Ignite the Imagination

Some of you may know that I also serve as the Artistic Director of Magicana, a performing arts organization and registered charity that I co-founded with Patrick Watson and Daniel Zuckerbrot almost ten years ago.

One of my roles – a recent one – is acting as the editor and publisher of Magicol, a quarterly journal that explores the history of magic, and the personalities, apparatus and ephemera that are its foundation. Magicol was first published in August 1950. It is a privilege for me to join the ranks as one of its editors.

The first issue under my watch is now being mailed to subscribers. The cover features a painting of the great Compars Herrmann (1816-1887), provided to us courtesy of the Belvedere Museum and Magic Christian, both residents of Vienna. I would like to thank both of them for sharing with us this stunning portrait of one of magic’s greatest practitioners.

Articles include a walking magic tour of Chicago by William Pack; observations on Dai Vernon by his wife, Jeanne Verner; and a scholarly discussion regarding the burning of Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft by Clay Shevlin. There are, of course, conference reports, books reviews, and additional commentary.

The production of Magicol also gave me the opportunity of working with Michael Albright. Michael is a lifelong student of magic. Fortunately for us, however, he is also a designer of international renown. His recent work includes redesigning the media pages for the BBC, promotions for Oprah Winfrey, and American Idol. Michael and I have collaborated on several publications including Revelation, Spins and Needles, and How Gamblers Win. I have supplied Michael with the text and images for five other publications for future release. With any luck – and provided I don’t exhaust his good graces – three of them will be released this calendar year.

In the interim, consider subscribing to Magicol. It was assembled, to paraphrase the great American magician Harry Kellar, to feed the mind with mystery and ignite the imagination.

You won’t be disappointed.