Drowning Girl, by Roy Lichtenstein.
I tell no lie, I've been head over heels in love with Lichtenstein since I first ever encountered his work, and this before the love of comics that I've acquired in recent years, though I don't doubt the love is related.
It's the way in which Lichtenstein's panels strip the original art of all context, presenting single moments on their own that appeals to me so much, acting in a way as a commentary on the comics he drew the work from.There's a custom on scans_daily of posting single panels out of context - this panel from the most recent Wonder Woman comic is an example. Of course, in the case of S_D, it's being donw for the innuendo and the humour, but it's still an effect I love. Remove the context and the viewer has to add their own. Remove the context and you're forced to focus on just this one panel and what it says.
Drowning Girl to me, isn't about a girl who is drowning, and it never ever has been. It's about the way women are depicted in fiction and in comics and in art. About the way women are told by male artists and writers and other constructors of narrative about how we're 'supposed' to behave or how they think we behave - a straw character of female hysteria. The obvious four colour origin, bold simple lines, comic-style thought bubble emphasise that the subject isn't a person, but a caricature of a person - it's a painting of a painting, a still life of a comic, and an observation about artists and readers rather than real women.
I adore it.