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Comic Strip / Love Is...

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"You know what you two need? A little comic strip called Love Is.... It's about two naked eight-year-olds who are married."
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, "A Milhouse Divided"

Love Is... is a comic strip created by the late Marilyn Judith "Kim" Grove (later Casali), an artist from New Zealand.

The strip publishes on a daily basis on its Web page following the format of a one-panel strip. It features male and female characters who look no older than 6, always in love and most of the time nude.

The creator's two younger sons are known in their own right within the video game industry, having started out as Doom level creators who did much of Final Doom and have since worked in Valve and other companies. Love is... ripping and tearing.

Tropes Are...

  • Alternative Comics/Underground Comics: The strip could be considered one before it was officially serialized and Kim Grove went full-time into it, as she had self-published little booklets of them (titled "Love is When") which she sold on the side as a receptionist. For a friend's wedding, booklets were given to guests as gifts and the positive response inspired her to take it to the newspaper syndicates.
  • Author Avatar: Kim Grove based the two main characters on herself and her boyfriend turned husband, Roberto Casali. The characters began as doodles on love notes from when they were dating in 1967, and they married in 1971, eventually having three sons.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: As seen in the page image.
  • Ghostwriter: In 1975, Roberto was diagnosed with cancer and Kim stopped working on the strip herself to care for him, She hired a London-based British cartoonist named Bill Asprey to handle it and he has done so ever since, but the strip is still published with her name and signature. Sadly, Roberto died the following year. Kim went on to manage the business side of the franchise until her death in 1997, and one of her and Roberto's sons manages it to this day.
  • Long Runner: The strip has run continuously since 1970.
  • Newspaper Comics: Its most well-known incarnation. A British full-color version has them clothed.
  • No Name Given: Functionally so, but averted in a few early strips where the girl's name is revealed to be Kim and the boy is revealed to have the inital R.
  • Older Than They Look: Although the two characters look like a couple of kindergartners, certain strips seem to imply they are indeed adults.
  • Only One Name: The strips are signed only "Kim" but compilation books credit her by her surname(s).
  • Secondary Sexual Characteristics: The girl has dots for nipples, unlike the boy.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: The Official Couple.
  • Snow Means Love: It has several examples.
  • Super-Deformed: According to the creator, the characters are supposed to be adults, though they are drawn in a style much more reminiscent of children.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The girl has longer eyelashes, much longer hair, and rounder eyebrows than the boy.
  • Youthful Freckles: The girl has these.