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Topic: Which Newspaper Tear Should I Perform?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 9, 2010 05:20AM)
[b]Newspaper Tears I have known or Which Newspaper Tear to Perform?[/b]

I posted a subject concerning The Famous Razor Blade Trick some time ago, it got good response from the members, so I thought I would continue with the Classic Newspaper Tear. Not many magicians do a newspaper tear, so maybe this will help someone considering this trick and decide on a version to add to their shows. They are not listed in any special order.

1.) [b]Alan Shaxon Newspaper Tear[/b] – published in his lecture notes, and on page 4, in his book “Practical Sorcery”, under the title “Tearing up the news” page 4, George Schlinder also publishes it in a manuscript he wrote with his presentation ideas. There was also a trik-a-tape video adding a liquid vanish and production to the newspaper tear. This uses a tabloid size newspaper. The advantage to this newspaper tear is that the final flash restoration does not have all the fold marks as in many other newspaper tears. The prepared newspaper can be used for several performances if desired, and you have extra duplicate newspapers. This tear is similar to the Elmsley Newspaper Tear, but there is no gluing of a packet.

2.) [b]Pat Page 10 Second Newspaper Tear[/b] – published in a manuscript form Magic Inc. It is also on a video of Pat Page Stage Magic. It has been published in Trik-a-Tape audiocassette. This uses a tabloid size newspaper. The advantage of this newspaper tear is that there is no fold crease marks and it only takes 10 seconds to prepare. Sort of a really simple preparation for performing the Shaxon and Elmsley tears. Not exactly, but it has some of the same mythology in the presentation. This also has a flash restoration. Reasonably priced.

3.) [b]Al Koran Newspaper Tear[/b] – published in the Ganson Manipulation series book. This is the version the Anderson newspaper tear got the idea for the flash restoration.

4.) [b]Al Baker Newspaper Tear[/b] – This is a single sheet torn and restored newspaper, similar to the Slydini newspaper Tear.

5.) [b]Alex Elmsley Newspaper Tear[/b] – Published in his book The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley Vol. 1., page 157, and was published in a separate manuscript years ago and sold by Tannen Magic. Also published in the book “The Uncanny Scott” by Ron Wilson, page 135, under the title “Slow-Motion Newspaper” Tear, he leaves out a fold that makes the opening easier when compared to the original. This is a torn and restored newspaper in tabloid size as well. This effect can be presented as a flash restoration; the books suggest that the section-by-section restoration is more magical. So try it both ways and decide for yourself.

6.) [b]Gene Anderson Newspaper Tear[/b] – Published in a manuscript by Magic Inc. and in their book “Newspaper Magic”. Video versions are on DVD from Stevens Magic. When this hit the magic scene it was hailed as the best in ever invented. Everyone was actually doing a newspaper tear and it was the Anderson Newspaper Tear. This can use a full size newspaper, but today, that size has been shrinking, but it still can be performed with the new sizes. Not much to say about this, as a trick it is near perfect. The late Johnny Brown from Texas published his method to do an immediate repeat of the trick. The only notable weaknesses is the final fold before the restoration and of course the lengthy preparation necessary. Many formats available , reasonably priced.

7.) [b]Slydini Newspaper Tear[/b] – Published in his book “The Magic of Slydini” page 201, originally published by Harry Stanley, London, England. L&L publication has republished this book with added notes. This is a single sheet newspaper tear, set-up similar to the Al Baker newspaper tear. There has been some discussion that this has a flash restoration, but according to the printed book, Slydini restored the sheet section by section. Tannen Magic sold the manuscript for years and I believe they still do.

8.) [b]Karroll Fox Newspaper Tear[/b] – Published by Magic Inc., in manuscript form with photographs on glossy sheets included. This is a single sheet newspaper tear. I would say that a jacket with a outside breast pocket is required to perform this Foxy Tear. It works and is simple to set up. Reasonably priced.

9.) [b]Neil Foster Center Tear[/b] – Published by Abbott Magic Co., with prepared tabloid newspapers. This is a single sheet tabloid size newspaper. The newspaper is folded in 4ths and the center torn away creating a diamond shape. The center torn into smaller pieces and inserted into the folded newspaper. The newspaper is opened and the center has returned or restored to its original position. I have performed this for over 40 years and it always gets gasps from the audience. Lance Burton featured this in his dove act. Marconic has published this in his hardbound book; the only difference I can see is he tore out a larger diamond shape. Can easily be constructed or you can purchase additional supplies from Abbott Magic. Reasonably priced.

10.) [b]Robert Baxt Better Newspaper Tear[/b] – Have no experience with this effect. Mixed reviews have been published on this effect. Super expensive.

11.) [b]Axel Hacklau’s Newsflash[/b] – looks great on his video at this sight. The latest big hot thing in the magic community, don’t own it so cannot comment if all the problems people are venting are accurate or not, seems they cannot convert the folds to the newer American shrinking newspaper sizes. Super expensive.

12.) [b]Foolzum Newspaper Tear[/b] – marketed by U.F. Grant years ago, never purchases so cannot comment of this single sheet torn and restored newspaper. Not currently on the market. If anyone has these instructions would like to have a copy.

13.) [b]Tony Stevens No Tear Torn and Restored Newspaper[/b] – marketed by Mark Mason. A simple solution to no preparation and an easy flash restoration. Takes the puzzlement out of the trick, like why is this guy tearing up a newspaper. Outside of that, it is a good effect.

14.) [b]Andrew Mayne Tear Down[/b] – Marketed by Andrew Mayne. Watch the video on his site and that is it. I think is not as good as other versions. Some like the signed feature, but I see it as, sign this sheet and I will tear up this sheet. Has a week point for ditching the pieces with a magic marker. Reasonably priced.

15.) [b]Joel Bauer Trade Show Torn and Restored Newspaper[/b] – don’t own it but many say it is the Elmsley Newspaper Tear, if I remember correctly. Most magicians that have it, really like this version.

16.) [b]Max Londono Ultimate Newspaper Tear by Tannen Magic[/b] – can’t believe this is still on the market, from the early 1980’s, comes with a wooden block with nails instead of a dress makers wheel, an interesting set up. Been so long, I forgot method and what I liked and didn’t like about it. Single sheet torn and restored newspaper.

17.) [b]Paul Potassy’s The Newspaper Tear[/b] – published in his book The Magic of Paul Potassy, page 99, and in his DVD set published by L&L Publication, and on the World’s Greatest Magic DVD on newspaper magic. This is with the comedy explaination as in the old torn and restored napkin trick. False explanation that leads the audience on a journey.
Magic Makers Inc. has put together a DVD of Torn and Restored Newspaper effects, I have to laugh at there not tear method, it should be called the vanishing paper clips trick, but if you cause the paper clips to fall to the floor will solve that notable error.
L&L Publications has put out a compilation of Torn and Restored Newspaper effects as well, as part of their World’s Greatest Magic collection.
The Torn and Restored Newspaper is a classic in magic and I believe every magician should use a version in their acts. It is always good to have some really funny lines read as articles in the newspaper, just as you begin tearing each section.
During my writing this I found this blog on the Café: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=260207&forum=10&start=0
Well, that is the versions of this classic in magic I know about, if you have any others, please list and give any thoughts on the ones you are familiar with in your work.
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 9, 2010 07:01AM)

Very nice collection ! Thank you very much for this homework.

It's always difficult to choose a particular routine. With this list we all can now make a little pre-choice.

This might help me to find a version perfect for my show. It's not easy, since I always try to find a reason, why to present something and why to do something in certain way, like tearing up a newspaper, only to restore it a few moments later.

Thanks again.

Message: Posted by: KendallScot (Nov 9, 2010 09:28AM)
What a great list! Thank you for putting it together. My favorite will always be the Slydini version. Mainly because Tony himself taught me a number of things at 2 different conventions back in the 70's. One of which was his critique of my handling of his newspaper tear. I was so nervous showing the legend himself HIS newspaper tear, you couldn't hear my patter over the paper shaking... His advice I take to heart to this day... "Slow down, relax and SMILE"

Thanks for this great list!
Message: Posted by: volto (Nov 9, 2010 09:28AM)
Hi wmhegbli. I think you're missing the Robert Harbin version ("The Demon Torn Newspaper") which is nifty, originally published in "Demon Magic" by Davenports, I saw it in "Early Harbin" (page 242).

Here he is performing it on video:


Contrary to some other posts I've seen on the Café, it doesn't have to be done sitting down. He's just sitting down to provide the motivation for tearing the newspaper - sitting on a crowded train. There may be another Harbin newspaper tear that requires a seated position, but this one definitely doesn't. This video looks to be performed using the "Demon Torn Newspaper" method. Of course, Harbin is so good that the exact method isn't clear... :)
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Nov 9, 2010 11:21AM)
I really, really have been enchanted by the Andrew Mayne/Jim Steinmeyer “Tear Down”
it is surprising, very clean, fairly easy to master.

I’ve had fantastic reactions from audiences, and it was time tested over our six month run of the Magic Parlor.


Yes the Gene Anderson is the top of the line, if you’re willing to put the time and energy into prep, but this is for me a close second.

Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (Nov 9, 2010 11:44AM)
Bill, you are wrong on the weak point for Andrew's Tear down...This is one of the effects that I do and it blows them away. So don't under estimate it..
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 9, 2010 12:07PM)
Terry, I would not say I am wrong, I just don't like having to hold a marker during the whole time it takes to tear the newspaper, then use the pen as a reason to ditch.

I also don't like, here sign this page, and I will fold it so you all can't see the page you marked and I will tear up this paper.

Sorry, I just don't like the motivation behind these 2 parts of the effect.

If you and other like it, that is fine, I don't. The reason I posted this is so magicians can pick what they do like and work with it.

Volto, I did forget Harbin Newspaper Tear, but the only reference I have is an out of print Harbin Book where he discribes his illusions. Way back then it was $100. It came with a contract that the owners could not reveal anything in the book for so many years, been so long I cannot remember the details.

If your references are currently available through dealers, then good, it is another offering of the effect.

Thanks for your comments so far, did I miss any other Newspaper Tears?
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Nov 9, 2010 01:33PM)
The spectator did not sign the page when we performed.

The actor/magician said he was "awful with names" then jotted it on the paper himself to keep the spectator's “name in his mind.”

We did not use a marker either, we used an antique letter opener
(which also cut the paper) belonging to Mark Twain.

We thought far outside the box and it had a killer reaction.

Another two-cents,
Message: Posted by: dearwiseone (Nov 9, 2010 06:00PM)
I have to give a plug for Axel's newspaper tear. It is superior to Gene Anderson's tear. It's faster, more natural, more flashy, more impressive, and superior in every other way to Gene's tear. Have you seen it?

Don't get me wrong, I've performed the Anderson newspaper tear for years and love it, but Axel's Newsflash is far better.

Okay, it is priced a little high, but that's fine for me, it means less magicians performing it! Also, there's a little fine-tuning to do with American-sized newspapers, I think, but that's a small issue.

Great post, Wmhegbli, thanks for your work!

Best Wishes!
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 9, 2010 07:31PM)

Another one to add would be :

Jarle Leirpoll's "The almost Ultimate Newspaper Trick" in his booklet called "Pocket Power".

It's based on Gene Anderson's Newspaper Tear and adds the "Water in News" effect in the beginning of the routine. He called it "the almost ulitmate...", since the perfect one for him would have been to pour water in a borrowed newspaper, tear it up, restore it and pour the water back out again. But until now he couldn't come up with his own version of Alan Shaxon routine with the natural moves and the method to suceed.

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Nov 9, 2010 08:52PM)
Wow! Thank you Bill! This is most valuable! I am saving this whole page as an IE file! Man, I have to get another Flash Drive! I have a bunch of these pages already! LOL!

Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 10, 2010 02:39AM)
I've found another one :

Fielding West's Torn & restored Newspaper : It's a single sheet version and appears in his DVD set "Fielding West's Comedy Magic Magic Show".

Message: Posted by: volto (Nov 10, 2010 03:05AM)
On the Harbin tear, the book I saw it in is in print and widely available. It's a two book set, available from many dealers, containing the books "Early Harbin" and "Harbincadabra". Two hardbound books; very good quality. The material is excellent; there are lots of laugh-out-loud clever methods in there. It's mostly stage/parlor, but there's a bit of close-up too.

"Early Harbin" contains the book "Demon Magic", which is also available second-hand.
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 10, 2010 03:42AM)

I've found those two books as set aswell on the internet. Quite expensive, even though it must be a big source of magic.

I've found Early Harbin on ebay, but I can't believe that it cost only £4.25 since it's an old book. Do you think it is the right one, since it doesn't give a lot of information to find out what's in there ?


Message: Posted by: volto (Nov 10, 2010 05:50AM)
Sounds suspicious. The books I have are a two-volume hardbound set in a slip case that retails for $120. You could pay four pounds just in postage for it; it's a heavy set.

That said, "Demon Magic" (the original book that's reprinted in "Early Harbin") looks like it's available on a few secondhand book sites very cheap; $10 or so. You have to be careful, since there's a Davenports catalog that is also titled "Demon Magic". Make sure it's "By Robert Harbin". Aside from the newspaper tear, "Demon Magic" has a bunch of inventive gaffed stage stuff.

But please be careful on auction sites...!
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 10, 2010 06:12AM)
Thanks Volto for these details. Iahve to get one since I like Robert Harbin's version of the torn & restored Newspaper a lot.

Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Nov 11, 2010 04:01PM)
I have combined the Robert Baxt version with the "No Tear". You just need to aquire two of the little gimmicks, make sure as powerful as possible. The newspaper is prepared as the Anderson fold.

You can tear this up into strips and then squares, and restore it immediately, just like the Anderson version without the lengthy setup.

PM me if you would like more information on how to set this up.
Message: Posted by: jamiedoyle (Nov 16, 2010 01:27PM)
I've been doing Joel Bauer Trade Show Torn and Restored Newspaper for the last 15 years. It's worth it to find it.

Easy reset of the restoration gaff is why I like it.

Jamie Doyle
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Nov 16, 2010 02:51PM)
The Ron Wilson Newspaper Tear from the Uncanny Scot is one of my favorites.
Message: Posted by: ddeckmann (Nov 16, 2010 05:42PM)
After a lot of research on the Café, I went with the Gene Anderson... It's great to end up clean. Then I tried the Axel's tear and I think its better for me...

Lately I'm not having a adult shows, I think I'll stick with the Gene Anderson Tear for showmanship purposes in adult shows. "You remember this page, and you this one, etc." and in the end you can show them all.

For the kids show the Axel version is great, eye candy!

My dad has a lot of shows (kids shows)... a LOT, he performed the Joel Bauer version because of the quick reset.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Nov 16, 2010 07:07PM)
As an interesting aside, in a personal, handwritten note from Robert Harbin that was included the copy of [i]Magic of Robert Harbin[/i] I purchased second-hand, Harbin write that his newspaper tear was "the best thing in the book."
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 16, 2010 07:10PM)

Where did you get the book from and how long ago did you buy it ?


Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Nov 16, 2010 07:40PM)
I've tried almost all the versions out there, and in the past months the only version I do is Paula Paul's version. I guess this is what I'll use forever :)

Reset is about 10 seconds or less, no glue, no wire, no magnets, no scissors, and the good thing is that it has a one-hand flash restoration!
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Nov 16, 2010 08:54PM)
On 2010-11-16 20:10, Oliver Ross wrote:

Where did you get the book from and how long ago did you buy it ?



PM sent.
Message: Posted by: DanielCoyne (Nov 16, 2010 10:37PM)
Thanks for this post.

I bought the No Tear version and used that for a while. I then saw Gene Anderson perform his gorgeous version. I pulled apart my No Tear prop and made my own version for family audiences that kind of combines the two.

I have a painted sign that says "Magic Show" hanging on stage. I tear it up and restore it to say "Applause." I have some sheet protector material on the back of the restored sign so I can re-use it. Short and sweet. I use the m****ts from the no tear to keep the packet together. I'm still tweaking it but it feels more organic for my type of show than a traditional newspaper effect.

Message: Posted by: jskalon (Nov 16, 2010 11:57PM)
Is there a demo of Paula Paul's version? I've heard the effect mentioned , but have never seen it performed.
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Nov 17, 2010 08:30PM)
On 2010-11-17 00:57, jskalon wrote:
Is there a demo of Paula Paul's version? I've heard the effect mentioned , but have never seen it performed.

I believe there's none at the moment. I learned it from Paula's written instructions and from corresponding with her online.
Message: Posted by: davbut50 (Nov 21, 2010 10:23AM)
I find this post interesting because I bought several newspapers yesterday to work on one version. In the April 1992 edition of MAGIC there is an article on "The Incessant Newspaper" by Jim Steinmeyer. I always intended to try this effect; however, I never got started for one reason or another. I will start working on it this afternoon. If anyone has improvements or suggestions for this version, please let me know.
Message: Posted by: misterjeffo (Nov 24, 2010 05:14PM)
I have always enjoyed Gene Anderson's classic version of this effect ever since seeing Doug Henning perform it live in the 1970's. Last month I caught Mark Mason's lecture tour when it stopped here in CT and now I'm a new "No-Tear" convert!

You start off with the pieces already torn but I'm not sure that anything's really lost there. It's the flash restoration that's a real eye-blinker. Here's a link with a clip of Mark doing it;


What do you think Magi?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 24, 2010 05:31PM)
There is several conflecting feelings on newspapers tears.

Some believe the trick should go full circle.
Some believe there should be no folding marks on the restored newspaper.
Some only like easy to prepare, and do not feel the effort is worth preperation time needed.
Some like the slow visible restoration of torn pieces.
Some like the flash restoration.
Some think it should be a logical handling and others do not, they think the audience does not notice discripencies in the handling of the newspaper.

I do know there is enough versions that everyone should be performing this classic in their repertoire.
Message: Posted by: yachanin (Dec 5, 2010 10:12AM)
I perform "Newsflash" and it always gets a hugh reaction. I love it!

Regards, Steve
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 16, 2013 10:42PM)
Joel Bauer Trade Show Torn and Restored Newspaper is the Alan Shaxon Newspaper Tear. There is an added feature in the preparation that is mentioned.

Yes, we can add [b]Newsflash[/b] by Axel Hacklau to the list now.
Message: Posted by: robvh (Feb 24, 2013 03:21AM)
What version doesn't suffer from the visible folds in the restored newspaper?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 26, 2013 11:51PM)
On 2013-02-24 04:21, robvh wrote:
What version doesn't suffer from the visible folds in the restored newspaper?

Actually, to my way of thinking which is different then yours, the folds lines as you call them are actually creases, left from the restoration. They are there because that is where it was restored together. I guess you see it differently.

So the only paper tear you should do is Pat Page 10 Second Paper Tear. Of course you may not like the fold the newspaper company puts in the spine and middle in the packing process. I can't justify that either, as there is not reason to have creases in any newspaper.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 27, 2013 12:33AM)
You should see Paul Daniels do Andrew Mayne's AWESOME PRESENTATION
Message: Posted by: SmittyWitty (Feb 27, 2013 05:31PM)
Bill, thanks for this list. Thanks also for everyone's comments. A great amount of information.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 23, 2013 01:26AM)
Just noticed Paula Paul is currently selling her Torn and Restored Newspaper in the Let's Make A Deal section of the Café. Limited available and only selling till the end of this month. If interested, I suggest you hurry. First come - first serve.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 26, 2013 11:09PM)
On 2013-01-16 23:42, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Joel Bauer Trade Show Torn and Restored Newspaper is the Alan Shaxon Newspaper Tear.
That is my favorite one. At times I have several gigs to do in a row. I do not want to go thru a procedure of setting a gimmick with glue.

Richard Osterlind shows a method too on one of his DVDs.
Message: Posted by: mixman (Jul 29, 2013 01:37PM)
My 2 favorites are the Gene Anderson tear and Andrew Maynes's "Tear down". For larger stage shows, I use the Anderson tear. for smaller
shows or close up, I use Tear down. I have seen the promo video for "Newsflash" and it looks great. I just have not justified the price in my mind yet. One cool advantage with tear down is you can do it impromptu. I have actually had a person go get a newspaper from the gift shop or lobby. They sign it and give it to me and I perform the tear and restore. It kills.
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Jul 29, 2013 06:29PM)

The justification of "Axel Hecklau's Newsflash" price is the fact that you can do it with every single newspaper available in the world. Everything is included so you can go out, buy some different newspapers and start working on it. It's not just like any DVD that teaches something and then you need to buy extra stuff to start the work of a new routine.

Me too, I thought first, wow that's expensif, but I don't regret any cent for what I've paid for.

Thank you Axel.

Message: Posted by: mpicard (Jul 29, 2013 07:12PM)
I am glad I found this list. Thank you for putting it together.
I have used a variety of those listed such as the Gene Anderson and the Robert Baxt as well as many others.
As I am doing more Stand up comedy magic, I am using the No-tear version. The idea of the paper already torn and then the flash restoration suits best for my presentation of picking up a bunch of newspaper clippings and telling one liners about the headlines. Such as " here is a story in the news about the website beautifulpeople.com has deleted the profile of over 30,000 members because they were deemed too ugly to participate. I don't know if this is true or not as I can't log on anymore. " by doing a bunch of jokes after picking up each page does not lead to the audience thinking that I am going to do a restore since I did not tear in front of them.
There is justification for each page and then after a bunch of jokes I unexpectedly restore the paper.
Easily resets and I have each joke written on each individual torn page to which I can pick and chose which jokes I will do at that performance.
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Jul 29, 2013 07:59PM)
I have heard Paula's tear mentioned here. It would be nice to see it in action. What tear can you compare it to?
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Jul 31, 2013 12:21AM)
AH! I have a memory like a sieve! The answer as to what other paper tear Paula's resembled was answered in another thread - WHEN I ASKED THE QUESTION THE LAST TIME! better buy some Ginko Biloba.

(BTW - It's resembles Pat Page's tear)
Message: Posted by: magicjluc (Dec 10, 2013 11:43PM)
I have done the Gene Anderson for years, and it took me some time to try Axel's Newsflash, but it was a smart move! I got much better reactions and it feels more natural as well.
Other wise I didn't see anyone mention the Richard Osterlind Version with a signed page.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 19, 2013 03:33PM)
I just realized as I was typing an suggestion in another forum on this subject, that I forgo