in ten chapters. Collects Omega: The Unknown #1-10.

Stand on a Mountain, Look Back: Sequential Book Seven
ISBN: 0971359717

Margo Mitchell Media Group. 2001

A year in the making, the follow up proper to the acclaimed Sequential no. 6, Sequential 7 sets its predecessor on its ear. At 128 pages (twice the size of 6), this is an undeniable cartooning tour de force, with stories ranging from a 30 page surreal story of symbols and self-degradation to one page weirdoes, to medium sized dramatic literature... Most notably features the unabridged version of the EXPO 2001 published "Ex Falso Quodlibet:" the wrenching tale of a creature struggling to make sense of loneliness in everyday life.