Tate Kids


Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam!, 1963

‘WHAAM!’ An explosion erupts; blazing flames and smoke fill the sky.
Why has this happened? What happens next? Who are the characters in this story?

The artist Roy Lichtenstein was inspired by American comics about war when he made this painting. Not only was he interested in the stories they told, but also in the way that comic books were produced. He carefully studied the way small dots of ink were printed close to each other to appear like large blocks of colour on the page. He was also fascinated by the way that bold lines, strong colours and text were used to depict powerful stories. Lichtenstein used these ideas to make this painting.

22 stories about “Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam!, 1963”

  1. Steven Dunn, age 14, from Bangers and Mash

    The important delivery of sausage and mash was delayed by a freak attack on the cargo plane by an unregistered aircraft. Bangers and mash fell over the Atlantic, and the fish had a wonderful dinner. Yummy.

  2. Matt Eskew, age 17, from USA

    Bobby Ray, the pilot, was circling the globe in his super fast jet. Suddenly he saw an alien in the blue yonder skydiving off a martian cruiser. Bobby Ray hated martians so he ran his jet into the skydiving martian. Splat! Alien guts coated the nose of his plane. His cockpit windshield was dirty! Bobby Ray’s stomach growled fearsomely. He was hungry and ready for dinner. All that green goo reminded him of his moms cookin’. They we’re having fried okra for dinner tonight. It was his favorite. But then, Suddenly! The Bluebell Ice Cream bunny mascot dangerously shot past Bobby and his sweet little flyer, the Marie Rose. That bunny was bad news! He nearly nipped off Marie’s tail feathers with that reckless flying. What to much ice cream can do for you! Sporadically in an ADHD moment where two ends don’t meet and you feel you missed a section of the story line, Bobby Ray fired his hot super sweet laser beam guided missile at the bunny’s hogg flyer underside belly. And Whaam Kablam!!! Bluebell Bunny burned to chaff in a fiery inferno! Bobby Ray went home soon after and and ate fried okra on a plate that went up to the high heavens. Everything seemed okay until his mother offered him a bowl of ice cream for desert. Skeptically he asked “what kind of ice cream is it?” “Breyer’s all natural vanilla with real vanilla bean in it ice cream,” replied his mother. “Oh, okay mom.”

    Billy had some ice cream. It was delicious.

  3. Georgi, age 12, from Britain

    WHAAM… the plane crashed right into the side of the great glass elevator. The elevator is 17000 feet high and is made entirely out of glass. Maybe it wasent such a good idea to go flying on such a windy day…? The plane burst into flames and exploded 10 seconds after it hit the elevator. Red, Yellow, Orange, colours flying everywhere like a rainbow of acidic colours and varios shades of firery colours. The next plane was soon to follow behind the first plane, but the driver was aware of the danger and quickly made a shoot upwards towards the sky…but halfway up the elevator the second planes engines stopped and came crashing back down, backwards! The driver screamed down his walkie talkie but it was no use…he was to meet his final fate at the botton of the great, glass elevator…

  4. Megan, age 8, from England

    I sore a plane in the sky he sudlee he crashd.
    Then he feld done.

  5. Callum, age 12, from England

    there was a man who had a fan and he got in his plain and gat shot and blown up his head fell of and he died 4ever

  6. Amita Hanspal, age 16, from England

    momma told me not to go flying there….”it’s bad,” she said..”REAL bad,”..the lady next door told her to warn me. “something bad is gonna happen.” of course i didn’t listen, i never do…that’s was the beauty of our relationship, she talks and it manages to wash over me like rain. i could sit there every night at the dinner table…papa dead quiet….and momma screaming in my ear all night long. me with my head down carving into the leathery meat. i like mine rare. she’d keep talking and talking and i’d sit there stuck in my earwax imagination with angels flying over my head…..”pssst”..they’d say…..”you’re gonna be a star”….I’d exuse myself from the dinner table every night and stare into the bathroom mirror….watching the stars in my eyes..it was the same stars that came back to visit when i crashed into that other plane…i saw the stars…i saw papa…i saw the look on mommas face…i saw my arm fly outside the plane…i saw the smoke…then i saw the light.

  7. Michael, age 14, from England

    hi my name is michael and im learning about roy lichtenstein, i really cannot beleive that he done all of those dots on this piece of work called “WHAAM” i think that it is totally cool. i’ve been to the tate art gallery and got a guided tour and the women was lovely and understanding, the tate art gallery is the best one yet ( im saying yet because i havn’t been to much art gallerys in london in fact i only went to the tate!) the pictures was well cool! i find the funniest thing the farting thing on floor 4 and the surrealism (surrealism is what im learning at school) because when i went on a school trip i was well funny so thank you for the lovely paintings tate!!! from michael at sittingburne community college!

  8. Michael, age 7, from England

    It had been a terrable flite and the plane was out of
    controle . The Xyalian fired his bombs to save himself
    by the dragon chasing him.

  9. Samuel, age 0, from Unknown

    I was flying in my plane when I saw the enemy. I had no rockets left but a colleage, seeing me in trouble, launched a rocket that narrowly missed me and blew the enemy up!

  10. Mitchell, age 10, from Austrailia

    where comeing near enemy ship whaaaaaaaaammmm!!!!!!!!. Weve been hit mooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww there goes our engines.
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh booooooooooom.
    Back in the other ship enemy hit mission sucsessful

  11. Tien Nguyen, age 16, from England

    The Men of the Sky

    In the not to far future the planet Earth has been completely polluted by humans. Seas have completely covered the land and all that is left untouched is the sky. So every country knowing that the sky is the only place built a flying city. Since the Cities have been built there was no longer peace. Every leader of a country wanted to control the sky and become the Lord of the Sky. So these brave pilots ‘The Men of the Sky’ strap into their planes ready to fight at any given moment. In this picture it shows a brave pilot charging head on with another plane and eventually shotting it down setting the enemy plane alight.

  12. Jared, age 11, from England

    It is world war 2. The planes are going to war and one plane gets blowne up by the plane behind.

  13. Ellie Jewkes, age 11, from England

    They were smashing into each other then one of them fell out of their plane a woaaaah another plane crashed into him, the person in the plane fell through the glass roof and slamed onto of the other. Then all of a sudden they both started to fly, fly very high then they turned into self-smashers. And they both killed all the rest of the others but then all of the others started flying. After a while they turn back to normal and returned as young boys and girls.

  14. Nicole Mciver, age 11, from England

    One sunny day an airplane was flying through the sky to China. The view was wonderful and the sun was shining .Every body was happy and smiley as they were looking forward to there sunny family holiday, then suddenley something went terribly wrong ……………………………….WWHHAAMM!!!

  15. Dannielle, age 11, from England

    It was a very sunny day and the flight pilot was getting ready to land. Everyone was so happy they were nearly home, but then suddenly the plane started to swerve. The petrol had run out. People were screaming, children were crying. Then……………………………..WHAMM!!!!

  16. Michael Winker, age 11, from England

    They were screaming the man said “EVERYBODY OUT” in a scared and steady way. The plane was going down untill a sudden noise …………………BANG,10 people never made it they were to late the rest were hert but fine kids were crying to ther mums and then a man came out like a bear with 2 kids on his shoulders just made it but he fell over and the plane blew up for the final time the man never lived but had a honorable death 1 kid just survived as the man fell on him and took the BANG that was a brave mans funeral in a deseved grave.

  17. Zoe Gregory, age 11, from England

    This picture is in the style of a comic because of the caption of writing and bright colours. The artist who painted this was called Roy Lichenstein in 1963. The name of the picture is Whaam! it reminds me of old comics of superheroes saving the world from danger every day.
    There was the sound of explosions filling the air. missiles shooting from every direction. But some thing was coming towards the intruders! Was it a bird, was it a superman no it was a PLANE!!! A plane driven by the flying superhero WHAAM!!! He flew straight at the baddies making them swerve out of control and he shot them out of the sky. People rejoyced as the evil villains spiralled down to earth. “Thanks Whaam!!”

  18. Jack Leigh, age 11, from England

    there was once a man named josh who trained all his life in the air force to become a great piolt. After years of training he eventually became a piolt and he recived a new jet plane 206 to fly in. As josh entered his jet he placed his helmet on his head and set off into the sky for an impotant mission. As he flew over his home land he saw that a predator 96 was following him. He quickly fired a missle to destroy the enimie but it was to late his plane had been fired at. Joshs plane whistled as his plane flew to the ground he quikly opened his window and jumped out with a parachute attached to him. A few minutes later he landed not dead!

  19. Sam Pickering, age 11, from England

    This amazing story is about Phil, one of the bravest pilot ever. He’s already been in fifty odd air battles! This time he gets shot down by a nazy plane. All I saw was a missile come fly out of the bomber……………….central hit.
    “MAY DAY! MAY DAY!” He shouted, as it hit the floor.

  20. Aneesa Khalid, age 11, from UK

    one sunny day in china some tourists were on a special plane and the view was beautifull ! as they were looking out side all of a sudden ………………………………..whaam
    the plane crashed see part 2 for rest of story.

  21. Callum Village, age 12, from England

    As the thunderbolt closed in for the kill, the jerry crashed in its rocket and plumeted to the ground in a ball of flames. As the german desperately tried to bale out, he lost all hydrolics and the plane dropped into a verticle dive.
    The thunderbolt joined with his squadron and returned to base for a nice cup of coffee in the mess.

  22. Channel, age 12, from , age 12

    I was driving in my new Jet my daddy got me and Boom!!!!! It crashes into another plane… All i could think about was whaam!!!!! Thats all I could here when my plane crached. I knew I would be in so much troubl so I tried to make it move throught the fire and well you know what happened….. Ahhhh i fell out of plane!!!