Cartoonist R. Sikoryak has built his career on parodying and satirizing familiar works, be it classic literature or classic comic books.
His 2009 collection, “Masterpiece Comics,” for example, merged Camus’s “The Stranger” with “Superman” comics and Dante’s “Inferno” with “Bazooka Joe” strips.
His latest mashup, “Terms and Conditions,” takes a dense, widely unread text — Apple’s iTunes Terms and Conditions — and merges it with recreations of comic book pages inspired by a vast array of comic artists.
amNewYork spoke with the Manhattan artist about the book, which he will be signing and discussing on Thursday at Strand Books.
Why the iTunes Terms and Conditions?
The longest story I’d ever done is about 20 pages. Dense, highly agonized-over pages, but I’d never done something like a book-length project. All my work involves adaptation of some kind or another, so I was casting about for a text that would be interesting, and also my work tends toward the absurd and the funny or the ironic or fill in the blank. So when I was thinking of long texts, I thought of the joke of the iTunes Terms and Conditions being ridiculously long. So, once I thought of that, I couldn’t get it out of my head. So I had to see if it could happen.
Does it bother you every time they change it, that the book will be out of date?
They actually have updated it again since the book came out. It’s actually shorter now. I did actually update it three times from when I started the project to when I completed the book. I really wanted the book to be as up to date as possible. ... I felt like I needed to keep in the spirit of the document and update it. But now that it’s actually shorter, and it’s no longer called the iTunes Terms and Conditions, it’s now called the Apple Music Services Terms and Conditions, so I like to describe mine as being the unabridged version.
What do you have planned for the Strand event?
Couple of different things. I’m going to do a compressed reading of the book. I’ve been doing a short version where I scroll through the pages and read a particular excerpt. It will give people a sense of the comic. So I’ll be showing that and then I’ll be methodically taking you through the process of putting the book together.
What are you working on now?
I’m doing a new series that I thought was going to [be] very short, but it’s unfortunately stayed with us, called “The Unquotable Trump.” It takes actual spoken words of Trump and puts it into parodies of comic book covers and it’s up on Tumblr right now. I was originally just going to do the minicomic and call it a day. But a lot of people were excited by it. I sound like our president, a lot of people were talking about it. A number of people were really enthusiastic and I was convinced, coerced and obliged. I’m looking forward to it ending, but I’m afraid I’m going to stop before he does.