In 2012, Gabe and I wanted to tell more Albert the Alien stories. I had accumulated an amount of funds over the years from my sales at conventions, and could finance the production of a floppy book or two. I came up with some stories, and we opted to put together the second story first.

The idea with Albert was to make the ordinary extraordinary. And what is more ordinary than a trip to the restroom during class?

Albert the Alien is Using the Hall Pass cover

Taking in the things I’m currently into – video games – I tried to put in a lot of fun references to sneaking games like Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid, and also some expressive games like Phoenix Wright. The combination was a lot of fun.

The plot: Albert the Alien has to use the restroom during class one day, but the school bully is trying to stop his every move.

Simple enough premise, but one that allows for a lot of comedy and hilarity.

The first page of the story, featuring the hall pass: a MGS face mask

The idea was that Albert’s suit would have a notice for him to use the restroom, or that his “waste storage” was full. His suit would act like a space suit for human astronauts, collecting bodily waste.

However, to Albert, this is the equivalent to having to use the restroom. So as the story progresses – as he encounters obstacles – his need to get to the restroom increases.

I knew I wanted to kind of have Albert and Wally team up a bit in the story as well, so Wally needed a conflict. In this instance, he’s on his last notice of skipping class. If he gets caught again, he gets in serious trouble. Not wanting to get caught himself, he makes a deal with Albert to help him navigate the hallways in exchange for not picking on Albert for the rest of the week (the story takes place on a Friday, by the way).

The Phoenix Wright parody, with the Hall Monitor busting one of Wally’s goons

Albert the Alien is Using the Hall Pass premiered at C2E2 in April, 2012, and was a huge sales success. The book is available for sale at local Chicago comic stores including Challengers and Aw Yeah Comics. And it’s also available through my online store.

However, this wouldn’t be the final Albert book to come out in 2012….