Drowing Girl by Roy Lichtenstein by Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein appropriated comic book imagery in many of his early paintings. The source for this work is "Run for Love!," the melodramatic lead story in DC Comics' Secret Love #83, from 1962. In the original illustration, the drowning girl's boyfriend appears in the background, clinging to a capsized boat. Lichtenstein cropped the image dramatically, showing the girl alone, encircled by a threatening wave. He shortened the caption from "I don't care if I have a cramp!" to the ambiguous "I don't care!" and changed the boyfriend's name she calls out from Mal to Brad.

Working by hand, Lichtenstein painstakingly imitated the mechanized process of commercial printing. First he transferred a sketch onto a canvas with the help of a projector. He then drew in black outlines and filled them with primary colors or with circles, simulating the Ben-day dots used in the mechanical reproduction of images. Explaining the appeal of comic books, Lichtenstein said, "I was very excited about, and interested in, the highly emotional content yet detached, impersonal handling of love, hate, war, etc. in these cartoon images."