Review – The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

Posted 23 May, 2016 by Nikki in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney PaduaThe Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, Sydney Padua

This seemed like a comic perhaps more for my partner than me (and lo, she did love it), but I wanted to give it a try too after hearing some stuff about it on the radio… somewhere. And Robert kindly sent me his copy to peruse, so I had no excuse (and didn’t really want to find one anyway). I like the art — it’s cute, but not too cute; lively and character-ful, without feeling like caricature. And the sense of humour suits mine pretty well too.

If you’re looking for a serious what-if about the Difference Engine, then this isn’t really your show; the comic itself is more about the characters, their endearing characteristics, their partnership. It’s based heavily on material surviving from the correspondence of and commentary on Lovelace and Babbage, but the events themselves are fanciful, often ludicrous, for the sake of a fun rather than “educational” comic. It works well, if that’s what you’re here for — and even if you aren’t, there’s a whole wealth of info contained in the footnotes and the appendices.

One thing I did find awkward about reading this was how busy the pages are. Text! Everywhere! Here’s a footnote there’s a footnote and another little footnote! My brain is not very good visually at all, so I found it cluttered and distracting at times. Colour might have helped; maybe not.

Still, overall fun and yes please to Ada Lovelace as hero.

Rating: 4/5

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