The thing about the boxes and random stuff on the lab’s shelves is that the students use these labs collectively, so they leave a lot of their things here that can’t fit in their lockers. In retrospect, a genetics lab used by teenagers probably shouldn’t be based on the honor system, but, hey.
It was unintentional, but I like how the three rows of panels work as their own separate strips. Each is its own mini scene, ending with a “button”–that is, a moment that finishes it off naturally, allowing the story to jump to another scene.
In the first few drafts, only the characters themselves shrank, and all of the action took place in this one lab room. When I decided to change the method of shrinking, the fact that the building itself would also be affected allowed the action to play out on two levels: the second floor lab and the first floor records room. That made it much easier to prevent the “big” characters from helping the “little” characters, so we could watch Flint and company fend for themselves and make the story much more interesting.
The page’s title is a Deep Purple reference, but I actually know it from Al Yankovic’s first polka medly and Dance Dance Revolution.
I put so much thought into how they would shrink, and if the room would shrink with them, and who should stay upstairs in the lab, that I didn’t realize that I hadn’t actually drawn a comprehensive shrinking sequence until the pages were already published. I would have totally reworked this sequence so that it’s obvious they are all shrinking relative to the surrounding lab equipment. As it stands, it looks like Flint is seeing something off-panel, when he is actually looking at the shelf behind him as it gets higher and higher.
This was the first time I drew a cover for a chapter before drawing any pages of the actual chapter.
Looking back, I should have made the shadow easier to spot. Many people missed it. I also should have drawn more objects around them to really give a sense of scale. Demetrius’ tweezers (which he never even uses in the chapter) don’t do the job well enough.