Read Curt Hardaway's review of Majicks Vol. 2

Tim Lucas' Video Watchdog review of Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 of Majicks

David J. Hogan's Filmfax review of Vol. 2 of Majicks


Caroline Munro
(The Golden Voyage
of Sinbad)


Ray Harryhausen


Terry Moore
(Mighty Joe Young)


Sherri Alberoni
(The 3 Worlds of Gulliver)


Michael Callan
(Mysterious Island)


Interview with publisher Ernest Farino

TwitchFilm Interview
with author Mike Hankin and publisher Ernest Farino

Interview with author
Mike Hankin regarding
Master of the Majicks Vol. 2

TheoFantastique Interview with Mike Hankin and publisher Ernest Farino

Notable Reviews and Comments:

Ray Harryhausen
Author Mike Hankin personally delivered Ray’s copy of Vol. 2 (the first one published) to Ray at his home in England on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008. Mike wrote the following account of the visit:
"Ray looked at every page of the book, and so did [Ray’s wife] Diana. Ray’s first reaction: 'My God!' He was full of praise for the layouts, and it seemed like every page was greeted by 'Where did you get that photo?!' He loved the cover [a close-up of the Cyclops], immediately showing it to Diana and saying, 'Whoa, my old friend!' His tiredness from his recent travels seemed to go away and he looked through the book virtually all the time I was there. He grasped my hand with both of his when I said goodnight and said, 'You can see on every page the love and care you have put into this book. It really is superb.’”

Vanessa Harryhausen, Ray’s daughter
I couldn't believe the beauty of [Vol. 2] when I first opened it. The layout is just stunning. Dad had already told me that there was photographs he had never seen before, but there was so much more. I love all the different movie posters. I can't believe all the people you talked to. If Vol. 2 is the first, I can't wait to see the rest.

Guillermo del Toro, Director of Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, and Pacific Rim
An absolute marvel!! A dream of a book series that inspires and awes as much as the filmmaker it enshrines. Flawlessly designed, chock-full of astounding graphic material and impeccably written, these are the books you dreamed of as a Monster Kid!! An absolute must.

From Guillermo del Toro’s Preface to Volume 3:
“There is no way to overstate the importance of these books. These books are, simply, the most perfect books about Harryhausen ever made. This is the book that you dreamt of having as a child and the only gateway, I guarantee you, to regain that long-gone thrill you had when you where eight years old and you cracked open the pages of the latest issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Perhaps more importantly, this book performs one truly magic trick, one that we don’t experience often enough: it makes you want to go out, immediately, and re-watch every single one of the the chronicled films and, if at all possible, go and shoot a film yourself. In summation: It makes you fall in love with cinema all over again."

Leonard Maltin
In my recent roundup of film books I neglected to mention one of the most elaborate publishing ventures of 2008, Ray Harryhausen: Master of the Majicks Vol. 2 by Mike Hankin. I often receive review copies of books from their publishers but I was happy to shell out my own hard-earned dollars for this labor of love, a meticulous survey of Ray’s life and career.

Ron Borst, author of Graven Images and owner of
the Hollywood Movie Posters shop

The three volumes all together represent the greatest books on fantasy films— ever.

Joe Viskocil, Academy Award-winning special effects supervisor for Star Wars, Independence Day, and many others
Congratulations on a magnificent job you created for the fans of the future, and the present, and the past, with the 3 volumes on Ray Harryhausen. I salute you, and honor you, on this great undertaking of the history of a man I only met once. But if it was not for him, I would not be doing what I did in in my past 40 years! Great job. Thank you for what you have done. The more I look at the books, the more I love. You did a fantastic job!

Scoop eNewsletter from Diamond Comics
Archive Editions’ definitive biography of special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen is a joy to behold. The beautiful, limited edition, hardcover books are a treasure and Volume 1 [alone] makes for compelling reading for almost any film buff. The series covers Harryhausen’s career from early 16mm experiments and the influence of King Kong’s Willis O'Brien to his unfinished projects and his Lifetime Achievement Oscar.

Sam Calvin
Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks Vols. 1, 2 and 3 are books for those who think that when it comes to Ray Harryhausen they've seen it all. At a point when "Done To Death" might be considered Ray Harryhausen's middle name, I'm delighted to say that these breathtaking volumes are much more than a worthy supplement to Harryhausen's two wonderful books, An Animated Life and The Art of Ray Harry- hausen. They stand on their own as major contributions to fantasy film history by recounting the perspectives of the many artists who have worked with the effects master over the years.
It is obvious that the powers behind these books were familiar with what had come before and made a huge effort to go in a different direction. The result are books that no owner of Ray's earlier works will put down with a feeling of deja-vu.
Everything about these books screams meticulous research. Mike Hankin has interviewed pretty much everybody you can think of (including, sadly, several who have passed away since he began his research) to bring us the ultimate Harryhausen reference works. Virtually every line of text reveals some new fact about Ray and his films. As I read these books, I was blown away by the incredible amount of detail.
The physical dimensions and number of photos are remindful of the previous Harryhausen books. But when you consider that Volume 2 alone covers seven –count 'em, seven– movies in the Harryhausen canon, from Mighty Joe Young to The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, you will appreciate all the more the incredible effort invested in this overall project.
Again and again, as I leafed through the sumptuous pages, I confronted a new photo or an unheard-of piece of information. I'm tempted to quote some "factoids" here, but I think that saying anything specific might take away from the fun you'll have perusing this 3-volume treasure trove.
These books are an absolute must-have for any Ray Harryhausen fan. Believe me, you will not be disappointed even if you've read everything else out there.

Richard Green
Finally we can all treasure these three collective editions as they take pride of place on our book shelves. Each volume justly deserves to be hailed as "A Supreme Achievement in Writing, Meticulous Research and Prolific Illustration.” It is only proper that you are both jointly congratulated in seeing this arduous, long-term project becoming a published reality. The total conviction and diligence that you have committed to each volume of this encyclopedic work is abundantly obvious as it leaps out to the reader from every page. With the assistance of your back room team of artisans, collaborators and contributors, you have has skillfully steered these treasure troves from conception through to publication, and each volume is a wonderfully rich, literate and sometimes humorous tribute to our late, dear friend and compatriot Ray Harryhausen.
These volumes will be read, re-read and used by us as a definitive source of reference to the artistry of Ray and the motion picture industry in which he played such an important part during his long career. Ray will live on in the memories of everyone of us who met and grew to know him, in whatever capacity. And these volumes rekindle our fond memories of Ray himself, as well as all those others with whom he worked in such skillful collaboration, especially Charles H. Schneer. Ray would have been highly thrilled and deeply flattered by your collective efforts and with the contents of all three volumes of the work. Yours is in indeed a fitting “Tribute to The Master" and I offer you my heartfelt thanks for your dedicated endeavors. They deserve to be included in every public library around the world because of their unique and valuable contents. They are certainly volumes to be relished and treasured.

Individual Customer Comments

• What a classy presentation, with the glossy photos on the satin finish dust jacket standing out out and that solid imitation leather hardcover binding with sharp gold embossed lettering. The layout is spectacular; the images are not thrown away with diminished size and peripheral placement on the page. And a great many of the the images are fresh AND the ones we have seen before are presented in sharper quality than in previous publications. I can't wait to delve further into the magical magic carpet ride of Majicks. I know that I am in for the best read of the year.

• Outstanding! So detailed and thorough. These books are what all of us have been waiting for since we first became fans of this man and his work. A tour de force.

• Absolutely fantastic!!! So many new photos that I've never seen before and the writing is also very fun to read. The quality of the binding and print stock is also excellent. Thank you for creating this new series of Harryhausen books.

• The writing and research are impeccable, the illustrations and design fantastic. It is by far the best volume on Harryhausen yet done. My sincere appreciation and thanks!

• I'm already half way through your wonderful [Vol. 2] and wanted to say "WOW!" The footnotes alone are the reason to have this. I want to applaud the publisher and author Mike Hankin for putting this tome together.

• WOW! I just received my copy of the book, and all I can say is (in the words of Valley of Gwangi’s Professor Bromley), "Absolutely astounding!"

• Totally awesome, totally awesome!!!!!

• Thank you for this new series of Harryhausen books. Many of us out here are feeling like kids at Christmas again with new toys, what with the new book and new photos and info!

• This trilogy of books is perfection in writing and layout, and will always be the gold standard for all that is Harryhausen. Nothing in print about Ray even approaches this trilogy.

• I just received your most fabulous book. Once again you have outdone yourself. All the details! The maps of where the events occurred are great, giving me a real sense of "being there." The reproductions are splendid as always, and it will give me many enjoyable hours of reading to explore the entire text. Really terrific.

• My copy of Master of the Majicks Vol.1 arrived yesterday. It's a beauty. Beyond my expectations. Incredible work. Wonderful to have all three volumes of the series. It all serves to remind me, or any fan of Ray's, how vast his life, his talents and his influence. He was one in a billion. I don't know that we shall see his like again, at least not in our lifetimes. Again, I love the new book and the whole series. Treasures to keep for a lifetime.

• I received my copy of Volume 1 yesterday and wanted to both thank and congratulate you. The book far exceeds my expectations in content and presentation. I have a whole shelf of books on Harryhausen, O'Brien, Kong, stop motion animation, etc., so I did not expect to see much that I hadn't seen yet. But boy, was I wrong! I also applaud the choice to devote a considerable portion of this volume to matters historic in order to provide the contextual information to Harryhausen's career. I could go on and on, but instead I'll just get back to reading this wonderful book.

• Received the book yesterday and it is wonderful (just like the first two volumes). You and Mike have done it again and created a great testament to a great man. You both can certainly be proud of what must have been a gigantic undertaking. All three volumes are tremendous and I'll treasure them always.

• I received Harryhausen Volume 1 today. All I can say is that it is extraordinary! Well worth the wait and in terms of information and detail, perhaps the most wonderful of the three. Thanks so very much to you and to Mike Hankin for the tremendous effort you have put, over the years, into this amazing project.

• Received book today. It’s amazing! I just wanted to say thanks. An obvious labor of love, congratulations on all three miraculous books in the series. Can’t wait to see what you unveil next.

• Volume 1 is the perfect companion to the earlier volumes and completes what may be the most in-depth chronicling of a filmmaker, ever. I can't think of anything that comes even close... A Big Tip of the Hat!

• Just got Volume 1— absolutely stunning! Thanks for all you did on the entire project!

• I was visually overwhelmed by this tome in a way that no book has done in a very long time. I'd suggest that Volume 1, though not concentrating on Ray's movies, contains such a fascinating miscellany of topics and also an overview of the art that it should be able to compare with the other two tomes. You guys deserve praise for turning out a book as artistically rendered as the movies it delves into.

• Absolutely STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for Vol. 1. It now nestles along side Vol. 2 and 3 and my intense submergence of reading will begin again!! THANK YOU!

• I received the books which are magnificent and majestic; invaluable testimony to the work of Ray Harryhausen. I was very touched in every way by the volumes and I sincerely wished to thank you for all this.

• I received the book today, and concur with what others have said. The beginning (and end) of a spectacular trilogy, and a monumental achievement by Mr. Hankin and Mr. Farino. A deep bow to both gentlemen, and all who contributed.

• In my estimation Volume 1 looks to be the best of the three with lots of material about Ray's early influences— King Kong gets a jaw-dropping section with the usual Archive Editions lavish photo spreads, and drawings. Just magnificent. An obvious labor of love. Will have to set a big chunk of time to go through it all, but combined with the other two volumes I'd be hard pressed to find a more lavish record of one man's artistry.

• Many thanks for these books. The three volumes are the books us Harryhausen fanatics always hoped for!

• My God, it’s amazing! Excellent! Great! All three are so great! Wonderful. I will keep them forever. Thank you so much!

• The book came in perfect condition. Many, many thanks to you and your company for putting out the definitive Harryhausen reference/tribute. Can't wait to see what's next.

• I am delighted. The book is everything I hoped for. A remarkable achievement to have published something so impressive. Thank you again! I couldn't be happier!

• I cannot wait to finally be able to read it and enjoy every page I turn. Volume 1 is full of treasures and amazing stories! Thank you again for all your work in mastering these three volumes on the magical Ray Harryhausen.

• Thank you very much, Merci Beaucoup for your amazing labor of love about the late Ray Harryhausen. What a wonderful book! I hope one day you will received an AWARD for the quality of printing, photos, layouts of all the 3 books that you have edited. Now our friend Ray must be proud in heaven for the legacy that Mike and you have created. Very Warmest Regards from a devoted fan of your work.

• My copy of Volume 1 arrived today and it's just like sitting down for another wondrous conversation with my late hero and friend. For me, the greatest of all possible gifts and blessings was to be able to contribute in some small way to this tome, and I thank Ernest Farino and Mike Hankin for the opportunity to do so. The Master has traveled to that world past hope and fear, but he also lives on in the pages of this magnificent tribute...

• Volume 1 is, along with Orville Goldner & George Turner's seminal The Making of King Kong and Michael H. Price's and George Turner's subsequent books on Kong, the best-ever book on King Kong. And all in incredible, loving detail and style.

• What a perfect timing! I received the package the day before Christmas. Majicks one of the greatest movie-book-series of all time. It seems fitting to have your fine books standing right beside Film Fantasy Scrapbook which I have bought with same hard-earned money so many years ago.

• I thought that Volume 1 would be a little less interesting and not as visually stunning as Volumes 2 and 3. However, upon seeing the amount of work and superb images I think that Vol. 1 is a superb achievement and may well be the best of the three books. Mike and Ernie should be very proud of what they have produced here. It's a wonderful tribute to our very dear friend.

• I just got mine today. Wonderful! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

• Volume 1 exceeds my expectations. As you know, there are already a number of impressive publications that have examined Harryhausen's innovative work in the field of animation, but this remarkable book really stands out. I thank you and everyone involved in the production of such an incredible and unique contribution to the Harryhausen legacy. You should be quite proud.

• I have just received Volume 1 and I just wanted to say " WOW!" The images and rare photos that I've not seen before look amazing. I can't wait to read every inch of it. I just wanted to thank and congratulate everyone involved who helped produce such a great book. Ray would be proud.

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