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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » What's the big deal with the Frank Garcia books? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

pierredan
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I was just wondering what makes Frank Garcia's books so sought after.

I know that his "Million Dollar Card Secrets" and "Super Subtle Card Miracles" (I hope those are the right names) have a near mythical reputation.

Why is that? Didn't he borrow a lot of material from other sources? Weren't those books the 70's equivalent to today's Ammar ETMCM videos?

Your enlightenment is appreciated.
Mike Powers
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Unfortunately, it's true that Frank didn't do much crediting. However the books contain a lot of very nice (uncredited) items - including Jennings' The Visitor. They are difficult to find and are generally VERY expensive.

Mike
RicHeka
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I met Mr.Garcia at Tannens Magic Shop in NYC in the 1970's.He was behind the counter[not working,just hanging out].
I will never forget his big smile,and his question...What type of Magic are you interested in?

He was a very engaging person.I had read about him in Genii Magazine and here I was talking face to face with him.What a treat.He had no problem critiqueing my spongeball routine,and he gave me several tip's that I use to this day.

I was fortunate to run into Mr.Garcia on several other trips into the Big Apple.

Aside from being a genuinely nice person...believe me he was a Master Magician,and he freely shared his magic and ideas with anyone he felt was a serious student of the Art.

I have heard those claims about 'borrowing material'.I say BUNK!One thing that Mr.Garcia alway's did was...he put his own Garcia touch on classics.This was an era when crediting originator's wasn't the 'battle cry' that it is today.

I believe Mr.Garcia's books are valuable today because they were not high production books.Combine that with the mans absolute Mastery of the Art,and they rightly command a premium price IMO.

Frank Garcia is one of my Magic Hero's.

Best.
Rich
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2007-04-19 21:41, PaleoMagi wrote:
I have heard those claims about 'borrowing material'.I say BUNK!
Rich


Don't want to disrespect those who are no longer here to defend themselves, but Garcia did have a reputation for appropriating others' ideas. For instance, Garcia was going to sell David Roth's "Portable Hole" until David actually caught Garcia red handed cutting out black felt circles.

This is not to deny Garcia's excellence as a magician, but even the gods have feet of clay.

Bob
Andy the cardician
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Let us not forget his sponge ball book.
Cards never lie
Bill Abbott
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As far as I know Frank Garcia compiled the effects and George Schindler wrote the two books you mentioned.
In speaking with George it's clear that he (George) didn't know that the effects that Frank described to him were not "all his". In the second book they wrote George made amends by putting the credits for the first book in the back of the second book.

Jon Racherbaumer would know more about this, as I think he was the one that brought the uncredited effects to George's attention.

The books are full of great material, tips, routines, etc.
Frank Garcia had a great eye for commercial material and it shows in these two books in particular.

Get in touch with George Schindler who may be able to track down copies of these books better than anyone.

Bill Abbott
Mike Powers
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I have met Frank and have seen him perform many times. His appearances on Dick Cavet and David Suskind shows are legendary. He was a fantastic performer with a unique style. And he was also one of the nicest guys in magic. This having been said, he definitely paid very little attention to crediting. He had an excellent eye for good tricks and felt free to print up whatever he liked. As far as I can tell, these were not variations but uncredited material from other people. As nice a guy as he was, that's the unfortunate truth as best I can tell.

Fr. Cyprian told me once that when Frank was writing up the Cyprian book he told Fr. Cyp that he was going to include a certain item. When Cyp objected that it wasn't his, Frank seemed oblivious to the problem and felt that it didn't really matter that it was someone else's. That's the way it was.

Mike
pierredan
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Although I do not own the books, I have had the chance to read them.

My impression was that many of the "best" effects in "Million Dollar Card Secrets" and "Super Subtle Card Miracles" are already in the Ammar ETMCM videos.

For example, let me point out that Garcia states in "Super Subtle Card Miracles" that the effect "Miracle Worker" is by far one of the strongest effects in this book. Well, "Miracle Worker" is an effect that is well explained on one of Ammar's ETMCM DVDs (although the effect is known under a different name).

So this brings me back to my initial question. What is so great in these books that I have not already encountered in some readily accessible source?

Sometimes, I feel the search for the "best" effects in card magic through the 100+ magic books that I own always bring me back to the Ammar ETMCM. Maybe I should stop searching for the mythical best effects and realize that what I'm looking for is in one of the first things that I acquired long ago.
Rimbaud
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Personally, I love those books. I practically wore them out when I was a teen in the early '80s.

I do think the crediting issue is unfortunate, and has tarnished what should otherwise be a sterling legacy of a great performer who put out some wonderful books.

As to the comparison to the Ammar videos--the videos do have lots of great material, but as for me, I'm happy to keep digging into the old books to find the hidden gem that everyone else has forgotten. The problem really, is the idea of "best". For me, I'm not sure there is such a thing. There is the material that sings to me, and the material that does not--but which may well sing to others.

And one other thing is (and this is NOT a knock at the Ammar vids, I own them, and like them a lot) they naturally are a reflection of Ammar's style. Personally (and this is just me) I want to go to a lot of different wells to find what sings to me. For example, when Ammar teaches Twins--which has been one of my two or three favorite routines since I learned it in 1981--Ammar simplifies the handling of the ending and replaces a move in the original that is bit challenging. He does something similar with another Hamman effect "Your Signed Card." I prefer the original handling in both instances (others may not). In both cases, going to the original sources to see how the creator envisioned the work might help inspire you. (Again, I'm not knocking Ammar.) I want to look at things from as many angles as possible.

Garcia's book are full of great material, some his, some (much) not his, some can be found on other sources, some can't.

One last thing about the crediting issue, One of the more unfortunate stories was the feud he had with Harry Lorayne at the end over Garcia's apparently selling Lorayne's Impromptu Linking Card Routine at lectures as his own.

Again, I think it's unfortunate, because all these years later, instead of just being able to talk about the contributions Garcia made to the art form, and what a great guy he was by all accounts, we pretty much have to add this footnote about crediting, and theft and plagerism. I just think it's a shame, because in spite of everything, I'm still a big fan of the man's work, and am very happy I have those books.
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
JanForster
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Yes, I own all Garcia's books too and would never sell them. Crediting was and is a problem, we know... By the way, in "Miracle Worker" Garcia is crediting (Skinner, Elmsley) whether absolutely correctly is a different question.
Jan Forster
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Jonathan Townsend
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The books are fond memories to those who knew him and a fetish for those who collect out-of-print books.

Nothing special by today's standards in content as best I recall, just fond memories.

BTW I gave him that item of mine you can find in one of his books. And like so many from NY... yes I miss him too. He was the one who mentioned cards changing twice in a wildcard routine and from his remark I got inspired to create my wildcard.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
paladin1
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Can anyone explain why the Garcia books haven't been reprinted. Who owns the copyrights?
Schmecal
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I have original, spiral bound first printings of "Million Dollar Card Secrets" and "Super Subtle Card Miracles" that I might not mind parting with.....
Schmecal
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I have original, spiral bound first printings of "Million Dollar Card Secrets" and "Super Subtle Card Miracles" that I might not mind parting with.....
Silly Walter the Polar Bear
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I had also seen garcia a number of times and he was a very nice man, however make no mistake, he was an out and out thief. The portable hole story mentioned above is just one of many.

Still, he was good at magic. He knew what would play well and he could do the moves. I liked him and his books are worth getting if you can find them.
Casey Sullivan
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Quote:
On 2007-04-20 09:47, pierredan wrote:
My impression was that many of the "best" effects in "Million Dollar Card Secrets" and "Super Subtle Card Miracles" are already in the Ammar ETMCM videos.




Uh, I think you have the timeline backwards.
Andy the cardician
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Having finally managed to get my hands on both "Million Dollar Card Secrets" and "Super Subtle Card Miracles", I have to say that I did enjoy reading them very much, despite the fact that most of the best material n it is well known by now.
Cards never lie
motown
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I'm fortunate to own most of his better books, including his Wild Card and Cups & Balls books, Million Dollar Card Secrets and Super Subtle Card Miracles.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Bob Tucker
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I was a student of Frank Garcia for a few years . Frank was as fine a gentleman and teacher of magic as could be. Look beyond what people say about not giving proper credit to others, and judge him as what he contributed to this great hobby we call MAGIC. I was lucky to meet and learn from Frank
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