John Helvin

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John Helvin
John Helvin during an interview in February 2011
John Helvin during an interview in February 2011
BornJohn Guiry
(1963-12-09) 9 December 1963 (age 58)
Swindon, United Kingdom

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John Helvin (born John Guiry; 9 December 1963) is an English artist, author and magician.

Life and career[edit]

Helvin was born in Swindon. His parents were Irish. Helvin legally changed his surname when he was old enough to do so.[1] He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities with Classical Studies.[2] His career has been a varied one due to a number of personal tragedies. After each one, he took a different direction to build a new life. He has been a ghost writer, an artist, an editor, a publisher and a magician. In his early years he wrote and directed comedy for local venues.[3] In recent years he has ceased being anonymous in his writings and his name is now put on published articles and books. In January 2009, videos became available on the internet publicising a commissioned art project called Magicians. It consisted of portraits of many British and some American magicians (including Paul Daniels, Wayne Dobson, Tommy Cooper, Penn & Teller and Ricky Jay).[3] He has been described as having "huge talent as a magical portrait artist".[4] His portrait of James Randi received positive notice by Phil Plait of the James Randi Educational Foundation.[5] The project was completed in early 2010. He has contributed articles to magazines such as Classical Association News (ISSN 0963-4789, published by The Classical Association.), Magicseen (published by MSUK Publications), The LaBaL (published by Al Smith), Mystery Magazine (published by Magic Books By Post) and Goodliffe's Abracadabra (which closed down at the end of March 2009). See the Recent Published Works for examples of these.

Recent Published Works[edit]

  • The Estranged (2006). Existential novel; limited edition published by Existence.
  • The Number of The Beast (2006)
  • Antigone of Sophocles Editor (2006)
  • A Fragment of Pindar in Classical Association News (December 2006)
  • Ajax of Sophocles Editor (2007) and other similar titles that year.
  • Aesopus in Classical Association News (June 2007)
  • Trick or treat 2 in Abracadabra (21 June 2008)
  • In Defence of Alciphron: part 1 in Abracadabra (13 September 2008)
  • In Defence of Alciphron: part 2 in Abracadabra (27 September 2008)
  • Magic Comes to Swindon in Abracadabra (15 November 2008)
  • Here Today; Gone Tomorrow in Abracadabra (6 December 2008)
  • Merry Christmas Mr Jordan in Abracadabra (20 December 2008)
  • Dead Man's Hand in Abracadabra (31 January 2009)
  • Ye Olde Penn & Teller Card Trick in Abracadabra (28 February 2009)
  • The Sherlock Holmes Book of Magic in Abracadabra (21 March 2009)
  • Paul Daniels in Musical Magic in Abracadabra (21 March 2009)
  • The Merry Christmas Magic Card Trick (2009)
  • In Search of the Paul Daniels of the Classical World in Classical Association News (June 2009)
  • Alciphron a chapter in Essays (2009)
  • A Briefe and Pleasaunt Treatise, Entituled, Naturall and Artificiall Conclusions, Thomas Hill, The text of 1581 Editor (2009)[6]
  • The Psychology of Street Magic in Magicseen (October 2009)
  • Dead Man's Hand in Mystery Magazine (December 2009)
  • How Many Magicians Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb in The LaBaL (January 2010)
  • Card Stunts in Mystery Magazine (March 2010)
  • Z6 in Mystery Magazine (March 2010)
  • Martin Gardner 1914 to 2010 in Mystery Magazine (June 2010), obituary of Martin Gardner
  • Inspector Deck in Mystery Magazine (July 2010)
  • Essential Magic Conference 2010 in Mystery Magazine (September 2010)
  • Here Today, Gone Tomorrow in Mystery Magazine (December 2010)
  • A Smith Quartet in Mystery Magazine (December 2010)
  • The Art of Iugling by Sa Rid Editor (2011)
  • Exclusive Interview with John Archer (co-authored with Walt Lees) in Mystery Magazine (April 2011). John Archer was one of the winners of the television contest Penn & Teller: Fool Us on ITV1, January 2011, and part of this interview discusses that program.
  • Supersizing Scot in Mystery Magazine (May 2011)
  • Paul Daniels Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (June 2011)
  • Jon Marshal Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (July 2011)
  • Ali Cardabra Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (August 2011)
  • Romany, the Diva of Magic Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (September 2011)
  • Roman Knick Knacks in Magic in Mystery Magazine (October 2011)
  • Roy Davenport Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (November 2011)
  • Rafael Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (December 2011)
  • Derek Lever Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (January 2012)
  • British Ring President Brian Miller Talks to John Helvin in Mystery Magazine (February 2012)
  • Tommy Cooper. A limited edition print of Helvin's portrait of Cooper from the Magician's art project of 2009 (May 2013)

Further reading[edit]

  • "The LaBaL". Al Smith. 1 April 2009. Article discussing Helvin's views.
  • "Magicseen". MSUK Publications. 1 September 2009. Interview with Helvin.
  • "The LaBaL". Al Smith. 1 October 2009. Review of Helvin and one of his books.
  • Will Houston (2010). The Notebook by Will Houston, 2010. Search this book on Logo.png Second edition


  1. Goodliffe's Abracadabra, issue 3258, 5 July 2008, ISSN 0001-3269
  2. Open University website, blog profile
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Art of Magic, Interview in Magicseen, The Magazine for Magicians & Mentalists, Issue 28, September 2009
  4. MagicWeek, issue number 478, 22 August 2009.
  5. James Randi Educational Foundation
  6. Word Power Books

External links[edit]

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