I'm all late again and stuff, but with luck, I'll be back on schedule tomorrow. This has truly been the Week from Hell.
In 1970, according to the dreaded and terrible beast that is Wikipedia, New Zealander Kim Grove (soon to be Kim Casali) decided it would be a good idea to take the love notes she had written her husband and syndicate them. She called the comic Love Is.... Ever since, we have been plagued by these putrid little "comics," which all begin with the words "Love is..." and sort of go from there. Casali, who died in 1997, has now been succeeded by her son Stefano, who continues to churn out this absolute dreck and will probably do so until the end of time.
The comic has been adroitly summarised by Homer Simpson as being "about two naked eight-year-olds who are married." That's about it, really. The two main characters, who usually appear starkers and seem, horrifyingly enough, to have no toes, are apparently deeply in love. Despite their apparent lack of secondary sexual characteristics, they have spawned at least two even smaller children, also naked. It is incomprehensible to me that anybody publishes this comic when the space it takes up could be used to advertise cold cream or feature a small editorial about how terrible comics are nowadays.
Today's vomit-inducing piece of utter dreck portrays the female Shmoo* showing off her bling,** which has presumably been given to her by the male Shmoo. In other words, this comic is informing us that if one really loves one's significant other, one will provide her with shiny objects that cost a lot of money and still don't manage to hide the fact that she never wears any clothing. I am glad to see that Casali Junior is upholding his mother's devotion to all things pre-feminist. He should draw the female Shmoo holding a little broom and leaking hearts as she merrily sweeps the kitchen floor.***
As usual, the comic is right at home in the Middle Ages, though it has a less positive connotation there. We are once again dealing with an antifeminist text. The author is clearly depicting the prelapsarian lives of Adam and Eve. Adam, as we can see from the smile on his face, is content living as a naive small child in a perfect paradise, but Eve is naturally vain, as are all women. Even in her innocence, she demands pretty presents from her husband. The serpent will be along in a moment (do we see a hint of him in Stefano/Kim's scrawled signature?), and he will play upon Eve's vanity and selfishness in order to convince her to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. She will fall because she is female and weak. Alas for the presence of women on earth! Alas for their shame! Alas for the fact that they do not all have huge breasts and no ability to speak!
We should give Love Is...the recognition it deserves as a source of Christian allegory and reverently remove it to an obscure religious newsletter composed in a small town in the American South. Who's with me?
*Well...she reminds me of a Shmoo. She has just as few toes.
**Oddly enough, there is no medieval equivalent of the word "bling." Who knew?
***In high heels...unless those count as clothes.