I just finished reading through the entire archive for this webcomic, and to say I “couldn’t put it down” would be somewhat of an understatement. I devoured this comic, as one might consume a meal after having fasted for a few days. The irony is, if you had simply given me the description of the comic, I would have immediately written if off as something that wouldn’t interest me. I am glad it was recommended to me, and hence why I am recommending it to you!
Ada Lee Comes On is the story of an early 30ish, washed up, lesbian writer struggling to simply get out of bed each morning. Her life has been a tumultuous series of bad choices, and she has little to show for her early-life success. There is also an intriguing mystery involving a deal made with the devil that lead to her prior success, and the time has come to pay her dues.
One of the things I like best is that each strip truly advances the characters; there is always some morsel of back-story revealed or filled in even if most of the panels consist of banter between characters as they go about relatively mundane tasks. But, just as in real life, random surprises sneak up on you just when you least expect it. Flash backs? Yes. Random, lesbian sex scenes? You betcha. Completely out of context non black & white super hero sequence? Naturally. Five petal rose in every panel that the main character is in? Definitely. The comic has a great deal of depth, if you dig just below the surface.
Stylistically, Ada is nearly always in black & white, except when it isn’t. Interestingly enough, creator Jack Munroe, tends to break the mold in terms of color only on comics that have nothing to do with the actual storyline, or for one-offs like a Happy Halloween single panel strip. I would describe some strips as rather raw; but I believe this is by design and in many ways supports the general angst the main character exhibits throughout the comic. Panel variation isn’t overly utilized but isn’t completely missing either. Some backgrounds are quite detailed, while others leave more to the imagination.
I only really have two main points of frustration. The first will sound like a terrible broken record (if you’ve read any of my other reviews) – the site itself does not reflect the quality of the comic! This webcomic is good, if not great – quite addicting really. But I couldn’t get over the rather frumpy surroundings. Fantastic sites are so easy to spin up these days, I find little to no excuse for a poor one to continue to exist. At least for me, it detracts from the over-all reader experience. /soapbox off. The other issue is a rather large gap in updates (I believe it was approximately three months). That is never a good sign. There have been new ones, recently, but I always get a little worried when something like that happens. And it would really be a shame if that was a pattern that continued, as I genuinely can’t wait to see how the story progresses! A final note: if you don’t have your own office, you might not want to read this at work, as there are sometimes unexpected strips that include nudity.
You can read Ada Lee Comes On here: http://adalee.smackjeeves.com
You can follow Jack on twitter here: https://twitter.com/#!/Rev_Jack
Like Ada Lee on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/adaleecomeson