This page starts with a riff on Curly’s entrance in the first scene of Oklahoma!— greenery moves and rustles at one side of the stage (in Oklahoma!, of course, it’s corn rather than a hedge maze, but work with me here), and who emerges but a man dressed as a cowboy! Now that I look at the art with fresh eyes, I could definitely punch that reference up a lot by adding rustling movements and sound effects to the upper left. There is certainly room for them. When I reprint this story, I will definitely do that.
Of course the cowboy belongs to the Western saddle, and being a comic book cowboy, he has charming, old fashioned manners that are probably also slightly sexist. One of the distinct quirks of Iowa’s character is that while she is a serious feminist and not inclined to to tolerate false “chivalry” from the men around her in everyday life, she finds charming, old fashioned manners, well, extremely charming when they come from the genuinely old fashioned people she sometimes meets on her adventures. Jack knows this perfectly well, which explains the stink eye he is giving the cowboy in the second panel. But I honestly don’t think the cowboy is flirting at all, just treating her as any well brought up comic book cowboy would treat any woman. (Any woman, at least, who is not clearly a cowgirl herself. Iowa would make a great cowgirl. She even has the name.)
I remember working very hard on both the cowboy’s costume and his lines and accent. The furry sheepskin chaps were really fun to draw.
(Please note that this rereading of Moab, with commentary, will go down to one page a day for the long Labor Day weekend.)