"The Magic Party" has arrived! The comic book, that is...
"The Magic Party" is a comic book that I wrote about ten years ago! At the time, I was just beginning to dabble in doing magic shows for kids birthday parties. Although I wouldn't really kick my business in to high gear for another couple of years, I had created a small pamphlet of easy to learn magic tricks that I used as a give-away at my shows.
I had never been a fan of the "textbook" format for magic instruction, though. It's how magic is traditionally taught, but it wasn't (and still isn't) my favorite format for teaching magic tricks.
Magic is a highly visual medium. In the best of circumstances, it's difficult to convey the complexity of the steps involved in a magic trick through just the written word. And for kids raised on YouTube, it's even harder.
The obvious solution to this dilemma is just to make a video explaining how to do magic tricks. And you can find some like that out there on YouTube and other places, but that's also not perfect. For starters, you can't always sit down and watch a video like you can sit down and read a book. And even if you are able to sit there and watch the video, rewinding and rewatching isn't quite as natural as just flipping back a page to review something you may have missed.
And the more I thought about this problem, the more obvious the answer became. I had been a lifelong fan of comic books, and it suddenly dawned on me that the visual medium of comic books was the perfect way to teach the visual art of magic tricks.
What this format allowed me to do was to show the magic tricks being performed in the context of the real world. Well... the real world in a four color, floppy book sense. It's a work of fiction, for sure, but instead of the X-Men battling the Avengers, it's a teenager named Aiden who's performing and teaching magic tricks to the people he comes across throughout the day.
And teaching magic in this way allowed for the performance -- rather than the secret -- to take the center stage. Because in a traditional instructional book, the text is all about the secret. The performance, if it's written about at all, is usually an afterthought.
So the magic comic book was written by me and, with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign (back when that platform was just beginning!) I managed to hire a comic book artist, Briana Higgins, to bring the story to life.
And so, for years, the Magic Party just sat as "this one cool thing I did that one time." To be honest, it might still be there today if not for one curious wrinkle: my daughter, Kaylee.
Kaylee -- a creative and curious eight-year old -- recently decided that she had an interest in making her own comic books (which may or may not have something to do with a boy). I think Kaylee is just about reaching the age where the fact that her father is a silly, kids magician, is a thing that she hopes I won't mention around her friends, rather than something she boasts about. But oh boy, was she excited when I explained to her that her old man (wait, am I an old man?) had written AND published an actual comic book before she was born.
Sadly, all I had to show for it was a PDF of the original comic. Any copies from my initial Kickstarter run were gone - given away over the years (or maybe packed away in a box that I'll discover in the attic in a couple more decades).
And so, in order to squeeze out one or two more precious years of being a "cool dad" in my daughter's eyes, I decided to do another limited run of The Magic Party! What will I do with all these comic books? I'm not entirely sure, though I'm sure I'll find more than a few beneficiaries at the many magic shows I perform all year long. If you see me in person and are interested, ask me after the show - I might have one or two copies on me!
When not reading or writing comic books, Matt Matthews is usually making real life parties magical all throughout the Connecticut. Contact him for booking information today!