Thursday, February 16, 2012

Magic History News/February 2012

There are a number of things to mention that are history related. First is the March 2012 issue Genii Magazine with Howard Thurston on the cover. Ok, it's not exactly Howard Thurston, it's Jonathan Levit portraying Thurston at the L.A. Conference of Magic History. The article "Thurston LIVES" is by Jim Steinmeyer and David Regal and is an interview with Mr. Levit about his role as Thurston. It's excellent.

While on the topic of Genii Magazine, there is a fantastic monthly column by John Gaughan called "The Chamber of Secrets." My one complaint about this column is it always leaves me wanting MORE! And that's a good thing actually. The articles are brief glimpses into magical apparatus from yesteryear and the articles are concise enough to draw in even those who are not usually interested in history. Believe me, they are worth checking out. In the past, he has covered The Hofzinser Rose Mirror, Antonio Diavolo the acrobat automaton created by Robert-Houdin, Joseffy's Rapping Hand and many other amazing curiosities.  Please go to to check out more and if you aren't a subscriber, now is as good a time as any!

If we move over to the monthly periodical of the Society of American Magicians M-U-M, we find a monthly column called "The Nielsen Gallery" by Tom Ewing which covers a different magic poster from the enormous collection of Norm & Lupe Nielsen. Also, there is a new column coming called "Treasures from the Salon De Magie" by Ken Klosterman. I can't say enough great things about Ken. His collection is beyond compare and he couldn't be a nicer gentleman. I've seen his collection first hand and it was one of the highlights of my magic life! You can find out more about them by going to

Next is MAGICOL, the periodical for the Magic Collectors Association. It is pure magic history from cover to cover. Besides a fantastic magazine they also have an excellent website as well at

Another fabulous periodical on magic history is the Gibeciere by the Conjuring Arts Research Center. These are the same folks behind Thanks Joe for the heads up on this. I can't believe I forgot to include them initially.

Then there is the official magazine of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, The LINKING RING. Editor Sammy Smith does a fantastic job covering the history of magic in his articles. Plus the official website for the IBM has a page devoted to magic history with some additional great articles there.

FINALLY, there is Stan Allen's MAGIC Magazine. Every issue has at least one and often more than one article devoted to the history of the art. Mike Caveney's column "Classic Correspondence" contains so much valuable information, I don't know how he crams it all in there! Word is he just wrapped up his second run on the column and hopefully a third series will be coming soon. Just a quick example of previous history articles in MAGIC: Nov2011 An article on Billboard Magazines one time coverage of magic news. Dec 2011 there was a cover article on Johnny Thompson who is really living history! And Feb 2012 has a great article about the life and magic of Kirk Kirkham. To subscribe to MAGIC go to


If you are wondering where 'The Magic Detective YouTube Show' is, well, it's coming. The debut is getting pushed back to March. I'll be doing what a friend of mine calls 'a soft rollout'. Meaning, the show will grow in content as we move forward but in the beginning I'll be keeping it fairly short.

The first episode is going to feature a video of my friend Steve Baker almost getting killed, FOR REAL, in Venezuela. I'll also share with you some behind the scenes things that Steve told me regarding the escape both before, during and after. It's a shocking piece of video, and yet I hope you enjoy it!

I received a very kind email from Jonathan Pendragon regarding the article I wrote about him. Well, Jonathan was nice enough to put a link on his Facebook page and that one article shot up past all the others to take the #1 spot! I was thrilled. Well, as of this week, we have a new #1, the article on HUGO and the Real George Melies has now gone past the Pendragon article. I can say, those two will probably fight it out for some time jockeying back and forth between 1&2. They are both good reads and if you missed them, click on their links.


  1. Can't wait for the YouTube Show to start!

    Another great magazine on magic history is the Conjuring Arts Research Center's quarterly publication Gibecière

    1. Thanks Joe, I can't believe I forgot Gibeciere. I made sure to add them above!

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  3. I'm still fuming that I was shut out of the Magic History Conference. What does one have to do to be considered "worthy" of an invite, I wonder? But I did get to see Levit as Thurston at Magic Castle. He was great.

  4. I don't think it's a matter of worthiness. They have a limited number of spots and don't add to the numbers. But they do have a waiting list and folks do get added as others drop out, but the numbers remain the same, from what I understand.