The iTunes’ Terms and Conditions agreement has got to be the least-read-yet-most-signed contract in human history. For pages and pages (and a nearly limitless downward digital scroll), it enumerates Apple’s latest subtle shifts in policy regarding the ways we purchase, license and “own” music and media acquired through the most influential online marketplace to date. Who reads those things? Who could even pretend to? Can one even imagine a more arduous task than going through that document, line by line, and trying to parse what exactly it is we are all signing on for?
But ah, the magic of comics. Cartoonist R. Sikoryak, whose work has appeared in Drawn and Quarterly and The New Yorker, is publishing his painstakingly thorough, unabridged graphic adaptation of the iTunes Terms and Conditions agreement on Tumblr. This version of the contract is no mere dry rendering of legalese — instead, Sikoryak has transformed the document into a showcase of styles from talent all across the history of comics, making each page an experiment in the diverse visual language of the medium’s most beloved luminaries.
With his trademark glasses and black turtleneck, a cartoon of Steve Jobs acts as guide to each page, evolving through an array of homages to sequential storytelling from superhero comics, famed newspaper comic strips, alt comix and webcomics. All text is taken from the original document, but is played through familiar comics tropes ranging from dialogue, narrative captions to thought balloons.
Sikoryak, a Parsons School of Design alum and employee, has completed his 94-page adaptation, broken into collections of Parts A & B and Parts C & D. He has sold the minicomics at conventions, and is now rolling it out daily over Tumblr. Charles M. Shulz, Bill Watterson, Jim Davis, Hergé, Will Eisner, Stan Lee with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Dr. Seuss’s Theodore Geisel and P. D. Eastman, Alison Bechdel, Osamu Tezuka, Akira‘s Katsuhiro Otomo and Harvey Pekar with Kevin Brown are just some of the creators to have been honored thus far in this ambitious undertaking, which seems to prove that comics can make just about anything interesting.
Check out a selection of the adaptation below, and follow the entire comics’ contractual saga at iTunesTandC.tumblr.com.