Al Baker Returns

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Todd Karr
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Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 23rd, 2002, 9:28 pm

Hello, Genii Forum friends

A request for your assistance.

For our upcoming Al Baker anthology, The Miracle Factory has signed an agreement with the Carl W. Jones family for the right to include the Jones-published Al Baker books, Magical Ways and Means, Pet Secrets, and Al Baker's Mental Magic.

Besides Baker's other superb publications, we have assembled a huge amount of additional material, including unpublished effects, manuscripts, instructions, articles, letters, and memorabilia but there are undoubtedly more Al Baker treasures out there.

If you have a moment to search your archives, please let us know if you can help preserve more of this wonderful man's genius! email: toddkarr@aol.com

Also, many have asked about the English-language version of Christian Fechner's monumental two-volume work on Robert-Houdin. It is scheduled for the end of the year and will be featured in an upcoming Genii.

Best wishes,

Todd Karr
The Miracle Factory

Guest

Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Guest » September 24th, 2002, 12:44 am

Some great things for us to look forward to, todd. Thanks for the heads up. By the way, do you plan any reprints of your books? I'd really like a copy of Neo Magic Artistry, in particular. Thanks again.
John

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 24th, 2002, 1:04 am

John:

I'm glad the upcoming books sound interesting to you. Neo-Magic Artistry is out of print but you may be able to get copies from dealers. No reprints planned for now, but thank you for the compliment of inquiring!

Best wishes,
Todd

John Pezzullo
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby John Pezzullo » September 24th, 2002, 3:25 am

Todd,

This may or may not be of any use in your research, but the SAM Assembly #35 web site includes an article about Al Baker that was published in the September 1982 issue of "M-U-M". The article features Walter Gibson's recollections of Al Baker.

http://www.compumagic.com/sam35/al_baker.html

Regards,

John

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 24th, 2002, 10:58 am

Thanks, John. I spotted the great Gibson article on Baker on their site, and have been contacting the very helpful members regarding this quest.

Todd Karr
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Joined: March 13th, 2008, 9:03 am

Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 24th, 2002, 5:47 pm

Wow...many thanks for all the assistance I've been receiving via email!

Craig Matsuoka
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Location: Kailua, Hawaii

Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Craig Matsuoka » September 25th, 2002, 1:39 am

Todd,

Thanks for the great news.

I have mixed emotions about this reprint. "Pet Secrets" and "Magical Ways" are two books I've deeply treasured. Scant few books in my library earn such a place in my heart. Regrettably, the devilish methods and practical "hard knocks" wisdom between those covers made a selfish man of me. That these books were out of print so long is a shame only to those who don't own copies. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

BTW, re: Pet Secrets -

This book made me laugh out loud many times while discovering Baker's quaint sense of humor and diabolical methodology. Too many items to praise so I'll just name a few I enjoyed.

The Hindu Thread Trick (including history), Chapter on Hair Magic, The Rising Ring...all classics.

The Jet-Propelled Card, The Bar Trick Fooler...these tricks must be suppressed! :p

Finally, the introductory chapter to "Magical Ways..." should be required reading. Although I had to bone up a little on Chautauqua.

Jean Hugard said it all in his Introduction to "Pet Secrets":

"...He has a positive genius for inventing subtle principles while his mastery of misdirection is nothing less than superb. Generous to a fault in giving a helping hand to others...it can safely be asserted that Al Baker has carved for himself a place in the magic Hall of Fame, which will remain as long as the Art of Magic endures."

Amen

Jim Riser
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Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Jim Riser » September 25th, 2002, 11:50 am

Originally posted by Craig Matsuoka:
Todd,

Thanks for the great news.

I have mixed emotions about this reprint. "Pet Secrets" and "Magical Ways" are two books I've deeply treasured.
Craig;
I, also, have the originals. I feel certain that our coveted secrets in the Al Baker books will still be safe in any new text that Todd might produce. Todd's production will be of such high quality that no one will want to open it and get fingerprints inside. Therefore, the secrets are safe! Not to worry
:)
Jim

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 25th, 2002, 12:43 pm

Craig and Jim:
Many thanks for your positive words about Al Baker and his amazing material. My hope is that readers will draw inspiration from Baker's thinking and apply his creativity to their own original pieces. His ingenuity and understanding of magic consistently astonish me, too.

Best wishes, Todd

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 25th, 2002, 1:30 pm

Barry's Magic Shop in Wheaton, Maryland, still has copies of Neo-Magic Artistry for sale.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Craig Matsuoka
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Craig Matsuoka » September 25th, 2002, 2:50 pm

Todd,

No one else probably gives a rip about it, but I'll ask anyway.

Did Jones simultaneously produce two versions of the cover for "Magical Ways and Means", or did he change covers mid-stream? I've seen some with cute little bunnies as well as those with a more distinguished dark blue cover. Curiously, both styles are sometimes found with identical printing and impression numbers.

So what happened? Did he abandon the "Romper Room" look of the bunny version in favor of sophistication, or was it the other way around?

Guest

Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Guest » September 25th, 2002, 4:05 pm

To Todd,
I'm thrilled to hear that you have a book on Al Baker in the works. I can hardly wait.
Do you have anything to report on the possibility of a Doug Henning Book?

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 25th, 2002, 4:45 pm

Craig: Carl Jones apparently changed the initial rabbit cover to the more dignified blue after it was indicated to him that the bunny motif made the work look like a children's book.

Dennis: The Doug Henning book will be far off in the future but preparations are being made.

Best wishes,
Todd

troublewit
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby troublewit » September 27th, 2002, 2:18 pm

Hi Todd, This is great news...Magical Ways and Means is one of my treasured tomes. Will it be published in '03? Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall? Looking forward to it. PS Thanks for Neo Magic Artistry.
Christopher Klocek
337 N Wood St
Griffith, In 46319
219-765-7123
troublewit@aol.com

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » September 27th, 2002, 5:28 pm

I'd like to note that Richard Kaufman has been extremely helpful in creating this book; everyone should give him a big thank you for his expert guidance.

Expect Al Baker to arrive as soon as possible.

Glad you like Neo-Magic Artistry!

Guest

Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Guest » October 23rd, 2002, 8:33 am

Barry's Magic Shop in Wheaton, Maryland, still has copies of Neo-Magic Artistry for sale.
Thanks for the heads up, Richard. I got my copy from them, and I'm very happy!

Dave Shepherd
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Dave Shepherd » October 23rd, 2002, 10:56 am

I am also very excited at the prospect of getting the Baker works.

(Tell you the truth, I'm really posting here so I'll get an e-mail when Todd tells us all it's out!)

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » October 23rd, 2002, 11:10 am

Dave:
I'll make sure you get an email when the Baker book is ready!

David Alexander
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby David Alexander » October 28th, 2002, 6:53 pm

Todd,

Glad to hear about the Al Baker book. Will you be interviewing his former son-in-law?

Todd Karr
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Re: Al Baker Returns

Postby Todd Karr » October 29th, 2002, 12:13 am

David is referring to Jay Marshall, and the answer is yes!


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