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Topic: Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic - Is there an alternative?
Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Jan 15, 2004 10:34AM)
Rather than mimic someone else's sponge ball routine and patter, I'm trying to create something in my own style. I'm researching different sponge ball themes, vanishes, sleights, etc. to first understand all of the components before I come up with the underlying frame of the routine. I've noticed that many of the more popular routines are similar so I'm looking for a resource that offers more.

In several "sponge resource" threads here, Café members have recommended Frank Garcia's book, Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic which sounds like the culmination of all things sponge ball including sponge work that is different from the more popular routines. It sounds like an ideal reference solution.

I just performed a search and was shocked, SHOCKED to see it on Ebay for $255 and the auction isn't over yet. It seems this book is being bid up to reflect the combination of demand and lack of supply of this out of print, difficult to find book.

I can't find any other encyclopedia type reference. And for just under $300, I can't mentally take that step to pay for Garcia's book, as I'm sure many others won't as well.

Is there an alternative reference to Garcia's Encyclopedia that offers the same wide scope of information for sponge balls?

Finally, if this book is the cat's meow for sponge work, if there is such a high demand for this book, and if this information can't be found anywhere else, then wouldn't this type of project be good for someone who wants to write a new book and be useful for magicians interested in sponge work? (Hint, hint for you publishing types.)

Sure, it would be similar to Garcia's book, but Garcia's book is scarce these days.

The references I've found so far that offer routines as well as some different sponge work are as follows:

Scott Guinn-PB & J routine
Steve Dacri - Master Routines
Eugene Burger - Vol 1 Magical Voyages
Brad Burt - All About Sponge Balls
Kenton Knepper - Klose Up
Lewis Ganson - Routines Manipulation Finale
Frank Garcia - Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic
Jay Sankey - Earplugs
Gary Ouellet - Close Up Illusions
Royal Magic - Amazing Magic Tricks with Sponge Balls
Daryl - Fooler Doolers

Please note, I'm not asking for additions to this reference list, but for thoughts on alternatives to the Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic.

Thanks for your replies in advance.
Message: Posted by: jimisolo (Jan 16, 2004 10:40AM)
Gawd, am I glad someone has asked this question!!! I, too, have been trying to come up with something as comprehensive as Garcia's Encyclopedia without the "rare" and "out of print" price tag. Unfortunately, my efforts have fallen flat as well. I will keep my eyes peeled wide though, and if I come across something, you'll be the first to know.

Until then, if anyone out there can help us out, it would be MOST appreciated.

My 2,

Rob
Message: Posted by: Ian Richards (Jan 16, 2004 11:36AM)
As noted, the Garcia book is an encyclopedia, as such there is not one equivalent book that can be compared to it.

In terms of relatively easily obtainable books that are good alternatives to Frank Garcia's "Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball" magic my vote would go to:

Audley Walsh "Sponge Ball Magic"

Jon Jensen "Professional Sponge Ball Magic volumes 1 and 2". I believe that there is also a volume 3 in the works on sponge bunnies.

Although you did not want additional references, it is very worthwhile to look at Doug Atkinson's excellent site Magic Reference Page. In addition to the contents of many books, it also has a section on sponge balls:

http://magicref.tripod.com/magref/magspong.htm
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Jan 16, 2004 01:43PM)
I hope the book is never reprinted. Personally I feel magic is too accessible and that the short lived goal of raking in a few extra bucks is a sad alternative to making some material exclusive to those who are willing to make the investment.
Message: Posted by: Mitch Schneiter (Jan 17, 2004 01:10AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-16 12:36, Ian Richards wrote:
In terms of relatively easily obtainable books that are good alternatives to Frank Garcia's "Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball" magic my vote would go to:
Audley Walsh "Sponge Ball Magic"
[/quote]
It may be the same booklet as mentioned above but Audley Walsh also(?) has one titled "Sponge Ball Manipulation" which was originally coprighted in 1940, and later by Louis Tannen in 1947. In the same vein is "The Sponge Book" edited by Frances Marshall and put out by MAGIC, INC. out of Chicago. This booklet has routines by Goshman, Crandall, Don Alan, Dr. Jaks, and others.
Of course, neither of these booklets compare to Garcia's encyclopedia. I bought a first edition copy back in the seventies for $20. Knowing what it's worth now I'll have to move it up the bookshelf next to my copy of Nelson's Variations.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Jan 19, 2004 06:14PM)
In Roy Benson's "Benson Bowl Routine" he has a great vanish. I know it is found in Classic Secrets of Magic and the Phoenix, but not sure where else.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jan 19, 2004 09:13PM)
That vanish is demonstrated by Don Alan himself in the Steven's Video of Don Alan. The video source for much of the material written in the Racherbaumer book, In A class by Himself.

A very disappointing book about a fabulous artist and one who any close-up or walk-around performer owes a nod of recognition for paving the way. In our own way we have all taken something from Don, a trick, a philosophy, a line or a performing style.
Message: Posted by: johnloon (Jan 20, 2004 06:19PM)
Also checkout the book "Magic by Gosh" there is a very good routine for sponge ball. I think it is the best.
Message: Posted by: doowopper (Jan 21, 2004 07:20AM)
I am old as dirt so I have Garcia's, "Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic," and Audley Walsh's pamphlet on the sponge balls. I bought Garcia's book for $12.50 (price sticker still on it) at Tannens umpteen years ago - $255 for it now - wow!
Anyway, Walsh has a great retention of vision sponge ball move that I have been using for over 30 years. It's well worth a look if you can get his pamphlet.
Richard
Message: Posted by: harp (Jan 23, 2004 03:19PM)
The following has worked for me on scarce or obscure titles, relating to magic and otherwise. Get the name of the author, title of book, and ISBN and take it to the local library for there interlibrary loan program. Sometimes this takes a while, however if there is one out there, it will come back to the local library for a limiited time. This will at least give you a chance to get your hands on it for a few days. Maybe Richard would provide the information to you. It's worth a try at no cost to you.

Harp
Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Jan 23, 2004 03:39PM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-23 16:19, harp wrote:
The following has worked for me on scarce or obscure titles, relating to magic and otherwise. Get the name of the author, title of book, and ISBN and take it to the local library for there interlibrary loan program. Sometimes this takes a while, however if there is one out there, it will come back to the local library for a limiited time. This will at least give you a chance to get your hands on it for a few days. Maybe Richard would provide the information to you. It's worth a try at no cost to you.

Harp
[/quote]

Great idea.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.
Message: Posted by: Rcitgo (Jan 25, 2004 05:06AM)
I was the winning bidder on that book and I consider it money well spent.Hey it was written by Frank Garcia and no other spongebook has that much info so I will be very happy with it. :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jan 25, 2004 10:43AM)
I would think that the Steve Dacri tape would be a good thing to get. I learned much of what I know about sponge work by analyzing a televison performance of his "Martians" routine.

"Routined Manipulation Finale" by Lewis Ganson has some good advice on sponge work that is often overlooked.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 25, 2004 05:20PM)
Turkey,

Frank Garcia also put out a booklet with excellent material many years before the Encyclopedia. I last found it on Morrissey Magic site. It is very inexpensive.

Yes, I would like to see the IBM or SAM sponser or found a national archive of all magic so that it is never lost to the future youth.

Bill
Message: Posted by: froxen (Jan 26, 2004 08:23PM)
Well... for those interested in Garcia's Encylopedia of Sponge Ball Magic. There's one up for auction at eBay now.
Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Mar 24, 2004 09:19PM)
OK, I finally broke down and bought Garcia's Encyclopedia. I have to write that there is no good substitute for this book as it's filled with around 20 useful vanishes and lots of interesting routines from Garcia himself and many of the old classic magicians. I'm typically a 2-3 sponge ball vanish guy, but the new vanishes (in my mind) are brilliant. I highly recommend this book for its usefulness.

...but for those not wanting to spend that large lump of cash, Jon Jensen's Professional Sponge Ball Tricks Volume 1 & 2 offer a nice compilation of various vanishes and lots of routines. They're plastic bound booklets and are well worth the $$$.
Message: Posted by: phread (Apr 15, 2004 10:19PM)
I too have the jensen books and think they are the best for one who is interested in starting sponge work.
Message: Posted by: ostadler (Aug 4, 2004 02:01PM)
Hello all,

I have just started with Sponge ball magic and found this thread. As I come from Germany I want to draw your attention to a German translation of Frank Garcia's Sponge Ball Encyclopedia. I found this title in a German magic shop (check it out [url=http://www.jedinat-zaubershop.de/shop/show/show_pr/de/Das_Lexikon_der_Schaumgummiball_Magie/~tplprodukt_1/~prid250.htm]here[/url] and needless to say I just ordered myself a copy :) . The price is about 20 Euro.
Maybe some of you will find this hint useful. Personally I think that a German translation (even for a non German speaker) is a good alternative to the original book for hundreds of dollars....

I hope that helped ;)

Greetings from Germany,

Oli
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 4, 2004 02:07PM)
The German translation will only be of value to someone who can read German.
Message: Posted by: ostadler (Aug 4, 2004 02:11PM)
Hello Bill,

I don't know how many pictures there are in the Encyclopedia. Of course if it mainly consists of text and descriptions it could get kinda hard for a non German speaker. Anyway, maybe some people with little or some knowledge of the German language might want to give it a try.

Greetings,

Oli
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 6, 2004 04:26PM)
There are a lot of pictures, but they really don't make a lot of sense without the instructions.

I might order a copy and put my English version up on eBay.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Aug 6, 2004 05:14PM)
Sorry dude, Garcia's sponge ball book is awesome. I got mine in 1976 with my first set of sponge balls.
If I didn't own it I would aquire it.
Think of it this way... the book won't go down in price.
Aside from e-bay try contacting the publisher or Frank's Garcia's Estate.

Kregg
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 6, 2004 06:10PM)
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. If you read the earlier threads on this, I was one of the people who recommended this book over any other source. What I meant was that the German book would be of little value to most of the people on this forum, because without the English text, the pictures will not suffice to teach sponge ball magic.

I have no problem reading German. If you have [i]Paramiracles[/i] or [i]Sheherazade[/i] you have work that I have translated from German into English. So, if the German version has all the material from the English version, I would find it as useful to me as the English version. And putting mine on eBay wouldn't limit me at all.

But it would cost me a personal autograph from my late friend, Frank Garcia.

I would never say anything against this book.

BTW, this book was self-published. So if there is to be any further printings of it, they will have to be done by permission of his estate.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Aug 6, 2004 07:15PM)
Sorry Bill I should have been clearer. I only meant to agree that the book is worth every dollar. You could probably fetch $350 plus for an autographed copy in pristine condition.
I recently purchased Cards as Weapons at a whopping price. I couldn't figure out why I didn't buy it when it first came out? Then, I opened the book and saw the nude photographs.
Oh yeah, I was only sixteen.

Kregg
Message: Posted by: Mitch Schneiter (Aug 6, 2004 08:02PM)
For those of you who own a copy of Garcia's book hold on to your hats...I just found a site (biblio.com) with a copy for sale. Get this, it's priced at $500! I'm glad I got my copy for $20 when I did.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 6, 2004 09:23PM)
Kregg:

Thanks for clearing that up!
Message: Posted by: TXKEVIN (Sep 13, 2004 10:03PM)
Oli-
I speak German and appreciated the tip. Ordered a copy today.
Vielen Dank
Message: Posted by: ostadler (Sep 15, 2004 02:01AM)
Hello TXKEVIN,

You are welcome and I´m sure you will love it! The encyclopedia is purely awesome.

Have fun,

Greetings from Munich,

Oli
Message: Posted by: poppa (Sep 27, 2004 02:21PM)
Is there any one book that deals mostly with Sleights, Palms, vanishes, etc... instead of routines?
Message: Posted by: MarcDominic (Sep 29, 2004 05:58PM)
Garcia's book is exellent but there a number of DVD's on the market now which cover many of the slights and some of the newer moves.

When I put together my routine I spent time looking a billard ball manipulation - many of the vanishes and productions work well with sponge balls and Pat Page gave me some novel ideas on using a standard dye tube with sponges used both with and without silks.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 29, 2004 08:33PM)
[quote]
On 2004-08-04 15:01, ostadler wrote:
Hello all,

I have just started with Sponge ball magic and found this thread. As I come from Germany I want to draw your attention to a German translation of Frank Garcia's Sponge Ball Encyclopedia. I found this title in a German magic shop [url=http://www.jedinat-zaubershop.de/shop/show/show_pr/de/Das_Lexikon_der_Schaumgummiball_Magie/~tplprodukt_1/~prid250.htm]Check out[/url] and needless to say I just ordered myself a copy :) . The price is about 20 Euro.
Maybe some of you will find this hint usefull. Personally I think that a German translation (even for a non German speaker) is a good alternative to the original book for hundreds of dollars....

I hope that helped ;-)

Greetings from Germany,

Oli
[/quote]

My German is poor buy I read French reasonably well. Does anyone know of a French version of Garcia's book?

ME
Message: Posted by: Scott Horn (Oct 6, 2004 01:25PM)
The free market at an auction is interesting,

At a tremendous personal sacrificee, I am willing to sell my copy of Garcia's "Encyclopedia" for $500.

... any takers ?
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Oct 6, 2004 03:00PM)
Also I would hate it and it would hurt me hard, my copy/mint condition, goes for the measly sum of 1000 $.

Please don't overflow my mailbox re that favourite offer, I've only one copy..first come, first serve :) :)
Message: Posted by: ljgrant (Oct 17, 2004 07:15PM)
[quote]
On 2004-08-06 21:02, Mitch Schneiter wrote:
For those of you who own a copy of Garcia's book hold on to your hats...I just found a site (biblio.com) with a copy for sale. Get this, it's priced at $500! [/quote]

This makes my $200 purchase of it as a rare book on eBay seem like a bargain!
Message: Posted by: Scott Horn (Dec 22, 2004 10:25AM)
Is this book still going for such high prices? I am tempted to put mine up for sale. Does anyone have an idea of how much this is going for these days ?
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 22, 2004 11:15AM)
It would seem the copyright owner has a goldmine should he or she desire to publish a reprint. You could charge twice or more what a book of that size would retail for at todays book prices and still be considered reasonable.

If the copyright has expired then lets hope an enterprising magic publisher will print it, or would we rather have Dover books buy it up and put it into the hands of every kid who browses a local bookstore. Remember Bobo's Coin Magic?

(Wow - almost a year later and this thread still lives!)
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Dec 22, 2004 01:41PM)
Frank..don't know about a "Goldmine", how many copies do you think would be sold Worldwide?

Hardly Harry Potter dimensions!

Howard
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Dec 22, 2004 02:35PM)
I sold my mint copy just several minutes ago.
... not that anyone cares.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 22, 2004 03:03PM)
You are right Howard, no one gets rich selling magic or even publishing books, Just ask Richard Kaufman. I let my enthusiasm get away from me. :)
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Dec 22, 2004 03:24PM)
Frank, I think we all bet carried away in "our " little world.
I keep saying.....look at the number of people on line here..World Wide..the proverbial "drop in the Ocean".

Thats why it makes me laugh when things get a little heated on here and the thread gets locked/deleted/removed...who is bothered what is said ..hardly going to cause World war 3 is it.

Howard
Message: Posted by: zur (Dec 22, 2004 11:04PM)
Just a thought:

Its seems that All of Frank Garcia's books are popular in online auctions.