The premise of a professional Magician who fights crime has been used in Harry Houdini films of the 1920s, 1939’s Miracles for Sale with, wait for it, Robert Young as an inventor of illusions who solves a murder utilizing them, and Bill Bixby’s television series The Magician. (Harry Potter and a wide roster of superheroes battle evil on a universal scale.)
I’ve often wondered why there weren’t more iterations of the concept. Employing magic/illusions as a way to manipulate the everyday world as we know it would seem an entertaining and expeditious method to affect justice. Networks, are you reading?
Steve Cohen, The Millionaires’ Magician, has come up with a graphic novel in which a close up effect goes wrong, causing him and sidekick Max (based on mentor Max Malini) to become targets of modern gangster, Victor Pasiakos. Inadvertently discovering a clandestine business involving captive children sets the prestidigitator on a determined trajectory of discovery, rescue, and retribution.
This is not a volume for very young comic book fans, but for older followers of clever thrillers – savvy, mid-teenage and up. Cohen uses his own shows (in detail) and familiarity with lives of the contemporary rich as background. Magic is depicted in performance and adeptly used for survival. There’s murder – BLAM! and AAAGHH!, escape to and lessons learned in Japan (where Cohen studied and lived), a love interest with a clean karate chop and a mysterious backstory, fights with swords, guns, and fists – KRRACK! BLAM! THRACK!, arson, poison, and a long-term plan that ends in moral, if not legal justice.
Art is graphically specific, composition skilled. Printing of the oversized paperback is high quality. The Millionaires’ Magician also contains an Epilogue by Cohen and an interview with him from Genii, The Conjurors Magazine meant to illuminate those particularly drawn his skills.
Steve Cohen has been a professional magician since he was seven. His elegant, captivating 19th century style Chamber Magic Show is in residence at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel. It’s a treat.
All photos courtesy of Steve Cohen
The Millionaire’s Magician-A Magician Battles the Underworld
A Graphic Novel By Keith Champagne and Peter Krause
Brick Hat Press 2018
Click for the website of The Show and Novel
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