This page is the emotional payoff for me– the restoration of Moab and the touching reunion of the cowboy and his beloved partner. When I designed this page, I failed to take into account the sheer bulk of the “real” moa. She takes up a lot more space than than the skeleton does. We know that the bulk is mostly an illusion; moas, like their distant cousins the kiwis (and ostriches, for that matter) have very thick, poofy, fluffy feathers that make them look much bigger than they actually are. But since my ghost inking depends purely on a thin and very accurate outline, the outside edge of the soft part is going to be the only edge we have, and Moab is a big character.
I added two things to this page that weren’t in the original layout. Since I decided later that trained riding moas crouch down to be saddled, rather in the manner of camels but with less attitude, it only seemed logical that the cowboy would have to tell her to “git down”. So I added a couple of lines for him. Those are probably staying. I’m less confident about the little figure of Iowa in the dead space between the two implied panels. I put here there on a whim, as an expression of my own “awww” feelings about the events on the page. I am not at all confident that she belongs there, blatantly trying to punch up the emotional impact of something which should be good and punchy on its own. Or is she an effective stand in for the audience? Or do we want to know about Iowa’s reaction as a point in her own character development.
I am conflicted to say the least, but I don’t have to make any decision now. I don’t have to ink the pencils for that figure, and if I do and think better of it later I can always white her out in the physical media or delete her in the digital copy. And I will, if I decide she is too obvious an effort on my part to tell the audience how to feel.