Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lee Asher & 52 Plus Joker

In an effort to bring Propelled Pasteboards to interested viewers and increase our knowledge base, I contacted the 52 Plus Joker American Playing Card Collectors Club.  The organization runs a fabulous website loaded with information about collecting cards, and issues a wonderful digital journal called Card Culture and a print journal called Clear the Decks.

Imagine my surprise when the return email came from the group's president, our own Lee Asher.  I use the possessive with respect to Lee because, as any magic aficionado can attest, Lee is an internationally renowned card magic exponent.  For those unfamiliar with his work, The Linking Ring for August 2012 reported that:

"noted card star Lee Asher presented his lecture to members of Ring 22.  Raised by a semi-professional sleight-of-hand artist. Lee states that he was born into the art of magic. Lee has been interested in the art of magic for over twenty years and has been performing professionally for half that time.When younger. Lee worked in every magic shop he could get into. This allowed him to interact with different types of people and form a solid foundation. Over the years. Lee has taken that knowledge and performed in every situation possible.Lee states that all this hard work finally paid off in 1991 and 1992 when he won first place at the IBM. Close-up Championships two years in a row. Lee loves to share his magic with the community and has published in all of the industry's leading magazines."

I hasten to add that the "semi-professional sleight-of-hand artist" referenced in that paragraph is Dr. Mark Horowitz, Lee's father, a magician and collector who proved of great service when I was writing The Coney Island Fakir.

Lee jumped right in to help with Propelled Pasteboards, trumpeting the blog, featuring several of our posts in Card Culture, and providing interesting historical detail about certain cards on the site.  By way of example, because of Lee's contributions, I have learned that Flosso's throwout card seen on the Backstory page is an Andrew Dougherty brand card using the Tally Ho Circle back design.   Additionally, he advises that the back of the E.J. Moore card featured on the site has a Bicycle Lotus back.

Of course, this is a blog about cards featuring magicians, and Lee does not disappoint in that regard, either.  Looking around his website, I was able to uncover the fact that Lee has designed his own playing card deck, manufactured by Spanish card maker Fournier, which features the outstanding signature Ace seen here and comes in the two colors pictured.  Called the Lee Asher 605s, the cards are specially designed for card magic.  Having designed a card effect using Fournier cards, I can attest to the remarkable quality of their products.

So when you've read enough about throwing cards here, take a gander at the 52 Plus Joker site.   You'll be amazed.

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