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Topic: Magic or Genii?
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Oct 1, 2001 09:02PM)
I want to subscribe to both, but I can't. If you had to choose, which one & why? I know they are both good, thats why I can't decide.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Oct 1, 2001 09:41PM)
Since the Kaufman takeover, my choice is Genii.
Message: Posted by: John Zander (Oct 1, 2001 10:50PM)
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Oct 2, 2001 12:49AM)
Tough choice, that’s why I try and subscribe to both.

For years Genii was sort of a [i]West Coast[/i] type of mag, stuff on the castle group etc.

It has always been, and still is more of a [i]card man[/i] type magazine. Kaufman is doing an okay job, though Swiss needs to go. :dance:

Magic is much flashier, more color, a little thicker, and seemingly more [i]open minded[/i].

These thoughts are of course, only my opinion. :nod:
Message: Posted by: Sean-Dylan (Oct 10, 2001 07:09AM)
I think that the better choice is Genii. Since Kaufman has taken over, it is superb!

P.S. I hope they never get rid of Jamy Ian Swiss!!!
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Oct 10, 2001 08:34AM)
Thanks for contributing Sean, and welcome to the Cafe! :dancing:


Life is not a problem to be solved...

but a mystery to be lived.
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Jan 19, 2002 08:33AM)
Go with Genii. My only gripe with Genii is their review section. It always seems, with rare exception, that they are at least a year behind in product reviews.
I understand things build up on the desk, but if you haven’t gotten to something within 3 months, it should fall to the side for more current items.

Other than that, Genii seems to have a more historical feel to it, a more traditional approach. Plus, you get Kauffman’s great writing and overview.
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Jan 19, 2002 06:12PM)
I tend to go with Magic, though I like both in some ways. My major reasons for liking Magic are the points Steve mentioned. Still, it is a tough choice. In the end, I'm a stage magician and Magic seems to favour them. What else can I say.


:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Message: Posted by: Paul (Jan 19, 2002 06:42PM)
Vernononcoins said:

A year behind in product reviews.
I understand things build up on the desk, but if you haven’t gotten to something within 3 months, it should fall to the side for more current items.

Bet you wouldn’t say that if, you’d sent something in for review! :smiletear:

I go for Genii magazine. I stopped Magic some time back.

Paul Hallas.
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Jan 21, 2002 06:13PM)
You’re right Paul, I probably wouldn’t. But as a reader I’m just not interested in some incidental item put out a year ago. Magic seems to keep things very current in their product reviews. Beyond that, however, I would stick with Genni
Message: Posted by: martinkaplan (Jan 21, 2002 08:16PM)
I subscribe to both, but if forced to choose I would go with Genii. Under Kaufman the magazine has become a quality product that is always delivered on time. I especially have liked the issues that have focused on a single theme - the Mike Skinner issue as an example.

Message: Posted by: IanB (Jan 31, 2002 05:45PM)
I also subscribe to both and would choose Genii for all the reasons mentioned above.
Message: Posted by: Eric Starkey (Feb 1, 2002 08:05AM)
Warning: These are only my opinions.

While MAGIC is a bit thicker and far flashier, I think that GENII is milleniums ahead. Under Richard Kaufmann's direction the magazine comes out way AHEAD of schedule every month (a huge change from the Larson days). I also feel that GENII is more of a thinking man/woman's magazine. There is less "spoon-feeding", better contributors and less useless information to sift through. As for Jamy Ian Swiss, there are few writers that I appreciate more. He is a great thinker and performer.

Both magazine's do have their pluses and minuses. What it really comes down to is personal preference. My suggestion is to buy a few individual issues at your local magic shop over the next few months and decide which is best suited to your taste before committing to a subscription. You have the freedom to choose. Live free or die.

Yours very truly,

Eric Starkey
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (Feb 9, 2002 09:06AM)
On 2002-01-19 09:33, VernonOnCoins wrote:
Go with Genii. My only gripe with Genii is their review section. It always seems, with rare exception, that they are at least a year behind in product reviews. I understand things build up on the desk, but if you haven’t gotten to something within 3 months, it should fall to the side for more current items.

Other than that, Genii seems to have a more historical feel to it, a more traditional approach. Plus, you get Kauffman’s great writing and overview.

Sometimes I don't like the fact that fairly old items are reviewed in my column. However, magic releases go through phases. Sometimes it's feast, sometimes famine. At times I have more than I can get into a column, and at other times there have been no new submissions of items for review. So you go back to the pile for interesting items that perhaps deserved a mention but got squeezed out of a previous month.

Also, do remember that Mike Close, bless him, writes *all* the reviews for Magic. He has the ability to instantly cut or add something to his column. Genii has split the reviews out among six people. Some videos go to Matt Field, some go to me. I may have gotten a new video that will appear in my next column, but Matt's deadline is up next. At times, Richard has express-mailed a new video to me and asked that I get it in the column which I already sent in... so we cut something and put in the new set. The Jerry Andrus videos are an example of this -- and we beat Magic to print with that review, among others. I also reviewed the Burger tapes before they were released and we were right on time with that. So sometimes it works out great, and sometimes it's just a function of deadlines.

Finally, now that Genii is running so smoothly, my columns have a very early deadline. My April column was sent in over a week ago. So a great video may come out in February or March, and not appear in my April column because it's already at the printers.

Currently, I am COMPLETELY out of new video material. Some new items have been released, but not all of them have been sent in to Genii (or directly to me) for review. Not everybody wants their items reviewed.

Anyway, I like Magic, and I subscribe to it and Genii, as well as several other magic magazines. Magic is "slicker" than Genii, but I think Genii is a more literary magazine. There is definitely a place for both in the marketplace.

Message: Posted by: Mark Ennis (Feb 9, 2002 10:06AM)
I like both magazines (I subscribe to several). I think Richard Kaufman has done a tremendous job with Genii. I find their articles more interesting to me.

That's not to say that Magic is bad, but if I had to choose between the 2, I would pick Genii. Fortunately I am able to enjoy both magazines so that's not a problem.

By the way, I am also not a big fan of Jamy Ian Swiss either.
Message: Posted by: Mya Angel (Feb 11, 2002 10:09PM)

So okay, when you're sitting around waiting, you can always do a review on the Cafe. :bg:


Mya :cuteangel:
Message: Posted by: lchemist (Feb 12, 2002 12:02AM)
I agree with most people, Genii is far superior. Anything written by Jamy Ian Swiss is of superb quality, his articles and reviews are the first thing I read, even if you vehemently disagree with him, he will make you think.
Message: Posted by: Rick Maue (Feb 18, 2002 03:33PM)

Although I subscribe to both, without question, my vote would go to Genii. Magic (in my opinion) is more fluff, while Genii is more substance.

The only knock that I ever consistently hear against Genii is that some people do not like Jamy Ian Swiss (I happen to be a very big fan of his), and I can understand that. But for me, I believe that the question should not be whether or not I like someone, but more importantly, should I respect their opinion, even if I oppose it dramatically? The bottom line is, can I learn from them?

Swiss obviously rubs some people the wrong way, but he is someone that will make you think. I remember having several teachers in high school that I could not stand, but they made me think, and I believe I am a better person for knowing them. I did not have to agree with them, but I still learned quite a bit by not ignoring them.

For me, not liking someone is not a valid reason to avoid them, unless they have nothing to offer. Love him or hate him, Jamy has quite a bit to offer if you give him the chance.

If I did not feel this way, I would never have booked someone so controversial for my upcoming convention in March. Personally, I always look forward to talking with Jamy. He truly is unique, and as I stated above, he has quite a bit to offer.

Keep the change,
Rick Maue
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Feb 18, 2002 05:55PM)
I subscribe to both also, and it would be extremely difficult to choose. I like the color and style of Magic. There is something about it I really like and I can't put my finger on it.

Since I like illusion plans and Genii has included illusion plans for years, it would play an important part in my decision making if I had to choose only one.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Feb 18, 2002 08:26PM)
One of the big things that Jamy was berated about was his negative review of Ammar's Cups and Balls book. People were especially incensed that he would write such a review after Ammar had to go through a fire and losing his grandfather (separate incidents).

The problem here is that, first, the review was written MONTHS before that issue of Genii was published! These mags run two or three months ahead (in other words, they are probably right now-Feb 18th-putting the May issue to bed). Second, a review should be done based on the reviewers impressions of the merits of the product. The creators health, fame, circumstances, prestige and influence should have no bearing on an honest review. Jamy is one of a small handful of (if not the ONLY one) reviewers who consistently gives reviews based solely on what he believes the merits (or lack thereof) of the product to be. Agree or disagree, you can always be sure you are getting his honest and unbiased opinion!
Message: Posted by: lesterkirad (Mar 24, 2002 09:49AM)
MAGIC is a more casual read if you wanna just sit down and read. Genii is more in depth and has more substance.
Message: Posted by: Tricky (Mar 28, 2002 12:24PM)
Ok, I have got the latest copy of genii and i think its pretty good. However it's mainly in black and white which can get a bit boring, are there any major differences between it and magic in contents and presentation?
Message: Posted by: Jim Morton (Mar 28, 2002 12:49PM)
I used to be split as to which I preferred. I liked Bob Farmer's Flim Flam column, and I really liked Racherbaumer's section on effects, but I always seemed to get more out of Genii. Also, I fall into the pro-Jamy Ian Swiss camp. I look forward to his reviews, [i]especially[/i] when he doesn't like something. Now that Farmer is no longer doing his column, and The Rock is at Genii, it's no contest. If I had to choose, it'd be Genii by a wide margin.

This is not to cast aspersions on Magic, which is a fine magazine. I look forward to Michael Close's reviews as eagerly as those by Swiss, and I think Joshua Jay is doing a good job, although I don't think he has quite yet found his voice, so to speak.

As for stage magic, yes, Magic does seem to be more focused on the subject, but I think you'll find that Genii--thanks largely to Paul Osborne--is printing more information on the mechanics of such effects.

A Note to Tricky: Spelling and punctuation are our friends. Use them. I can't even figure out what you are asking.

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Mar 28, 2002 03:38PM)
Well, I'm certainly NOT sending a copy of my book to Jamy for review. :devilish:
Message: Posted by: saglaser (Mar 29, 2002 02:37AM)
I'm in the Genii camp, although I love both magazines. I agree that Genii is the more thoughtful, and thought-provoking of the two and often notice, as a self-avowed beginner, that reading Magic tends to make me go "Wow! Cool!" while Genii is more apt to make me go, "Hmmmm."

As for Swiss, there are times I am certain he is dead wrong -- yes, there are areas in which even a beginner can make that assertion :) -- but he brings scholarship and sound thinking to his reviews and I greatly appreciate it. He's also funny as beejeebers and I hope I never ever ever have to perform in front of him or produce anything he'll review.

All that being said, this last issue was a slip backwards. Way too many of the feature article layouts looked instead like bad advertising. Still, I appreciate their experimenting. I just hope they're able to tell which experiments didn't work out.
Message: Posted by: davekilpatrick (Mar 29, 2002 10:57PM)
This reminds me of the "Ginger vs. MaryAnne" debate (MaryAnne, of course).

I have a limited exposure to Magic, so any comparisons on my part are useless. However, I just recently began getting Genii after not subscribing for several years and WOW, issues coming early? I remember in the 70s issues coming which said "April 1973 (published in August 1973)." It's come a long way since I subscribed before. I really like it! They say Magic is more flashy and eye appealing, but the current Genii is far more visually appealing than in days gone by.
Message: Posted by: Hunter (Mar 30, 2002 12:18AM)
Having subscribed to both, Genii and Magic, I have decided to drop Magic. Like many of you, I subscribe to a number of periodicals but one should consider "how much bang for my buck?" Magic has recently gone through a number of "management" changes (editor, column writers, etc.) and, unfortunately, the new folks aren't my cup of tea. So my personal preferences dictate my decision.
Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (Apr 11, 2002 11:24AM)
Message: Posted by: thimblerig (Apr 11, 2002 02:29PM)
Strong opinion, there Richard...

Not to suck up or anything now that you are here also - but I also vote (with my money) on Genii. It is truly a literary and literate approach to magic, it's history, performance, art and substance. For me it's "The National Geographic," "People," and "Variety" of magic magazines...with a dash of "The Toys R US" catalog...now if only Richard would mix in a little "Victoria's Secret..." <S>
Message: Posted by: Richard Kaufman (Apr 12, 2002 04:02PM)
Well, any magic from the latter part of the 1800s would be "Victorian Secrets" ... will that do? :rotf:
Message: Posted by: MikeTheRed (Apr 12, 2002 08:56PM)
To be short and sweet my vote is for Genii...

Have fun reading magic magazines...

Message: Posted by: haulboss007 (Apr 12, 2002 11:42PM)
I Like both, But if I had to pick one I think I'd pick Genii

Message: Posted by: John Smetana (Apr 17, 2002 02:18PM)
I subscribe only to MAGIC at the present time, but you fokls have me sold on trying Genii again.Thanks for the insightful information.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana :kewl:
Message: Posted by: Rodney Massey (Nov 5, 2002 06:51PM)
I like Genii. MAGIC is a nicer product. Mike Close is a great reviewer, and I prefer the idea of one person doing the reviews of all things magical as opposed to six or seven people. I really lke Genii- but for some reason, I buy MAGIC every month- I buy Genii when the cover features someone I like.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Nov 5, 2002 07:49PM)
I prefer Genii - the articles are generally more eclectic and interesting. (I go to sleep reading multi-page reviews of stage showszzzzzzz....).

I suspect that Kaufman's personal views overly influence his editorial input (especially in the review section).

If you can, get both mags. I get MAGIC just for Mike Close's reviews. Any interesting articles are just gravy...

Message: Posted by: Kraminator (Nov 5, 2002 07:59PM)
I read the infos on this toppics and I wnated to subscribe to Genii, but beware....they have a not secured site and want you to give the cradit-card information.

Watch out folks, there can be some magic you dont like....

I now wrote them an email, I wont give my information on a non secure form :whatthe:
Message: Posted by: Indus (Nov 7, 2002 01:17AM)
I had just suscribed to geniibefore reading this post , so it sounds like I made the right choice then.
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Nov 7, 2002 07:27AM)
Genii, especially since the editor's change at MAGIC. Not in the Swiss camp but the other content is better more often. Richard has done an excellent job.

That said, I like MAGIC too and re-upped last month for the umpteenth year.

Steve H
Message: Posted by: Garrett Nelson (Nov 10, 2002 02:16AM)
I don't subscribe to either. I am an impulse magazine buyer albeit I almost certainly pay extra because of it. The advantage is that I get to preview before purchasing. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice… :) (Too much movie watching for me)

I usually pick up Magic. I am not sure why, but I bet if you had to psychoanalyze my reasons a lot would probably have to do with the covers. I like the physical feel and appearance of Magic a lot better.

Anyway, there is my choice. But after reading this thread you can be sure I will take closer looks at Genii from this day forth.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Nov 11, 2002 12:20AM)
Actually, after reading the Fechner issue I have to say that one of the dire features of Genii is Kaufman's penchant for multi-page spreads on the latest Tenyo and other toy magic set stuff. I know some people collect this stuff but gimme a break.

Maybe Kaufman has shares in Tenyo? That'd certainly explain it.

Message: Posted by: Scott Ocheltree (Nov 12, 2002 10:22PM)
I subscribed to both magazines for the first time last February. I agree, it is very much a "Ginger vs. MaryAnne" debate. But if forced to choose, I would probably go with Genii.... and MaryAnne.

Now, Since I don't belong to either S.A.M or I.B.M. yet, (and don't live where I could regularly attend club meetings) based on the merits of M.U.M. and The Linking Ring, which organization would you choose?

And has anybody tallied the vote up to this point on this thread?