Happy Birthday Roy Lichenstein!! American born in Manhattan in 1923, Lichenstein studied at the Arts Students’ League and Ohio State University on the GI Bill, after a stint in the US Army in WWII. He worked as a commercial artist and then began on his own art in earnest in the Abstract Expressionist Style. Lichenstein then became a popular Pop artist and was credited with the creative use of benday dots. His commercial art background is evident in his large, hard-edged cartoon style and parody of the comic strip. Whaam! is most likely his most famous work, a diptych (two panel) recreating a 1962 DC Comic All-American Men of War issue of an American fighter plane destroying the enemy. There are two views on the purpose of Lichenstein's use of cartoon as the vehicle for his art: was it to point out that comic books have items of import for us to seriously consider? or does the size of his scenes and characters use irony to minimize them in our (the viewers' ) eyes? In Lichenstein's own words, "One of the things a cartoon does is to express violent emotion in a completely mechanical and removed style."
Benday dots-A printing process invented by Benjamin Day, which uses two color dots, juxtaposed to create the illusion of one color. In the days when comic books were popular, the technique was used for flesh tones, as they could be created with two or three primary colors creating one secondary skin color.
Parody-a work created to make fun of or mock an original work or event.