The Hermit Magazine - First Year Review

The Hermit Magic Magazine launched last year, courtesy of Scott Baird.

As a new magazine, its first year was full of growth and contributions. We saw several changes to the format of The Hermit, we saw dozens of magicians providing really well-thought-out content, and numerous magicians who came back time and time again.

2022, or "Volume One", had 12 issues in total and it's exactly a year to this day when I first subscribed. Let's look back at how the first year of The Hermit went.

A Brief Look at The Hermit

This monthly magazine is published on the 1st of each month and delivered right into our email inboxes. That's right folks, it's completely digital!

Each issue comes in at around 50-ish pages, except one that was 80! There's a title page that's immediately followed by a table of contents, followed by page after page of content! The very last page or two are any additional credits for the routines that are contained in the issue. Oh, and there aren't any ads! None at all! We're talking 40 or more pages of just content and no filler -- it's amazing! But what kind of content are we talking about?

There are magic tricks, of course. Card magic, rings, coins, mentalism, and random things here and there. Each issue feels like a unique mixture and though I could easily count to verify, my feeling is that there were more card tricks than anything else (which I'm cool with).

Other than magic tricks, there's usually at least one article on any subject, typically magic theory. For example, December's issue was titled "How are you limiting yourself?" in which we hear Jay Sankey share a mantra he uses to keep himself from building a box to exist in. Quite an interesting concept that, if you don't consider it, there's a good chance you've started building a box!

Each issue also contains a "The Hermit Challenge", a monthly challenge dealing with anything from taking a photo to writing predictions of the future. It's a fun way to engage with the magazine and have them engage back.

Evolution Throughout the Year

The Hermit was originally funded as a Kickstarter campaign towards the end of 2021. I wasn't a backer myself because, truth-be-told, I didn't know about it. However, in January of 2022 -- after the first issue was already released -- I heard about this new independent magic magazine and wanted to see what was up. I read a little about it, thought it sounded like a decent endeavor and subscribed.

When I received the first issue, the very first page didn't really scream "magazine" to me. It was more like a newsletter, lacking a cover page, no index, just straight to the content. The content, however, was not disappointing in the least.

Issues 2 and 3 were the same format. No cover page and no index. Though, it's worth noting that the email that accompanies the magazine's delivery does highlight what's included so we weren't completely blind to the contents.

Volume 4, April's issue, now that's where the format started to change a little. It finally had a proper cover page, and all issues after this one came with one as well.

That's right, this is the first issue with a proper cover! In magazine publishing, the cover is used as an attention-grabbing device, to get you to pick it up, and hopefully purchase the issue.
The opening sentences of The Hermit, Vol. 1, Issue 4, by Scott Baird.

In September's issue (No. 9), we received a new update: an index page! Starting with this issue, we can easily see what's in the pages before us, who contributed them, and what page number they're on (... like a typical index page =P). What really caught my attention in this issue though, which I hadn't noticed before, is that the page numbers continued from the previous issue. In other words, instead of each magazine issue starting at "page 1", issue 9 starts at page 391, picking up where issue 8 left off. Neat!

My Thoughts

If you haven't picked up on my thoughts and feelings toward the magazine yet, to spell it out clearly: I like it.

The magazine's Kickstarter campaign description said:

The Hermit is a subscription-based online magic magazine, focusing on creativity, art, design, and of course magic tricks.

And that's exactly what it brings to the table. Though, there's also engagement and inspiration to be found throughout its pages, not to mention the very stylish artwork.

Whether it's through monthly community challenges, learning a new Torn-and-Restored Card effect, or finding out a killer way to make your own Ultimate Brainwave deck, there's so much packaged into these pages that I have a list of bookmarks that references at least half of the tricks in Volume One! When I received the "time to renew" email, I didn't have to think about "is it worth it" because I already knew the answer =]

There are more than 70 routines published across the 12 issues. If you're interested in getting a peek at all of the different effects, The Hermit's website provides summaries for each issue so you know what you're getting into.

Magicians and Contributors

Every issue has content from several contributors, most -- if not all -- are magicians. The contributions, as outlined above, are either magic tricks or articles and are all wonderfully illustrated by Scott Baird himself!

Throughout all of 2022 (Volume 1), we saw material from 33 different folks! Several had submissions in more than one issue too. The list of contributors, in no particular order:

Whoa, what a list! It's important to note that anyone can submit a contribution that may be selected to be featured in the magazine too. If you have content, check out The Hermit's Submission Form.

What's Next?

First and foremost, the question is "do I re-subscribe and get 2023's issues?" Yes. The answer is yes. With affordable monthly and annual subscription options, the fresh take on card tricks and other magic types, and the introduction to a whole list of magicians I haven't had the pleasure of hearing of yet, it's a steal! In fact, I've already slammed that "add to cart" button and checked out =]

But wait, there's more!

The Hermit, In Print

While the monthly magazine is delivered digitally, Scott's put together a physical book that contains all of Volume 1! The two-book set, available to pre-order here, comes in your choice of paperback or hardcover and each is over 300 pages.

What's further tempting about the book is that not only does it contain all the issues from 2022 (e.g., Volume 1), but according to the website it also includes:

a few pages of bonus content that includes magic new to the magazine, and further exploration of the tricks that have already been in print!

I, personally, have hardcover collections of Pabular, Magicana (from Genii), Apocalypse, and even Talk About Tricks and can say for a fact that for me, the compact collection format of a book is well worth it. Add to that bonus content, sign me up!

Upcoming Projects

While Volume 2's issues are already in the works, The Hermit is making sure that their time is fully booked by adding even more projects to their queue.

Coming up soon, we'll be seeing a collaboration between them and Big Blind Media (or, "bigblindmedia" as they write it =P). They, BBM, are a magic media company that produces instructional tutorials and even decks of playing cards. We don't have any details about what the collab between BBM and The Hermit is yet, but I'm excited to see what they're going to come up with.

Speaking of limited details, there's also a video project in the works! That's all the info we have about it so far but print, video, and a collaboration with BBM, now that's an ambitious workload for 2023. If last year was any indication though, the magic community is going to get some fantastic works from The Hermit this year.

To subscribe to The Hermit, check out their website here. Also, follow them on Instagram at @hermitmagicmag.

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