“a little storm”

Diane Tennant’s fascinating, well researched 10-part series, “A Little Storm,” chronicles a killer hurricane that caught Hampton Roads with its knickers down in the summer of 1933.

She told the story in a thrilling way, using short vignettes from the viewpoints of several individuals and families who struggled to survive the harrowing torrent. Some made it, some didn’t. Each day’s installment ends with a cliffhanger, and you have to wait until the newspaper thumps the front door the following morning to find out what happens.

As the designer of the project, I kept thinking about water and the many different shapes it takes, and I was able to incorporate that idea into each installment’s story line. I decided on the sloppy-dash watercolors in cool colors with smaller ink drawings multiplied on top in a warm brown. The difference in scale was a wink to the ironic title.

Each day, the series ran in the same place above the masthead. It’s important for daily followers of the series to count on that consistency.

The series was postponed a couple of weeks because of Irene, a present-day hurricane that sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Had another hurricane barreled up the coast, the editors were prepared to actually hold the series for a year… I’m really glad we didn’t have to do that.

If you’re interested in buying the full-color, 56-page reprint, go to www.PilotOnline.com/store ($10 – shipping is free).