Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Discuss the latest feature articles in Genii.
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erdnasephile
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Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby erdnasephile » March 7th, 2015, 6:16 pm

I end up reading past Genii issues on a daily basis (mainly due to Mike Caveney's strategy Re: reading old magazines ;) ). It's amazing how many truly wonderful articles are there waiting to be rediscovered.

I thought it might be fun to start a thread listing a few of the best articles in old Geniis that we may have overlooked or forgotten in this day and age of magic information overload.

Here are a couple I've enjoyed recently:

"All Art, No Artifice" (November 2003; Vol (66), 11; pg 33). A terrific, in-depth interview of one of magic's foremost creators, Jim Steinmeyer. So much wisdom here, but I really liked thinking about his riff on Orson Welle's observation regarding stage vs. close-up performance. I had a chance to meet Mr. Steinmeyer last summer, and he was as kind, gracious and intelligent as I imagined him to be. The interviewer, David Regal does a nice job of drawing those qualities out of him in this cover article. Some cool anecdotes here as well.

"Celebrating Juan at 60" (October 2002; Vol 65, 10; pg 40). Tamariz interviewed by Giobbi--how can it not be great? I enjoyed reading about the things that fuel his passion, his take on books v. videos, magicians as entertainers, and the humility and humanity that shine through. The article also includes some interesting sidebars from folks like Maven, Hartling, Paviato, Vaquera, and Benatar.


What are some of your favorite articles?
Last edited by erdnasephile on March 8th, 2015, 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Genii's

Postby Steve Hook » March 8th, 2015, 1:53 am

Old Geniis.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Genii's

Postby erdnasephile » March 8th, 2015, 4:43 am

Steve Hook wrote:Old Geniis.


Noted and corrected.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Q. Kumber » March 8th, 2015, 7:03 am

Going back through old magazines is both educational and entertaining.

My preference is pre-1970 magazines and especially bound volumes. With bound volumes you have more of the sense of a book. A magazine is disposable, a book goes on a bookshelf. And it's not just for tricks, but a feel for what was going on, the controversies of the day, the reviews of acts, who was where, the tricks that were popular but are now forgotten.

The set of bound volumes of The Jinx is a perfect example.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Ian Kendall » March 8th, 2015, 8:33 am

I have to disagree with Quentin on that one; I find that if I have a bound collection, I'm more likely to skim through and miss things. If I have the time I'll sit with a bound Apocalypse or Pallbearer's and look for things that slipped through the cracks on the first (or subsequent) reads.

However, if I have a smaller magazine, I'm more likely to pay attention to everything in there the first time. When I got the DVD of Pabular, for example, I planned to print out an issue every couple of days, but that didn't last...

I think the best way to approach bound volumes is to have the discipline to read one issue at a time, but so far that has eluded me...

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Joe Mckay » March 8th, 2015, 10:33 am

I love working through bound collections of old magic magazines.

I have studied every single collection available.

The key thing for me is to jot down the page numbers of any tricks that catch your eye.

You can read a thousand pages of a magic magazine and maybe only note down 20 things you want to go back and study some more. It is a very efficient way of churning through a lot of material. And then whenever a magazine is mentioned - you can instantly recall the 5-7 things you most enjoyed from that publication.

I am a bit rusty at this myself these days - since my tastes have changed over the years. But a few years ago - when my interests in magic were broader - I had all this information to go off the top of my head.

I just cannot see how you can keep all the information in mind without making a few notes along the way.

I gotta' say that I agree with Stewart James. 'The Jinx' is overrated and the Karl Fulves magazines are much better. The other great bound volumes are 'Apocalypse' and 'Richard's Almanac'. And it is worth chucking 'Pabular' in there as well.

'The Phoenix' and 'The New Phoenix' never did much for me. And as cool as the IBIDEM volumes are - I always felt the material was a bit weak and dry. Although at the time I studied them - I was in the mood for that sort of stuff.

I think the material published in GENII over the years is superb. I think the tricks have been very strong from the 90's onwards. Particularly in the Kaufman era.

These links are provide a useful overview - which will help you guide you to the tricks to study first:

http://www.geniimagazine.com/magicpedia ... na_Kaufman

And in terms of card magic - I always thought 'The Crimp' had some of the best ideas in this area. But alas - that is a different collection to track down.

Honourable mentions for 'The Penumbra', 'Opus' and 'The Looking Glass' as well.

Joe

PS Here are some other links worth checking out for finding excellent tricks from the old issues of GENII.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... &forum=226

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... &forum=226 [My recommendations can be found in here under the name Bob_Hummer]

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... &forum=226
Last edited by Joe Mckay on March 8th, 2015, 10:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Q. Kumber » March 8th, 2015, 10:48 am

The bound volumes I enjoy most are those of Abra and The Gen.
These were never officially released as bound volumes and the ones I have come across had been bound by the individual owners.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby erdnasephile » March 8th, 2015, 12:29 pm

I like reading loose issues, as they are convenient to carry around and leaf through while doing other things like eating, etc. I don't like doing this with large bound books.

Joe: thanks a lot for those links--looks like I'm late to the party with this thread, but since I don't frequent the green place, I'm really pleased that you posted the them. Can't wait to research them!

I did notice that most of the Magic Cafe discussions deal largely with great tricks (which is cool). However, I am also interested in recommendations for great articles.

I came across another one recently--"Who's Afraid of the Stage" by Roberto Giobbi (Nov 2009; Vol 72, No. 11 pg 55-58). Amongst some really practical suggestions I hadn't come across before, he had a simple suggestion on what to do if your hands tend to tremble--seems brilliant and I'm going to try that one out in an upcoming show. In addition, his Circle of Excellence recommendation worked really well for me in a completely different context last week.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby erdnasephile » March 8th, 2015, 12:41 pm

On a related note, has anyone read and enjoyed the Ireland Yearbooks?
It looks like the collected editions are no longer available. Perhaps Magic, Inc. will consider printing a new edition of the bound collection.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Q. Kumber » March 8th, 2015, 12:53 pm

erdnasephile wrote:On a related note, has anyone read and enjoyed the Ireland Yearbooks?
It looks like the collected editions are no longer available. Perhaps Magic, Inc. will consider printing a new edition of the bound collection.


I bought them when they first came out and there is great reading in them.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Joe Mckay » March 8th, 2015, 1:12 pm

As for articles in GENII. First of all - my favourite article was the 'Speaking Volumes' feature that appeared years ago.

I also really enjoyed the lengthy interview that Jamy Ian Swiss had with Derren Brown. It was so long that parts of it had to be cut out. Jamy put the rest of it up on his website - but I haven't checked to see if it is still there.

The issue devoted to 'The Too Perfect' theory was great. I think Tom Stone had a great article on this which appeared in one of the following issues.

In the pre-Kaufman era - there was a great multi-issue feature on Penn and Teller which I really enjoyed. In more recent times the issues on Angelo Carbone and Lubor Fiedler were great as well.

There is just so much great stuff when it comes to articles that it is hard to know where to start.

There was an early Kaufman issue devoted to Dai Vernon that was very good. And I really liked the column where Kaufman tipped his favourite Marlo tricks which had been buried in print. The Bro Hamman and Mike Skinner issues were amazing as well (they felt like books).

I also really enjoyed the issue about Clayton Rawson as well.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Matthew Field » March 8th, 2015, 1:28 pm

Quentin -- Martin Breese released The Gen on CD-ROM, with an index.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby MManchester » March 8th, 2015, 1:34 pm

Joe Mckay wrote: Jamy put the rest of it up on his website - but I haven't checked to see if it is still there.


It is, see the following link if you're interested:

A Conversation In Two Parts With Derren Brown and Jamy Ian Swiss
http://www.honestliar.com/fm/works/derren-brown.html
Michael Manchester
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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Joe Mckay » March 8th, 2015, 1:38 pm

I miss Jamy.

Why did he leave GENII? I always thought it was some kind of fall out from GENII honouring Uri Gellar at their convention?

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Joe Mckay » March 8th, 2015, 1:39 pm

And thanks for the link, Michael!

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby P.T.Widdle » March 8th, 2015, 1:51 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:I miss Jamy.

Why did he leave GENII? I always thought it was some kind of fall out from GENII honouring Uri Gellar at their convention?


I'd like to know that as well.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 8th, 2015, 2:07 pm

The Ross Bertram and Michael Skinner issues rank as two of my all time favorites. The Bertram magic that David Ben tipped in that issue is ridiculous. There was also great magic tipped in the Skinner issue. The Scotty York issue also stands out in my recent memory for the great material tipped in there. The Silver Fox struck again.

Outside the sphere of Genii, I have recently enjoyed re-reading my complete set of Antinomy. There is great magic in those 15 issues that passed me by the first time. Gene Taylor did a great job with this publication, and the Jamy Swiss essays are absolutely fascinating: "Gaff Versus Skill," "A Dissertation on the Double Lift," and so on.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 8th, 2015, 8:09 pm

I fired Jamy Ian Swiss, and believe me he more than deserved it. He was asking for it.
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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Trost37 » October 4th, 2015, 1:52 pm

Agreed there is some great stuff buried away in the Genii archive i would rather spend my time searching through old magazines than the latest DVD or book

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby erdnasephile » October 4th, 2015, 2:59 pm

The Tony Giorgio issue has some killer magic in it.

Also, I recently read the Rob Z cover article--really a fascinating story and excellent writing.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby performer » October 4th, 2015, 4:52 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I fired Jamy Ian Swiss, and believe me he more than deserved it. He was asking for it.


Was it because of Geller?

I did hear Jamy once on a Canadian radio show attempting to debunk s psychic colleague of mine. Alas she and the rather biased hosts made mincemeat out of him which did give me great amusement. Psychics always win against sceptics.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 4th, 2015, 5:05 pm

performer wrote:Psychics always win against sceptics.


Oh, you mean like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKmhv9uoiQ

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby performer » October 4th, 2015, 5:59 pm

No. Geller won there. His career went from strength to strength after that.

There. You just lost. Psychics always win against sceptics. Especially me.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 5th, 2015, 10:20 pm

performer wrote:No. Geller won there. His career went from strength to strength after that.

There. You just lost. Psychics always win against sceptics. Especially me.


You got that right. The psychics will always win because the punters crave mystery and excitement. The debunkers are like the imps in the Kellar poster whispering in their ears: "It isn't real, it isn't real." The punters are only too eager to swat them off.

I also agree with Erdnasephile that the Giorgio issue is outstanding. The "Giorgio Letters" columns in the back issues of Genii where they appear are fascinating reading.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby performer » October 6th, 2015, 12:31 am

Yes. It is showman psychics like Geller that provoke the mystery and excitement on the part of the punters. However, psychics who do private sessions provoke something else. It is not mystery and excitement the punters crave but solutions to their problems. The debunkers can't offer them that. Instead the debunkers offer them despair and lack of hope. Is it any wonder the psychics win?

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Houdini Trix » February 17th, 2016, 9:09 pm

I second the David Ben Ross Bertram issue as being in my top three if not the top. It's truly a wonderful article with amazing sleight-of-hand.

Image

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Pete McCabe » February 18th, 2016, 3:26 pm

I occasionally tear a trick or article out of my paper Genii and save it in a file. The David Ben/Ross Bertram issue is the only one I've ever kept the entire issue.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Brian Hebert » February 18th, 2016, 8:40 pm

I agree with the Bertram issue. I'm wondering if I'm the only person that doesn't have all of the 1998 issues. I seem to only have 3 different issues from that year. I was looking for the August issue an noticed that it wasn't there.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Joe Pecore » February 19th, 2016, 5:32 am

Brian Hebert wrote:I agree with the Bertram issue. I'm wondering if I'm the only person that doesn't have all of the 1998 issues. I seem to only have 3 different issues from that year. I was looking for the August issue an noticed that it wasn't there.

Only 3 issues were published that year http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php ... i_Magazine
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby DonB » May 23rd, 2016, 9:33 pm

Any of Charlie Miller's Magicana columns. They contained so many great ideas. Sometimes only meriting a single sentence or short paragraph, there were so many hidden gems. 2 of those ideas I still use in my show to this day.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Jack Shalom » May 23rd, 2016, 10:09 pm

The David Abbott issue was a truly great one.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby webbmaster » April 19th, 2017, 1:31 pm

As for the psychics, I think it is because you can't disprove a negative or something like that.

As for bound collections, I guess I'm different than most, but I like to first decide which tricks or articles I'm NOT interested in and I make a note or sometimes a pencil dot or the like so the next time through, I don't go into something I already decided I wasn't interested in. Then I narrow down what is left until there is often just a handful of things that suit ME. Again, knowing what works for yourself helps.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Steve Bryant » April 20th, 2017, 9:22 am

I discovered a great Dai Vernon trick there, mentioned in my current littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby performer » April 20th, 2017, 9:46 am

webbmaster wrote:As for the psychics, I think it is because you can't disprove a negative or something like that.


Indeed. That is why religion has lasted so long.

With regard to magazines I am surprised nobody has mentioned the Hugard's Magic Monthly magazines unless I have missed it. I had never read them or even come across them before but I purchased a book which was a bound copy of a whole bunch of them. Terrific material contained therein. I have seen subsequent editions of this bound copy series. All different books. They all sit forlornly for months on end at the local magic shop being ignored while instead everyone buys all the latest garbage because they have nice book covers. The Hugard bound volumes don't have any flashy book cover at all and in fact look quite drab and the content inside is all in old fashioned drab type. However, that content is worth gold and full of wonderful material.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby lybrary » April 20th, 2017, 11:04 am

webbmaster wrote:As for bound collections, I guess I'm different than most, but I like to first decide which tricks or articles I'm NOT interested in and I make a note or sometimes a pencil dot or the like so the next time through, I don't go into something I already decided I wasn't interested in. Then I narrow down what is left until there is often just a handful of things that suit ME. Again, knowing what works for yourself helps.

With digital magazines it is even easier. I annotate my PDFs electronically (with Adobe Reader or online in the Lybrary.com digital shelf - the Lybrary.com digital shelf makes it particularly interesting because I can share my comments with others and learn from all the comments of others). It would also be fairly easy to extract entire pages and collect them in PDF notebooks. Don't forget that a lot of the great old magazines are available digitally at Lybrary.com:

Genii http://www.lybrary.com/genii-the-conjur ... 76309.html
Hugard's http://www.lybrary.com/magazines-comics ... _1452.html
Magigram http://www.lybrary.com/magazines-comics ... _2163.html
Pabular http://www.lybrary.com/magazines-comics ... _4150.html
Magic Wand http://www.lybrary.com/magazines-comics ... _1301.html
and many many more
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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Steve Mills » April 20th, 2017, 11:42 am

Steve Bryant wrote:I discovered a great Dai Vernon trick there, mentioned in my current littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html.


Good article. I need to be reminded once in a while about Little Egypt. If something doesn't come in on my RSS feed, I tend to forget it. (The only problem with RSS is it doesn't know about your ignores - makes the Genii feed difficult to read at times)

Anyway, interesting that you declared the 75th Anniversary Edition of Genii the greatest magic magazine issue of all times. Not arguing - I haven't got a clue. Just curious, what others are in the team picture as they would say on ESPC?
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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Steve Bryant » April 20th, 2017, 12:37 pm

Re the question "Just curious, what others are in the team picture as they would say on ESPC?"

i would confine my answer to other Genii issues, as it was my first and favorite magic magazine. For many years I would say the "best" issue was either the Silver 25th anniversary issue or the first Steranko cover issue (the one on card magic). I wrote up my favorite Genii issues for the 50 years I had received them from Bill Larsen here: http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic_december2009.html


Once Richard took over, I of course became partial to those for which I was privileged to contribute. I wrote up my first 40 years (at that time) of contributions here: http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic_september2010.html

Ah, but that 75th anniversary issue was just super with Max's extensive history and all that great magic.

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Re: Cool Stuff in Old Geniis

Postby Ted M » April 20th, 2017, 5:05 pm

The April 1997 issue with Max's history of FISM was a major landmark in my experience. It filled in a lot of the magic landscape for me.

Similarly, Steve Bryant's Little Egypt Gazette (and Hank Lee's Book Book) filled in a lot of the magic literature landscape for me at that time as well.


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