Draven Reviews: The Examiner by John Graham

approved Title: The Examiner

Artist: John Graham

Producers: Paul Harris Presents

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: 1:36:00  (Approx)

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD: 

Notes: WATCH DVD FIRST!  You can damage your gimmick otherwise.


  • Instructional DVD
  • Gimmick
  • Gimmick Docking Station




  • Play All
  • The Secret
  • Performance
  • What You Get
  • Set-Up/ Prep
  • Newspaper Setup
  • Pen Setup
  • Care and Feeding
  • Routines
  • Wet/Dry Handling
  • Live Performance
  • How To
  • Behind the Scenes Performance
  • Dry Handling
  • Alternate Newspaper Switch
  • The Careful Builder
  • Important Pro Tips
  • Mark Allen’s Emergency Out
  • Credits

Finally a no glue, no wire,  no magnet all purpose newspaper tear that is as baffling in close up as it is on stage, and everything is 100% examinable!  Welcome to the ingenuity of John Graham backed by the powerhouse that is Paul Harris.  This is Examiner.

I love stage magic, but I just don’t get to do it as much as I do my close up so I was thrilled to learn that Paul Harris had teamed up with John Graham to release a close up examinable news paper tear, and let me say I wasn’t disappointed when I finally got the product home and played around with it!  The Examiner is dependent on a gimmicked prop that comes with the DVD.  The gimmick is very well made and had I not known better I would never suspect it for what it is.  John advises you to watch the DVD first before playing with the gimmick to avoid damaging or breaking it, and this advice is sound.  However it’s not fragile.  With proper care the gimmick will last you a very long time.

The DVD is over an hour long and covers everything from proper care for your gimmick, to setup and presentation of the tear, and even includes a “what if” section should your gimmick break or wear out.  And being the upstanding guys Paul and John are they even include extra gimmicky parts you can use to repair your “magic thing” should it ever break.  God forbid.

The paper tear can be done with any newspaper, though the one featured in the video is a local tabloid kind.  The nice thing about those is that they are usually free and abundant.  Especially if you live in or around a major city like I do.  So the cost of performing this trick over and over is relatively low.   The only overhead is the occasional “secret stuff” refill you may need to purchase at your local office supply store and that will run you… probably less than three or four bucks.

Performance wise this thing packs about as small as it comes, and plays huge.  You can pick up the news paper just about anywhere and have that setup in a matter of minutes meaning the only thing you’d really need to carry with you is the gimmick itself, and that fits into your coat pocket with ease, taking up very little room.  While I don’t see this being a street magic kind of routine, just because it’s a little bit larger of an effect than what most street guys go for, this is ideal for close up or parlor.  Because there’s an element of writing a person’s initials on the paper prior to being torn so it can be verified after it’s restored this may not be the most ideal newspaper tear for stage, especially if your stage act is silent or done to music, but for audience interaction and byplay this is superior to other methods out there.

Overall I couldn’t be more satisfied with The Examiner.  Not only is this a practical method but it’s clear that this was developed from a magicians working arsenal, and designed to be used in the real world.  There is no pie in the sky with this product.  This doesn’t just work for the cameras, or for the internet.  This will work for you, and I suspect if you like it as much as I do, it will stay in your repertoire for many years to come.  Make sure you check out John Graham’s The Examiner while you still can.  I suspect supplies on this product is going to sell out fast.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being             absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9

Solid price, and a great effect.  Very practical, very visual, ideal for stage or close up.

Teaching Quality: 9

Great tutorial.  Nothing missing, everything you could want and more from an explanation.

Video & Sound Quality: 9

Great video and sound.

Overall Quality: 9

This is a great newspaper tear.  I loved it.  I can’t recommend this enough.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.


About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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