You might remember that back in April we told you about The Magic of Johnny Thompson, a beautiful, two-volume treatise on Thompson’s life, career, and most importantly, his tricks. You might also recall that we warned you the box set, penned by the man himself in collaboration with fellow magician, Jamy Ian Swiss, would most likely sell out well before the first printing actually started.
Well, surprise! We were right, and you didn’t listen. The set sold out in mere days, leaving the slow, the weak, and those who didn’t have the best part of $300 to plonk down on (admittedly beautiful) magic literature to watch in dismay as bolder, luckier magic-lovers got their grubby paws on the books.
Mistakes are useful as long as you learn from them. The Magic of Johnny Thompson is once again available for purchase, this time from the Magic Emporium for the same price of 295 American clams.
If $295 sounds steep, I shall leave it to the books’ sales spiel to remind you of what’s contained within their pages:
Written by renowned author Jamy Ian Swiss—Shattering Illusions (2001), Devious Standards (2011), and Preserving Mystery (2017) and the Lyons Den—and the master magician himself, Johnny Thompson, The Magic of Johnny Thompson meticulously details the real secrets of seventy-eight of Johnny’s most cherished and celebrated routines, including The Cups & Balls, The Balls in the Net, The Egg Bag and The Gambler’s Ballad.
It also includes previously unpublished material from Johnny’s respected colleagues and mentors including Dai Vernon, Harry Riser and Ed Marlo. There is an extended chapter devoted to the close-up magic of Charlie Miller and Max Malini. There is the entire Johnny Thompson Trade Show Act (complete with a sample script), including his incredibly impossible $100 Dollar Prediction. There is also a chapter devoted to dove and silk magic by The Great Tomsoni & Co., which includes a thorough essay on the development of a dove act.
That’s a lot of magicians passing on a lot of knowledge. You can order a copy here.
Mat Franco made the leap to a household name with his win on America’s Got Talent, the first and only magician to secure the ultimate title. But with all that he now juggles in touring and starring in a regular Vegas show, it’s easy to forget that Franco is just 30 years old. Even though he’s representative of what he calls a “millennial magician,” Franco certainly been able to attract the friendship and mentorship of the older generations.
He told the Chicago Tribune that one of his influences is magic legend Johnny Thompson. “Johnny’s a good friend of mine,” Franco said. “He helped put together my Las Vegas show.” The two regularly get together to “jam on different magic ideas.”
His show winds up being a blend of classic and the modern tastes, presenting vintage close-up sleights with a decidedly contemporary bent. Franco relies on increasingly common props like smartphones and also unique ones like ramen noodles.
“We don’t use sort of pyrotechnics and dancers and things to distract from the magic,” he said. “There are no TV props, no boxes, no campy dance moves. It’s kind of all about the magic and all about the audience.”
Were you salivating over the lovely two-volume set of The Magic of Johnny Thompson? Did you miss out on the limited number of available copies? You’re in luck. Magicana has announced a second printing of the pair.
We are pleased to announce that, with the sell-out success of #TheMagicOfJohnnyThompson, Magicana is now preparing a #secondprinting of this historic book. READ MORE: https://t.co/WJu8zGmBbk pic.twitter.com/NK6gnKlH36
— Magicana (@sharingwonder) April 29, 2018
Other than confirmation that a second run is happening, details are still scarce. Magicana said that it doesn’t have an official publish date yet because the man himself, Johnny Thompson, will be signing each copy as he did with the initial printing. According to the blog post, Magicana is targeting delivery in July, but that’s just the provisional goal.
Pre-orders are available for this run, so you’d best move faster than Shin Lim palming a pen if you want to secure a copy. Head over to Magicana to put in an advance order of The Magic of Johnny Thompson.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on the unboxing video of the original books shared by The Magic Word.
Hopefully you got your order for The Magic of Johnny Thompson in because Magicana has reported via Twitter that it’s officially sold out:
— Magicana (@sharingwonder) April 20, 2018
Give your local magic shop a call to see if they still have any left, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Johnny Thompson (aka The Great Tomsoni) is a living legend, a performer who has touched lives with his humor, and an inventive creator who has contributed his magical expertise to the acts of Penn & Teller, Lance Burton, Criss Angel, and more. Now, you can own a small portion of that legacy in a two-volume set of books called The Magic of Johnny Thompson, courtesy of Magicana.
The set is co-written by Thompson and fellow magician Jamy Ian Swiss (Shattering Illusions), and includes details and secrets behind many of Thompson’s famous tricks, including, according to Magicana, “The Cups & Balls, The Balls in the Net, The Egg Bag and The Gambler’s Ballad.” The set also features a ton of exclusive, unpublished material, including content written by Dai Vernon, Harry Riser, and Ed Marlo, and chapters about Thompson’s signature dove and silk magic.
If you’re interested in digging into this wealth of knowledge, this two-volume set is still available for pre-order through Magicana for $295 plus shipping. Each book is hardcover, comes bundled in a special slipcase, and according to a tweet from Magicana, each copy is individually signed by Thompson himself. There’s no exact ship date just yet, but they should be expected to go out “in coming weeks.”
Signed, sealed and delivered. Johnny Thompson receives (Vegas style, of course) the first of his epic boo, #TheMagicOfJohnnyThompson hot off the press! #ThankYouTeller @MrTeller for the #SpecialDelivery Shipping in coming weeks! Need one? Buy now here: https://t.co/wSfnrWKvPv pic.twitter.com/B42AF6DMvX
— Magicana (@sharingwonder) March 19, 2018
The Magic of Johnny Thompson is a drop dead gorgeous two-volume treatise on the art of magic penned by Thompson himself and fellow magician, Jamy Ian Swiss. It is, by most accounts from those lucky enough to get their hands on one, a fantastic read and brilliant table piece. It also costs more than three hundred dollars.
Fortunately, the internet allows us to live vicariously through those more fortunate. In this case, our avatar of ownership is magician and host of The Magic Word podcast, Scott Wells. Admittedly, Wells’ decision to open the box set on a $10 TV dinner table holds the video back from being truly scrumptious, but if you don’t have $300 to drop on a pair of books right now and you’re not looking to sell your kidney to a scalper in a years time to secure a second hand pair, this is the closest you’ll get.
The book is shipping this month, but is still available for preorder on Magicana.
Johnny Thompson really does put the “great” in The Great Tomsoni. He’s performed under that moniker for many years, in addition to creating beloved magic tricks and acts, teaching magic, and mentoring some of the best in the business. Thompson took some time out of his current work, which includes producing Penn & Teller: Fool Us, to be the subject of a documentary called Gambler’s Ballad: The Legend of Johnny Thompson.
I made a movie about Johnny Thompson with @pennjillette.
Tuesday April 3 at 9:30AM, you can watch#GamblersBallad: The Legend of Johnny Thompson
on @showtime's #ShowtimeExtreme.
Tune in or set your DVR! pic.twitter.com/vrDe8Dt1Qm
— Emery Rinse Repeat (@emeryemeryii) April 2, 2018
The short documentary is airing this week on the Sho Extreme channel from Showtime. You might have caught it if you were up early on April 3, but there are additional dates for you to have a watch party:
April 4 at 6:30 am Eastern/Pacific
April 5 at 6:30 am Eastern/Pacific
April 10 at 10:30 am Eastern/Pacific
The film gets its title from one of Thompson’s signature pieces, and in the movie, he teaches Gambler’s Ballad to none other than Penn Jillette. Watch closely and you might learn more than just what makes The Great Tomsoni tick. Several other magicians, including James Randi and The Amazing Johnathan, also make guest appearances.
If this movie has got you amped to go even deeper into The Great Tomsoni’s repertoire, or if you just have good taste in magic, then check out this very special two-volume set called The Magic of Johnny Thompson that he co-wrote with Jamy Ian Swiss.
Disclaimer: One of the magicians appearing in Gambler’s Ballad is Randy Pitchford, owner of Pitchford Entertainment and GeniiOnline.