Magician Jon Armstrong & Writer Mike Costa Create
Comic Book Magic in ‘Smoke and Mirrors’
Smoke and Mirrors Issue #1
Watching people flip through an issue of Smoke and Mirrors is almost as entertaining as reading the comic book itself. It’s not uncommon for a reader to gasp or exclaim, “How’d he do that?” Both the physical comics and the digital versions offer a fresh take on comic book magic and actively engage the reader in the tricks themselves.The creation of the comic—the origin story behind the origin story—started at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, where comic book writer Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra, Blackhawks) met magician Jon Armstrong (an award-winning close-up magician and chairman of the board of trustees for the Magic Castle) after one of Armstrong’s shows in the Close-Up Room.
Upon discovering their mutual love for comic books and magic, the two kept in touch and talked about creating a comic book that would combine both arts. Along with artist Ryan Browne, Costa and Armstrong launched Smoke and Mirrors, a five-part series that follows a sleight-of-hand magician named Terry Ward, who finds himself in a world where magic is real, tries to fit in as best he can, and ends up mentoring Ethan, a young boy who discovers his secret.
LAist recently sat down with Armstrong and Costa to learn about the history of Smoke and Mirrors, the relationship between comic books and magic, and some little-known facts about the Magic Castle.