I finished up my 5 pager for the 11 o'clock anthology and it was a return to the Professor from Time Tested in the first Low Concept book. Once again the focus is on clearly representing abstract principles and concepts. Instead of questioning our understanding of time, this time I explore our understanding of humanity itself. Lofty goals, of course, but I do feel like the piece turned out really well.
When I started Time Tested, 3 years ago I had begun to notice how much more black was on professional's pages than mine. To try and remedy this problem I had tried to get an even 50/50 split of black and white on the pages of the first Professor story. The pages looked interesting but they fell flatter than I had anticipated. After several comics workshops I heard a great explanation for what I had done wrong. Human eyes respond to contrast, by having the inks and whites equally balanced I made everything feel equally important. I had lost the ability to draw a reader across the page by confusing the focus. A better ratio (though of course not a hard, fast rule) is to keep your black and white in a 70/30 balance in either direction. This way the eyes are drawn to the 30% on the page. Those are the areas that stand out against the rest.
With Mind Matters I've eliminated the black backgrounds and kept the pages very consistent. Simple black figures sitting on a sea of white. Each text block has no word balloons, and plainly narrates a potentially unique philosophical perspective. Even the visual shortcuts I use for illustrating ones mind, body, and spirit are boiled down to the clearest, most minimal representation I could come up with. And then I clearly label each shortcut multiple times on the first page. I took this as my 'establishing shot' for an expository comic.