Student “Jokerized” Obama, But Didn’t Make Him Socialist

A college student.  Winter break.  A Time cover.  Adobe Photoshop.  An online tutorial.  Four hours of playing around.  Upload to Flickr.  Cue nationwide phenomenon.  As a new Los Angeles Times report confirms, a University of Illinois senior decided to alter a Barack Obama Time cover shot while bored prior to the start of last spring semester.  He followed an online tutorial enabling users to “Jokerize” images, basically adapting them into the infamous look of Heath Ledger’s character from “The Dark Knight.”

ObamaJoker obama-socialism-joker

He posted his effort (above left) on Flickr.  It did not receive much attention at first.  According to the Times: “Then the counter exploded after a still-anonymous rogue famously found his image, digitally removed the references to Time Magazine, captioned the picture with the word ‘socialism’ [above right] and hung printed copies around L.A., making headlines.”

Lots of attention and of course some condemnation has followed.  The threat of copyright lawsuits from both Time and DC Comics still hangs in the air.  And the whole situation provides yet another example of how quickly a bored winter Web-play-date can spin into a national imbroglio and how quickly what one creates and posts online can spin out of his control.

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