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Tony Shiels: Something Strange

Tony Shiels: Something Strange

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Although revered as one of the godfathers of bizarre magic, Tony Shiels identifies foremost as an artist, describing his life's work as a surreal form he calls 'surrealchemy'. Born in 1938 in Salford, UK, his artistic journey began at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London, eventually leading him to St Ives, Cornwall. In 1961 he became of member the committee of the prestigious Penwith Society of Arts following Barbara Hepworth's resignation, and curated the avant-garde 'Steps Gallery'. It wasn't until the late '60s that Tony rediscovered his childhood fascination with magic, initially instilled by his father and grandfather.

Around this time he began to write articles for magic magazines, but the key to his fame in magic was probably the publication of the widely acclaimed books 13, Something Strange and Daemons Darklings and Doppelgangers. These have now become classics of bizarre magic literature.

In the '70s Shiels mesmerized audiences as 'Doc Shiels: Wizard of the West' at festivals and fayres. He founded, performed with and wrote plays for 'Tom Fool's Theatre of Tom Foolery'. Around this time he gained much media attention with his 'monster-raising' exploits. His Loch Ness Monster photos made the front page of the Daily Mirror in 1977. Throughout this period and beyond, Shiels continued to paint and exhibit his works.

From the Introduction:

Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, lizard‘s leg, and howlet's wing... traditional ingredients of the sorcerer's stew; but, in this day and age, because of the current scarcity of good-quality adder's forks, etc., we wizards go in for simpler, easy-to-obtain ingredients. I gave up using the old blind-worm's sting years ago when I discovered that the thumb-tip was a much more versatile piece of equipment.

This little book of spells is intended as an up-to-date 'grimoire' for the modern magician who wishes to cause strange things to happen without all that old-fashioned toil and trouble!

Chapter One: Strange...
    Postcard from Pigwiggin
    Lijah Milkie's Nose
Chapter Two: Stranger...
    Red Devil
    Pickled 'Thing'
    The Hornbook (Roy Fromer)
    The Ghost who Walks (Karl Fulves)
Chapter Three: Strangest!
    Screaming Skull
Chapter Four: Presenting the Supernatural

20 pages wire-stitched paperback. Supreme, undated. Out of print. Limited copies available.
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