Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Brendan McCarthy - "The Eyes Of JFK"

This is the second and final set of scans from art mag Cipher, published in 1980. 
From the back cover of Cipher #2, here's a line-up of contributors.

Top row is David Plante on the left, editor Jake Tilson in the centre. Bottom row is
Brendan McCarthy masquerading as Dr Cypher, Henry Evans and assistant editor Steve Whitaker,

The cover of Cipher #3 is another early colour Xerox designed by Jake Tilson.

For this Apocalyptic issue, the print run was up to 300

Brendan's story in this issue is, if anything, even more enigmatic than "Dr Cypher" from issue 2.
The title page is a colour Xerox pasted along the top edge.

Lifting the Xerox reveals this photograph of Kennedy...

...followed by four delicately pencilled pages...

So what does it all mean? Only Dr Cypher knows, and he's not talking.


  1. Hi David - nice to see Cipher online. Brendan also contributed to Cipher 1 and 5. Then there was an art school magazine we worked on called LAZA7. Nice to see Electric Hoax, I have a full set somewhere -I'm a huge fan!

  2. Jake! Both Cipher and Atlas blew my mind when I came across them, though I wasn't always able to find every issue dammit! LAZA7 sounds interesting, though I don't know if Brendan can stand to have any more of those early works revealed to the public gaze. Personally I think all these pages look great - love the loose pencils on the JFK strip - but artists always see their own early work with a more critical eye.