With today being Valentine’s Day I thought a little look at the Love Is… cartoon strip might be quite apt.
Created by Kim Casali in the late Sixties, Love Is… was a cartoon strip that appeared in daily newspapers around the world. Strip is both the right and wrong word to use though. Wrong in that strip tends to suggest a cartoon with a sequence of images, whereas the Love Is… cartoons were normally just a single image with a single sentence starting with the words Love Is. However, strip could be the right word given that the characters are normally depicted in the nude!
The two main characters are a male and a female who are quite child like in appearance, yet are in fact adults given that they have children of their own. They are drawn in black and white, since this was obviously most useful for printing in newspapers at the time they were created.
As mentioned above they are normally not wearing any clothes, which is why they are drawn in a child like manner, so as to avoid the artist having to draw any male or female wobbly bits… 😉
I certainly remember these characters being extremely popular on greetings cards when I was a child, and this led to them also appearing on those other gift type items that you often get in card shops, such as mugs, badges and photo albums.
However, the nudity aspect was (unsurprisingly perhaps) a little too much for British newspaper the Mail on Sunday, which started featuring a special version of Love Is… during the Eighties. In this the characters are wearing clothes, are drawn in colour and feature more than one frame and thus provide a story, rather than just a thought to ponder upon.
Kim Casali died in 1997, but her son, Stefano Casali, has carried on producing the Love Is… cartoons since then. The cartoons are still signed with the distinctive signature of his mother.Search for Love Is... items on Amazon.co.uk