A Boy and His Robot in ALEX + ADA

June 18, 2014

New graphic novel series explores the limits of technology—and humanity

Ada is an X5, the very latest in Tanaka android technology. Alex is her reluctant owner. Ada may look and sound just like a person, but she’s still a robot in a society that is growing increasingly suspicious of her kind. In ALEX + ADA, a new graphic novel series by Jonathan Luna (GIRLS, THE SWORD, ULTRA) and Sarah Vaughn (Sparkshooter) from Image Comics, Alex and Ada try to find out if artificial intelligence can make the leap to human awareness — and whether the world is ready for it.

“I’ve wanted to tell a futuristic story for a long time,” said co-writer and artist Luna in an interview at Comic Vine. “I’ve been fascinated with androids and how we’d interact with them. And since I have leanings toward drama and romance, all of it just meshed together into ALEX + ADA.”

“The book isn’t necessarily a stance on sentience and whether or not it’s possible,” co-writer Vaughn commented on ALEX + ADA’s science fiction elements, “but more a social and emotional exploration of what happens if it does.”

Appropriate to this exploration is Luna’s clean, distinctive art, which conveys the rich inner lives of characters with subtle facial expressions and gestures, as well creates a world that is technologically advanced yet still recognizably a possible future version of our world.

“Dialogue, speed, silence and stillness; it’s all very deliberate,” said Vaughn of their storytelling style in an interview at Multiversity Comics. “Sometimes dialogue and exposition are necessary, especially when quiet people are living within a dramatic world, but hopefully we keep the balance by also showing how dramatic quiet life can be.”

With a momentous decision that could shake the very foundation of the society he lives in, Alex’s quiet life is about to get very dramatic indeed — and he’s going to bring Ada along with him.

A unique story that will appeal equally to fans of science fiction, drama, and romance, ALEX + ADA VOLUME 1 will be in comic book stores on July 16 and in bookstores on July 29.

ALEX + ADA VOLUME 1 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-006-6
  • Diamond Comics order code MAY140618
  • 128 pages, $12.99
  • In comic book stores July 9, bookstores July 22
  • Collects issues #1-5 of ALEX + ADA
  • Rated Teen Plus

Praise for ALEX + ADA

“Vaughn and Luna have found a way to depict a future and a story filled with familiar elements, but still make it feel like something that’s simultaneously very lived in and completely unique. It’s impossible not to connect with it thanks to the strangely relatable stories, and the awakening that’s taking place at the center of the story for both Alex and Ada. Luna’s art is the perfect fit for the book, as the very pristine future the book takes place in is completely simpatico with Luna’s clean lines and restrained character work. This book is one that I didn’t even expect to buy at first, but it has become not just my favorite Image title of 2014, but my favorite comic of 2014 period.” –David Harper, Multiversity Comics

“...a quiet but enthralling series.” –Greg McElhatton, Comic Book Resources

“ the just-ahead-of-now future is almost palpable, and the story is incredibly easy to invest in.” –Jen Aprahamian, Comic Vine

“...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.” –Sophie, Panels and Pixels