Friday, 19 June 2009

The LaBaL Competition

In the July issue of the The LaBaL I am sponsoring a competition where one of the readers can win a paperback copy of A Briefe and Pleasaunt Treatise Entituled Naturall and Artificiall Conclusions by Thomas Hill, the text of 1581. For those who do not know, The LaBaL is one of a handful of British magic magazines which are independent of any magic club. With the demise of Abra in March of this year and The Magician Magazine last year, we are left with only four such magazines in the UK (I would be glad to hear from anyone that can name more British based magic magazines which are independent of any magic club). They are Jerry Sadowitz’s The Crimp, Mark Leveridge’s Magicseen, Benjamin Earl’s Gambit Magazine and Al Smith’s The LaBaL.

Each magazine is very different. Magicseen deals with the subject of magic in a general way touching on all or any news items, interviews, reviews, etc. Gambit’s sole concern is card magic. Both Magicseen and Gambit have their own websites where copies can be bought. The Crimp is filled with Sadowitz’s caustic humour. It is only for sale to people whom Sadowitz considers to be trusted magicians. The LaBaL is the creation of magician Al Smith.

Al Smith was the editor and publisher of Abacus, a magic magazine that went out monthly for ten years. After finishing his time with Abacus he wanted to edit a less demanding periodical and so he created what he calls a “now and then quarterly”, The LaBaL, which is now in its sixth year. He calls The LaBaL a ‘Magzine’; note that it is not a magazine with an ‘a’ but a ‘Magzine’ with the letter ‘a’ missing. Al Smith has taken the words magazine and fanzine and crushed them into one word: Magzine. It is a good description for The LaBaL. It has some of the qualities of a fanzine, a no frills spiral bound A4 periodical published for and contributed to by those who share a love of a particular interest; at the same time it has the editorial standards and number of pages of a magazine, along with the fact that some of the contributors are professional practitioners of that shared interest. Each issue contains news, reviews, tricks, etc.

If you are a subscriber to The LaBal then be sure to look for the competition in the July issue. If you are not a subscriber but are interested in The LaBaL, then you can buy a single issue or take out a subscription directly from Al Smith. He can be contacted by writing to A. Smith, 17 Osbert Road, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S60 3LD, UK.

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