Happy Friday, and welcome to another awesome adventure of Albert the Alien!

While researching Romeo and Juliet I started to question whether or not the story would be appropriate for the reading level I was trying to hit (ages 7+). While it would be an appropriate story for a 7th grade English class to study (I remember reading it, and performing parts of it for the class as a group), the target readership for an all-ages book tends to be a little younger. With that said, I also wasn’t sure if the intended reader audience would be familiar with the story (Leonard Dicaprio’s version did come out in 1996, after all, and 7 year olds wouldn’t have been born yet).

Based on that information, I decided to do a very brief and quick summary of the story. And tried to make it a little silly and ridiculous. It’s difficult to do with all the death and dying and killing that happens in the story, so I figured Albert (who doesn’t come from a culture where killing is acceptable) would react appropriately – with shock. “Is this even appropriate for us?” he asks. Then Gerty, who’s at least familiar with the story, at least likes the parts of it an almost-teen-aged girl would: the romance parts.

Gabe did a great job of conveying the story summary with some quick reference shots. This way, we can compare the more modern story our class is required to perform to the silly / simple version here.

That said, who do you think is going to be cast as whom? Did you ever have to perform (or read aloud for the class) any Shakespeare works?

Our English class broke the story up into parts, and groups of the class performed those scenes (so we got to perform basically the whole play, but each team only did one scene each). I was cast as Mercurtio in one class, and then in another I somehow got the role of Romeo (and a really attractive girl in the class got Juliet, but refused to kiss me when the script said to…I wasn’t popular enough for her). I preferred playing Mercurtio – it was a fun role to play, since he was more playful and less serious all the time.

Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play or character?

Hey everyone, Gabe and I are attending C2E2 here in Chicago right now! I’ll be working the Reading with Pictures booth (#124) along with good friends Jim McClain (Solution Squad) and Russell Lissau (Strawberry Shortcake, The Batman Strikes). Gabe will be in artist alley.

Both of us will have copies of Albert available for sale, along with some other great books, original art, and we’ll both be available to take commissions. I’ll also be doing an all-ages panel on Sunday in the Family room from 11-12pm. Looking forward to seeing you there!