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McComb's Magic: 25 Years Wiser
by Billy McComb


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McComb's Magic: 25 Years Wiser by Billy McComb

From the introduction:

Billy's approach requires a boldness which some may find rather disconcerting but, if you learn the routines and approach them confidently and assuredly, your hesitancy will soon disappear. Nothing has been kept out of this book. Here you will find the cream of Billy's own routines, each one polished to a thing of beauty by a great deal of study and thought, and then by repeated performance before the paying public.

  • Dedication
  • Publisher's Introduction (by Edwin)
  • Foreword
  • The Dark Side of the Moon (Ken de Courcey)
  • Extension to MIKO: A twist on a standard pocket effect to give it an extra sting in its tail
  • Opening the Magic Society Show: An astonishing illusionette, Two sandwich boards and suddenly the 'Sandwich Board Man' is produced!
  • The Bang Bomb: a nutty notion with a bomb! It's lit and suddenly explodes with a silent bang
  • A Thought-of-Card Turns Up in a Cigarette: The classic trick explained in such detail that, no matter what goes wrong, you have a cast-iron trick which is good, solid entertainment
  • The Ultimate Identification: Walk on to a stage, a newspaper in your hand and a top hat on your head. Go straight to a thin-topped table, show the hat empty, open the newspaper, place it over the hat, remove it and a rabbit pops its head over the brim!
  • Rabbit From Scarf: Remove your white evening-dress scarf, bunch it up and a rabbit appears
  • The Half-Dyed Colour-Changing Silk: The professional version of the Colour Changing Silk with a tremendous off-beat climax
  • A Rotten Sneaky Deception Which Pleases Me: A great colour-changing idea that you'll enjoy using
  • Frolics with the Hummer Whirling Card: A complete study of this intriguing flourish. It tells you how to do it and how to use it in your show.
  • Years of Magical Angling...And Thoughts Thereon: A complete Magic Fishing act. Silks from silks; stack of glasses produced, then a large goldfish bowl. Water and a goldfish produced. A piece of carrot changes into a goldfish and many other effects in rapid succession. Fish are caught from the air and so on. Finally, the fish-bowl vanishes.
  • How to Mix Two Tricks to Make One Good Presentation: The Thumb Tie and the Card in Wallet cleverly combined in an off-beat routine.
  • Thoughts on the Thumb-Write and a Few Tips Thrown In: The best kind of thumb-writer to use. A Simple hold-out and, finally, a complete presentation.
  • The Rigid Yo-Yo: a crazy idea that works. An outsize Yo-Yo which behaves in an abnormal way
  • The Wine, the Water, and a Character: The Chris Van Bern Wine & Water, plus the Billy McComb version
  • Again Sawing in Half ... Lengthwise: an old trick re-vamped
  • The Reverse Cut Svengali Pack An Introduction: an accident leads to a novel comedy routine
  • Chop Cups for All: an impromptu version of a classic effect using a crumpled bill and a wrapped tumbler
  • We Go Mental: practical methods for the Dictionary or Telephone Directory Test
  • An Off-Beat Rabbit Arrival: a bunny appears in a champagne bucket
  • An Egg in the Magazine: An easy to make effect that's a winner. Egg is dropped in the pages of a magazine, a match waved underneath and then a fried egg is produced! No trace of the egg anywhere!
  • On the Question of Dress: Billy theorises on the sort of appearance you should present. Tips and ideas.
  • Thirty Years of Rings in Nests of Boxes: A practical routine for the Nest of Boxes, and the effects with led up to the evolution of it.
  • The Clay Pipe: please note the singular. The classic effect but performed with one pipe only. Clouds and clouds of smoke produced at the climax too! The complete working and presentation.
  • U.K. Note in the Polo Mints, or U.S.A. Bill in the Life Savers: A borrowed note turns up in an unlikely place
  • Splashing In the Card Fountain: Methods and ideas for a spectacular effect
  • Impromptu Hat Coils: A tip learned from Edgar Benyon
  • Resurrected!: An oldie that's still good for a laugh
  • A Face-Lifting of the Goodnight Banner: The Goodnight Banner streamlined and with an extra climax
  • William Reminisces: Stories often with a moral you'll enjoy reading
  • Assorted Gaglets of the William Brand:
    • Chopping the Aces: You cut to any Ace and then let the audience in on the secret
    • Flat Accordion: a handy prop gag
    • A Gag with the Wiggly Wand: the popular gag wand is used to good effect in a card trick
    • "P": The old pea can gets re-vamped and revitalized
    • Flying Moo: a 'cod' transportation of milk from one glass to another
    • Sucker Ghost: a new dressing and presentation for the Ghost Tube
    • Which Came First?: A 36" silk waved in the air, without steals or body loads, a live dove is produced
    • Please Shut The Gate: a clever continuity stunt to use throughout the show
    • A Clean Gag: a visual prop gag to get a smile
    • Light Humour: another crazy invention
    • Wee Tree: Cute ideas for the paper fir-tree
  • Fish Sticks: variation on the Chinese Sticks and a few interesting gags too
  • Hot Stuff: the red-hot paper but performed Jumbo-size on stage!
  • Odds And Bits - And A Few Other Things: William talks on this and that. How to get your name across. On Art-work, on Pulls, a trick with a Ring, an idea for the Card Crystal, Impromptu Bunny, Shooting Combination-Flash Wand, Hydrostatic, Golf Ball.
  • Putting The Act Together: the professional way of compiling programmes, taking the worry out of your packing!
  • A Historical Gag: Abraham Lincoln's authentic Gettysburg Address
  • Confidence: an advert, which tickled Billy's sense of humour
  • Necessity is the Mother: Clever switch of decks for the rising card trick and an unusual off-beat climax
  • The Williamised Spider Of Mr. Collins: Pips vanish from a playing card and appear inside a crumpled tissue paper. A streamlined version of the classic.
  • The Williamised Close-Up Card Sword: a miniature version of Excalibur! A Card Sword for close-up shows.
  • William Does The Card Sword: The original McComb presentation for this classic effect. No cards to pick up off the floor and all the worries have been eliminated.
  • Yrutnec Hteitnewt: 20th Century in reverse! A delightful silk effect with three silks and a paper tube.
  • The Travelling Card: A fascinating story and a spooky card flourish
  • William Does The Hindu Needle Trick: Houdini made a sensation with the Needle Trick. The McComb version is easy to perform and all the worries and snags have been removed.
  • The Five Rings Of William: A simple, direct Linking Ring routine that can be used under any conditions
  • How To Wash Your Hands: Tips to ensure your hands are immaculate
  • William And The Himber Ring: The most Direct routine ever. Three rings are borrowed and magically linked!
  • Backword: It had to be! Billy has the last word!

1st edition 1972, 184 pages; 1st digital edition 2018, 194 pages.
word count: 59024 which is equivalent to 236 standard pages of text