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How Comic Book Artists Handled Roy Lichtenstein Using Their Work

Finally, we turn to the late Heath, who saw his work adapted for the famous Lichtenstein work, "Blam," which is at the Yale University Art Gallery and they, too, do not mention Heath at all.

Heath wrote and drew a one-page comic for the Hero Initiative (lettered and colored by the late, great Darwyn Cooke) that discussed his thoughts on Lichtenstein, as well as his gratitude for the Hero Initiative itself (note that Heath mistakenly mixed up "Blam!" which was based on his work with "Whaam!" which was based on Novick's work)...

A fine statement.

A problem that we have, of course, is that so many of the comic book artists that Lichtenstein used as part of his work (by the way, Lichtenstein himself professed an appreciation for comic books, stating, "The things that I have apparently parodied I actually admire") died a long time ago. Tony Abruzzo, for instance, the brilliant romance comic book artist who drew the page...

that became Lichtenstein's famous "Drowning Girl"...

passed away in 1990 and he was not exactly a guy who was giving interviews left and right even before he died. I believe some of the best information that we have about Tony Abruzzo's life is an article that was written about him back in 1942! Heck, while Jack Kirby obviously was so famous that he gave many interviews over the years, Kirby also passed away nearly 25 years ago and as such, there is little in terms of what Kirby thought about his work being used by Lichtenstein, either.

Lichtenstein himself passed away in 1997, so for over two decades, we have been without both the controversial artist and most of the artists whose work that he adapted.

Even someone like Jerry Grandenetti, another war comics artist who had his work adapted by Lichtenstein, who lived well into the 21st Century, did not talk about Lichtenstein much in public. Perhaps in private these guys all were quite vocal about their thoughts, but in public interviews they typically remained tight-lipped. It has been left to later artists, guys like Dave Gibbons and Art Spiegleman (Spiegelman has the famous line “Lichtenstein did no more or less for comics than Andy Warhol did for soup"), to take up the charge against Lichtenstein.

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