Magicol No. 196 | March 2021

A Journal of Magic History and Collectibles

Magicol No. 196, featuring excerpts from Steve Cohen’s eagerly awaited book on Max Malini, is yet another full and rich issue, bursting at the seams with stories on all sorts of curious characters from magic history. This issue is now sold out.

Magicol No. 196 is brimming with stories—the deeply human kind—that explore challenging struggles, gritty survival and triumphant successes. Ultimately, it’s an issue that celebrates the human spirit, focusing on joy and happiness. Each article was also drawn from recently, or soon-to-be-released books, making this issue a terrific sampler of incredible, real-life stories from magic history.

Steve Cohen starts us off with his article on the King of Magicians, Magician of Kings—Max Malini. Steve’s book, which is scheduled for release later this summer, carefully follows the unique career of Malini, and dutifully updates and collates the wealth of information found throughout magic’s literature. Steve gives Magicol readers a colorful overview of Malini’s roots and influence, and includes some terrific Maliniesque lessons—and yes, there’s even an outrageous card trick in there, too!

Next, we have a piece by Samuel D. Porteous, who is based in Shanghai and who has just released a biography, Ching Ling Foo, America’s First Chinese Superstar. Samuel has chosen to share an exciting excerpt about the famed 1905 “World Championship of Chinese Magic,” between the occidental imitator Chung Ling Soo and the “authentic” Chinese magician, Ching Ling Foo. And, as a wonderful bonus, Samuel also provides new insights into Foo, which he discovered after the release of his book, involving a postcard and a letter of Foo’s that he found in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center  at the University of Texas.

Then we have Jim Hagy’s excellent article about Evanion from Jim’s newly updated and enlarged 2020 edition of his book Early English Conjuring Collectors: James Savren and Henry Evanion. In this article for Magicol, Jim also weaves in refreshing perspectives from two Evanion Collection curators, Helen Peden of the British Library, and Eric Colleary of the Harry Ransom Center. A fun and enlightening article, indeed!

We then become acquainted with the talented and beautiful Suzy Wandas, The Lady with the Fairy Fingers, thanks to a great excerpt from her biographer, Kobe Van Herwegen. In this piece, Kobe also reveals his insights about Suzy as a possible “film star” in Starlit Days at the Lido by MGM in 1936.

Michael E. Rose rounds out the issue, by giving us an introduction to Baltimore magician extraordinaire Phil Thomas and sharing a brief history of Thomas’ legendary store, the Yogi Magic Mart. Michael and co-author Mark Walker have put out a new book, Maryland’s Ambassador of Magic: Phil Thomas and the Yogi Magic Mart, which is chock-full of great tales, and we are delighted to have one of them for this all-star issue of Magicol.


$40, plus shipping and handling.

Magicol (ISSN 0460-5314) is published by Magicana. Perfect bound (soft cover), digitally printed in black and white and in color, 5.5” x 8.5” (14 x 21.5 cm), 104 pages.


Here’s a list of Magicols that Magicana has published since 2010, starting at No. 174.



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