A lot of us enjoy sitting on a comfy couch, with a nice book and a warm hot chocolate, tea, coffee, you name it. Probably many of you do it, but there’s a good percentage of people who find it difficult to find the time to grab a nice book and read for hours. After a busy, long day at work, when we come back we like to ease our minds with a nice movie or binge watch our favorite tv show until we fall asleep. This is definitely something a lot of people will relate to.
If you’re feeling bad for not spending more time reading than watching tv, there’s nothing to worry about anymore, because artist John Atkinson of ‘Wrong Hands’ has you covered. John studied Fine Art at University and after spectacularly failing as a visual artist, took up graphic design. Although he always doodled, he never studied cartooning and it wasn’t until about eight years ago that he began posting his work online. “I was curious if anyone other than myself and my cat would find them funny. Fortunately, a few people did. Cartooning isn’t exactly a lucrative career path, so needless to say, I haven’t given up my graphic design day job yet,” said the artist when contacted by Earthwonders.
To create book spoilers like these the artist was inspired by a survey which revealed that about 60 percent of people pretend to have read books they haven’t and around 40 percent rely on movies and TV to feign knowledge of classic novels. “I thought it might be a funny idea to help everyone out and provide “tweet-sized” synopses of these classic books suitable for dinner parties or when you’re cornered at a function. They’re not intended to replace reading the actual book and I’m quick to tell students not to use them as book reports unless they want a solid D- or an F,” shared John.
The artist published a book of abridged novels in 2018 called “Abridge Classics: Brief summaries of books you were supposed to read but probably didn’t ”. The book contains over one hundred abridged books in addition to the ones in the original cartoons. Summarizing a book like that into a cartoon can surely be challenging. Not only is the artist trying to summarize a very complex work of art in a few words, but he also wants to be as accurate as possible while still being humorous.
John told us how he creates these cartoons that are as funny yet as accurate. “I have a lot of little notebooks I walk around with and even have one beside my bed. I basically scribble down any idea I think is funny and might work as a cartoon. Ninety percent of the ideas never make it out of the notebook, but the ones that do I then take and roughly sketch out. After that I redraw them on the computer and add color and text etc. After I’ve completed a cartoon, I like to sit on it for a little while. If after a few days or weeks I go back and look at it and if it makes me smile, I’ll share it with everyone else.”
Scroll down below to see this funny collection of cartoons of all the books you were supposed to read but didn’t.