Magical Magazine Monday!

I'm hijacking the normal Monday Mail Call to zoom in on some magic magazines that have come in this month. Specifically, Genii and The Hermit, both of which are action-packed and full of goodies!

If you're itching to find out what kind of other goodies came in this past week, make sure to check back next week because the Mail Call post will be... heavy! At least, the books are =P

Genii, April 2022

Just this past week, on the 15th, I finally received the April issue of Genii in the mail. Timing-wise, I was just about to email them to ask where it is since it normally comes a few days before the 1st of the month -- only once or twice has it arrived after that, and this is the first time it ever came later than the first week of the month. Even the digital version was released on March 20th, so I really am curious what the delay was.

Timing aside, I was very, very excited to flip through it when I got it. On the front cover is big ol' Jason England! I know this guy! Wait, no I don't...

I've never met him, but I at least thought I knew of work from him. But I don't. I know that I've heard his name on several occasions, but that's the entire extent of my knowledge about Jason England... and yet, I feel like I am familiar with his work. But I'm not.

I scoured through my library, both books and videos, to find any trace of work that came from this man. I have one video, Experts at the Card Table 2020 from Vanishing Inc. I haven't watched it yet. The hell?!

Anyways, I read through the Jason England feature and wow! This is a guy I want to meet and just talk with. Military aside, based on the very high-level biography of him, we're quite alike. Well, that and I only own a single copy of The Expert at the Card Table... I've never been to Vegas before, but I would make a trip over to hang out for an afternoon. Jason, call me!

The rest of the issue is standard Genii goodness. There's a very moving obituary for The Amazing Jonathan by Erika Larsen; his passing hit me, and her words brought a tear. He'll be missed, but I for one will make sure his material is shared!

We also get another installment of The River by Joshua Jay. It's coins and bills, so I skimmed it briefly. The other routines and effects described throughout are pretty neat -- I really like the Don't Play with Your Food routine where you pour a sugar packet into your hand, and it turns into a sugar cube. Then, pouring a pepper packet into your hand (with the sugar cube) creates spots on it to resemble a die! It's quick and silly and altogether magic!

Hocus Pocus - Magic, Mystery, and the Mind

One of the features in this month's issue of Genii is Hocus Pocus Live: The Davenport Séance. This feature introduces us, the audience, to a throwback comic series that finds its roots in the older, creepier comics like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror.

I'm, personally, not a séance type of person but I do like a good story. Hocus Pocus is an interactive comic series about the history and science of the paranormal, so the specific séance highlight in Genii is just one of many topics -- so that's pretty cool.

If you're interested in seeing more, you can find it here: -- as of right now, it looks like they have 4 issues out, though one is sold out already.

The Hermit, Volume 1 Issue 4

I finally got around to popping open this month's issue of The Hermit e-zine! This one arrived promptly on-time on April 1st. I'm just... delayed. 48 pages of magical goodness just sitting there in my inbox waiting for me!

And it's the first issue to have an actual "cover" page! At least, that's what the email said. So I promptly looked and sure enough, there's a cover page. I had to go back to the other issues just to confirm though and would you look at that, it really is the first with a cover! Skipping ahead towards the end of the magazine (and the reason I am talking about the cover page =P), this month's #hermitmagicchallenge is to design a cover for the magazine. 

Your cover doesn’t have to be made with professional drawing or art skills. So long as the key idea of your cover is sound, I can reproduce it in collaboration with you. The most important thing is to be inventive! Maybe your cover celebrates a specific magician or personality, or perhaps it teases a themed issue that you’d like to see. Surprise me!
Scott Baird - The Hermit

It sounds like all of the issues going forward will have a dedicated cover page, possibly each unique and created by the audience. That really would be cool. I would, in general, want a specific theme or "issue feature" to focus on, but each issue of The Hermit is a collection of topics, not really focusing on a central feature in each.

You know what I really like about the magazine is the layout. Yes, yes, the material in it is great -- and I'll get to that -- but the page layout is really well done. It's not just columns of text and a picture here and there. It has that format, but then it shakes things up and gets a little more artistic and designs the pages. The illustrations become just as important as the text; they meld together. I like it =]

This month's issue has a lot of coin magic in it, which isn't really my thing, so I skimmed about half of it, but there was a good card routine or two -- and the overview of Misdirection in Sports is an interesting idea to lean in to. Psychology, in terms of misdirection and forcing, can play together in a lot of arenas where there's clear and even indirect overlap. Sports brings it to the next level though. In sports, there are a lot of moving pieces and there's a common concept in magic psychology that the human brain can't focus on two things at the same time; I don't know if a magician would be the best consultant in creating a mental-fake-out for a sports routine.

Then again, I'm thinking smaller magicians, like close-up and parlor magic. A stage magician, or one who works with TV and movies and other larger crews might be able to pull it off since they can see "bigger pictures". However, knowing a lot of athletes, I do wonder if the ones "doing the moves" would be able to run the plays and process what the opponents are doing too since they'd be "controlling the audience", who may happen to be a pair of 250lb men running at them.

But yeah, this issue is pretty packed with magic from Scott Baird, John Carey, Joshua Jay, and Giacomo Bertini. I'm excited to see what's coming out next month, and hopefully I'll get to it soon after it lands in my inbox!

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