August 17, 2009 | 9:22
Mystery solved, it seems.
The Times' Top of the Ticket blog is reporting that it has uncovered the identity of the artist behind the infamous Obama-as-Joker poster.
Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois, said that he created the picture of Obama in Heath Ledger's clown makeup from "The Dark Knight" using Adobe Photoshop software. Alkhateeb said he used an existing Time magazine cover photo to create the image (see left).
On Jan. 18, he uploaded the altered magazine cover to Flickr, a photo-sharing site. At some point, an anonymous user downloaded the image, removed all references to Time magazine and added "Socialism" at the bottom.
It's still unclear who the second prankster is.
The "Socialism" posters started appearing around L.A. last month and became a media sensation, provoking all kinds of speculation as to the identity of the artist.
To read Top of the Ticket's interview with Alkhateeb, click here
-- David Ng
Photo credit: Firas Alkhateeb