Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Painting with an Incomplete-Faroed Deck

Brushing a telescoped deck against a hand to produce a card in a paintbrush-like action, is credited to Nate Leipzig in Card College Vol. 3, 1998, p. 695. Unfortunately, it seems as though Leipzig never published the idea himself, so we only have hearsay to go on that the idea is, indeed, his.

The modern tabled variant, in which the telescoped deck is brushed over the rubber side of a close-up mat to leave behind single cards was published by Roger Curzon as “Wipe Out the Aces” in Spell-Binder, Vol. 1 No. 11, Mar. 1982, p. 199. Douglas A. Wicks later published the same idea in Apocalypse, Vol. 6 No. 9, Sept. 1983, p. 820, under the title “Rembrandt Aces.” Chris Kenner expanded the use of the Ace-production idea to produce four royal flushes in a “Rollover Aces” variant effect called “Paint by Numbers” in Out of Control, 1992, p. 140. Doug Conn has published several handlings of Kenner's trick, including in Tricks of My Trade, 1999, p. 99; in Connjuring, 2004, p. 5; and in MAGIC, Vol. 21 No. 12, Aug. 2013, p. 58.

A marketed trick capitalizing on the principle, “Card Artistry,” 2011, was released by Justin Flom. This uses Barry Price's idea (uncredited) of using specially printed cards to produce a “grid” version of the Mona Lisa holding a selected card, or a “brain scan” (an x-ray of a head) with the selection in the brain.

Further notes about the oral history of Leipzig's paternity

Michael Weber was playing around with Paul Le Paul's “The Gymnastic Aces” from The Card Magic of Paul Le Paul, 1949, p. 207, when he discovered the idea of “painting” a card from the telescoped deck. He showed the idea to Dai Vernon, who informed him that Nate Leipzig used to use the same production. Michael continued to show the move around, including to Doug Wicks. Wicks credited Michael Weber for the inspiration in the aforementioned Apocalypse contribution. Chris Kenner was then directly inspired by the Wicks item to create “Paint by Numbers.” These men were completely unaware that on the other side of the pond Roger Curzon had developed the same idea and made it into print a year earlier.