Alex + Ada was something I picked up on a whim. I’d seen it in the back of a lot of Image comics and it looked good. It’s not very often you see a comic that focuses on both romance and slice of life, all mashed together with sci-fi. On paper, it sounds weird and confusing but in truth, it is beautiful and thought provoking.
The new series is written by long-time Image contributor, Jonathan Luna. Part of the “Luna Brothers” duo, he’s written and illustrated many series’ such as Girls, The Sword and an adorable fairy tale hardback just recently released Star Bright and the Looking Glass. Sarah Vaughn is spear-heading the story this time with Luna’s help and their clean minimalist art. She’s a newcomer to the field, doing some pencilling work beforehand but a greenhorn she definitely is not. This is a duo that is no doubt going to become a well known powerhouse across the next couple of years.
Alex + Ada is about a near-future world where androids and robots are a regular part of people’s lives. From small task droids to full on human-like AI, this is a world that takes Google Glass to the working class. Alex is a middle class office man, recently broken up with his girlfriend and still not dealing with it very well. Turns out he’s going to be getting a lot closer with AI than he is used to. Ada appears in his life and begins to make him question what he considers to be normal and right in this startlingly realistic sci-fi world.
The characters themselves, even the androids, are deep and relatable. The background characters are endearing and probably similar to some of your own friends. Alex himself is a quiet, contemplative young man who is easily likeable whilst remaining complex and thought-provoking. Ada, the main android of the series, at first comes across as a bit of a bouncy beautiful airhead but within pages there is an almost unnerving quality to the way she views life. Everything from her expressions to her tiny movements tells a story and leaves me asking more and more of her. I wanted to see what made this android tick, what it was really all about. Like the author duo, these two are a fascinating match.
The art matches the realistic view of the series. It is clean and crisp, easy to follow and draws many contrasts to a persons everyday life. I’m a feminist university student but I feel like I can greatly relate to a female android and an office worker both at the same time- and that is no easy task. It is beautifully simple and easy to fall into the clean and mesmerising world. When I looked up from reading, hours had passed and I’d been floating in the intricate bliss of Alex and Ada’s story for far longer than I’d realise. I was mesmerised, to put it simply.
Alex + Ada is a deceptively straightforward newcomer you’d expect to be a cocky science fiction romance that would last a top of 6 issues. Instead, it is a heart-pounding exploration of morals, technology and emotions. From subtle jokes to belly laughing moments, smiles to tears, gasps to page flicking, Alex + Ada is a must for anyone wanting a new obsession. It has become one my new favourite series and I am counting the days until the next issue. Buy it, read it, love it.