Artist Channels iTunes Terms and Conditions Into Graphic Novel

Giving new life to a serpentine 20,669 words

It started out as a Tumblr diversion. At the urging of New Yorker art director Francoise Mouly, Robert Sikoryak shared colorful treatments of unabridged text from Apple’s Terms and Conditions for iTunes.

Today, that diversion has blossomed into the release of a full-blown graphic novel, which the artist will be supporting with a tour beginning March 9 in Baltimore and continuing to the Strand Bookstore in New York March 16. In the $14.95 tome, published by Drawn and Quarterly, Sikoryak models each page on a recognizable comic strip like Family Circus, Garfield or The Amazing Spider-Man:

Adapting the legalese of the iTunes Terms and Conditions into another medium seems like an unfathomable undertaking, yet Sikoryak creates a surprisingly readable document, far different from its original, purely textual incarnation and thus proving the accessibility and flexibility of comics. When Sikoryak parodies Kate Beaton’s Hark A Vagrant peasant comics with Steve Jobs discussing objectionable material or Homer Simpson as Steve Jobs warning of the penalties of copyright infringement, Terms and Conditions serves as a surreal record of our modern digital age where technology competes with enduringly ironclad mediums.

The New York Times’ Joe Coscarelli visited Sikoryak at the artist’s East Village apartment. He notes that Apple has since shrunk the Terms and Conditions to a much shorter 7,000-word template and walks readers through a preview of some of the book’s panels.

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