Let’s admit it—every time a new update for any Apple product pops up on a screen, most people scroll through the dozens of paragraphs to the bottom, and check the damn box. Rarely does anyone read the entire document.
Then, a nagging anxiety wells up. What did we really agree to? Did we just fork our kidneys over to Apple?
Terms and Conditions travels through the monstrosity that is the infamous iTunes Terms and Conditions legal document and attempts to make it readable. Each panel features a likeness of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, morphed into many different styles, including Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half and Jim Davis’ Garfield.
The original document on its own makes for a long and dense read–it could almost put a person into a coma. There’s a reason why so few have managed to get through it. However the beauty of Terms and Conditions isn’t in the writing, rather it relies on the artwork itself. The art pays off.
The joy here is in Robert Sikoryak’s juxtaposition of the legal words with his images. On one page, Jobs speaks to a crying female character. He walks up to her, takes her hands into his, and says, “No Apple employee or agent has the authority to vary this Agreement” before taking her into his arms. Then a smile appears on both their faces.
Sikoryak also manages to imitate the styles of a handful of the comic world’s greatest artists, taking the reader on a visual comic book history tour.
If only every user agreement was so engaging, maybe we’d all know what we’re getting ourselves into.
Available in March
By R. Sikoryak
Drawn and Quarterly
108 pp, $16.95
Original appeared in the Graphic Novel issue of VUE Weekly, issue 1113. The comic was provided by Drawn and Quarterly for review purposes.