Al Smith's new (?) Magazine, LaBal - Check it out

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby Guest » 03/28/07 02:45 AM

Dear Anyone who cares:

If you enjoyed Al Smith's Abacus , then I suggest you subscribe to LaBal . It's about 11 issues down the pike and is excellent; well worth a look-see. (I'm not on commission.)

Al Smith is available via Snail Mail, but I am not at liberty to give you the address. BUT - if you show interest here, he might contact you via his local internet cafe.

Like Karl Fulves; not easy to get hold of - but, once you do - there is no turning back!

Paul Gordon

Postby Guest » 03/28/07 02:58 AM

No website with details, no internet connection, no subscription details, no way of paying online, no address ... and we MIGHT be contacted if we show interest.

Paul, it's not April 1st yet :)

Postby Guest » 03/28/07 04:24 AM

Being hard to get hold of is not a virtue when you are trying to sell something. Why do we indulge these people? It is not hard to get a basic Internet presence these days!


Postby Guest » 03/28/07 05:01 AM

If you've got Abacus, then you've got Al's address! If you haven't, ask someone who has.

Like Karl Fulves, no website, no email, no phone - but, if you want it - search it out! Not everything has to be EASY-to-get to be worthwhile getting. The quality of magic does NOT rely on one's desire (not ability) to have/get internet connection.

That's why so MANY miss out on so MUCH! Too much reliance on internet....


Postby Guest » 03/28/07 05:05 AM

Forgot to say...

No one is forcing you to be interested or to buy. Those who ARE interested will make the effort. (Lucky them!)

As I said before, Karl Fulves produces some of the VERY BEST books there are...and if you rely on the internet to buy them, you're gonna' have a VERY long wait!


Postby Guest » 03/28/07 06:07 AM

Does he have a market stall on the weekend? Does he advertise on a postcard in the corner shop window? Come on... times move, and we gotta move with them.

I expect stuff to be a click away these days - if it's not, I'll move along to something that is. If that means I miss out on those who cannot be bothered to create an on-line presence, then so be it.

Postby Guest » 03/28/07 06:58 AM

Dear Bob,

I don't know how Al sells his stuff, but I think he does well and seems happy as things are. I think word-of-mouth works well, but I do think that if you only rely on "ease-of-purchase" as your rationale for buying, then you could possibly be losing out on some good stuff.

Other "similar" examples are Harry Lorayne (buy direct from him - no online shop) and Wesley James' Mojo mag. Jeff Busby etc., etc!

And, look: I recently got a snail-mail letter from a well-known magician 'announcing' a new book of Marlo/Avis/Haxton letters about esoteric sleights/tricks etc. The only way to purchase is to send a cheque by post. Now, I know that if I don't comply - I don't get to enjoy the material. So, easy decision! (My cheque will go as and when.)

So, as you say - you don't HAVE to indulge "these people" at all. Your choice! If your purchases have to be (as you say) "a click away" then I think you might be missing out on some goodies.

Paul Gordon

Postby Guest » 03/29/07 06:23 AM

Will someone post Al Smith's snail mail address.


Postby Guest » 03/29/07 06:39 AM

17 OsbertRoad,ROTHERHAM,South Yorkshire.
S60 3LD England.There you go.

Postby Guest » 03/29/07 09:35 AM

Thank You.

Postby Guest » 04/14/07 02:39 PM


The reason Al Smith doesn't ram his products down people's throats is that HE PROBABLY CAN'T BE BOTHERED with 'magicians'(?) that want everything 'at the click of a button'

Ken Brooke sold commercial magic to Pro's. If he was alive and in business today, I doubt very much whether HE would have a website either.

Maybe most magicians enjoy the risk of buying from websites without seeing the item demmed, or gaining an accurate description of it's commercial effectiveness. Perhaps this would therefore explain why there appears to be a never ending supply of unused/unwanted of props, books, videos and DVD's for sale on ebaY and MagicWeek?

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/14/07 02:54 PM

Fine, he doesn't have a website or an e-mail address.

Let him be a Luddite if he wants to, but at least Fulves has a damn snail mail address that is accessible to anyone, and ditto for Harry Lorayne (and in his case you get the phone number and e-mail address).

Saying that Al Smith has stuff to sell, but not posting his address, is just plain idiotic. And if it wasn't for Kevin Fox, the address still wouldn't have been posted.
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Postby Guest » 04/15/07 01:00 AM

Wouldn't it? How do you know that then?

If Kevin hadn't have posted it then I would have.

Makes you wonder how magic ever survived for hundreds of years without the internet - doesn't it!

Postby Guest » 04/15/07 02:34 AM

Ken Brooke basically sold to anyone who bought or ordered through the post. Yes, I know he occasionally asked people to leave the studio but Ken by nature was a pitchman.

Ken regularly advertised in Abra, his ads copy intensive and sales driven.

At the Blackpool convention the only stand that took more than he was Supreme Magic. Ken had a small range, Supreme a huge one.

The crowds around Ken's stand were five and six deep and he didn't stop selling all day - to pros, amateurs and hobbyists.

Postby Guest » 04/15/07 08:13 AM

Absolutely correct Quenten - but be honest.

Can you EVER imagine the great man having a website and corresponding via eMail? I just can't!

Ken loved writing letters freehand and putting his thoughts and advice across to people via the post; something that this World of ours is now very sadly lacking.

Postby Guest » 04/15/07 08:45 AM

With Ken as a salesman I can see him with a website, though I think in his case it would have been with some reluctance. However it's something we shall never know.

Regardless I have very happy memories of Ken, especially the lecture he gave in Dublin, which still ranks as the best lecture I've ever attended.

At the recent South Shields convention Bob Swadling told me that around the time he (Bob) got married, Ken invited himself and Valerie to be his guests in London as he took them around, demonstrating all the gags and stunts he did. Many of the gags described by Bob had been in Ken's lecture. However there was one nerve wracking and memorable moment for Bob when Ken took them into Patisserie Valerie (a delightful tea room serving a great selection of teas and pastries)in Compton Street.

While all three were happily sipping tea, Ken suddenly reached across the table, grabbed Bob by the lapels, yanked him up and screamed, "You bastard, you made my wife pregnant!"

Top that for reaction!

Postby Guest » 04/15/07 04:08 PM


Postby Hallas » 01/30/09 10:44 AM

Re: "While all three were happily sipping tea, Ken suddenly reached across the table, grabbed Bob by the lapels, yanked him up and screamed, "You bastard, you made my wife pregnant!"

When I heard the story from Bob years back, I remember it that the place was full and they had not been seated, Ken did that and several people left quickly and they got a table. No doubt the story will be in the new book of stories about Ken now available frome Steve Cook.

As for LaBal, I've had it since issue one, always on time. I doubt he has many international subcribers, since postage has to be by air now it makes it expensive.

Al's mag fits right in with those who are fed up of all the hype and b.s. back patting. Strangely, some people have not moved with the times and still do it for the love of it rather than the fantasy of dollar signs before their eyes...:)

We all live in our own little worlds, and sometimes it can be a better one :)

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Postby JHostler » 01/31/09 10:38 AM

Al's "A Way With the Cards" is also well worth checking out. (And he's by no means a Luddite!)
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