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Boss TweedNormally, the Bitmob Writing Challenge asks community members to write an article about a specific topic every month. Today, however, we’re heading back to the drawing board for the first time in over a year.

Most people have seen political cartoons where a cartoonist sums up his view of a current event in one panel using imagery and humor. In the past they were influential in swaying public opinion, such as when Thomas Nast used his illustrations to attack political corruption in 1870s New York City led by William “Boss” Tweed. Even today, they are a way to explain an issue in a way that text can’t.

When I previously did a comics-related challenge in 2010, I allowed people to draw whatever they wanted in as many panels as necessary. This time, I’m going to restrict people to the space of a typical political cartoon of one image. Here are the rules.

  • Draw a cartoon about a game or game-related issue. For example, you could comment on a specific aspect of Mass Effect 3 or the recent trend of layoffs in the industry. Limit one image.
  • Use whatever program or method you want to create it. You can use Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Microsoft Paint, or other graphic-design programs if you have access to them. In the past, I drew comics using ordinary printer paper and then scanned them into my computer. Make sure to credit anyone who helped you with this.  
  • The cartoon should stand on its own. In other words, you should be able to understand the meaning of the image without extra information. If you want to write an article about the topic and include the image in it, however, you can.
  • Upload the image onto your image-hosting site of choice like Photobucket, Deviant Art, or Flickr. Then, use the image button in the Article Editor to insert it into the article.
  • Space restrictions: It’s important to note that Bitmob can only support images that are 600 pixels wide or smaller. Otherwise, the picture will appear cut off when you post it. If you need a larger frame to show all the details, include the link to the original picture below the cartoon. You can also insert a link within the picture itself using the Article Editor’s link tool as I did above, and please include "Click the image above for a larger picture" to inform people of the link.
  • Post your work by April 30, 2012 with “Bitmob Writing Challenge” in the tags.

Good luck. If you need inspiration, trying looking at NPR’s Double Take series and see how to bring that flavor of cartooning into games. For an example of what not to do, read's article on the worst habits in political cartoons.