Does size count?

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/25/01 08:44 AM

I received the January issue of MAGIC magazine yesterday (Stan and I swap Priority Mail copies, so mine arrives earlier than most), and it was exactly 100 pages long.
Remember the days, just three years ago now, when Genii was 72 pages and MAGIC was near 140 pages? Now Genii is 96 pages and MAGIC is 100 pages.
THANK YOU READERS!!!!!
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Postby Guest » 01/01/02 01:37 PM

And I remember the days, just three years ago now, when I almost gave up on Genii. Now it is Magic I am considering giving up on.

Regards,
Gavin Ross

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
.
Remember the days, just three years ago now, when Genii was 72 pages and MAGIC was near 140 pages?
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Postby Guest » 01/01/02 02:33 PM

Hi Gavin,

And what is it about 'Magic' which makes you consider this? Each have their own qualities, but can I find time to read them both?

regards,

Graham Nichols.
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Postby Guest » 01/04/02 10:32 AM

To answer Richard initial question "Does size count?", I would say that according to women the answer is NO, but it depend on the way you USE IT...
Sorry but I couldn't resist. By the way the Vernon issue was great.
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Postby Guest » 01/04/02 10:50 AM

I actually find that I get much less out of Magic magazine than I do Genii (it used to be the opposite). If I had to let one lapse it would definitely be Magic.

My personal opinion is that the articles in Genii are more interesting and have more substance. I find myself reading Genii and thumbing through Magic.
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Postby Guest » 01/04/02 10:56 AM

Graham,

When MAGIC magazine first started and for a number of years I bought each issue and devoured the contents, especially the Inner Workings colum written by Richard Kaufman. Within that colum appeared some amazing effects from the likes of Elmsley, Walton, Duffie but to name a few. There also appeared some stunning effects from many of the new comers in magic.

Eventually, as we know, Richard moved on to Pastures new and the colum was handed over to Jon Racherbaumer who kept the high standard by publishing effects by some of the new comers in magic as well as effects by Walton, Duffie, Sadowitz and the like. Hell, there was even a trick from me in there.

I also found Max Mavens Parallax colum entertaining and informative and many of the articles of great interest.

Now that Jon has come over to Genii and Joshua Jay has taken over the main close up section and many of the regulars I became used to have gone, I began to feel that the quality had slipped and that the magazine was not to the high standard it once was. At the same time Genii began to become good again and became my preferred choice.

Nowadays I dont even bother to properly read MAGIC magazine until I have nothing else to do as I cant be bothered with many of the articles. Joshua Jays writings, whilst interesting to some do not have the experience of a more mature writer or the knowledge required, in my opinion, to be selecting and rejecting effects from people at this stage. [ Then again, he is the one doing the job and not me] I feel that given time and some years of maturity he may well become adept at selecting the correct material but at present it appears that many effects by well known magicians are being sidelined and even forgot about in favour of effects by his friends or the "in" crowd.

Many of the other articles are now of no interest to me and the production of the magazine, although nice, makes no difference to me but they seem to go for the over all look instead of the quality that I search for these days. Personally, if the magazine was as good as it used to be then it could be written in crayon for all I care.

I could go on for ever but I wont. Incidentally, I dont think Genii is perfect either but it suits my purpose at this time.

Regards,

Gavin
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Postby Guest » 01/04/02 01:14 PM

Gavin,

Thanks for colouring-in your previous outline of Magic from your viewpoint. As a recent subscriber to Magic, I can only view it from my short perspective.

For me, time constraints force me to choose between Magic and Genii, as I'm busy getting a new business off the runway, and time is precious. I feel that the articles in 'Genii' have MUCH more depth, and feeling for the subjects they portray. The Vernon issue was a masterpiece. So sorry Stan, but it's time to wave 'bye bye' to Magic for me, as I await my monthly magical 'fix' via Genii.

To be fair to Joshua Jay, I think he does a good job, given the age / experience catch 22 he finds himself in, and that we all experienced at his time of life.

kind regards,

Graham
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/04/02 03:11 PM

Being a guerrila "content-provider" whose primary allegiance is to the Work, always trying to be equal to the task and to join worthy projects and causes, I want ALL serious-minded producers to succeed. That is, if they are trying hard to do a good job, always striving for excellence, I want to be a part of their creative agenda. When I was writing for MAGIC magazine, following in Richard's footsteps, I worked diligently to maintain a certain imagined quality.

One of the reasons I joined Richard at GENII is that his vision of what a magic magazine is supposed to be closely resembles mine. Yes, images are important and splashy graphics are alluring, but my heart serves the power and glory of words, which more deeply focus on whatever subjects they hope to explore, convey, and "unlock." I prefer to luxuriate in a subject's density and complexity, whether it be a magician, a historical event, an idea, or a trick. The goal is to illuminate, goad, stimulate, and inspire readers to be more caring and mindful. Therefore, I'm less inclined to gloss over matters. I want to linger and investigate. I want readers to reread; to save and savor...

...at least that's the impulse and intent. I seldom hit "home runs," but I trust that my heart and mind is in the right place.

In the past, I always wanted a project (such as a magazine) to succeed so that "profits" (if any) could subsidize other projects. In this sense, money is only a tool.

Although I'm not an investor or stock-holder, I want GENII to have 15,000 subscribers (collaborators)so that we can create a bigger, better, and more valuable product. The whole enterprise, in this sense, is systemic. After all, ALL of us want to nurture our love (of magic) in all its forms. And a magazine is merely one of the forms...and without readers (supporters), the vital, sustaining "connectivity" is absent.

When producers lose sight of their "secret sharers," what they produce quickly dissipates...

So, please get out the word, add to them, and celebrate them...

I certainly appreciate your support and positive input.

Onward...
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Postby Jeff Haas » 01/04/02 06:46 PM

I feel the need to remind people here just what Stan Allen did with MAGIC - he brought the sorry state of magic publications into the modern era.

Before MAGIC, all magic magazines were very amateurish in their writing and production. I had subscribed to Genii for a year back then and let it lapse because it just wasn't interesting.

As a result of MAGIC, even MUM has improved and publishes interesting articles on occasion. They've done some really good stuff on bizarre magic recently, for example.

And Stan is continuing to try and improve, which is why I'm going to keep subscribing.

Jeff
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/02 09:08 PM

Jeff,
I don't think you need to remind anyone just how MAGIC magazine has raised the bar to a professional level not previously seen in periodicals in our field.
Stan did NOT start the push in this direction. That was done years earlier by Adam Fleischer with Magic Manuscript. In remembering that magazine you must forget what it became when it was purchased by Tannen's and descended into the dung heap. Fleischer was the first publisher of a magic magazine to use full color process printing in every issue. When Tannen's put Magic Manuscript to sleep, and while Genii was in a trouble period, Stan Allen turned his newsletter Inside Magic into MAGIC. It was a good business decision and he has been rewarded with a large circulation.
Stan took Fleisher's lead and combined that with the model of an airline magazine--the kind you find in the pocket of the seat in front of you. It is designed to appeal to the widest common denominator. Lots of big color pictures. Little controversy.
I worked with Stan on MAGIC for a long time and found it very enjoyable. We argued quite a bit about things, which was a fine working relationship. Since taking over Genii I have an entirely different perspective.
Lately, I have found the articles in MAGIC to be less interesting TO ME. They are more superficial and middle-of-the-road. They have less bite than they used to. Of course, many more people read MAGIC than Genii, so that middle-of-the-road approach makes sense for HIM. My goal with Genii is NOT to have the largest circulation, but to put out a magazine that interests me--and hopefully enough other people to pay the bills.
When I recall the great issues of Genii of the past, they often dealt at length with one subject, or one person. As I worked on Genii over the course of the first 12 months it became apparent that we could do those kinds of "special" issues on an almost monthly basis.
The danger, of course, is that it's hit or miss: if you are interested in our subject that month then the issue will have value to you. If you're not interested in our major subject, then the issue will be less interesting (or completely uninteresting!).
I'm betting that an educated and curious reader will WANT to learn about other aspects of our craft. I hope guys that do illusions will want to learn about close-up, and that guys who do card tricks will be interested in our articles about OTHER subjects.
Time will tell.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 01/04/02 10:56 PM

Richard, I had forgotten about the Magic Manuscript and what it was like at the beginning. I stand corrected.

And just so you know, I'm another person who appreciates what you're doing with Genii.

Jeff

P.S. Whatever happened to Adam Fleischer?
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Postby Bill Duncan » 01/04/02 11:11 PM

Keep doing what you're doing Richard. Genii is a least as good as MM ever was and a better looking publication to boot.

I think it's nice to have an in depth look at a subject even if it's a topic that isn't (obviously) relevant to what I do. The thing about inspiration is you never know where it's going to come from until it does...

Someone once wrote:
"The knowledge from all aspects of our art pour into each other and enrich the person who is wise enough to take advantage of it. The very best close-up workers know a lot more than how to do a pass or vanish a coin -- they know the same thing every good stage worker knows: that magic is a theatrical art."


(italics mine)

cheers
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/05/02 12:10 AM

I'm glad Richard brought up Magic Manuscript. While Adam Fleischer was its publisher, MM was a great magazine that was well ahead of its time (despite the fact that I had a little column in it – the only reason being that Adam and I were childhood friends). When we were kids, he told me that he never wanted to be a famous performer (he did a pretty good kid's show), but he wanted to become “well known in the business.” He set a goal and attained it. It's nice to see his name used in a positive light here. Adam not only raised the bar for magazines, but for magic conventions as well. The New York Magic Symposiums were incredible events, with only the best in the business working them. Their accompanying books (the brainchild of Richard Kaufman, the first two of which he authored and illustrated) also set a standard for conventions that has yet to be matched.

Originally posted by Jeff Haas:
Whatever happened to Adam Fleischer?


The last I heard, Adam was living in the Bay area (San Francisco), though that's been sometime ago. My efforts in contacting him have been futile. Adam was a good friend – I'd like to hear from him. So Adam, if you're out there, drop me a line, or I may be forced to publish that picture of “Crazee Frazee” on the Internet!

Best,
Dustin
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Postby Terry » 01/05/02 08:01 AM

The danger, of course, is that it's hit or miss: if you are interested in our subject that month then the issue will have value to you. If you're not interested in our major subject, then the issue will be less interesting (or completely uninteresting!).
I'm betting that an educated and curious reader will WANT to learn about other aspects
of our craft.


The quality of Genii has improved due to Richard bringing the quality of his books to the magazine. Prior to Richard, Genii went through 2 editors/visions. No offense to the Larsen children, they just couldn't carry the ball after Bill passed away. They do deserve credit for trying.

I have enjoyed the Vernon & Mac King issues due to the depth covered and not the glossy public image. Mac's article gives us a look at the man and an appreciation of his talent.
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Postby Guest » 01/05/02 08:28 AM

I agree with Terry's comments about Richard. Whichever way you slice Richard's work, it says 'quality' all the way through.

Graham Nichols.
(I've forgiven him for doing those VERY annoying sunglasses links between sleights on his Basic Basic Card Magic video. Though at the time I could have quietly strangled him quiet easily :) Time heals all. )
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/05/02 09:40 AM

Graham, you just don't want to let anyone have a little fun. We could have used some boring crap graphic like most magic videotapes do, but decided to do something a little different ... kind of like what they do in the real world.
You wouldn't want to die having been known as "The Kaufman Strangler," would you?
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