Oh, the delicious irony of it: Sydney Padua, creator of the delightful quasi-historical webcomic Lovelace & Babbage, has launched an iPad app, thus bringing the parents of the computer to its most recent incarnation. The app is free and includes one complete story, with another available for $2.99.
Like a long-form Kate Beaton comic, Lovelace & Babbage casts Charles Babbage (inventor of the first programmable computer) and Ada Lovelace (the first programmer) as steampunk heroes fighting a variety of evildoers under the aegis of Queen Victoria herself. Padua sets up her stories in an alternate universe but brings in plenty of real historical figures, and both the comic and the app are graced with plenty of footnotes. Padua has a talent for picking out the odd but interesting bits of history, so while the footnotes are scholarly, they are not dry.
Here's some more good news for Lovelace & Babbage fans: Padua recently announced she is taking time off her day job to focus on her comics, an effort that has already borne fruit in the form of Vampire Poets, a prologue in rhyme accompanied by a few actual contemporary poems about her heroes.