After 1963, Lichtenstein's comics-based women "look hard, crisp, brittle, and uniformly modish in appearance, as if they all came out of the same pot of makeup." Happy Tears is one of
several that is cropped so closely that the hair flows beyond the edges of the canvas. The image is made more poignant by the cropping and positioning of the fingers. The woman exudes a sense of
relief over something that is outside the canvas.
Happy Tears was sold for $7.1 million in November, 2012 at Christie's New York, setting a record for the artist. Although Lichtenstein's work has commanded big prices at auction for many years, Happy Tears shattered a record set in 1990, at the peak of the art market, when his painting "Kiss II" was sold for $6 million.