Best known as a cartoonist for The New Yorker, Shannon Wheeler is the man behind the satirical superhero Too Much Coffee Man, created in 1991 to star in a minicomic promoting Children with Glue, a collection of his daily strips. The popularity of the character led it to appear in a series of self-published zines, comic books, magazines, and webcomics for a number of years — perhaps then becoming his most beliaveble alter ego.
Shannon grew up in Berkeley, California, brought up by his mother — his father left the family to start a commune north of San Francisco. He started cartooning while at UC Berkeley, publishing his daily gag cartoons Calaboose and then Tooth and Justice in The Daily Californian. His weekly strip Postage Stamp Funnies appeared in the satirical newspaper The Onion until 2009, when he began contributing to The New Yorker.
In 2011, Shannon said he created Too Much Coffee Man to make more accessible themes he had begun in a college newspaper.
“In 1991, I drew an autobiographical cartoon for The Daily Texan with themes of alienation and loneliness. When I described it, people’s eyes glazed over. As a cheap gag, I started Too Much Coffee Man. I still address the same themes, except now there’s coffee. People like coffee.”