When Albert uses the hall pass, he couldn’t have imagined the adventure he’d have on his way to the rest room.
Cornered by Wally, Albert must find a way to out-smart the school bully and his goons, all the while dodging the hall monitors who roam the school.
An original short story by Trevor Mueller with art by Gabriel Bautista, this installment continues the story about the foreign exchange student from another planet!
Before we start, yes…I am aware that the angel / devil pair are pointing in opposite directions from where Trevor is looking in the next panel. This was partly done on purpose for a joke…but also partly used because I was a little rushed on this page.
And yes, panel 4 has a girl wearing body paint. I finally included a naked lady in the comic. Be happy.
So the forest we were taking these shots in had a lot of desaturated color to it. Not sure if the green of the leaves was offsetting everything, but it was a lot of fun to play in. Until you start trying to include other images into the shots. Suddenly you find out that it’s so bright and vibrant that it doesn’t mesh well with other outside images. Even the devil / angel photos have to be desaturated to look like they fit into the shots. It’s a lot of work.
However, the good news is this – I’ve been playing with later pages and there’s even more techniques that are totally new to the mix. This story is a ways off from ending, but the ending will be fun and hopefully a shock to most readers – in a good way. Like most horror stories, I try to include a twist.
But maybe I’ve given away too much already….
Anyway, I’m off to a wedding this weekend. Stay warm out there!
Playing multiple characters in the same scene is not easy. Especially when you’re not actually interacting. Maybe that’s why I’m not an actor….
But in any case, the dialogue between the characters is extremely fun. They have some great chemistry, playing off each other’s personalities.
But writing is a great fun process when you have characters with strong motivation. Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Watchmen, V for Vendetta) says there are 4 elements to writing a story:
1) Character – the subject of your tale
2) Environment – where your subject is currently located
3) Situation – what’s going on where your subject is located
4) Time – hitting the play button on all of the above
If you swap any one of these elements, you can radically change your story. For example:
1) Character – Batman
2) Environment – a bank
3) Situation – Bank Robbery
4) Time – How does Batman react to a bank being robbed?
Now, let’s swap out any of those elements, and our story can radically change. I like to swap out the character, for the sake of argument. Instead of Batman, let’s use Spider-Man. Or Punisher. Or Wolverine.
Pretty different outcomes and stories you see in your head, right? Because these characters have very unique motivations that drive them to deal with the same situation in the same environment in very different ways. No difference here with this story. Except, you know…I’m not wearing tights.
Bruce Campbell gives an incredible DVD commentary on the 38 editions of Evil Dead. In one particular version, he talks about how the movie never stuck with female viewers. How they start to wander off and interest wanes. Right around the scene where a woman is attacked by a tree – in a rather provocative manner!
While those movies are campy and silly (and excuses to soak Bruce Campbell in fake blood of all colors), that scene is pretty disturbing. It’s a little out of context for the feel of the film, and it sticks with people.
That said, since I’m paying homage to that movie here a bit, I wanted to call out that there will be no attacks by trees in this comic. Technically. Certainly not in the same way. You’ll have to wait a few pages to find out what I’m talking about.
So one of the super-secret projects I’ve been hinting about can finally be talked about: Albert the Alien is returning for a new short story! Written by me, and returning artist Gabriel Bautista. Here’s some details on the project:
Albert the Alien: The foreign exchange student from another planet is back! This time, Albert has to use the bathroom, but the school bully has other plans. Can Albert subdue the bully, avoid the hall monitors, and make it to the rest room before the end of class?
- 10 pages, all ages
- Continues the story of Albert the Alien, who first appeared in the two-time Harvey Award nominated anthology Reading with Pictures.
- Written by Trevor Mueller
- Art by Gabriel Bautista
Gabe and I have been working hard to get some more Albert together, after he first appeared in RWP, and now there will finally be another short.
Here’s the first page of the new Albert the Alien story. Gabe submitted the inks (working digitally), so colors and backgrounds will be worked on later this week. Let me know what you think!
First off, I’m loving how these pages are coming out. Seriously, I think the color, composition, the pacing…all of it is coming out amazing well.
Now, enough patting myself on the back. Let’s talk shop.
The choice to represent the angel and devil from a distance as glowing orbs was really one of time. Because I’m doing more manipulation than normal to these pages, they’re taking a lot more time to produce. With the added pressure of trying to get the book off to the printer, plus coordinating two other big projects (which will get announced soon), I needed a quick way to get them into shots that were further away. I think it turned out great, but let me know your thoughts.
Speaking of the book, it’s proofed and off to the printer! In theory, I should have this in time for my first show of the year: Anime Milwaukee!
I started 2011 being a guest at this show, and it was a great way to start what would be an amazing convention season. It’s a fun show that’s grown by leaps and bounds since I started attending it. I highly recommend going, and I hope to see you there.
So now 2012 is in full swing and the book is off to the printer, I can start focusing on my other two projects…and starting to promote them. I’m told from an artist I’ll have some pages next week, so I’m hoping to get some sketches and stuff up to tell you about it soon. Patience, my friends.
…alright, I’ll give you a little hint. It’s a character I’ve written before, and he’s getting another short adventure. Any guesses?
There’s a forum of comic professionals I like to frequent every now and then, and they put a thread up about 2011 accomplishments, and 2012 goals. Being a business-minded individual, this idea appeals to me. I posted a less detailed version on the thread, but wanted to blow it out a bit on here. Gives me an excuse to talk about successes of 2011, as well as some of those exciting projects in 2012 I keep teasing about.
2011 BOOKS PUBLISHED:
- Hope: The Hero Initiative – Anthology of stories with an uplifting theme to them. I wrote “Inspiration,” the story of a sick kid whose blog posts have inspired others to be real life heroes.
- Junkyard Chase – Short all-ages story about a robot chasing a dog through a junkyard. Includes a script in the back, so creators can use it as a template for making their own comics.
2011 SHOWS ATTENDED:
- Anime Milwaukee* – First show of the year, and a show with large growth. Lots of fun, met some great people, and gave some great panels
- C2E2 – Had a table in AA, and participated in a few Reading with Pictures (RWP) panels. Sold decent enough, and got to hang out with some great friends from out of town. First comic show my girlfriend attended
- ACEN* – My favorite show of the year. Hung out with comic friends, anime voice actor friends, gave some amazing and well-attended panels, and had a blast.
- Anime-Zing!* – A second-year show in a new town. Met another Power Ranger (Johnny Young Bosch), and had a really fun time. Late night panels and lots of fun stories at the bar after hours
- Wizard World Chicago – My top selling show of the year. By far. Amazing time, and Beth helped man the booth with me. Had an incredible time
- NYCC – Attended as RWP, sold pretty well, and put on some fun and entertaining panels. Stayed with some local friends, which is always a good time
- Mid-Ohio Comic Con – Another great time with great friends. Stayed with good friends and had a blast the entire weekend. Sold extremely well for the size of the show. Also, met actor Doug Jones
- Kollision Con* – A smaller show, but a strong way to finish off the year. Hung out with internet celebrities, voice actors, and good comic friends. Late nights in the bar (and in other guests hotel rooms) made for some hilarious stories
*Guest of Honor
2012 BOOKS PUBLISHED:
- @$$hole! vol. 1 – The story of a lazy slacker and his demonic roommate who’s more of a slacker than he could ever be. Pop-culture references and hilarity ensue
- Albert the Alien – The foreign exchange student from another planet is back! In this adventure, Albert has to dodge bullies and hall monitors while he makes his way to use the restroom
- Nightshade – Children have gone missing in Prague. Doc leads in Nightshade, a supernatural investigative team, to find out who’s behind this crime. But when the investigation starts to link into his mysterious past, Doc will have to chose between finding the answers that have long eluded him and doing what he knows is right
2012 SHOWS ATTENDED:
- Anime Milwaukee*
- Summit City*
- Wizard World Chicago
- Mid-Ohio Con
- Kollision Con*
Ha ha, I haven’t done a running gag since Laura’s 21st Birthday. But never before on a photo comic. It was fun to shoot.
The exterior shots of this story arc are in a very pretty state park in Indiana, and the lushness of the green is one I haven’t seen since visiting Ireland. It was just….green. Vibrant and everywhere. So finding an open area to do a running gag like this was difficult to say the least. Difficult, but not impossible.
So the new book is finished, two drafts, and currently in the process of selecting a printer so I can have this thing in hand for my first convention of the year.
Speaking of conventions, the 2012 schedule posted earlier this month. Currently doing 8 shows this year, my first will be a great local anime show called Anime Milwaukee. I always have a lot of fun at this show, and I get to hang out with some great guests. Alan Evans will be joining me again this year, and we put on a pretty awesome Making Webcomics panel. In fact, you can see the panel we did last year on youtube (or below).
Anyway, I’m going to get back to work on the book – specifically, getting it off to the printers so it can be completed on time. Have a great weekend!
Ha ha ha ha, an angel and a devil. On the shoulder. Seem strange enough to you? Of course, they did make an appearance on the cover, so this shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise.
These two characters will play a significant role in the remainder of this story arc, and they’re a lot of fun to write. They were a lot of fun to play as, too. The truth of the matter is, I figured out while making this particular comic that @$$Hole! has a strength and a weakness: it’s a one man show.
This is a difficult thing to do from a writing perspective, but also a fun challenge. Especially when you present the opportunity to play multiple characters. Especially such different characters.
So enjoy the ride, as there’s plenty more to come!