The format of Chemistry, Matter and the Universe is unusual.
Every important chemical concept is illustrated, with an average
of more than a figure per page, yet this book is not "illustrated"
at all in the traditional sense. The writer and artist planned this
book together as co-authors from the very first stages, discussing
each two-page layout extensively from a chapter outline before either
text or drawings existed. What were the key ideas of each chapter,
and how could they be expressed pictorially? Every illustration
performs some pedagogical function, even the outrageous cartoons.
Drawings and narrative were planned together to form and organic
whole, which is why no figure numbers are used. When the words describe
an idea, the graphic realization of that idea is in front of the
reader as reinforcement. This has made the book more laborious to
produce, but has made the finished product a better teaching device.
Chemistry, Matter and the Universe is intended primarily
for a two-semester course, although it has been designed so it can
be used for several shorter courses if desired. Each chapter in
this book builds on what has come before. Although it is not easy
to skip from one chapter to another, it is easy to progress steadily
through the book but to stop at any one of several points.