Saturday, March 12, 2011

60 Great Magic Posters - A Review

In 1975, Charles and Regina Reynolds compiled and wrote 100 Years of Magic Posters (Darien House). It is a large format (11" x 16") book filled with 96 full color and black and white reproductions of magicians’ posters. Today the book is sought after by collectors. Many kids who bought the book back in the ‘70s cut the posters out and pinned them to their bedroom walls or decorated their magic props and cases. I was one of those kids, but later I bought two more copies of the book and kept them intact. The book can be found on EBay occasionally anywhere from $50 to $100.
Nothing has been done like the Reynolds book until the new paperbacked book by Dover, 60 Great Magic Posters (edited by Carol Belanger Grafton).  The book is 8-1/2" x 11" and printed in full color. The 64 pages contain poster art from the golden age of magic when magicians used colorful and imaginative lithographs to promote themselves. The collection includes images of Herrmann, Carter, Houdini, Thurston and many other prominent illusionists. Many of the posters have been seen before, but there are a few that are rarely reproduced in color.

What makes this book unique is the inclusion of a double-sided DVD. This DVD includes three different types of images - high-resolution (300 dpi) images that can be used to print large format prints, JPG images for low-resolution use (72 dpi) and hi-res screen saver images. All of the images are royalty-free so they can be used as they wish. 10 "bonus" images can also be downloaded.

The compilation also has a short biography section of the magicians featured on the DVD. I found this part of the book to be lacking and not of any real significance. The other negative of the book is that many of the images seem to be scanned images of printed posters from other resources. If you plan on printing larger format posters you may see the quality of the image is not of the highest quality.

All in all, this compilation of posters with DVD is affordable and welcomed. At $12.00 and change you shouldn't hesitate adding this book to your collection.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Marshall Brodien - One of the all-time great guys!

My friend, Marshall Brodien, called me today. It gives me goosebumps every time I say that. When I was seven years old I received my first TV Magic Set. I never thought the master magician I saw on TV as a kid would one day be my friend.

Marshall is one of the most genuine and giving people in magic. I have a lot of stories to share about the master magician. Someday soon...

Until then, buy his biography by John Moehring. It is a fascinating and enjoyable read. You'll soon find out why he is one of the all-time great guys.