BY: KRUPA JOSEPH
Have you ever read the iTunes Store’s Terms and Conditions before clicking on ‘Agree’? I bet not. Come on, don’t lie. Truth is, only 7 percent of consumers actually read the full terms when buying any product or service online. Add to that the fact that Apple’s T&C is popular for being one of the most laborious and extensive legal documents, ever. So we all do what any ‘sensible’ person would do – scroll right down to the end and select ‘I agree’. For all we know, we could have just agreed to hand over our first-born child to Apple or sold our souls to the devil. But, for those who have tried to read the document and failed, and those who have constantly wondered what lies on those pages, here is a book you would love to buy.
Cartoonist, satirist and illustrator, Robert Sikoryak just turned iTunes’ 20,000-word legalese into a 94-page graphic novel titled, Terms and Conditions. The word-for-word adaptation draws from a variety of comic styles.
Through the book you see him pay homage to masterminds such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Edward Gorey by drawing from their most loved works. On every page, a Steve Jobs clad in his iconic turtleneck appears and states clauses from the contract.
Did things just get boring again? Sikoryak is two steps ahead of you. In order to liven things up, on every page cartoon Jobs makes his way through ever-changing landscapes that will appear familiar to practically anyone. He mostly uses classics throughout the book and to ensure that everyone who reads it would see a few familiar images, Sikoryak used iTunes to find the most popular comics. Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts, The Walking Dead, Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD, Spider-Man, Garfield, The Simpsons and Little Lulu are only some of the comics that have found their spot on the pages of this book. The juxtaposition of the legal document and comic narrative makes the novel not only extremely hilarious but also a true masterwork of absurdist pop art.
“Lots of classic works of literature and lots of books get adapted into comics. The form of adaptation is really what I’m responding to,” Sikoryak said, explaining his decision to create this novel. “Most people feel that they should have read Moby-Dick, but haven’t, and most people haven’t read the iTunes agreement and feel that they should.” Through this, he hopes to make the contract accessible to people, just as a movie does for a classic novel. He self-published the work in comic book form across two issues, one for parts A and B of the agreement, and a second for parts C and D.
In an interview, Sikoryak suggests that the hardest aspect of the project was having to include the updates. “When I began the project in late 2014, the Terms were a total of 15,000 words. Then, in the middle of 2015, the Terms were updated to 20,000 words. I had already drawn the first 50 pages, but I went back and revised all of the text. (It hadn’t changed too drastically.) Then I had to expand the comic from an estimated 70 pages to approximately 94 pages.”
Until now, the only full version of the comic was on Tumblr but Drawn & Quarterly has announced plans to release an up-to-date, full-colour version on March 7, 2017. But, if you can’t hold off until then, you can read the entire book here, on Tumblr, or scroll down for some of the best comics.