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Mostly True: The Story of Bozo Texino
It's possible Bill Daniel is the most inspiring filmmaker of our day. With an impressive filmography that includes work on Craig Baldwin's Sonic Outlaws and as Vanessa Renwick's long-time collaborator, Daniel has crafted a remarkable book to go with his twenty-years-in-the-making Who Is Bozo Texino? - a documentary about modern day hoboes, rail workers and a forgotten outs ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Microcosm Publishing
(first published April 30th 2007)
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This is an item I got at the Chicago 'zine fest, one summer. This book is about freight train lore--hobos, freight train hopping, boxcar graffiti , especially the origins of the mysterious freight train tag of "Bozo Texino", a person wearing a cowboy hat with a pipe. Well illustrated with pictures, drawings, reprints of ads, etc. I recommend it to those interested in trains and American studies.
One of the most intriguing bearded characters in this slim zine-styled volume, Colossus of Roads, describes boxcar art in this way: “At first approached desultorily, incidentally, the process of drawing with wax crayons a character of comic proportions, who began to take on aspects of a legend in the fraternity of railroaders, began to reveal the possibilities of the ideas involved.” And what are these ideas, scattered amongst old-timer rail vernacular and photos of freight graffiti out of Lared ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this companion to Bill's "...Bozo Texino" film. I think it especially made me consider books as another potential arm of a creative project, or extension of an idea that may get hashed out in multiple ways. There's also some play with fact and fiction here that was present in the film, but built upon within the book where writings are juxtaposed with old advertisements from train hobbyist magazines, contemporary photos of drawings on trains, and reprints of interviews and th ...more
This is the companion bk to Daniel's movie "Who is Bozo Texino?" - a documentary about train graffiti. The bk includes the stuff that didn't make it into the movie &, probably, has some overlap. The layout, apparently created by Rich McIssac, Gary Fogelson, Phil Lubliner, & Sam Friedman, cd hardly be better. Framed as the "April 1908 Vol. 19, No. 7" issue of "The West's Most Popular Hobo Graffit Magazine", this has a motley plethora of interesting stuff like hobo symbols, interviews w/ train car ...more
this was def a fun dive into a world that i haven't thought about or know much about, but was able to gain an appreciation due to our good friend bill's obsessive dedication to the subject. there are enough snippets and funny things to look at to even please the ADD internet addict in us all. I really enjoyed the format of the old-school visually and aesthetically beautiful hobo mag, and left me wondering what was real, fake or mostly true i guess. my only complaint is that it left me wanting mo ...more
Nicely assembled material on the Hobo and Rail worker subcultures, both of which contribute to the chalk scrawlings on freight cars. A good companion to the doc, "Who is Bozo Texino?" An interesting tidbit: controversy accompanies the practice of members of the new generation of bos retracing the faded drawings of their elders. Who would have thought the notion of the authenticity of the artist's marking gesture was so pervasive?
Bill Daniel (born 1959) is an American experimental documentary film artist, photographer, film editor, and cinematographer. He is also an installation artist, curator and former zine publisher. His full length film, Who is Bozo Texino? about the tradition of hobo and railworker boxcar graffiti was completed in 2005 and has screened extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Bill Daniel ...more