Topas in Genii Magazine

Topas Genii

Worldclass manipulator, illusionist, and magic creator Topas is featured in the cover story in the November 2019 issue of Genii Magazine! Check it out here.


Topas & Roxanne: Two More!

Heimspiel mit Live-Musik: Roxanne & Topas (Foto: Alexandra Klein)

Nach vier ausverkauften Vorstellungen stehen Topas & Roxanne am 6. und 8. September erneut mit Live-Band für zwei Zusatzshows auf der Bühne im Theaterhaus Stuttgart. ONE MORE! – Magic live in Concert verspricht “die perfekte Verschmelzung von Illusion und Musik, mit ihren besten Acts aus 30 Jahren und vielen neuen Überraschungen”. Zudem soll es reichlich selbstironische Comedy geben.

Für die passende magische Begleitmusik sorgt bei Topas & Roxanne übrigens seit über 20 Jahren der Komponist Andi Kraus vom Comedy-Trio „Eure Mütter“. Die musikalische Leitung von ONE MORE! liegt in den Händen von Derek von Krogh.


Gut gesagt / Words of Wisdom (12): Topas

Zauberhändler haben immer auch etwas von käuflicher Liebe: Die Ware ist wunderbar, aber die Motivation des Verkäufers ist klar.”

Magic dealers always carry an air of negotiable affection: The displayed goods are wonderful, but the seller’s intention is obvious.”

zitiert aus / quoted from Aladin 04/2016, S. 59.



Stereotypes in Magic Catalogs (1)

Recently, a thread over at the Genii Forum discussed stereotypical depictions of Asians in older magic catalogs. To go a-hunting myself, I took out three huge random catalogs from my collection, spanning almost 50 years of magic lore and folklore: Abbott’s Catalog No. 6 from 1940, Tannen’s Catalog No. 6 from 1966, and the Supreme Magic Catalogue from 1989. Not surprisingly, all of them feature many stereotypical depictions of Chinese, Oriental or Indian magi.

To be fair, I think almost any magic catalog, old or rather recent, will give you similar results, as it was common practice to simply reproduce the illustrations provided by the trick producers. It should also be assumed that, at the time of their drawing, these illustrations were likely to be thought fitting and authentic (or symbolic, at least), not degrading or even racist.


Some blatant Chinese examples I found in the catalogs mentioned above:

Abbott: “Abbott’s Chinese Coin Magic/The Greatest of All Coin Tricks”, p. 105; “The Tubes of Budda”, p. 157; “Abbott’s Modern Lota”, p. 249; “Modern Aerial Fishing”, p. 287; “Bawden’s Bowls”, p. 381; “Chinese Laundry Ticket”, p. 397.

Tannen: “Chinese Puzzle Box”, p. 15; “No Tickie – No Shirtee”, p. 31; “Chinatown Quarter”, p. 105; “The Chinese Pipes of Simplex”, p. 119; “Grant’s Chink Cans”, p. 276; “Chinese Bird Canister”, p. 366.

Supreme: “Chinese Wishing Papers”, p. 277; “China Tea”, p. 339; “Confetti Can”, p. 343; “The Hung-Too Card Prediction”, p. 457; “Soo Coin Trick”, p. 503; “Two Wongs Make a White”, p. 587.

You can see a small selection of images from these tricks at the top of this post.


As a questionable extra, take a look at “Eeny-Meeney-Miney-Mo!” presenting “four little black boys, amusingly depicted and beautifully printed”, on page 181 of the Supreme catalog:


Hm. I guess everybody who still produces magic catalogs, online or in print, is well advised to check their ethnic illustrations and at least do away with the most blatant ones. Sadly, even without these, a huge chunk of magic is and has always been stereotypical because of the time-worn tricks we choose and our uninspired presentations. Or, to quote a musician who once said to world-class manipulator and illusionist Topas after witnessing a magic gala, “This felt like Jimi Hendrix had never lived.” (From Topas’ funny book in German, Jungfrau gesucht, Säge vorhanden.)