Like most online services, Apple requires users to agree to its Terms and Conditions of iTunes before downloading or buying songs and other media. This is a binding legal document, and when you agree, it’s assumed that you’ve read the agreement. And we all know that with the exception of Apple’s legal team, virtually no one actually reads the T&C—which in the case of iTunes consists of 21,000 words of fine print legalese spread out over a whopping 57 pages. (Yes, I cut and pasted the whole thing into a Word doc to see how long it is.)
It’s absurd to think that anyone would even glance at such a document, let alone actually read it and understand it. So in the face of such an absurdity, perhaps it makes sense to do something equally absurd, like turn Apple’s dry, unreadable “prose” into a graphic novel, in the style of a different cartoonist on each new page.
As GQ noted this week, the artist R. Sikoryak is doing just that. “ITUNES TERMS AND CONDITIONS, The Graphic Novel: The complete, unabridged legal agreement” is being published on Tumblr, with Sikoryak posting one new page each day. As of Wednesday, there are 49 pages.
Most amusingly, the graphic novel stars a bearded Steve Jobs-like character who is drawn like he belongs in a different cartoon universe on each page. Depending on which section you’re “reading,” the Jobs-ian character will look like Dennis the Menace, Aquaman, Homer Simpson, or Spongebob Squarepants—though in all cases he’s wearing his trademark turtleneck and circular glasses.
For instance, one page of the novel features a Jobs-like drill sergeant berating Beetle Bailey (an homage to creator Mort Walker). The “dialogue” consists of passages like this:
Hilarious, right? And that’s not even the cartoon’s punchline! (I didn’t want to give it away.)