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Creator of Obama-Joker images just a student

Written by: Staff

Washington, Aug 19: The creator of an iconic anti-Obama image is no angry conservative frustrated at corporate bailouts and healthcare reform, but a student from the president's hometown who favoured an even more liberal presidential candidate.

The work depicting Barack Obama as Batman's archenemy the Joker, which appeared on street posters, T-shirts and bumper stickers across the country this summer, was fashioned on a lark by a bored Palestinian-American on break from university.

20-year-old, Firas Alkhateeb, is far from one of the red-faced protesters who have shouted down Democratic politicians at constituent meetings, nor is he a smug young conservative standing against his Obama-enthralled peers.

Alkhateeb told the Los Angeles Times that he did not vote, but had he, he would have cast a ballot for Dennis Kucinich, one of the most liberal politicians in America.

He made the image of Obama in black, white, green and red face paint this winter from a cover portrait of an Oct 2008 issue of Time magazine, following a tutorial on how to 'Jokerise' images.

Alkhateeb said he intended no political statement. But a still anonymous Obama critic downloaded his image, removed the magazine cover banner, appended the caption 'socialism', then hung posters across Los Angeles this summer.


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