Today’s #MediaMonday comes from the Wild West. Actually, it’s from Bob Boze Bell, executive editor of True West magazine, which captures the history of the American frontier through authentic literary nonfiction and heritage travel narratives in the spirit of the Wild West.
Started in 1953, True West is the world's oldest, continuously-published Western American magazine.
Bob has a unique combination of talents: he's been a radio show host and TV talking head on various history shows, and he is a cartoonist and humorist.
Bob, time to share:
I grew up in Kingman on Route 66. My father had a gas station, Al Bell's Flying A, and I used to ice jugs for the tourists. In high school the baseball coach called me “Bozo” for running backwards to first and second base in a game with our arch rivals, Needles, Calif. My teammates picked up on this, shortened the moniker to “Boze” and it stuck.
Following high school I went to the University of Arizona and after five lackluster years, I dropped out three units shy of a degree in commercial art.
Three years after that, in 1986, KSLX-FM offered me a job to do to the news and “The Jones & Boze Show” was born. We had an eight-year run at KSLX and another two-year stint a few years later. A third version of the show aired on KXAM-AM before we called it quits after 420 shows. Boze & Co. then aired for a couple years after that before I decided to focus full-time on publishing.
Me and two crazy friends bought True West magazine in 1999 and moved the editorial offices to Cave Creek, Ariz. This was a magazine I read as a kid in Kingman and it was going out of business. I'm proud to say, it has been 16 years and we are still putting out good, strong historical content. People often say to me, "Aren't there only so many stories?" As if we would run out, but I always remind these people that nothing changes more than the past. What we believed about Billy the Kid or Wyatt Earp is not the same as we believed 10 years ago. New information has changed our perceptions about so many events it's not even funny.
In addition to my efforts for True West, my artwork and writing have appeared in Arizona Highways, New Times, Playboy, Wild West and National Lampoon. I have illustrated numerous book and cd covers and appear on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and the Westerns Channel. I have illustrated for Disney’s production of A.K.A. Billy the Kid, Northport Pictures’ The War in Lincoln County, Discovery Channel’s Outlaws and Lawmen and the PBS production entitled Alias Billy the Kid.
I have also published and illustrated groundbreaking books on Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday and a series on Western gunfights titled “Classic Gunfights.”
For about ten years, from 2002 to 2012, I was featured daily on Encore’s Western Channel.
Just this March I did a limited edition book with Santo Press at Cattle Track Arts Compound in Scottsdale, called "Vincent van Gunfighter."
I am currently working on a graphic novel on Mickey Free and the Hunt for The Apache Kid. An excerpt will appear in the August issue of True West magazine.