Chicago Magic Bash Publishing
We cut our magic teeth in Chicago. One of the things our city was famous for were the booklets you could find, almost hidden, in the file cabinets of Magic Inc or Midwest Magic and then across the U.S. We think fondly of Ed Marlo’s many manuscripts that were packed full of potent material.
Some of our favorite purchases in magic, have been good lecture notes. We still read with joy works like Pit Hartling’s Little Green Lecture Notes or the four Jim Ryan booklets. And we don’t seem to be alone. Even in the age of the instant video download, many people like to sit down and read some good magic.
Lecture notes are also very economical, material-wise. Video downloads often teach one trick or move and their selling point relies on certain amounts of flash in presentation. None of this is necessarily bad. We love a good instant download! A well shot and edited video is much more enjoyable than a poorly done video. But the reality is that such flash is part of the cost.
Another reality we have noticed is that the video download culture also tends to attract pieces that are newly devised, aesthetically pleasing on video from certain angles, and of limited application or testing in front of live audiences. In our experience, lecture notes of years past tended to be filled with the goods of working performers’ repertoires. And they obviously did not rely on camera aesthetics as their main draw.
It also seems that more and more books tend to be moving into the realm of being produced as collector’s items from the get go. Going for upwards of $100 upon initial release! These are beautiful legacy products that we love studying and owning. But we still cherish the type of booklet with lots of real solid work and available to read at a readily affordable price.
Finally, lecture notes are dying away because too many magicians have to do everything themselves! Previously, lecture notes were pretty much up to the creators to produce. Not every great magic creator has the skills necessary to write and illustrate their material, or the time! And the truth is that magic is a small market. You probably aren’t going to get rich making magic products. So the cost of hiring a writer and/or illustrator is totally prohibitive to creators who wish to publish their work on a smaller scale.
With that in mind, ChicagoMagicBash would like to help fill what seems to be a growing gap in the magic market. We want to be a publishing hub for good lecture notes! We want to provide a place for magicians to buy good written material at an affordable price. And we want to provide a publishing house for creators, where we do all the writing and illustrating.
Tom Dobrowolski and Jeremiah Zuo
Are you are creator? Click here for more information and submission guidelines.