Ann Arbor Magic Club

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Ex Libris is a monthly column by the Ann Arbor Magic Club Librarian, Joaquin Ayala, PhD. Each Month, Joaquin provides an overview of a featured magic book. He picks one effect from the book and analyzes it in greater detail. You can view the archive of Ex Libris Articles here.

Hello folks and welcome to our newest newsletter feature, the monthly article called ‘Ex Libris’ (Eh-cks LEE-breese), meaning ‘From the library’. Generally you will see this term used on bookplates to denote that it came from the library of its owner, e.g. ‘From the library of John Russell’.

My aim with this article is to encourage members to read more magic books and magazines, not only for the effects and secrets but for the other bits of information in them such as performance theory, blocking, scripting, etc.

Each month I will feature one book – it may be a book from our club library and it may not, and from that one book I will pick an effect and attempt to analyze various aspects of it. Your job, dear reader, is to study that effect and perhaps even practice and perform it if you like it. Not every effect will suit every person or style, but hopefully it will encourage you to read more magic books!

Joaquin Ayala, PhD.
Club Librarian

About the Author


Joaquin Ayala, PhD Club Librarian

Dr. Joaquin M. Ayala de Cédoz (Dr. J.) is originally from Barcelona, Spain and is currently based in the United States in Michigan. He got his start in magic at the age of seven and has loved studying and performing magic ever since. He is a full-time magician who performs locally and travels to perform for corporate and trade show events as well as weddings, private parties and other events. He is a coin magic specialist that also enjoys performing just about all other types of magic. Dr. J. holds a PhD in Anthropology (Culinary and Nutritional), many lessons and perspectives of which he incorporates into his keynote speeches and corporate training programs.


Arcanum is a monthly column by the Ann Arbor Magic Club Historian Mark P. O’Brien and is dedicated to retrieving, retaining and reveling in the History of the Ann Arbor Magic Club.

The current AAMC membership is likely to have in their possession; paper documents or electronic media from past and current magical contributors. The goal is to collect as much of this information as possible. That information then goes in the bucket! Ego sum situla!

As this information is collected, it will then be scanned into PDF document format (for paper documents). Other media will be reviewed and standardized in a current e-format. The goal at this stage is to have this information organized by Year, Style and Contributor. The information will then be uploaded to the Member Area of the AAMC Website.

Moving forward – This column may serve as a guide and shining light to showcase past Marvel’s. It may also serve as an entry point to archive the magic, methods and contributions of our current Marvel’s!

Mark P. O’Brien
Club Librarian

About the Author

PH4CR: Is the nom de voyage of your typical middle age magic hack. The monthly statements claim him to be Mark P. O’Brien. Husband and father of two wonderful children and two miserable and vengeful Yorkies. Oh, and enough card decks to stock a modest casino!


The Inventor's Notebook is a column by club member Karl Rabe. Karl's passion is the creation of novel magic routines and the invention of methods to accomplish the magic. Karl shares inspiration, ideas and inventions be they half-baked, fully-baked or burned to a crisp.

About the Author

Karl has been inventing and performing magic as a hobby since he was twelve years old living in Sault Ste. Marie where his Father purchased him a copy of Dunninger's Complete Encyclopedia of Magic. The Abbott's Magic Catalog and the UPS Driver kept his love of magic alive in Sault Ste. Siberia as he likes to call it. His interest was further encouraged by visits to Romig Magic in Ferndale on annual trips to visit relatives in Detroit. As a lad, Karl actually bumped into Milbourne Christopher once at Romig. He didn't have the courage to speak up and meet him, but he did bump into him and mutter "excuse me".
Karl had the opportunity to watch and meet a number of notable magicians because of his Father's occupation as a Public Relations man for The University of Detroit, Lake Superior State University and Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Meeting and watching Karrell Fox perform both at U of D and at Grand Hotel were a highlight. Karl first saw the Brainwave Deck and the Chop Cup performed by Karrell Fox.
Karl has performed in the Terrace Room, Grand Hotel's night club and as a teen he wrote, assembled and sold a magic kit for Grand Hotel entitled "Grand Magic". Grand Magic's theme was magic tricks anyone could perform with Grand Hotel match boxes (ubiquitous around the hotel at the time when smoking was the norm). Grand Magic broke all records, quite possibly because zero copies were sold.

Karl usually invents novel ways that he can perform classic routines with his son Bill. Bill Rabe has been performing magic since 2010. Bill is an avid athlete and participates in Special Olympics Basketball, Golf, Track, Floor Hockey and Softball. In 2010, Bill and Karl were recruited to perform in a Talent Show to benefit Special Olympics. Karl's interest in Magic was resurrected and a 9 month long effort to craft a unique magic act that would showcase Bill began. The result, "The Perverse Linking Rings" was probably their finest work to-date.

Updated: December 30, 2016 — 12:32 am
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