Dean Gunnarson’s Newest Venture: Comics

Dean Gunnarson Comic ImageDean Gunnarson has been an Inside Magic Favorite for decades.  He is death-defying and fearless and, soon, a cartoon.

Mr. Gunnarson recently went to Kickstarter to announce plans to launch a comic book, The World’s Most Daring Escape Artist.  The book will be a 32-page anthology written by Lovern Kindzierski,  author of the acclaimed Shame trilogy.  Mr. Kindzierski has written for Marvel, Heavy Metal, Dark Horse and Penny Farthing Press.   Renowned British comic book artist, Simon Bisley, will create the artwork and award-winning British artist, Glenn Farby will illustrate the cover.

Mr. Gunnarson is currently starring on the OLN show tamely titled Escape or Die.  The show is a fascinating look into the hours of preparation that goes into the escapes staged around the world.

The comic book will include stories behind three of Mr. Gunnarson’s most famous escapes: The Russian Death Tank, The Shark Bait Escape and The Snake Temple.

The campaign is just starting out but looks like it is off to a great start.  We hope it gets fully funded and look forward to the book.

Dean Gunnarson Brings Escape or Die to WV

Dean Gunnarson Escape of DieInside Magic Favorite Dean Gunnarson is bringing his Canadian TV Show “Escape or Die” to The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia.

We assume the asylum (referred to by those in the know as TALA) is no longer functioning as an institution but it is the subject of historic preservation efforts.  Mr. Gunnarson’s visit will help in those efforts through ticket sales.

“The ten dollars per seat actually stays at the asylum for further preservation efforts, so it’s definitely going to a good thing, and we figured, who wouldn’t want to be on international TV?” said Rebecca Jordan Gleason, TALA Operations Manager.

The hospital also raises funds through “haunted” tours and holiday-themed events.  Check out their spooky website for more information about the facilities and Mr. Gunnarson’s appearance.  You can visit Mr. Gunnarson’s website at AlwaysEscaping.com and the Escape or Die site here.

Criss Angel Does It: Houdini-Inspired Escape a Success

Criss Angel FoxwoodsThe headlines coming across our teletype here at the Inside Magic News Room confirmed that Criss Angel succeeded in his “Houdini Death escape” at the lovely Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Anxious editors stood hunched over the clicking wire machines as they typed out the news that Las Vegas magician and television star Criss Angel entertained “a crowd of hundreds of fans from a 75-foot crane, while restrained in a regulation straitjacket with a 50 lb. weight hanging from of his neck by a noose.”

One of the grizzled old copy editors dropped his filterless cig into his coffee mug. “Well, I’ll be . . .” he said to no one as he reviewed the news feed.

Yessir, It was quite a day around the horseshoe-shaped city desk here at Inside Magic.

According to local news reports, Mr. Angel was “suspended upside down by his feet, arms constricted in a straitjacket, dangling from a 75-foot-high crane, with a 50-pound weight hanging from a noose around his neck, Angel wiggled and swung his way to freedom, seeming to rock to the beat of loud electro-rock music.”

The performer dedicated his performance to America’s veterans in keeping with the spirit of the day.

How did the 46 year-old feel?

“My legs are just spent,” he said. “I spent a lot more time up there than I would have liked to.”

Mr. Angel told reporters he succeed only half the time in rehearsals.

One school child told the local paper, “It seems almost impossible to get out of that, so it must be magic. I thought it was scary, cause he could fall and hurt himself really badly.”

Mr. Angel is performing his new touring show, Mindfreak Live at Foxwoods Thursday through Saturday.

Dean Gunnarson’s Frigid and Fiery Chinese Escape Attempt

Inside Magic Image of Escape Artist Dean GunnarsonUPDATE:  According to CJOB 68: Manitoba's Information Superstation, Dean Gunnarson survived and succeeded just minutes ago.

Escape Artist and Inside Magic Favorite Dean Gunnarson is back in China and freezing.

His latest escape attempt defies both belief and the naturally imprinted sense of self-preservation.  Mr. Gunnarson's had him miles high in the frigid mountains of  Xining, China.  (Think Superman's crystal home or Wolverine's den).

He intended to be locked and chained by the Chinese military inside a tomb of ice on a frozen lake high in the mountains. His goal: to escape within 100 seconds before a bus explodes and drops on him. 

From the press release:

Locked and chained by the Chinese military inside of a tomb of ice on a frozen lake high in the mountains in China. A ten ton bus loaded with explosives will be raised above him by a crane and then, Gunnarson will have exactly 100 seconds (an important number in China) before the bus will explode and drop on him from a timer, crushing the ice tomb and him if he  is inside. Dean will attempt this escape on a frozen lake that is the largest in all of China.  It is located about 100 kilometers (about 62 miles)  west of the provincial capital of Xining at 3,205 m (10,515 feet) above sea level in a depression of the Tibetan Plateau in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo, located between Tibet and Mongolia.  This escape is extremely dangerous because of the cold but even more so from the high evaluation and lack of oxygen this high up.

Mr. Gunnarson told Inside Magic that he has been training in the thin air but it brought on altitude sickness.  “The lack of air and trying to do even small things just leaves me grasping for breath. This is like nothing I have ever encountered before.”

If he lives, the Chinese government will award him  the title "World's Greatest Escape Artist."   If he fails, he will likely not be given the title of World's Greatest Escape Artist.  We're just guessing about this.  The Chinese press did not discuss what happens if the bus explodes and lands on him whilst still chained.

As loyal readers of Inside Magic know, Mr. Gunnarson is a very scary man.  He seems so nice and gentlemanly but there's a crazy side to him.  He does stunts that are anything but sure-fire or fixed.  Check out his mistiming while trying to escape from a roller coaster track.   That escape (sort of) was in China as well.  We hope he has correctly converted the 100 seconds into the metric equivalent and escapes unharmed.  The roller coaster collision shattered his ankle and fibia.


Continue reading Dean Gunnarson’s Frigid and Fiery Chinese Escape Attempt

Escape Artist Gunnarson Takes Australia by Storm

Inside Magic Image of Dean Gunnarson Chained to High Speed Roller Coaster Track - An Escape that Nearly Took his  LifeAccording to press accounts, this is Inside Magic Favorite Dean Gunnarson’s first tour of Australia and judging from the favorable press, it will certainly not be his last.

But then again, as an escape artist with a penchant for pushing the envelope with no concern for paper cuts, Mr. Gunnarson comes harrowingly close to making every performance his last.

Inside Magic readers will no doubt recall Mr. Gunnarson’s near-death experience in China last year.  He was able to free himself of the shackles and came very close to clearing the hurtling roller-coaster and landing safely on a stunt cushion.

Somewhere we heard that Force is equal to Mass times Acceleration.

We don’t know if that is true or if it is just the kooky theories cooked up by the crazy kids in their college classes.

But assuming there is a positive correlation between mass, acceleration and force, a steel framed roller coaster traveling at  62 miles per hour would likely bring a significantly larger force to bear on a human leg than would the human leg impose on said roller coaster.

You can see what happens when little mass and little acceleration meet big mass and big acceleration by visiting the frame-by-frame Zapruder-esque footage of the escape attempt here.

Continue reading Escape Artist Gunnarson Takes Australia by Storm