With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d take you on a nostalgic little trip back to the 1960’s, when New Zealand cartoonist Kim Casali developed her famous comic strip, Love is… The cartoons originated from a series of love notes that she had drawn for her future husband, Roberto Casali. After first being published in booklets, they started appearing in strip form in a newspaper in 1970 under her pen name, “Kim.” These sweet little cartoons were simple: the words “Love is…” followed by different examples of the forms love can come in and accompanied by cute little drawings of a couple showing their affection (and nakedness, because it was the time of Woodstock and all) for one another.
And exactly 35 years ago today, one of Kim’s most famous drawings, “Love Is…being able to say you are sorry”, was published. It 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, whose signature line was—you guessed it—“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Coincidence? We think not.
After Roberto Casali was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1975, Kim stopped working on Love is… to spend more time with him and commissioned London-based British cartoonist, Bill Asprey, to take over the writing and drawing of the daily cartoons for her. Publishing under Kim’s pen name, Asprey has produced the cartoon continuously since 1975.
These days there’s even an app for the cartoon, proving it’s just as popular today as it was back then. For us, these cartoons certainly induce all sorts of childhood nostalgia, for the days when our weekends involved watching cartoons on TV and reading the comics in the newspaper. And we especially love the universal message that this strip holds: love can be so many different things, and—big or small—they’re all important.
So today we ask: What is love to you?
As for us, the answer—like love—is simple: Love is everything.