While the lead character in his recently released graphic novel, The Millionaire’s Magician, might share Steve Cohen’s name, the comic isn’t exactly biographical in the strict sense of the word. Some liberties have been taken.
For example: Steve Cohen did spend some of his youth in Tokyo, and is fluent in Japanese, thanks to a cultural exchange program. He did not, as far as I’m aware, flee to Japan after being shot by an evil businessman, only to learn the secrets of the sword and return to New York wreak terrible vengeance upon his foes. I think they would have mentioned that on his Wikipedia page.
So it appears The Millionaire’s Magician is following in a long comic book tradition of fictionalizing the lives of celebrities. Especially those from New York. Cohen laid the ground work for the book, but most of the heavy lifting was done by artist-turned-writer, Keith Champagne (The Mighty, Ghostbusters, Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters) and artist, Peter Krause (Irredeemable, The Power of Shazam!, Captain Marvel), with coloring by Jordie Bellaire and cover art by the always amazing, Tara Phillips.
The book also features a foreword by none other than David Copperfield.
Comic nerd opinions begin here: I’ve had a flick through the sample pages and it seems like a fun time. Krause’s line work is sharp and expressive, and it’s clear a ton of time went into detailing Cohen’s hands during the performance scenes. Champagne’s writing keeps things breezy and fun, which is important as it’s really easy for comics like this to become insufferable vanity projects if they take themselves too seriously. Like Cohen’s real-world act, the comic has a sense of throwback charm, right down to the goofy white-man-in-Japan setup that straddles the line between problematic and endearing.
The Millionaire’s Magician is currently only available in a digital format for $19.99, but there will be a physical release this fall. You can see a preview here.
Steve Cohen has been wowing audiences in New York for more than 17-years. Last year, he performed his 5000th show, prompting the city mayor to declare October 6th, 2017, “Chamber Magic Day,” in his honour.
“On the occasion of the milestone 5,000th live performance of Chamber Magic, I am pleased to join with fans far and wide in applauding its ingenious star, Steve Cohen, for his efforts to enrich our city’s cultural scene and engage and uplift people of all backgrounds through the mesmerizing art of magic,” reads the proclamation.
If high praise from city officials isn’t enough to warrant getting dressed up for a show (and you quite literally have to be dressed up, the show does have a dress code), perhaps the video above will convince you to bust out your waistcoat. While it’s technically an advertisement, the location, framing and general production values make it a very classy advertisement.
Cohen performs every weekend at Lotte New York Palace. Tickets start at $100 for general admission and are often sold out weeks in advance.
Planning any big city adventures in 2018? If you’re thinking about doing it up fancy, Forbes has a few recommendations for where you can rest your head and also catch some great magic performances. The publication noted that magic’s black tie roots are getting a revival, with upscale hotels in several major metropolises now booking magicians for high-class shows.
Unsurprisingly, there are two Las Vegas gigs on the Forbes list. Magic Reinvented Nightly by America’s Got Talent winner Mat Franco and Masters of Illusion, a stage adaptation of the CW television show, are great options for bigger productions.
That said, Las Vegas is teeming with magic acts, and those are just two of many, many hotel shows. What about if you’re vacationing in Los Angeles, or planning a road trip to New York City? If you’ll be in the Big Apple, try to score tickets to Steve Cohen’s Chamber Magic at Lotte New York Palace or Dan White’s The Magician at the swanky NoMad Hotel. Angelenos should also drop by the Four Seasons Beverley Wilshire for the Intimate Illusions of Ivan Amodei.
GeniiOnline readers, have you any further suggestions? Where would you direct a magic-seeking traveller dropping by your town?
For more than 17 years Steve Cohen has been a fixture of the New York magic scene, producing a weekly live show called Chamber Magic out of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (then moving the show to the Lotte New York Palace when the Waldorf underwent renovations last year). Last Friday, Cohen performed his 5000th show, and to commemorate the occasion, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio officially declared October 6 ‘Chamber Magic Day’ in the city.
“As a global hub of creativity,” de Blasio’s decree proclaims, “New York offers a cultural landscape that is as diverse as our more than 8.5 million residents. Each night, performing artists of all disciplines thrill audiences across the five boroughs with their many talents — but only one entertainer shows up with a magical teapot.”
In addition to the mayoral proclamation, Cohen was also presented with a Presidential Citation by Dick Bowman, president of the Society of American Magicians.
The festivities were also accompanied by a custom cake decorated by Ron Ben-Israel…
…and to commemorate the event, guests to the 5000th show walked away with a stunning (and very exclusive) deck of playing cards.
While Chamber Magic Day isn’t an official holiday, maybe practicing magicians can bug their teachers or bosses to get the day off next year to celebrate. Either way, a big congratulations is in order for Steve Cohen—here’s to 5000 more.