There are some interesting work currently available at WARG. So a quick inventory of what we have in our shop might be in order!
First out we have 2 ebooks by Tommy Wonder. One of them, “Building an Act“, have contents that can’t be found elsewhere, as it was written after his two big books. As a bonus, that ebook also contains Tom Stone’s writings on how to create a whole full-evening show! This ebook is essential to anyone who want to produce their own show.
In 1979, Sixten Beme surprised the world with his take on Paul Harris’s “Linking Card” plot, with the spectacular quirk of being able to give away the cards while being linked. The big TV stars performed Sixten’s piece; Paul Daniels, Doug Henning… The ebook The Replete Card Link collect all of Sixten Beme’s work on the plot, from his original Complete Card Link, via his One Card Link, to his own favourite unpublished handling.
For anyone considering to work with the Multiplying Bottles, the ebook Moonshine Monologues is a must! Most of this content was reprinted in Tom’s 2011 book “Maelstrom”, but since that book have been long out of print, the original ebook have been re-released.
Runes of Tomorrow is Tom’s very latest ebook. Contains intriguing items for close-up and parlor; a highly innovative routine with two “Ball and Vase” sets, a completely new method for the Invisible Palm, and much more.
For those interested in making their own books or lecture notes, we have Stephen Minch’s Hermetic Press Stylebook and Tom Stone’s Self-publishing, both essential collections of advice on how to write, and how to illustrate. Both are “name your own price”, so if you want to pay $50 then pay $50, and if you can’t afford anything, then pay nothing.
There are other ebooks, not mentioned here, in our shop so feel free to browse around! But there’s one item that merits extra mention…
Max Milton’s Direct Steal, which is a sort of a Side Steal alternative that is very direct and smooth. This is also Warg’s very first video production, and a ‘proof of concept’ of Tom’s thoughts on magic video instructions.
Most video instructions follow the lecture style format and are usually in this order (with decreasing production value):
- Title sequence. High production value, cool edits. Quite long. Cool at first viewing, tedious at the 10’th viewing.
- Credits & inspirations. Often just a still frame.
Tom says “Even though I love magic; I find most magic videos boring, and I often find myself fastforwarding. On the other hand, I can become absolutely hypnotized by TV documentaries about subjects I’m not even remotely interested in; like the eating habits of the polar rabbit. Why is that? What is the difference? Can’t be the topics themselves, so it must be the format!”
So Tom pondered over this, and began hypothesizing that the documentary format might be more suitable for learning than the lecture format. And that maybe the simplest way to accomplish that would be to completely reverse the standard order of things into:
- Simple end logo
And for a ‘proof of concept’, Tom picked an underground move from the Swedish legend Max Milton, and even though the video is short and quickly made, the difference is stark – it is a lot more interesting and compelling than if it had been filmed in the standard order. Worth checking out, both for the move itself, and for the teaching format.
The WARG site only offer instructional material in electronic format. Ebooks and video downloads. But there are plenty of other places on the internet, where the works of Tom Stone can be found and obtained. The formats are electronic, hardcover and even some are marketed with props and all. Some can even be found on the pirate sites, unfortunately. If you happened to get hold of pirated instructions, and found any of the work useful, do consider getting the Self-publishing ebook and put a good number in the amount field! The field of conjuring is so small, that even a small amount of pirating cause real harm.
Enough said about that. Let us review what is out there!
The guys at Vanishing Inc have taken a good interest in the works of Tom Stone. Here, you can find Tom’s two hardcover books Vortex and Maelstrom. At Vanishing Inc you can also find material not found elsewhere, like a 50 minute lecture from the Session convention 2008 that features a indepth exploration of misdirection, illustrated with a simple coin routine, and also Mr Fogg – a Travellers routine that involves surprisingly little work. There’s also video downloads of these routines: Silver & Sorcery, King Castling and The Annoying Four.
Tom Stone’s collaboration with Card-Shark in Germany have resulted in the remarkable Factory Blanks deck. It is an utility device that can transform a simple card trick into a mindboggling display of mentalism. The included instruction sheet gives the basic details for three different routines, there are additional routines on the Card-Shark website, and Factory Blanks routines by Tom Stone and Jonathan Pendragon was published in the December 2016 issue of Genii magazine.
In 2013, Tom Stone did a 2 hour long “Penguin Live lecture”, entitled Tom Stone LIVE. In the beginning, some small parts duplicates the 2008 lecture offered by Vanishing Inc, but then it veers off completely. Read the user reviews!
During the same week as the Live event, two DVDs were produced. Vortex – Off the page that features six routines taken from the book Vortex, and Maelstrom – Off the page that features six routines from the book Maelstrom. With both DVDs, you have more than half of Tom Stone’s professional repertoire.
Tom Stone’s involvement with Genii magazine is not recent. In the 1990’s Tom contributed frequently, tempered by the editorial pen of Erica Larsen & Max Maven. And in 2009, Richard Kaufman made Tom into one of his regular columnist, and since then he have surprised readers with his ideas and baffled Kaufman with his disregard for deadlines. In these columns, Tom cast the net wide and far, from misdirection and cognitive science, to parlor routines, to electronics, to… the boundaries are few. Get a subscription and see for yourself. You will also get access to every single issue of Genii ever published, and soon all the back issues of MAGIC magazine as well. The electronic subscription is surprisingly affordable!
The danish magic store Pegani produced in 2006 a DVD titled Tom Stone – Caught on Tape, and there are still some copies available here and there.
In the May 2014 issue of Genii, as an intellectual excersise, Tom published “Quantum Logic” – a pastiche on Jim Steinmeyer’s work. That is, an imitiation of the style and taste of another creator. But after putting it in print, Tom looked at it and thought “Damn, this is really good! I want to perform that myself!”, and commissioned Andreas Sebring at Metalwriting to build the props. “Quantum Logic” is now the centre piece of Tom’s stage work. While you can’t find it on the Metalwriting homepage, Andreas makes a small number of sets annually, and you can contact him and ask to be placed on a waiting list.
A good way to become immortalized is to put one’s thoughts, ideas and creations into print! Before the desktop publishing revolution that was both expensive and difficult, but today almost anyone can publish anything, in any media. It is a democratic access to both tools and venues these days. The same with knowledge – there are Youtube tutorials on all imaginable subjects. The only real obstacle is figuring out what the relevant keywords might be when entering the search terms on Google. Therefore, it can be handy to have at least one piece of reference book to begin with.
You can find the ebook Self-publishing on this site. It is shareware, which means that you only have to pay if you find the information useful, and you can decide the cost yourself. If you don’t want to pay anything, then just enter a zero in the payment field.
The perfect companion to “Self-publishing” is The Hermetic Press “Stylebook”, written by Stephen Minch. Stephen composed it to answer common questions from other authors of magic instructional texts. The entries are in no particular order, and deal with all kinds of grammatical and stylistic snags an author of magic literature can get caught up in.
“Self-publishing” was published 15 years ago, so some information regarding specific software and hardware have become slightly dated. Not a real problem since it is the basic techniques that is taught. One of the tips that is mentioned is the possibility of buying discounted older versions of various software. However, these days you can find a lot of free or Open Source alternatives. Here are a few:
Photoshop alternatives (for raster images)
- Photoshop CS2 – Photoshop CS2 is close to [born]2005[/born] years old, but it have more functions than you’ll ever need. It can be downloaded for free from Adobe’s site.
- Gimpshop – an opensource photoshop alternative based on Gimp.
- Gimp – the most known photoshop alternative there is.
- Seashore (Mac)
- Photoshop Express – Adobe’s online free version of Photoshop.
Illustrator alternative (for vector images)
Vectorization (Tracing – bitmap to vector conversion)
InDesign/Quark Xpress alternatives (for graphic layout)
3D software (to make realistic images of props)
AutoCad alternatives (for blueprints etc.)
And there you have it – the only starter kit you need. Go forth and publish!