Though beardless Theo’s confrontation with the railroad men is one of my favorite parts of this story, it’s definitely an example of a place where I could have done more research. The problem was not a scarcity of reference material, but a superabundance of it. The train dorks of America have amassed so much great information out there on the history of U.S. railroads that, rather than choosing some of it, I opted to read none of it… besides, I had a comic to draw!

(a cool map of the now defunct Santa Fe Railroad, from 1891.)

One unfortunate result of my laziness is that the fictional railroad described in SNitLoE is frankly preposterous. At the end of the 19th century, Lubbock, TX was still not even a spot on the map, nor was Tuscon, AZ much better. It is true that a hypothetical railroad between these two nowhere towns would indeed pass approximately through the Las Cruces/ White Sands area, but why would it? An actual ladder into the sun would be more useful.

“I’ve listened to the preachers, I’ve listened to the fools, I’ve watched all the dropouts who make their own rules.” – Ozzy Osbourne, “Crazy Train,” summarizing my comic.