Chuck Todd, terrific designer, artist & illustrator supreme -- and occasional heartless villain -- decided it should be a four-column thingy. Great.
...Well, it turned out he was right. I had to do some serious re-thinkin', re-tweakin' and re-drawin' in a flippin' hurry, but the end result sure looked better. C-Todd's design savvy and his infographic instincts are the reasons why he will probably be laid off shortly after I'm laid off. (That's newspaper biz gallows humor-- if you make your living in the industry then you know!)
...I worked on this piece in conjunction with a monstrous time-line/sequence-of-events that was mostly type and far too unwieldy to show here, but the entire project required extensive research and countless readings of a 150-ish page report of a response to a fire alarm that went tragically, sadly wrong. It was intense and moving work.
...Of course, in regards to the art, I'm not at all satisfied with it now. The flashover section in particular makes me cringe. As far as I'm concerned the art in that is still in the rough sketch phase; I intended to do a better job. For the last panel, I scribbled recklessly just to get the idea down, thinking, "Eh, I can come back later and polish it up."
...Hm. That phrase runs through my head far too often as I make my way through life. "Eh, I can come back later and polish it up."