- Now finally available in hardbound volumes
- Over 1700 pages in 3 beautiful volumes
- From the minds of yesterday and today’s biggest names in close-up magic
- 2 of the volumes are inscribed by the author to the former owner. Like new!
A review of Volume 3 by Steve Bryant:
From 1984-1998, Steve Beam’s The Trapdoor entertained subscribers not only with excellent new magic tricks but with plentiful idiosyncratic good humor. With this month’s publication of Trapdoor 3, you can now relive the entire run of the journal in three supersized volumes. The latest edition takes us from years 1994-1998, from Issues 51-70, from pages 921-1482, with an additional LXXII pages for gladiators. (Steve calls most of these extra pages, in which he looks back at each of the issues, Addendum. Actually, he had a much funnier name for this section, but taste prevailed.)
A quick skim of the contents reveals the usual first-rate submissions, including a brilliant routine from Jack Birnman (my favorite, which also appeared in The Looking Glass), material from Jack’s student Aaron Fisher, and from Aaron’s friend Lee Asher. Tom Gagnon filled two issues, one with his Tap Illusion, one with his incredible Versatile Spread Control (this now also dealt with at length in Avant Cards). Still, you saw it here first. This volume also contains one of the first, if not the first, descriptions of the Goodwin/Jennings display in Triumph. There are numerous fancy cuts throughout the book that appeared, I think, before fancy cuts became crazy popular. One issue contained ten or so great tips on the Rub Away Vanish of a playing card. (Aside: the best Rub Away Vanish I’ve ever seen — it looks like a card version of Mickey Silver’s retention vanish of a coin — is Glenn Morphew’s, available as a download video at Vanishing Inc. I can’t do Glenn’s myself, so the Trapdoor tips are still of great value.) And … some years ago I toyed with doing Matrix with photos of coins instead of real coins. I never got anywhere, but Vance McGee did in a terrific four-card version called Sticking Together, one of my favorites in the book. Other names heavily represented that would have attracted me to this book are Chad Long, the whole Gallo family, and of course Steve Beam.
Tricks aside, there is great fun to be had in the humor, this volume containing Tom Swifties galore (“Please subscribe,” said Erika genially), lists such as “How do you know someone is not a card magician?” or “How to stay awake at magic conventions,” new lyrics to Bob Hope’s theme song (“Thanks for the memories/To cardmen like Dave Evans/Nikola and Si Stebbins/And hey, make way for Ricky Jay/Who uses Cards as Weapons”), and so on. But my biggest laugh came when I encountered a photo in the Addendum area. Here was a room full of my absolute heroes in magic, fellows who are also successful doctors, engineers, attorneys and so on in their real lives, to a man giving a one-finger salute to Steve Beam, this at a 31 Faces North gathering. I love it that we never grow up, and thanks to The Trapdoor for reminding us, in many ways.