Jonathan Luna has a beautifully clean and expressive style which few artists seem to be able produce. The ability to portray emotion with only a few strokes of a pencil must take years to master, but its appreciation will last forever. Alex + Ada is a book full of anxiety and concern because of a love disallowed by society. Alex’s inability to relax and be happy and Ada’s first experiences of different feelings are key to this book. The covers have always been dramatic and quite painful, none more than this one. As Alex and Ada stare into each others eyes they seem to be fighting the world around them. Their eyelids are lowered and their mouths ajar seemingly ready to kiss, but the pressure is getting to them. The pieces of themselves falling away from them slowly move towards their bodies. The cracks appear and their arms and hair begin to crumble, as we wonder if they will kiss each other before they completely fall to pieces. The cover represents a tragic metaphor of the book itself and as much as we hope Alex and Ada will embrace, there is a gloomy cloud that takes that light away from us. The cover is so clear and precise and we can see exactly what is occurring and the sadness at hand. But there is some ambiguity because the approach to kissing may also represent a sadness as both Alex and Ada know they can never be. Luna deliberately plays the “so near yet so far” card but does it with power and theatrics. Now if you are reading this book then you will realise there are even more factors that hold back this relationship, not just society. All that we have is hope and yearning that things will work out but Jonathan Luna cruelly takes that from us, piece by piece.
A quick note: This cover contrasts beautifully with the cover to issue 1, where they first meet and Ada is still covered by her packaging. It is a nice sentiment to how far both have come, but how far they won’t be allowed to go.