A Surprising Comeback by Ricky Jay

Just a couple of days ago Ricky Jay’s early masterpiece, Cards as Weapons, made a surprising encore on Amazon with a new paperback edition of this long sold-out, highly sought after classic. Prices on the second market for older editions are likely to drop significantly now, I guess.


Addendum: Some guys over on the Genii Forum think that this is an illegal product and not endorsed by the estate of Ricky Jay. Too bad!

O tempora, o mores!


An Expert at the Card Table

YouTube Screenshot

Like many others, I tend to judge Fred Kaps as the best all-around magician I have ever seen. No matter which objects he manipulated, it always looked incredibly smooth and effortless. The impression was enhanced by his likeable persona and the joy – and sometimes astonishment – which he radiated. A shame and a big loss that he passed away so early. But his magic and his legend will live on at least for another couple of decades.

Here’s some rare old TV footage that shows Kaps in his prime in an informal card session. It’s in Dutch, but you will certainly get the magic. Watch the video over on YouBurp and enjoy!


The Garcia Grip

Frank Garcia was a man of marvellous magical talent, and, sadly, also a man of some less than wonderful traits when it came to self-aggrandizement and crediting (the lack of it, rather). “Even our Gods have feet of clay,” as someone rightly put it on the Genii’s Forum.

Only recently I discovered this four-part private magic lesson video on YouBurp which gives us, in my view, Frank Garcia at his best with cards, coins, spongeballs, and a truckload full of tips and subtleties that left me in awe and will keep me busy for quite some time! That’s what I call the “Garcia grip” on things.

Enjoy two hours of old-school magic! (And try to ignore Jerky Bob who interferes a bit too often…)



Trick & Ideas (7): Card to After Eight Box

I have to admit that I am a little bit obsessed with CTIL variations. Here’s a new one I came up with only recently. It’s a „Card to After Eight Box“ effect (or substitute any similar product as long as it gives you mint chocolate thins that come in a sleeve each). As you will notice, a folded card fits well into such a sleeve. Unlike the picture above, they should not peek out.

Preparation: Buy a box, open it carefully and eat about half of the thins immediately. Then load each sleeve with a spare folded card. Reseal the box.

Presentation in less than 130 words: Have the box in plain sight on the table. F***e a card from the deck, have it signed and make it seemingly disappear while doing the MF. Present the sealed box and open it. Hold it up pretty high, so no one can peek inside, and riffle along the sleeves with your first finger as you ask a spectator to say stop. Take out a card-filled sleeve, squeeze the opening together and let a spectator hold it, as you distribute some regular thins from the box. Take the sleeve back, pull it a bit open and let the audience see the folded card. Do the Joro Switch as you apparently dump it out, reveal the signed and transposed card and share some more chocolate with your happy audience.

Find more tricks and ideas here.

Quiz: Show Me Your Hands!

I have to confess a lot of things, related to magic and otherwise. But when it comes to card magic, I am prepared to admit that to me…

1) illustrations are much clearer and thus much more helpful in understanding and learning a move than photographs and

2) it’s fun to compare the personal style and techniques of magic’s great illustrators.

By the way, a fine book which celebrates the art and artists in and around magic is Chuck Romano‘s The Art of Deception from 1997. This tome inspired me to go-a-hunting for a dozen exemplified card illustrations and challenge you to find out from which well-known books and authors on card magic they originated.

So here is the first one from the not too distant past. Take a guess or rush to the better part of your magic book shelf.

Drawn by...?
Drawn by…?

(To be continued)

Erdnasen, aufgeschaut! – Erdnasians, beware!

EngelGenug geträumt, gezögert und vertrödelt – jetzt gehe ich es wirklich an: In spätestens zwölf Monaten soll mein Büchlein fertig sein!

Mehr als 100 Jahre nach S.W. Erdnase wird es höchste Zeit, in ein neues und aufregendes Jahrhundert der Kartenkunst aufzubrechen.

Das hat zwar nichts mit meinem kleinen Werk zu tun, aber es musste hier mal gesagt werden!

Zumindest der vorläufige Titel steht auch schon fest:


(Hinweis: Zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt könnten auch noch Subalterne, Substitute, Suppenkoma oder Sukkulenten Berücksichtigung finden.)


Enough of pondering, procrastination, and idle play – I’m going for it now: In about twelve months my book should be finished!

More than 100 years after Erdnase it’s about time to enter a new and exciting century of expert cardistry.

This is totally unrelated to my little effort, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

I already got a preliminary title down:


(Full disclosure: Subtleties, submarines, substitutes, subpoena, soup cubes or succulents may also be considered at a later date.)