Strong Magic, Smoke and Mirrors, Collected Almanac

Discuss your favorite books, authors, and tricks from Kaufman and Company.

Postby Guest » 08/14/03 10:28 PM

I just wanted to give thanks and appreciation to Richard Kaufman and his team for setting up this really incredible website/forum and secondly for putting out the best book I will ever have in my magic library.....Strong Magic. Wow, what did magicians do before this book!

I must comment on the Collected Almanac put out in the late eighties I think. What I really didn't like about the book is that the effects weren't written out before explaining the trick. This was a real letdown to me. Regardless, the material in that book is great and it was a magic trick in itself extracting tricks from these great magicians.

To end on a positive note....another one of my favorites is John Bannon's unbelievable book Smoke and Mirrors. The majority of the effects are mind boggling to logic and reality. Furthermore some of the best effects in that book are basic sleight of hand. "Timely Departure" is basically no sleight of hand and may very well be the best effect in that book.

Finally, the illustrations in the Almanac and Smoke and Mirrors are quite impressive. Hands are probably some of the hardest body parts to draw and the artist (RichardK?)did an amazing job. Also, those "movement" lines add a lot to the explanation.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/14/03 10:56 PM

Ok Richard, looks like you can send Gavriel his check now. ;)
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Postby Kamus » 08/14/03 11:55 PM

Gavriel, I agree with you on all points. (send my check too) I'm curious as to what the idea of not starting the trick with an effect synopsis was all about. I presume there must have been some logical idea behind it and it wasn't just to annoy readers such as ourselves. If it wasn't for Richard's "best of" list in the "Almanac" I would have missed out on some great tricks.
I've been waiting for a followup to "Smoke and Mirrors" but I guess John Bannon isn't as active as he once was. The tricks in that book were perfect for a middlin' amateur such as myself: relatively easy to do, well concieved and described and fair bang for buck in my case as I learned and performed nearly every trick in the book. A personal favorite (among many) was the trick with the giant ball bearing and it was more than worth it hunting down the props.
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Postby Steve Hook » 08/15/03 12:53 AM

Dave:

A version of John's new book is virtually finished. :)

I'm not sure if John has put a release date on it yet or if he'll keep fiddling with it. I would guess the date can be measured in months rather than years but that's just a guess.

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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/15/03 01:06 AM

Steve, I've been waiting for John Bannon's new book for a few years now. I will JUMP on the pre-order list, when it becomes available.

Jeff
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/15/03 01:18 AM

Add me to the list of those eagerly awaiting the Bannon book. A few weeks ago, I did get a message from him telling me that the tenative title is still Dear Mister Fantasy and that his triumph routine "Last Man Standing" will be included. I think his new assembly (called "bullet train" I think) will also be included. Alas, he didn't give a release date, but I'm quite sure it'll be wonderful when it does see the light of day. :)
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Postby Tommy Brown » 08/15/03 04:43 AM

I can't wait for the new Bannon book.
:)
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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/15/03 10:54 AM

I've been doing "Last Man Standing" for a couple of years since I saw him explain it in a lecture at the A1 convention.

It kicks hiney!

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Postby Guest » 08/15/03 06:18 PM

How does Last Man Standing compare to Steve Beam's Simple Shuffled (from Semi-Automatic Card Tricks vol 3). I believe both use the Goodwin-Jennings Display. There's a lot of gold in the Semi-Automatic series.
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Postby Kamus » 08/15/03 09:21 PM

Does anyone know if John is going to release a companion video to his new book as he did with "Impossibilia" and "Smoke and Mirrors"?

One thing that was interesting about those tapes was the differences in methodology vis-a-vis thebook explanations.Also,
is Kaufman and Company publishing the new book?

TIA-Dave Kane
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/15/03 10:57 PM

Originally posted by Dave Kane:
Also,
is Kaufman and Company publishing the new book?
Someone told me he's self publishing but don't hold me to it.

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Postby mike cookman » 08/16/03 12:26 AM

Smoke and Mirrors, such a great book, with so much good stuff. Heart of the City, Tattoo You, Masquerade, Boogie Woogie Aces, Ton-Toid..I am definitly looking forward to a new book by John Bannon.
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Postby Richard Morrell » 08/16/03 05:50 AM

Originally posted by Joe Schmoo:
How does Last Man Standing compare to Steve Beam's Simple Shuffled (from Semi-Automatic Card Tricks vol 3). I believe both use the Goodwin-Jennings Display. There's a lot of gold in the Semi-Automatic series.
Yes but I still prefer the little nuances in LMS to the Beam version or the version in Destroyers by Troy Hoosier... the Beam and Hoosier versions for me are not as clean to get into the Tenkai Optical Turnover, the Beam version requires you to start dirty with no mention of how you get there (although a Braue Reversal/Half Pass would do I guess before the effect starts). Also with the Beam version the selection process is done face up which IMHO is a lot weaker to supposedly you never knowing what the card is till the climax.

Also both the Beam and Hoosier versions go into the Optical Revolve with the deck face up, which makes it more of a discrepancy, with Johns latest version you do the Optical Revolve from a face down deck.

The Goodwin/Jennings Display sequence is obviously pretty much the same for all the routines, then you have a choice of cleanup, I know of about five different clean-ups, and am currently using one credited by John to Simon Aronson which is simply genius, both in method and thinking! You will kick yourself when you see it... I hope it makes it to the book! Or you can do John's original cleanup, the Beam cleanup which he credits to Paul Swinford, the LJ display which is basically I think what Troy's version is? Or Paul Gordon's cleanup.

As for John's new book, put me down for a copy! I think Simon Aronson's Try the Impossible may have been self-published as there is no publisher that I can see so John may be going that way. I got a chance to see John do his Bullet Train assembly and can predict that this will be one of the highlights, for me at least!, of the book and as they say 'worth the price of admission'...

Release date, John said maybe around Christmas time, but I know Simon who is editing it I believe, wanted it out sooner...

Rich.
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Postby Guest » 08/17/03 12:18 AM

Dave wrote>>I'm curious as to what the idea of not starting the trick with an effect synopsis was all about. I presume there must have been some logical idea behind it and it wasn't just to annoy readers such as ourselves. If it wasn't for Richard's "best of" list in the "Almanac" I would have missed out on some great tricks.<<

It makes sense to say that there must have been a reason for not preceding the tricks with the effects. Even so I would have like to have effects written out especially for such a big book. Now to find out what the effect of a trick is I have to read the entire thing and try to understand whats happening in the spectator's head.

For example in Smoke and Mirrors I could look at the effect and immediately think wow this trick is geared for my style or this trick is great because I love mentalism or don't like that effect....etc.

I wanted to ask all of you if you found Impossibilia to be as good as Smoke and Mirrors and why. I like Smoke and Mirrors because the sleight of hand is not advanced for my present ability. Everything is crystal clear: the effects, the idea of a "twilight zone" and the logic behind it and finally why he chose certain "garden-paths" that he did in building the method/trick.

thanks in advance! ;)
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Postby Guest » 08/17/03 12:20 AM

Dave that was addressed to you. By the way I got the check today how about you?
:D
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 08/17/03 04:29 PM

I discovered Tattoo You about 3 weeks ago. (Actually, I was using the Bannon tape to test my "VHS to PC" transfer. Saw the effect and loved it. About 7 years ago tho', I began doing
"Trick Shot Production" from the book. An awesome closer to a close-up performance.
I too am awaiting his new venture.

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Postby Kamus » 08/17/03 09:43 PM

I liked "Impossibilia" a lot and still do some stuff from it (The two Matrix variations of Bob Kohler are great amongst others!) but overall I enjoyed "Smoke and Mirrors" a bit more, More variety (I too love "trick shot production"- such a simple trick, yet such a strong spectator response) the layout is easier on the eyes and virtually every effect is a winner.

Incidentally, I saw a couple of negative reviews of both those books when they first appeared. They said basically, what's the big deal?- Bannon is just publishing personal variations of Marlo et al. I never understood those criticisms. Sure some of the stuff was personal variations, but the point was that they were good variations , for crying out loud. Not only that but John had obviously put a lot of thought into those effects and it shows.
These reviews were from some knuckle busting guys and it just sounded like they resented his success with those books.

Anyway, where's my darn check already?


-Dave
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 08/18/03 10:03 AM

Some discouraging news about the release of the new Bannon book. Josuha Jay lectured in the area this weekend. In speaking to him Joshua mentioned he was editing the book for John and had finished.The discouraging news is that the photos/illustrations have not been done yet. It appears it will be a while before it sees the light of day. (It is going to be self published.)
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Postby mike cookman » 08/19/03 08:57 AM

Good points about those negative reviews, Dave. Not only are his variations good, but he explains his reasons for coming up with his routines. And he never comes across as though his were the "ultimate" of anything. Rather he is very good natured and fun to read, and his variations are good. By the way, what is the effect of this Last Man Standing I've been hearing so much about? Seems to be something of a Triumph variation.
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 08/19/03 11:27 AM

"Last Man Standing" is an in the hands triumph. Relatively simple handling and very visual and quick. It is in what I believe are his current set of lecture notes.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/19/03 11:37 AM

John told me directly (via a private message) that "Last Man Standing" will also be in his new book.
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Postby Chris Bailey » 08/21/03 07:32 AM

Smoke and Mirrors is great. I've done quite a lot from that book and I remember when I saw the companion video over 10 years ago he mentioned his new book "Cardzilla" coming out soon. It's nice to see it's getting closer to completion. I thought that was a great name for a book, I wonder why he changed it.

Anyway, does anyone know how to get a set of his lecture notes?
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Postby Cardzilla » 08/23/03 11:25 AM

Thanks to all for your interest and support.

I wanted to clear up any mystery about a forthcoming book. I have drafted a new book, called Dear Mr. Fantasy, which requires only (only!) final editing, some credit cites, photos, illustrations and production. The project is not vaporware and has its own critical mass, but is moving glacially. I had hoped to have it done already, but real life got in the way. Due to professional demands, I will not get back to it until November, so 2003 does not look likely. I am aiming for early 2004, hopefully in time for FFFF in April.

While not the magnum opus Cardzilla (that one must come later), Dear Mr. Fantasy will be all card tricks and all done with a regular deck (except for one packet trick). Among other things, the book will feature: Degrees Of Freedom (its not a card trick, its a toy); Bullet Train (a routine of three Ace assemblies; iconoclastic, syncopated, and interrobang); and The Power Of Poker (a bonus self-working poker deal by Dave Solomon).

Some of the material was previewed in my lecture at the TSD convention earlier this year. I note the discussion of Last Man Standing, and I am glad it seems to be surviving the crucible. If there is interest, Ill post the current write-up (though no photos/illustrations yet) on Chris Aguilars Conjure Nation board.

Thanks again.
Tell all the truth--
But tell it slant--
Success in circuit lies.

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Postby Tommy Brown » 08/23/03 11:50 AM

Oh, there is interest John, lots of interest. Thanks for bringing us up to speed. :D

Tommy
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/23/03 01:03 PM

Originally posted by John Bannon:

I note the discussion of Last Man Standing, and I am glad it seems to be surviving the crucible. If there is interest, Ill post the current write-up (though no photos/illustrations yet) on Chris Aguilars Conjure Nation board.

Thanks again.
John,

Thank you so much for the kind offer. Of course I'd be thrilled to have your writeup of this effect posted on my forums.

If you'd like, you can send it to me at my e-mail address, (Chris@conjurenation.com) and I'll post it on the forums in a nicely formatted way. Or you could post it yourself if you prefer.

I'm sure it'll spark some lively discussion.

The new book sounds terrific. I've heard some really good "buzz" about your effect "Bullet Train" from a few folks who saw it at the TSD convention.

Thanks again John.

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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/28/03 04:39 AM

Just wanted to mention (for the many people who have been asking) that John has now sent me his "Last Man Standing" routine and it's been posted on my forums. It's a wonderful routine that I think many will enjoy. :)

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Postby Chris Aguilar » 08/31/03 06:50 PM

A quick note for those of you requesting membership to my forums this week. I'm off to vacation for a week (Sept. 1-7) and will likely not have access to a phone or computer.

The forums are in capable hands while I'm gone (Thanks Lance and Tommy!) but they will not be able to approve new memberships. So, if you've applied in the last few days or apply during this coming week, please bear with me and I'll get to to the membership applications ASAP when I get back.

Thanks for your patience.
Chris A.

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Postby Gene B » 09/06/03 10:28 PM

I am interested in obtaining a copy of "Smoke & Mirrors"--If some one has a copy for sale or knows of one please e-mail me. (Would also like the companion video also)

Thanks,

Gene B :)
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 09/06/03 11:19 PM

Gene,

Just about any dealer can sell you a brand new copy of either the Impossibilia or Smoke & Mirrors Videos. They also often show up on e-bay. Do note that you get much better "bang for your buck" by buying the books as they contain much more material than is on the (excellent) videos.


And on a somewhat completely unrelated note. Yes, I'm back from vacation and will be taking a look at my large backlog of forums membership requests in the next few days.
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Postby Gene B » 09/07/03 08:39 PM

Thanks Chris,

I did locate at a dealer--I appreciate the info. and agree the book always has more detailed info.

Thanks,

Gene
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/24/04 11:48 AM

For those interested in John's new book Dear Mr. Fantasy, he has graciously allowed me to post a second routine from it on my forums. The routine is called "Trait Secrets" and is a really fun variation of Carpenter's wonderful "A Potent Presage".

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Postby Guest » 02/25/04 01:29 AM

Some news?

Thank you

Sim.
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Postby Guest » 03/11/04 09:12 PM

I would also like an update on this, its spring. Will there be a delay?

Thanks
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