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The Flourish Magazine Launch Issue

Many readers here may be familiar with the name Biz and Friends, which is the online home of Elisav Bizau. Biz is passionate about all things playing cards, especially magic and cardistry. He's already made numerous great contributions to the industry in all three areas: playing cards, card magic, and card flourishing. His outstanding The Magicians Playing Cards are a tribute to the gold age of magic, and are one of my favourite decks.

But Biz has surpassed himself with his latest creation: a physical magazine dedicated to the art of cardistry: The Flourish Magazine Launch Issue. We're talking about something that is A4 sized, full colour, over 100 pages, and professionally produced. When I first held a copy in my hands and paged through it, I was blown away by the quality of the graphic design, presentation, content, and contributors. It's fantastic, and this is an absolute "must have" for anyone who considers themselves a cardist.


As Biz explains in the first article, this cardistry magazine has been 12 years in the making, and it stands on the shoulders of several previous attempts he made to produce a magazine dedicated to cardists. But this time he decided to go all out, by involving a team of some of the best cardists he could find as contributors, and to produce it professionally as a physical magazine of the highest quality.

He has succeeded admirably, and it's hard to think of a physical cardistry magazine that could be better than this. Just take a look at the flashy and professionally produced cover:


And this isn't window dressing, because the quality of the looks and graphic design inside stays at this level throughout.
Here's an overview of some of the contents you can expect to find inside:


It's quickly obvious that Biz has managed to get some really big names involved. There's an article by Kevin Ho, a massive interview with Huron Low from The Virts, and interviews with Patrick Varnavas from the channel bestcardistalive, and playing card designers like Luke Wadey. My favourite read was the epic interview about The Virts, which shared all kinds of juicy details about their journey into cardistry, and how they have developed as a group, and how they executed their vision in creating a custom deck optimized specifically for cardistry.

But there are also very practical articles. I especially enjoyed "Introducing Laymen to Cardistry" by Christiaan Hau, which gives excellent tips about how to go about explaining our passion to complete newbies in a very sensible way. Yang Nguyen rows against the stream of popular opinion in his article entitled "Gatekeeping", where he makes a careful and convincing case that we shouldn't require permission to teach moves of other creators, as long as we give appropriate credit. As he reminds us, cardistry is different than magic, so the same rules about secrecy don't apply in the same way, and we should look at the larger picture of what will help cardistry to grow and advance.


I personally have a love for artwork made with playing cards, and the article by Michael Warneke on this subject was of real interest to me. I also really enjoyed the interview with designer Luke Wadey, where he covered the main series of decks he has produced so far.

In all cases, there's a mass of gorgeous colour pictures to accompany the written text, and even full-colour full-page spreads. I can't say enough about how professional the layout and design looks, and how this makes reading everything an absolute pleasure. The magazine has been produced with the support of several sponsors, so there are also ads from familiar names like King's Wild Project, Kardify, and 52 Plus Joker. I'm sure that without their support, this wouldn't have been anywhere near as flash.


Of course, all the good looks won't help if the content is only mediocre, but that's not at all the case. From beginning to end, I never felt that I was sitting down with an amateur, but was at the feet of true professionals and experts, who were sharing from their wealth of wisdom and experience.

But doesn't anything cardistry related require videos to be best enjoyed? This magazine doesn't entirely discard that, because in several places you'll find a QR Code that will bring you to a video. For example, the section about cardist Nikita Yatsik includes explanations for five of his moves, and these are all accompanied with video tutorials.


If you love cardist, you'll absolutely love this. And the good news is that the plan is for this to be an annual magazine. I'm already excited about next year's Issue 2! Let's make sure that this terrific contribution to the world of cardistry gets the support and love it deserves, and that it generates some real momentum, so that we can continue to see something of this quality on a yearly basis. Bravo Biz and friends!

Get it here: https://bizandfriends.com/products/the-f......ch-issue

View 40 sample pages here: https://issuu.com/bizandfriends/docs/the_flourish_samplez

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