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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ebooks, PDF's or Downloads » » Review: Magic Vampire Magazine (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Vlad_77
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Hey all, it's been a while since I've written a review. As John Lennon sang, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." I am living proof of that. Speaking of living, cue ham handed segue! This review focuses on the obsessive unliving - or more accurately, obsessive undead. There's a new journal out! I love me some journals and this one is, in a word, brilliant. Okay, well maybe two words: brilliant and quirky. The Café's own orchid666 (K Neill) is the mad man behind The Magic Vampire Magazine. Let's grab our garlic, holy water, and crucifixes and explore this dark, mad product of a brilliant yet rather disturbed mind, in other words, my kind of people.

The Magic Vampire we are told is "a strange and lonely creature who spends most nocturnal hours obsessing over 52 bits of cardboard." Talk about hitting the mark when talking about virtually all card folk. And this obsession is not limited to the masthead of this mag. The design of the journal reflects a beautiful madness throughout. If you're looking for high production values, glossy photos, and the latest piece of floating furniture and other magically domestic accouterments, you've come to the wrong place. The Magic Vampire Magazine, hereafter known as TMVM because I'm lazy, has, and I hate to use cliches, a very underground look. Imagine Cervon's Castle Notebooks but written and illustrated by someone who drank 30 cups of espresso and gorged on five boxes of Cap'n Crunch cereal in 15 minutes. Sound fun? I can answer emphatically that it is!

The typeset of the TMVM is a good old font known as "handwritten." Every single page is handwritten, the paper stock is a riot of colors with each page having its own. Moreover, TMVM is literally crammed with information. Nobody told our friend about the use of white space and in this case we are better off for it. I think that the closest analogy is to imagine hand drawn posters from a punk or heavy metal club that you would see tacked on a pole. At first glance you might think that this is just too chaotic to read. I suspect that's the purpose. It's well known that P. Howard Lyons' classic Ibidem was designed such that Lyons wanted to limit readership. I don't think TMVM's writer wants to limit readership. Rather I believe that form follows function and this magazine invites you to engage in its beautiful deranged arcana on its own terms and is succeeds beautifully.

This journal is, at least with the first two issues, devoted strictly to card magic. There is a LOT of card magic crammed inside. It's in the margins, it's scrawled in glorious chaos with "editor" corrections, and fun little cartoons strewn about. Well, I don't want to spoil everything so enough about the design. How about the magic itself? Let's talk about it.

The first issue features excellent routines either original with the author or else brilliant variations of others' routines. I want to applaud the author for his superb crediting. He is just as obsessive about getting the credits and history of the routines right as he is about the magic itself. There are some "professional" authors who could learn something from this magazine. Anyhow, routines like Transylvanian Travelers, The Card of Nosferatu, The Leap of Death, and MANY more are superb routines. There is a very nice pass titled appropriately "The Borgo Pass" The mechanics of this pass are well explained and well illustrated. Even if you already have mastered a form of the pass, this is still worth exploring.

There is so much excellent magic just in issue one that I would end up breaking the Café's servers trying to describe each item. Rest (in peace) assured that you're getting your money's worth with this brilliant magazine. In addition to the magic there is a section titled "Ramblings From the Crypt that is a veritable treasure house of information that really is essential reading. Think of Harry Lorayne's "afterthoughts" in his books and Apocalypse and you have a general idea of what you'll find. I wish the section had been called "Crypt Notes" for obvious reasons.

Looking for magic from books you already own or books you want to purchase? TMVM doesn't disappoint. There is a page CRAMMED with book and routine suggestions from names like Walton, Bannon, Maven, Sadowitz(!), Swain and more. The Café must have dozens if not hundreds of threads focused on "what is the best" and while "best" is highly subjective, the suggestions found in the magazine are hard to argue against.

One of the many things I loved about Apocalypse is that Harry Lorayne would foot note what would be in the next issue and TMVM does the same! Issue three will features a section of do it yourself gaffs (as I write this, issue 3 is out) and there is an upcoming three card monte exploration, discussions about false deals with practical routine examples and again, so much more.

This review was a challenge to write simply because there really is SO much good stuff that this review would read like a latter day Potter Index. I should also add that this journal has the backing of Big Blind Media. Their products are among the best in magic. So while TMVM might LOOK like a hastily thrown together celebration of magic, it is in no way an amateur project. With great contributors and advisers like Liam Montier, Peter Duffie, Cameron Francis, and MANY more, you're getting a quirky but VERY professional product.

It's been a while since magic has had a monthly journal in the tradition of titans like Hugard's Magic Monthly, Apocalypse, and Richard's Almanac. I am overjoyed that there is a new one that for me is already a success with the very first issue. I do not give "scores" on reviews simply because I think they're stupid. So, I will conclude by stating that if you want a magazine crammed with great magic - and who doesn't? - I give The Magic Vampire Magazine the highest of recommendations.

N.B.: It is assumed that the purchaser has a firm grounding in sleight of hand. That said however, purchasers at every level of card magic will find something good here!
zachwyman
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This sounds amazing! How many issues have been released so far?
Boomer
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1/3 of the pages are cut off at the bottom. A couple of them it's no big deal, but 4 of them the text is unreadable.
(Bought from BBM)

I've contacted Kneill X to see what can be done, at almost $13 for 20 pages, this shouldn't be acceptable.


Dave
ash2arani
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I got this and like Dave, the pages are cut off at the bottom. It just looks like a bad scan attempt. I hope this is rectified. This does have potential.
Boomer
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I sent Kneill X an email (as listed in the magazine), and he apologized and said he'd rescan and send a new copy.


Dave
dgiancaspro
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I got mind from BBM too and I have some page that are cut off. I'll send Knell an e-mail. I have to say I love the look of the magazine, it rminds me of the old Punk Zines. Really nice stuff and good material.
"Mommy when I grow up I want to be a magician"
"Oh sweety you can't do both."
ash2arani
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I got a response from Owen at BBM. I am glad this is being sorted out. Smile

I am looking forward to future editions.
Boomer
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Has anyone received a corrected copy yet? (BBM copy is still a bad scan as of 10am Pacific on May 30, 2017)
I have not.



Dave
Glenn Watson
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Where can 1 find Volume #3? Thanks.
Boomer
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If they can't even fix Vol. 1, I'm not willing to shell out another $25 for Vol. 2 & 3.
Boomer
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(And by asking for #3, I'd like to know where you got #2?)


Dave
ash2arani
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Quote:
On May 30, 2017, Boomer wrote:
Has anyone received a corrected copy yet? (BBM copy is still a bad scan as of 10am Pacific on May 30, 2017)
I have not.

Dave


Not yet. I hope soon though. It seems an easy thing to fix.
Glenn Watson
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Quote:
On May 30, 2017, Boomer wrote:
(And by asking for #3, I'd like to know where you got #2?)


Dave


"Issue three will features a section of do it yourself gaffs (as I write this, issue 3 is out) and there is an upcoming three card monte exploration, discussions about false deals with practical routine examples and again, so much more. "


In Quotes is the 8Th paragraph ,the second sentence of the original post. Glenn.
Boomer
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Just received a great response from Kneill X, which went a very long way in my determination to support his work.

Issue 2 is in the hands of BBM, so let's hope they get it up on the website soon.


Dave
orchid666
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u.k
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Hi guys. Issue one has been rescanned and will be re sent to anyone who bought it thru BBM. PLEASE get in touch with me directly if you need the new pdf and I will send it asap. Any problems feel free to email me at magicvampire666@gmail.com
Some great news about coming issues. John Carey is the guest contributor for issue 3,and David Parr is in issue 4. Both great routines and I am honoured that they have contributed to MagicVampire so early on.Kneill
Magiguy
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Is it just me, or are the rescans cut off a bit, as well?
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