Date: November 21, 2008

Ed! Ed! Ed!

What hast thou wrought???

Ed Solomon as “loyal scribe” reporting upon the brilliance, wisdom, and tantrums of the feisty mage DeNomolos has, over many years now, assembled a dizzying number of stories and high-quality magical effects.

Now that several of Mr. Solomon’s individual books have been combined into one comprehensive tome, we can fully detect the breadth and depth of Ed’s encyclopedic knowledge, vast and colorful storytelling, and technical, artistic, and magical expertise.

“Presentations For The Storyteller” is a massive book, just shy of five-hundred pages in an eight-and-a-half by eleven-inch hardcover trim-size. This makes its price fairly massive as well, but books this rich and valuable come along rarely in magic and vanish into legend quite quickly too.

What I found almost frightening (even more than some of his bizarre and spooky tales) was that the sub-title is:

“The Complete Works of DeNomolos Volume ONE”

…implying that there’s still more on the horizon, another, or two, or more volumes???

Some of the pieces as sweet and tender, some bring a tear to the eye, some are poetic and gentle, some are spine-tingling and horrific, and all are good solid tale-weaving.

Ed shares his favorite gimmicks, and techniques and tips on how to make, prepare, and present each piece correctly. There are black-and-white photographs following every effect, so you can see Ed’s creative and crafty knack for yourself, and thus more easily picture and assemble the props for work (I personally miss seeing these wonders in full-color but no one could of afforded the book if he’d gone this route).

As editor Bill Palmer says in the forward, hopefully after reading and studying the formats and structures Ed employs in creating his pieces, the reader will go forward and create his own original work with great success, as well as recreating favorites from the book.

This I think is where the true value lies, being able to learn as apprentice from a master the secrets of how to morph into a fine storytelling-magician yourself. As some of the props are unique to Ed or not widely available, we are already challenged to rethink and build on his original pieces, this is a very good thing.

I hope Mr. Solomon will allow me to provide a Forward of thoughts and praise in another one of his future publications, as I loyally and truly believe he’s one of our best resources… a futurist with an eye to magic’s rich past, a creator of fantastic stories and inventor of beautiful props, and an innovative master of subtle technique and method.

After Tony Andruzzi’s death, and Charles Cameron’s, and Tony Shiels, and Gene Poinc’s deaths all the bizarre magicians and wanna-be bizarrists shirked and moaned “why-oh-why did I now get this or that book while it was available”!!! This year alone Brother Shadow’s books have become unobtainable and more rare than daemon hen’s teeth! So don’t come crying to me if you miss out on the precious works of DeNomolos as faithfully reported by Ed Solomon a master of storytelling himself… 'nuf said?

I know in these rough times most everyone is on a tighter budget, and I know we can’t purchase everything that’s released onto the magic marketplace, but I did want to put my two-cents out into the public, so you could make an informed decision as to this book being a “must have” for you or one you might pass on.

I’m not writing this because I’m a friend and fan of Ed’s, but because I’m also a friend and fan to the Art of Magic, and this is a book geared to the ever striving Artist from one of the best artists we’ve still got around in the world of Bizarre Magick.

My thoughts--
Walt Anthony
Spellbinder Entertainment
San Francisco