It's Monday and you know what that means... Monday Mail Call!
Each Monday (give or take), I use this feature to highlight a few of the things that have made their way in over the past week or so. Packages, purchases, and emails -- oh my!
First up, a book I've been waiting on for years: Confident Deceptions by Jason Ladanye. This book came out in 2013 but that was well before I had gotten back into the magic scene. Ladanye was unknown to me. Darwin Ortiz was a familiar name, though I didn't know much of his work so Confident Deceptions didn't hit my radar until July 2019.
I was watching an IG Live with Jeremy Griffith (@lost_angelus) and he brought on this guy who I've never heard of... Jason Ladanye.
So, here's this Ladanye guy and he's showing off some pretty wicked table work. It's the first time I had ever seen Riffle Stacking and I don't want to stretch it but that threw me into a good 2-month rabbit hole of practice. Ah yeah, but back to the IG Live. So, I went and looked at this Ladanye's account and he had a website, so I went to check it out. A few books, a three-way mirror -- nice! Confident Deceptions was there but sold out. The book looked neat so I told myself "no worries, I'll just find it somewhere else." Except, it wasn't available anywhere else. No third-party sites, no used-book sites, not even eBay.
I found plenty of reviews online of the book and the only negative vibe I picked up was that it had a lot of Ortiz in it. The "negative" was that Ladanye was like Ortiz and not his own personality. Now, as I mentioned, to me Ortiz was a familiar name, but I didn't really know his work so this wasn't a negative for me. In fact, stripping away that one note left only positive things about the book. I also really wanted to get more into table work, and I was still new so didn't know the kind of books available so -- Confident Deceptions hit the top of my list!
I reached out to Ladanye, he didn't have any extra copies unfortunately -- and wasn't sure if it would be reprinted. I setup alerts on different sites, including eBay, to notify me when the book was listed. In 2 years, I only received a single hit from eBay but I lost that bid due to a sniper in the last 3 seconds. Sold for $80-something!
When I saw that Ladanye had this book reprinted and available at Blackpool I reached out asap and got the details. I'm pretty sure I was the first online purchase when he made it available on his site, that's how much I wanted this book. fanboi much?
The day I received it, Vanishing Inc. put up a new copy of it too except theirs comes with a ~20 minute long video that has performances of all of the routines! I reached out to Ladanye to see if this is available to share and sure enough, he got me the video. It's a great reference, and the book -- so far -- has been worth the wait!
On the same day Confident Deceptions arrived, another package showed up that contained a pretty sweet deck: AVTones 2049 Carbon Black. I distinctly remember buying this one, but I can't for the life of me remember where I first saw it or why I went to get it. It was most likely a promo on Instagram, but either way I shelled out the cash to Cardvolution and a few weeks later, this deck hit my doorstep.
AVTones 2049 was originally a Kickstarter campaign that launched in April 2021 and was fully funded in 3 days which is huge considering it's goal was $30k! By the end of the month-long campaign, it was more than 280% funded so that's pretty sweet. Unfortunately for me, I completely missed this campaign - I would've been all over it because this deck looks amazing. I haven't opened the actual deck yet because I think it deserves a nice photoshoot, but very soon!
Last, but definitely not least, the Cernunnos Forest playing cards -- The Cube Collector Box:
This was also a Kickstarter campaign and the decks are absolutely beautiful. The collector box comes with two decks, "Day Fairy" and "Starry Night" (both decks of the campaign), a Coin of Cernunnos, and some other fun things.
The Cernunnos Forest campaign was over 4600% funded! Yes, four thousand -- that's just crazy! It also ran pretty on-time in terms of everything, and the community updates were pretty well done.
I've opened the box itself and took everything out, except the coin. That thing is stuck in there and I'm not ready to rip the box yet =P. I also haven't opened the decks but, similar to the AVTones deck it's because I want to do a photo shoot with them prior to breaking the seals. Soon though!
I don't know about you but I'm always a fan of receiving Kickstarter rewards. Seeing these projects come to life, I feel great because I helped someone accomplish their goal -- and even better (and more selfish) because I got something out of it too. Mixed priorities, right? =P
The decks I got this past week are just amazing, I can't wait to break the seals. But first, I'm heads-down in Confident Deceptions and am still stoked to have received it!
Stay tuned for the next iteration of Monday Mail Call, there's a lot more to come!
Oh also, if you'd like to offer suggestions for books, tricks, decks or if you have questions about magic (performing, routines, sleights, etc.), just reach out here.