Love is…

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Do you remember these Love is… cartoons?  If you’re my age or more you’ll remember them from the ’70s – they were really popular and I especially remember the cute little books they came in.

What I didn’t know until today when I googled was they were created by a New Zealand cartoonist Kim Casali (nee Grove) in the late 1960s, originating from a series of love notes that Grove drew for her future husband, Roberto Casali.

How cute is that??

It’s very sad to read that Kim stopped working on the cartoon in 1975 so she could spend more time with her beloved husband Roberto – the inspiration for Love is… who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

From that time Casali commissioned London-based British cartoonist Bill Asprey to take over the writing and drawing of the daily cartoons for her, under her pen name. Asprey has produced the cartoon continuously since 1975. Upon her death in 1997, Casali’s son Stefano took over Minikim, the company which handles the intellectual rights.

The strip was first published in 1970, under the pen name “Kim”, and was syndicated soon after. 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.” At the height of their popularity in the 1970s the cartoons were earning Casali £4-5 million annually. Incredible money back in the day! The strip is syndicated worldwide by Tribune Media Services.

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