Black I’s Reviewed by Jamie Daws

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If you’re reading this then you must get a ‘Black I’…. No! Not that sort of ‘Black I’. I meant the brilliant new sponge style effect from Mathew Johnson! I won’t ‘blur your vision’ with cheesy one liners but rather make you ‘open your ‘I’s’ to the world of sponge. For many years ‘I’ have performed sponge magic and always enjoyed it. However, searching or creating a routine for an older audience without resulting to using rude bodily parts was hard to say the least. Then my ‘I’s’ were drawn to “Black I”, instantly I knew I had to get it. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this from Mathew (Which was a bonus) but to be honest; I like it so much I’m very tempted to buy another for safe keeping. Like all tricks I review, I road tested the effect to the core on some of the most sceptical friends I have and not only was it an ‘I popping’ trick but one that really made people laugh. Mathew’s presentation of the effect is spot on. Nothing, absolutely nothing about this effect can be put down at all. It works in every single way. The reactions were absolutely stunning. They laughed, gasped and even let out a little bit of wee through the excitement.

The DVD gets you smiling straight from the onset, opening the parcel to see a fantastic cartoon of a beaten up boxer. But one slight surprise… in fact, ‘I couldn’t believe my I’s!’ He has included another effect entirely in the box! With fully made glossy cards and of course the DVD explanation! How generous is that! I opened the box and out popped by sponge I’s. I popped in the DVD and straight away I was laughing. (Listen to the music on the menu page) I clicked the play button and began on my journey. There are two performance videos so you can see firsthand the sorts of reactions this gets. Then Mathew takes you through step by step his handling and script of Black I. Which, I have to say is genius. We then venture on through the DVD which a fantastic information page which allows you to read up on what Pink Eye is. This section is titled “What is Pink Eye?”…. Just thought I would let you know. He also has a credits page with notes on his inspirations etc.

In the DVD, he also includes the cards for his effect “Drinks on me” which much like Black I is very comic and just a brilliantly thought out trick. I would have brought both tricks separately and been happy with each but the fact it’s given free with the DVD is an awesome bonus!

The reason I prefer this version of the sponge routine much more is because it fits most magician’s style. It’s so easily adapted to any performance situation. The built in jokes almost mean you have time to concentrate on the effect in hand. There are so many patter avenues to go down. (Check the thread on www.MagicCafe.co.uk) Not only this, but the moves are a lot easier to perform with Mathew’s handling. (Trust me on that) overall, I believe this to be possibly the best stand alone sponge effect in the world. It’s such an original effect and so well structured, there’s nothing about it that doesn’t work. If our not a fan of sponge magic, this is your chance to get into it with style. So keep your ‘I’ on the prize and grab hold on your copy. You will NOT be disappointed.

It’s available through World Of Magic and most other magic shops

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