PREVIEW: Albert the Alien Goes to the Movies

 In comics

So I keep talking about these super secret projects, and how they’re taking up a bunch of my time (in a good way). Well, I finally have some artwork to share for the next Albert the Alien book, entitled: Albert the Alien Goes to the Movies!

Artist Gabriel Bautista (Elephant Man, All Star Western) and I have teamed up again for another fun all-ages adventure about everyone’s favorite foreign exchange student from the stars.

We’re working hard to get this book out before the end of the year, but wanted to provide some preview pages of the new adventure. Check it out!

Albert the Alien goes to the Movies, Page 1 (inks and letters). Artwork by Gabriel Bautista.

To show the evolution of a page, Gabe first starts off with layouts, then moves onto pencils. Once that’s done, he moves on to the inks and positions the text to make sure they fit within the scene, and flow well on the page.

Text isn’t usually put in this early (although an artist must always make sure there’s room for it, otherwise their artwork will get covered up by text), but since Gabe’s pulling art, text, and coloring duties he has the flexibility to work however he pleases.

Gabe was a little concerned about the fact that Joe Average’s family was kidnapped, saying this may be a little too frightening for a young reader. I agree it is frightening, but not too frightening. Albert has always been intended for readers 7+, but is appropriate for all ages (ie: no violence, no swearing, etc).

I think he did a great job here conveying the mood of the scene, without making it something that would terrify a very young reader. The purpose of this is to be parody, and Gabe totally nailed it!

Albert the Alien goes to the Movies, page 1 (final colors). Artwork by Gabriel Bautista.

After the inks and text are finalized, Gabe moves onto what Gabe does best: the colors!

Gabe has worked in coloring for most of his professional career, so the guy really knows his stuff – as can be seen in this page and the next, where the colors really set the tone and make the characters pop.

Gabe was also involved in Comic Book Tattoo, the Tori Amos Anthology which won an Eisner Award. Additionally, he’s worked for Image and DC Comics on several books. His mad skills show!

Albert the Alien goes to the Movies, page 2 (final colors). Artwork by Gabriel Bautista.

Page 2 of the story reveals that this was a trailer for a summer blockbuster action movie, staring the hottest action star: Arnold Sausageburger! Suffice it to say, the kids MUST go see this movie on opening night, or else risk being the last kids in school to see the best movie of the year.

Gabe and I talked between this book and the last about the design for Gerty. I felt her look was too young and childish. She looked like she was in elementary school, but I’ve always wanted Gerty and Albert to be in middle school. They’re a little older, but still very much in touch with their young kid side. They’re learning responsibility, get to have classes with multiple teachers, and may also be experiencing budding romances with fellow classmates.

Middle school was an interesting time in my life, and I wanted to make sure Gerty and Albert had plenty of fun adventures in their middle school years as well.

Suffice it to say, Gabe and I agreed Gerty’s outfit and style should be updated to reflect her age. She should be more stylish, girly (but still in a kid way), and maybe have more fashionable clothes. Gabe did a great job updating her outfit, but also put the finishing touches on her personality by changing her glasses!

It’s subtle, but it works so well you barely notice.

This is not the end, but the beginning of the conflict our characters encounter in this adventure. Artwork by Gabriel Bautista.

This is a panel excerpt from later in the story (but it’s not the ending…in fact, it’s the 2nd hurdle the kids must deal with in their quest to see the movie). Albert and Gerty will encounter even more hurdles, including the arrival of school bully Wally!

Albert the Alien Goes to the Movies is a 10 page adventure, and the book will contain even more fun:

1) A 7-page Albert the Alien “Origin story” about his first day in school
2) A 3-page backup story, unrelated to Albert the alien
3) More fun movie-themed activity pages
4) And so much more!

Gabe and I are shooting to have this book out before the end of the year, so be on the lookout for it at conventions and signing appearances!

I’ll post more information about the release of the book soon, as we get closer to the date.

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