In 1943 Lichtenstein left his study of painting and drawing at The Ohio State University to serve in the U. S. Army, where he remained until January 1946. After entering training programs for languages, engineering, and piloting, all of which were canceled, he served as an orderly, draftsman and artist in noncombat roles. One of his duties at Camp Shelby was enlarging Bill Mauldin's Stars and Stripes cartoons. He was sent to Europe with an engineer battalion, but did not see active combat. As a painter, he eventually settled on an abstract-expressionist style with parodist elements. Around 1958 he began to incorporate hidden images of cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny into his abstract works.
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