It's been an interesting year. Filled with highs and lows as years tend to be, and we'll be taking a break from the blog for the next few days, returning on January 1, so with 396 posts since last January 1, I thought it might be a good chance to take a look at the year that was 2008.
It began for us with Jackie the Bandit joining us as Spark's new companion.
On TV we saw magic evolve into reality TV with Celebracadabra and The Next Uri Geller hitting screens in Germany (after it's success in Israel and the USA as Phenomenon), while here in Australia Gold Coast magician Christopher Wayne campaigned to get on Big Brother.
We turned our attention from Magic Fakers to Movie Fakers with crazy rip-off films like 'The DaVinci Treasure' and 'Snakes on a Train' like from The Asylum.
Sue-Anne and Lee Cohen headed off to do a show in Hong Kong, Sue-Anne and I headed off and to do a show in Bangkok, and Craig Mitchell headed off to the Blackpool Convention where his reports where praised for their honesty and criticised for their bluntness.
We presented two new shows for The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Illusionarium and Something About Needles & Razorblades) and gave daily blog reports on the two week run.
On March 19 the screen of my HTC Touch cracked, and it only took until late August to get it repaired.
The web channel TV Magicians was launched, Penn Jillette appeared as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, and Death Deying Acts hit cinemas with possibly the worst movie interpretation of Houdini ever.
We took on Dave J Castle and discovered yet another internet exposer of magic secrets, Simon Crack, while Tim Trono of Murphy's Magic made a lot of good points about the serious damage this sort of exposure can do to our art. Tony Blanco sent in a clip where a famous author stated his case against people who steal other people's work, and we illustrated with video how Lance Burton and Penn & Teller would agree that imitation isn't a form a flattery at all...
My post talking about having to take cigarette tricks out of my show was syndicated and appeared all over the internet on hundreds of other blogs and news websites, and Dan Harlan hit the news for all the wrong reasons.
We had a visit from Danny Archer, FISM made an official statement about human rights in China, we posted some clips of Sue-Anne and I performing magic on the radio and this blog was nominated for Best Website of The Year!
We discussed options to fight the exposure of magic on the internet and went head to head with the leader of a major magic file sharing forum. James Clark joined the fight and actually got that same forum closed down!
And Telemarketers tried a new approach where they hung up on themselves!
I did another hoax/magic show, this one as Dr Francis Roberts Phd for the Department of Treasury, and Nicholas J Johnson staged the second monthly edition of Melbourne's own variety show The Catchpenny Club.
Craig Mitchell travelled to Louisville and sent in daily reports of the action at the SAM/IBM Combined Convention.
The Dark Knight, in my opinion, was movie of the year!
We spoke about an Australian magician who takes what he likes from other people's acts, whether they give him permission or not.
And President Bush together with the European Union decided to send me a whole lot of money!
The Melbourne Magic Festival took off with daily blog reports and more publicity in The Age, The Herald Sun, A Current Affair, and some great reviews. Meanwhile, motivational magician Dwayne Robbins emerged as a part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and took everyone by storm.
Sue-Anne won Best Actress at the Ignite Film Festival for her role in the short film Framed.
Our evil nemesis The Victorian Tourism Centre was finally tackled full on by Consumer Affairs.
We wrapped up the first ever Melbourne Magic Festival with over 3,000 people coming to see 58 performances of ten different shows!
Gold Coast Magician Troy Star started selling his new magic movie on DVD, The Masked Magician returned to TV in the USA with a whole series exposing everything from current illusions to marketed close up tricks, while Criss Angel began previews of his new live show at the Luxor in Las Vegas,
I had a great time at Mitcham Magic, FISM released an excellent article on Music Rights For Magicians, and Optus finally sorted out the billing for the repair of my HTC Touch phone that broke back in March!
The Asylum brought out even more blatant rip-off movies including Death Racers, Sunday School Musical, and The Day The Earth Stopped.
I got the weirdest volunteer ever during a show in Horsham.
And the Telemarketers kept on trying...
This blog got our 2,000th comment, but it also had it''s most commented on post where I dared to complain about a magician (mentioned obliquely back in July) who was intentionally copying pieces from our show. Some people felt that I was wrong to "rock the boat" by mentioning it, while others backed me up and said his sort of behaviour is what really damages the magic community.
In a similar vein, the newly re-named Victorian Tourism Centre continued to scam people as well.
Our good friend and magician David Birchall passed away.
And I had great fun with a Telemarketer who was determined to lie to me about where he was calling from.
Have a fantastic New Year and we'll see you again in January!