MOBY – Expect Anything


The practice of leaving individual traces on freight trains is a respected North American cultural tradition. For more then a century hobos, tramps and railworkers, later also writers and adventurers made up nicknames to mark freights. Mostly they are executed with oil chalk markers in an elaborate handstyle, combined with a figurative logo and left on the flat metal surfaces of industrial trains, which travel all over the continent. These so called monikers are accompanied by the year, month or sometimes the day of the production and short thoughts, messages or quotes by the creators.

In the late 2000s the first European monikers began to appear on local trains, obviously inspired by the ancient tradition from overseas. While freight trains as a medium to paint graffiti on experienced a boom in the last decade, only a few people seemed to have adopt the exercise of doing monikers. Observing the freight scene you might be able to name up to 30 recognizable, reappearing names and logos. Without a doubt MOBY is by far the most extensively written moniker in Europe.

“Expect Anything” is not a chronicle, neither a collection of as many caught whales as possible. In his publication Emmett Edelstein presents well selected examples that stand out from the huge number of existing fins, due to their condition influenced by weather, repair work, buff, crossings, additional comments from railworkers, notes from the creator or added dates when MOBY came across older monikers.

The 52 paged zine includes photos from 2011 to 2021, an introduction by Bobby Bianchi 230 and was released in June 2021 in a limited run of 300 hand numbered copies.

52 pages, 17 x 24 cm, thread stiching
Edition of 300 (numbered)
Language: English
Release date: June 2021
Publisher: Tucker Bag Press

In stock