The Magician

The Magician is an epic graphic novel, a bookmaking tour de force, a mesmerizing art object, and the completion of over a decade-long obsession of author Chris Byrne. This enigmatic box of wonders houses a dozen separate publications, printed and hand bound using a variety of techniques.

The books include Theogony, Handmade, Down the Head, Mountain Man/She-Wolf, Letterpress Flipbook, 4-Ply Toilet Paper, Moleskine, The Magician Manual, M-Phase, Unfinished Versions, Colophon, and Curtains.


"Chris Byrne has made an alt comic of such invention, thoughtfulness and ambition that only Chris Ware's artistic production is on a similar playing field and I imagine that Chris [Ware] will be impressed or astounded or disturbed by this narrative machine that contains, issues and transcends the medium."  

—Gary Panter, February 2013

"There is no single apt reference point for Chris Byrne's ingenious The Magician. It is a wunderkammer, a Cornell-ian box, a visual novel, a conjurer's tool kit. Above all it's a moving, multifaceted graphic narrative. There's never been anything quite like it."

— Dan Nadel, February 2013


Designed by Chris Byrne and Scott Newton. Published by Marquand Books in an edition of 20 with five artist's proofs. For more information contact Ed Marquand,

Public Collections

  • Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon

  • Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York

  • Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

  • Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

  • School of Visual Arts Library, New York

  • Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Articles, Reviews, and Posts

Chris Byrne : The Magician
Workshop @ Christian Berst Art Brut. April 2015

“Book Reception: The Magician”
GuideLiveThe Dallas Morning News. May, 1 2014.

Geyer, Christina. “The book as art piece (bring $15,000 and an open mind)”
FD Luxe. March 30, 2014.

Guarnaccia, Steven. “The Black and White Box: The Magician by Chris Byrne”
Illywords. December 19, 2013.

Humphrey, Clark. “Random Links for 3/22/13”
Misc Media. March 22, 2013.

Kennedy, Brandon. “Man in the Box”
Patron Magazine. December/January 2014.

Knecht, Lyndsay. “From The Newsroom: Marketing Mammograms; A Magic Book”
KERA News. April, 30 2014.

Laughlin, Jamie. “Baffling, Elaborate and Beautiful, The Magician Rewrites the Rules on Art Books”
Dallas Observer. October 31, 2013.

“The Magician”
Comic Arts Brooklyn. November 7, 2013.

“The Magician, an epic graphic novel by Chris Byrne”
smallrooms. May 5, 2014.

“The Magician, epic graphic novel by Chris Byrne”
The Reading Room. April 14, 2014.

Martin, Merritt. “The Magician”
Voice PlacesDallas Observer. April 28, 2014.

“Most Complicated Art Book”
Paper Specs. November 4, 2013.

Nadel, Dan. “A Conceptual Flush: The Magician”
The Comics Journal. March 20, 2013.

Simek, Peter. “On a Slow Art Week, Time to Take Stock of a Month's Art Deluge”
Front RowD Magazine. April 30, 2014.

Vasta, Joseph. “The MAGICIAN Enigmatic Limited Edition Artist’s Book/Object”
Vasta Images/Books. November 24, 2013.

Weeks, Jerome. “Making Some Major 'Magic' In Dallas”
Art&Seek. April 29, 2014.