Weekend pop art: Reading books made quick and easy with abridged illustrations

(artwork (c) Johnn Atrkinson)


I love reading books.

Losing myself in books, long and short, big and small, has been a passion of time since I can remember but even I have to admit it’s well near impossible to read everything (not that I don’t give it a red hot go!).

Riding to the rescue for those with not enough time, and for those addicted to the viral bits-and-pieces of today’s read-and-run culture (of which I am a participant as much as anyone), is Ottawa-based graphic designer John Atkinson who has come up with a really fast, and fun, way to get a handle on a book in record time – abridged illustrations which humourously take a book down to its core elements.

It’s all driven by a simple recognition that our reading and information absorption habits have changed in the digital age, as he told Buzzfeed:

“I did the original three abridged classics cartoons a while back. I was thinking about how, in an online world, we consume information. In the past, we would spend hours/days/weeks reading great literature, but now we have a need to digest everything in small viral bits.”

Fun though they are though, and they are nothing short of wonderfully inspired, he hopes they will lead people to go further and explore the actual books:

“I would hope that people find these funny — or at least pithy. I’d also hope they might encourage some to revisit, re-read, or discover for the first time some of these great works of literature.”

If you love these illustrations, and why would you not, you can find more in Atkinson’s book, Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn’t – which, as yet, has not been abridged itself – or enjoy the wider body of his work at Wrong Hands.


(artwork (c) Johnn Atrkinson)


(artwork (c) Johnn Atrkinson)


(artwork (c) Johnn Atrkinson)


(artwork (c) Johnn Atrkinson)


(artwork (c) Johnn Atrkinson)

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