That completes the set of scribbles for making the 16 page version of “Moab”. You can see what I mean about Moab commanding space, particularly in her “living” form. I learned in my research that moa skeletons are often displayed with the head fully upright to emphasize the tremendous height of what is in effect a giant bird. But other evidence, including partially preserved tissue, suggests that in life moas usually held their heads only slightly higher than the rest of their bodies, with the neck close to horizontal. I’ve adopted this idea, primarily because it looks good to me, particularly when the moa is saddled up to be ridden. But that means that Moab needs lots of room.
Speaking of saddling up, I am having fun designing the moa saddle and figuring out how the cowboy will mount up and ride. The stance is rather different than the one a rider takes on a quadrupedal mount. I also had no luck designing a bridle or halter for a bird’s head– I’ve decided that Moab is quite intelligent and responds to spoken commands, shifts of body weight and touches of the heel. I realize that the size of the moa’s head means it had a pretty small brain and was probably quite stupid, but so what? Maybe Moab has her brain in her torso like Niven’s Puppeteer. Or maybe I’m making it all up. If you can believe in the werewolf changing shape three times in 16 pages, you can believe in a smart moa. That is also some kind of ghost. Don’t look at it too hard and you will be fine.
Anyway, this set includes a bonus scribble where I redeveloped an important panel in a separate sketch. And look, I reused the original scribble for the back cover, from way back yesterday when it was page 8 instead of page 16.
Next step, pencils. I don’t know whether you will see pages yet tonight or whether the first ones will be coming off in the morning sometime. Since the tones of the different scenes vary quite a bit, this may be the kind of project where I choose to work on each scene as a block rather than finishing one scene at a time. I won’t know for sure until I tape up the first page.