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"Whaam!" (1963) Pop-Art Diptych by Roy Lichtenstein - Housed in the Tate Modern in London


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I don't know why I've always loved "Whaam!", a pop-art, comic-style diptych by Roy Lichtenstein, a New York pop artist born in the same year as my parents, 1923 - but I have, and I guess it's the comic-book-reading little boy of my youth that loves it.

"Whaam!" is based on the story, "Star Jockey," from the DC Comics comic book "All American Men of War," issue #89 (Jan-Feb, 1962), and the panel was drawn by Irv Novick. Lichtenstein merely reproduced the panel: This is Novick's work, and Lichtenstein took no credit for originality (or, at least, none that I know of).

I went to the Tate Modern in 2003, and stumbled across the original of "Whaam!", and was absolutely thrilled to see it - I don't even think I knew it was there, and all of a sudden: Whaam! - it was staring me in the face, *much* larger than I imagined it would be, at over five-feet high and over thirteen-feet wide!

"Whaam!" means enough to me - even though it's most certainly *not* any sort of masterpiece - that I looked into purchasing the finest non-original copy I could find for Matt's bedroom when he was a boy. Unfortunately, there are no signed lithographs, and the only things available are posters (nice posters, but posters nonetheless, and unsigned by Lichtenstein). Even they run into the hundreds-of-dollars - maybe I should try and hunt down a copy of that 1962 comic book, but that might cost even more.

Well, anyway, I present to you ... "Whaam!"


For those of you who recognize the name Roy Lichtenstein, but can't quite place who he is, one of his works is in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC (the modern one, on the north side of the mall, where the ice rink is). "House I" (1996-1998) is the work by Lichtenstein - one of his final pieces, it was modeled in 1996, and constructed posthumously in 1999 (Lichtenstein passed away in 1997).

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