Ludic Live has a review of the webcomic entitled Roswell, Texas. Reviewer Leonard Pierce was not very complimentary.
The comic is set in an alternate reality in which the Texans won at the Alamo and established a Libertarian-style Republic of Texas that lasts until the present day (or, at least, until the time at which the story is set, in 1964). This gives Smith an opportunity to show off his knowledge of history, which is unfortunate, because he hasn’t any. Historical insight is either misapplied or missing.
T.E. Lawrence is a main character, and he’s portrayed as maybe in his mid-40s. In fact, in 1947, he would have been 60 years old, and also dead. The president of Texas is Charles Lindbergh Jr., who is portrayed as a middle-aged man; but had the Lindbergh baby lived, he would have been only sixteen in 1947. Why not just make it Lindy himself? Especially when you consider that…
…the main villains in the book are Nazis. Which isn’t that odd, Nazis being the most convenient of all villains in any kind of historical fiction. What is odd is that one of the main characters is clearly established as being the daughter of Adolf Hitler, who moved to Mexico after WWI and became a successful painter rather than a fascist dictator. This makes it unclear how the Nazis rose to power. But just to make it clear that he hates them, the author establishes that the Nazis are all gay, and dresses them in pink uniforms and/or leather bondage gear.
I know, it sounds kind of awesome, right? But believe me, it isn’t so much nutty as it is just stupid. That’s one of the worst things about it — it takes these insane concepts and manages to render them boring instead of hilarious. If Harry Stephen Keeler had written it, it would have been amazing; with L. Neil Smith, it’s just ridiculous.
The Malcolm X thing is a perfect example: at first glimpse, I thought “Whaaa? He made Malcolm X a Texas Ranger? This could be great in a crazy way.” But Smith doesn’t do anything with the character. He literally has no personality. He’s just a sidekick who tags along and occasionally provides some plot service or exposition. He could have made him a radical black nationalist in real life, which would have provided conflict, or he could have made him the total opposite, a fawning Tom. But he didn’t do anything with him at all; he’s completely generic. So why make it Malcolm X? For no reason I can see other than for Smith to say “I am aware of the existence of famous black people”.