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Love is...
Love is.jpg
Author(s) Kim Grove
Website Official website
Current status / schedule Running/Daily
Launch date 1970
Genre(s) Comedy/Romance

Love is... is a comic strip created by New Zealand artist Kim Grove in the late 1960s, later to be produced by Stefano Casali. The strip is syndicated worldwide by Tribune Media.

Love Is... (the title includes the ellipsis mark), began as a series of little love notes that Kim Grove drew for her future husband, Roberto Casali. The strip was first syndicated in 1970 and one of her most famous drawings, "Love Is...being able to say you are sorry", published on February 9, 1972, was marketed internationally for many years in print, on cards and on souvenirs.

The beginning of the strip coincided closely with the 1970 film Love Story. The film's signature line is "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Kim Casali died in June 1997. Since then, her son Stefano Casali has maintained the strip although it is always shown as "by Kim Casali" and signed "Kim" instead of Stefano. He remained in his regular occupation in advertising until September 1999 when he devoted his full time to the strip, working with Bill Asprey who sketches the characters. Stefano also took control of "Minikim" (named after his mother), the company that holds the rights to Love Is....

Contents

Comic Strip Features

Love Is... is a single-frame strip. The upper left-hand corner starts with a simple phrase which always begins with "Love Is...", the drawing appears in the middle and the remainder of the phrase at the bottom (along with the legal jargon). Each strip is independent of the others; there are no "series" of strips running for a period of time covering the same topic.

The main characters are a male and a female who are not named (even if in an episode which says "Love is... your name pronounced by him while sleeping" the male pronounces the name: "Kim"). The male has dark black, short hair while the female has light, waist-length hair. The characters have been featured in various stages of romance: just meeting, boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife. They appear to be quite young, looking like toddlers, however, they are apparently supposed to represent adults. When featured as husband and wife, at times a child/children will appear who are much smaller than them, but never more than two children, a boy and a girl. The boy and girl have the hair coloring of their opposite gender parent (i.e., the girl has her father's black hair, while the boy has his mother's light hair). The children have been featured both as infants and as elementary school age; they have not been featured as teenagers.

From time to time the female's parents (one or both) are shown, both parents have light hair and are featured as being elderly. The male's parents have also featured in the strips. They have similar looks as those of female's parents. In one of the strips, female is shown talking to her mother-in-law over the phone.

The characters may appear single or together; when one is thinking about the other, the partner's face will appear (in various forms, such as a dream balloon, a photo, even a screen saver have been used). Items appearing in the strip are often shown in the shape of or featuring, hearts - symbolic of the strip's theme.

The characters are often shown in the nude; however, no primary or secondary sexual features are displayed, though it is clear which character is male and which is female due to tertiary features. However, in some strips the characters will be dressed.

Other men shown in the strips are different in their looks. They have curly blond hair and sometimes shown with a mustache, while the male is always shown with his usual black short straight hair.

Other women shown in strips are short haired as compared to the female who has waist length hair.

Although the strip generally deals with light issues, sometimes there are messages related to environment conservation and teaching their kids lessons about the environment. In one of the strips they are shown campaigning to save children.

A dog is shown sometimes in their household. Male is sometimes shown reading a newspaper named Daily Blah.

The strip is run all weekdays except on Sunday.

British version

In the 1980s an alternate version of the strip ran in the "Cartoons" paper in the British newspaper, the Mail on Sunday. This was a three- or four-panel strip, with the male and female characters drawn fully clothed.

In other languages

Love Is... has been translated in many languages. Here are a few examples:

References in pop culture

  • In That '70s Show there is a "Love Is..." poster in Jackie Burkhart's bedroom above of her bed. It is shown in all of the episodes that feature Jackie's room.
  • In The Simpsons episode, "A Milhouse Divided", Homer suggests the comic strip to a couple that is facing divorce, explaining it's "about two naked eight-year-olds who are married."
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer", Milhouse has a Love Is... binder.
  • In the Jasper and Jade 'Love Is' necklaces popular with Generation Y.
  • In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the character Clementine (played by Kate Winslet) wears a Love is... t-shirt.
  • In the Veronica Mars episode, "Debasement Tapes", the character Desmond Fellows (played by Paul Rudd) wears a Love is... t-shirt.
  • On an episode of The Daily Show, John Hodgman shows a cartoon saying "Love is... a quasimental illness prompting the bizarre sexualization of genital-free infants in a daily cartoon strip."[1]
  • In the April 3, 2008 strip of Get Fuzzy, in his attempt to merge genres, Bucky creates a piece called "Courtney Love Is..." with a less than enthusiastic reaction from Rob.
  • In the Gilmore Girls episode "Scene in a Mall," Lorelai laments that her relationship with Rory, "more intimate than that of the naked couple in the Love Is... cartoons," had degenerated into one of e-mail correspondence.
  • In the May 21, 2003 Pearls Before Swine strip, Rat is seen being held by the female character with the panel saying "love is... being held by a naked chick" (the strip as a whole was part of a story arc involving all the characters except Pig leaving the strip for other strips).[1]
  • The September 2, 2009 Pearls Before Swine strip ends with one of the crocodiles eating the male Love Is... character, as the female character looks on. The caption is "love is... not getting consumed by a reptile."[2] It was followed the next day with the character Rat telling Pearls' creator Stephen Pastis about what happened, and that the strip has been re-titled "Love isn't." The naked girl apparently decapitated the croc and sent its mounted head back to Pastis with a note saying, "Love is... doing your own taxidermy."

References

External links








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