Unusually Entertaining Reading: by author and illustrator Brad Teare.
THE BIZARRE SETTING
Cypher begins in a dark and obscure future America with an unfortunate nameless hero. He lives in a world of ever-present anxiety and dread where those around him are more sophisticated and stranger than him. They seem to know secrets that he just doesn’t understand.
The unnamed protagonist soon realizes that the symbols surrounding him explain the meaning of life. He is plucked from his mundane existence and shown first-hand how bizarre this world can be if you peer beneath the surface.
THE PAGE-TURNING STORY
Cypher is a collection of easy-to-follow and interconnected short stories. The reader is taken on an emotional and fascinating ride through a bizarre world of destiny and defeat. Its ambiguous and opaque message results from trying to express the inexpressible, but rewards multiple readings by unlocking more of its secrets each time.
Sly references and slapstick humor will keep the reader turning its 112 pages — even after he or she realizes the ominous cultural significance of Cypher and its hapless hero.
THE COLLECTABLE ART
A collector’s publication of scratchboard illustration, Cypher veers from a surrealistic story to an artistic realism — dream imagery in scratchboard style. This hardbound graphic novel is wonderfully drawn and imaginatively written and has received praise from publications such as The Washington Times and The Metro.
Teare’s work has appeared in The New York Times and Heavy Metal magazine as well as on book covers by authors such as Fritz Lieber and Kim Stanley Robinson. Only a limited number of copies of Cypher are in circulation.