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Cartoonist’s unique take on modern life will leave you asking for more

‘Generally I walk around the house trying to think of something funny.’

Ever wondered what art reimagined as fish would look like? Or what would cult classics be if they had post-modernist remakes?

Most likely not, but a Canadian graphic designer is here to do it for you.

John Atkinson, who features his work on his blog site Wrong Hands gives his unique take on everything random and wonderful.

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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)

John said: “Generally, I walk around the house trying to think of something funny. Then I have a nap. Then I bang my head against the wall.

“Once I think I’ve come up with something, I begin to sketch it out. About halfway through the process I realise it isn’t that funny after all and start over again.”

John’s illustrations include a wide range of topics – from lazy recipes to beak shapes of birds.

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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)

His most popular ones include a series-of-three cartoons called “abridged classics”.

John said: “Basically it is a series of three cartoons where I summarise classic novel in around 10 words or less.

“I can’t really say why one cartoon is more successful than another, but this series really resonated with literary types, teachers, academics and even pop culture junkies.

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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)
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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)
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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)

“The other successful cartoon is the ‘anatomy’ series. There are several in this series beginning with one called ‘anatomy of songs’. That series basically plays on tropes and cliches in popular entertainment.

“I also recently did a series of two cartoons titled ‘art school of fish’ and ‘another art school of fish’ that got a lot of traction online.”

John says he tries to draw a new cartoon every week but it all depends on how the ideas are flowing.

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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)

He said: “Some ideas sit for a very long time before becoming final cartoons and others happen very quickly. Often I will let an idea sit because I haven’t come up with the proper wording or I struggle with how to illustrate it.

“Other times everything falls in place instantly, but that sometimes make me a little nervous.”

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(John Atkinson/Wrong Hands)

John, who is hoping to become a cartoonist full-time, has recently published a book based on the “abridged classics” series called Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries Of Books You Were Supposed To Read But Probably Didn’t.

He added: “I’m hoping to publish a second book in the near future but that remains to be seen.”

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