Friday, July 29, 2011

Opus Magazine

In 1987 I began contributing to Opus Magazine, edited and published by friends Ian Keable, Chris Power and JJ. It contained a lively mix of articles, reviews and tricks and boasted of its "independence" from the magic establishment, a claim made, incidentally, by nearly everyone who ever started a magazine magazine. Nevertheless reviews were honest and forthright at a time when, in the UK at least, every performer and convention seemed to get wonderful reviews no matter how bad they were.

As you'd expect such "honesty" occasionally made for controversy and even landed the editors in some awkward situations when coming face to face with the people they'd reviewed. But it was this very stance and the magazine's refreshingly different voice that gained it quite a following and explains why Opus Magazine attracted many notable names to its pages.

Why do I mention this? Well, because all five volumes of Opus Magazine have now been scanned and are available as pdfs from Opus Magazine's new website.

I'm a big fan of scanned magazines. Not only do they give us an insight into the past but they are vaults of forgotten knowledge. A great idea is a great idea no matter when it was conceived. And magazines are full to the brim with inspiration. Inevitably a volume of any magic magazine is always greater than the sum of its parts. Opus volume one is a terrific read. The passing years have given me some distance between being aware of the magazine's editorial dilemmas and reading the magazine purely for enjoyment. But I was genuinely amazed at the solid quality of the magazine, the range of content and the A-list of contributors. I think you will be too.

Anyone who subscribed to the Essential Magic Conference this year got volume one free as part of their subscription. If you missed EMC2011 you can still subscribe, catch up and get the bonuses and DVDs. Or you can go straight to the Opus Magazine website and purchase volume one along with the other four volumes.