Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Reader's Diary #1697- R. Sikoryak: Terms and Conditions

R. Sikoryak's Terms and Conditions is definitely one of the more creative endeavours I've seen in a while. He takes iTunes' "Terms and Conditions" (the American version) and uses it as the sole text, while each page of visuals is a take on classic or popular comics, drawn phenomenally in the cartoonists' style but with one of the characters given Steve Jobs' classic look (trimmed beard, hair slicked back, blue jeans, black sweater, and white sneakers).

The results are varied, but never unsuccessful unless the goal is to make you actually read the agreement for once. I'll grant that I read it more fully than ever before, but towards the end I'll admit that I was still merely scanning. But that in itself helps solidify a point: these terms and conditions are ridiculous.(Having them spewed from the mouth of Homer Simpson or Ziggy just helps underscore this point.)

I can think of no other product that inflicts such a contract on its purchaser. Imagine buying a shirt and being expected to read pages upon pages of instructions on what you can and cannot do with that shirt, going into tedious details about liability should you say, strangle yourself with the sleeve or some other unlikely scenario, describing the responsibilities and limitations thereof of the button manufacturers, and so on. There's less involved with buying a car! Probably less with buying a gun. And in most cases we're talking about a 99 cent song or a 1.99 app. They can argue all they want about music and so on not being a "product" in the traditional sense but nothing takes away from the fact that their Terms and Conditions are surreal overkill; once again proving that Apple is all about aesthetics and ignorant when it comes to user experience.

Besides subtly helping emphasize that point, Sikoryak's adaptation is a true gift for any fan and student of comics. I was thrilled to have identified as many as I did (and there's a cheat sheet in the back for those I missed) and more often than not, whenever I thought of cartoonists that I'd like to see, they'd suddenly show up. From classics like Herge and Carl Barks right up to modern artists like Roz Chast and Gene Luen Yang. I was especially impressed by all of the Canadians covered. On that note, I'll end of with a list of the Canucks parodied in Terms and Conditions:

  • Seth
  • Ryan North
  • Todd McFarlane
  • Fiona Staples
  • Kate Beaton
  • Bryan Lee O'Malley
  • Mariko Tamaki
  • Jillian Tamaki
  • Lynn Johnson
  • Julie Doucet
(Did I miss someone? If so, please let me know and I'll them!)

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