Love Was … (Also: Math Comics, Sadness)

So in all the anticipatory fuss about the comic strip The Better Half coming to its kind of noticed end after 58 years, which is nine years longer than Peanuts, is that another longrunning comic strip you kind of remember seems to be vanishing.

The past week, Bill Asprey’s Love Is…, which is not just a Simpsons joke about two naked eight-year-olds who are married but is actually a thing that exists in the real world, has been rather less obviously existing. It used to appear on, and stopped about a year or so ago; it’d since been appearing on comic sites for newspapers with the right Comics Kingdom subscription, but now that’s gone too. Their official web site still exists, but it’s useless, and if it contains any daily comics I can’t find them.

The comic strip began as a set of love notes that Kim Casali wrote her future husband, Roberto, and it emerged into the newspapers in early 1970. When Roberto was diagnosed with cancer Casali brought in Bill Asprey to work on the strip, and he’s been producing it since 1975, facts which I think add a useful bittersweet touch to a comic strip that’s otherwise very lightweight. Of course, the strip has been running for 44 years now, 17 years longer than Walt Kelly’s Pogo originally ran, and trying to think of something like 13,700 illustratable one-panel expressions of love (the strip doesn’t run Sundays) is a pretty difficult task.

I have no idea what’s happening with it: whether the strip is going out of production, whether its Tribune Media Services syndicate is repositioning it, whether it’s changing syndicates, whether it’s becoming self-syndicated, whether something else is happening.

Crazy Harry reminds the characters: they've barely moved out of high school, just like they dreamed.
Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean for the 30th of November, 2014, keeps your depression fully stocked with this reminder: every one of his characters had the happiest days of his life in high school.

Since I don’t want to just point you to the lastest roundup of mathematics comics over in my other blog without something that’s also entertaining, let me give you this Sunday’s Funky Winkerbean. Every time you think Tom Batiuk’s produced the most depressing Funky Winkerbean ever, along he comes with the most depressing Funky Winkerbean ever.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

10 thoughts on “Love Was … (Also: Math Comics, Sadness)”

  1. Two comments that really don’t address your post … but anyway … first and foremost I ❤ the snow (or are they stars) falling in the background, and I actually read Pogo! Just so you kind know my age … I'm 46. You can do the MATH on when I was born!

    I'll go check out that mathematics comics link … although I'm not into math. I hope that really doesn't hurt your feeling because I swear it's not personal.


    1. I hope it’s snow! I’d hate to think of all those stars falling across my little writings. (On your own blog you can turn it on from the Dashboard, under ‘Appearance’, ‘General Settings’: a little checkbox at the end to turn snow on until the 4th of January.)

      I would hope you check out the mathematics comics link. I try to write about mathematics in a fairly open way; a lot of the best mathematics is playful and I really mean to share that feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t know about other settings. Every so often I get an urge to change the theme I use, and that should open up display options, but I never figure out one that I quite like enough to use.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, “Love Is…” is still on the classifieds page of the Los Angeles Times. In fact, I notice it more often than I did years ago, now that they have few enough classifieds that they only have a “classifieds page” rather than a classifieds section. Today’s was an Internet-themed joke (something like “Love is seeing and talking to your grandchildren over the Internet”), so if it’s in reruns, they’re at least recent reruns.


    1. I appreciate that report too. And I’m saddened the classified have dwindled that badly, although come to think of it the last time I saw the Times (of Trenton, although they don’t make that very clear) I think it was one- to one-and-a-half pages, not counting the quarter-page ads about what a great advertising dollar the newspaper is.

      That the strip is still apparently running makes its disappearance from the Internet all the more curious. I wonder if it’s worth downloading their app and seeing what their updates are like.


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