Alex + Ada by Johathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

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I had seen this one from time to time, but never thought much about it. The cover with its all white background really stuck out and that is the reason I remember seeing it. I had not heard much about it, but that does not mean anything as I am sure you are aware. I picked it up when I saw it at my IMG_2018local comic shop for half the price, I figured that was a steal for the first five issues.

I had not heard of Jonathan Luna or Sarah Vaughn before this comic. Luna has been working on quite a few of his own comics and has worked on a run of Spider-Woman for Marvel. I am sorry to say that I have not heard of any of his other works that include Girls (which was published by Image), Ultra, and The Sword. All of which have a female character at as their main character which I think is interesting in a male dominated industry. Vaughn is most famous for the web comic series Sparkshooter which she is the artist on. For this book it does not sIMG_2019ay who created what or drew what, all it says is that they co-created this story. Either way it seems both of these individuals are wildly talented and cannot wait to see their next project.

The story takes place in what seems like a not so distant future, but the technology is far more advanced. The main character’s name is Alex and he has recently broken up with his girlfriend. He seems to have a decent job and is trying to making it on his own. His grandmother seeing he is quite lonely and down on his luck after the breakup buys him an android that will basically do anything Alex says. He names her Ada and her personality, as you can imagine, is very robotic, basically she has no opinion or cannot think for herself in any aspect. After much deliberation Alex wants her to be more human-like and sets in motion a series of events to accomplisIMG_2020h his wish. The only problem is that the path he is traveling down is a very dangerous one, not to mention illegal.

I cannot say exactly why but I loved this story, but I certainly did. It reminded me so much of Her, which is an awesome film if you have not seen it, along with another story that I despised called vN. Other than vN I think this idea of man teaching and potentially meeting a viable partner in a machine is so fascinating. I cannot put my finger on why this relationship is interesting to me. To me it is always interesting to read others’ sexual frustration and social awkwardness when dealing with the opposite sex, and it is even more interesting that it is between a humIMG_2021an and a machine. This is uncharted territory and is always fun to think about and speculate about.

As you know I always love a good story and while there is nothing overly exciting happening in this book there are so many ideas explored that make for a great story. The awesome thing is that almost all of them are barely discussed, basically you only get to see the smallest tip of the ice berg, which really makes me want to read the next trade and see how so many different ideas play out, if at all.

I cannot state this enough, there are so many underlying plot lines and different avenues to explore that this story could really go in any direction in the following issues. The odd part is, that as a reader I am not really concerned with many of thIMG_2022ese details, odd I know. What I am most interested in is how Alex and Ada’s relationship develops as the story grows. I know that sounds odd and strange, but I was easily sucked into both of these characters and their wellbeing. Maybe it is because most people can connect to a character that is real and has similar issues. Everyone has gone through a break up, so that was easy to connect with, also everyone has had the awkwardness of dating and getting to know a new girlfriend or boyfriend. So again it is easy to relate, the only different is that his potential girlfriend is a robot, so that has my full attention, as I want to see how that plays out.

The other subplots are very interesting as well. There is this whole idea of artificial intelligence, which you know I love. There is also this idea of what happens when you give a machine free will and the ability to think for itself. This could be very scary and potentially dangerous. The funny thing is that the writers put forth very scared and paranoid citizens in this time period. I think this is interesting as humans often times fear what they do not understand. Despite all their advanced technology at their base humans are still humans and we will never be able to get riIMG_2023d of our basic paranoid animal instincts, but we would not have gotten where we are today without them. I also very much liked the technology that was displayed in this book. Honestly it was nothing that had not been done before, but it seemed very real and simple. There is an internet that a person can visit in virtual reality, so that is really cool. This makes for some interesting chat rooms as you could actually be in a room as opposed to typing on a screen. I feel the writers did a fantastic job with this aspect of the story and it almost seemed like they downplayed it, as they did not want this to be the true focal point ofIMG_2025 the story. Although, it does have an impact on the flow of the story, but it is a small one and does not give the reader an overload on the technology aspect. I like the quick explanations and move on, that always seems to be the best route. Sometimes the over explanation of advanced technology in stories really slows down the pace and convolutes everything. So again great job by the writers.

The artwork in this one is very different. That is the only way I can describe it at first. It is very clean and crisp, with tight sharp edges. As far as I can tell it seems to be all digital, and by that I mean that I do not know if they actually hand drew or penciled any scenes or any part of it. TherIMG_2026e is nothing wrong with this but it does make for a different style of artwork that has a very different feel to it. I liked this style is if very simple and really lets you focus on the story. I think that is what the writers and artist are after, they wanted the total focus to be on the story. Some people may have a problem with the artwork because it really lacks any sort of originality, but me on the other hand I am just fine with it. Every now and again simple works just fine and in some cases better. The more I think about the artwork I think it has somewhat of a futuristic feel to it which plays right into the theme of the book. That is just my feeling of it so take that however you will. The page layouts were nothing special and straightforward. I will honestly say that I did not even really notice this aspect of the artwork, I was so focused on the dialogue and into the story that even though many pages were mainly the same and very simple I did not even care. The colors are good, sharp and crisp. There were some very bright colors that jump of the page with the help of the artwork. I liked how the colors and the simple style work together to create a very wonderful visual aspect to the story.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is one of the better ones I have read this year so far. I loved the story and I think I will certainly be purchasing the next trade to see what happens next. If you love a good story, a little sIMG_2027ifi, and a dash of romance and suspense you will not be disappointed with this one. I highly recommend this book!

Manik

 

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