Make-up makes the Costume for a Comic Book Crying Girl look inspired by Lichtenstein 1960s Pop Art
Roy Lichtenstein’s name might not jump to mind, but you’ll know his iconic pop art Crying Girl – the cartoon blonde inspired by teen romance comic books of the 1960s. If you’ve got makeup, a long blonde wig, and a steady hand, the Pop Art Comic Book Girl could be your most memorable Halloween costume ever.
As a leading figure in the Pop Art movement of the mid-20th century, Lichtenstein ranks with giants like Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol in modern art. Best known to most of us outside the gallery world are Lichtenstein‘s early-1960s work drawing on the images of comic books – both the war-action-adventure-superhero genre (Whaam!) and the schmaltzy romance number (Oh, Jeff… I Love You, Too… But…) aimed at teenaged girls. The blonde girl character that is rapidly gaining in popularity for cosplay and Halloween events is from this source of inspiration.
Inspired by 1960s Romance Comic Books
Mid-century romance comics such as Secret Hearts (from DC Comics) and the like, I’ve often thought, were perhaps the mass media’s last-ditch attempt to prop up a 1950s gender role model against the creeping tide of free love and women’s liberation, but perhaps that’s taking the genre too seriously. In any case, in Pop Art masterpieces such as Crying Girl, the famous Tony Abruzzo-inspired Drowning Girl, and (my all-time favorite) Hopeless, Roy Lichtenstein lifts the iconic figure of the comic book girl from the drugstore magazine racks to the walls of the art gallery.
But you don’t have to be an art buff or a comic book fan to revel in a Lichtenstein costume for your Halloween, cosplay or fancy dress wear – and even those in your audience who don’t fully get the Pop Art reference will be impressed by the sheer cleverness of the comic book girl character.
How to Create a Lichtenstein Comic Book Girl Costume?
It’s All About the Makeup…
Youtube is larded with a lot of video tutorials promising to show you how to do the Pop Art comic book Crying Girl makeup, but by far the best look (and the best on-screen presentation) is the step-by-step vid made by Pinkstylist, a.k.a. the UK-based makeup artist Charlie Short. Watching as the Pop Art Crying Girl gradually takes over this young man’s face is beyond fascinating.
Isn’t that awesome?
As Pinkstylist shows us, a bold hand with the cartoon-y makeup is required. Keys are a smooth pale base, black expression lines to suggest the cartoonist’s pen at work, and a careful pattern of lines of evenly spaced dots to represent the screened ink dots of the retro comic book printing process.
Every interpretation will be different, of course, and Pinkstylist makes it clear that there is as much artistic vision as technical skill in creating this look. He begins with a general plan and some reference pictures, then feels his way along one brush stroke at a time to a truly remarkable achievement in the art of disguise. Perhaps we can’t reach his level of skill, but with a little practice a fair facsimile is well within reach of anyone who’s put in their time at the vanity, eyeliner in hand.
Top your newly cartoon-ified face with a blonde wig and the early-’60s dress of your choice. Pin a cardboard speech bubble into your hair, if you like, and that’s it for one of the most memorable Halloween costumes you’ll ever wear.
The Pop Art Crying Girl costume is nothing short of a work of art.