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Beautiful love story of chewing gum liners

Beautiful love story of chewing gum liners 'Love is...

Kim and Roberto, real prototypes of iconic characters. Beautiful love story of chewing gum liners ‘Love is…

Beautiful love story of chewing gum liners
The sweet romantic series “Love is …” has become the most popular in the post-Soviet space and the former republics of the USSR. The liners of this Turkish chewing gum were collectible and exchanged. Fortunately, I also have such a romantic collection. But I couldn’t even guess about a beautiful love story behind these bright images. It turns out that behind the images of a romantic couple of lovers were real prototypes. Actually, it was a story about love conquering death.
The author of these images was a cartoonist from New Zealand Kim Grove Casali. Aged 19, she began traveling around the world, and after 6 years she settled in California. There she met her future Italian husband Roberto Casali. It was he who inspired her to create two funny characters – a couple of lovers, the prototypes of which were they themselves.
Kim began to draw various episodes from the life of a married couple on napkins, signing above: “Love is …”, and ending the phrase below with text that matches the picture. According to the artist, it was like keeping a personal diary, which describes how her feelings developed.

It was Roberto who inspired Kim to create two funny characters - a couple of lovers, the prototypes of which were they themselves

It was Roberto who inspired Kim to create two funny characters – a couple of lovers, the prototypes of which were they themselves

Kim and Roberto got married in New Zealand, in the same church where her parents had once married together. This was very important for her, because her father died when she was very young. Therefore, the girl had the only request to her chosen one: “Do what you want, but you must not die before me.” In response, he laughed and said he would try. On the bride was a wreath of daisies and a veil – exactly the same she then painted for her cartoon character. In the future, she used many episodes from their real married life as stories for her comics.

Author of iconic images, cartoonist from New Zealand Kim Grove Casali

Author of iconic images, cartoonist from New Zealand Kim Grove Casali

Kim’s husband loved these cute characters so much that he decided to produce a comic book publication. First published in the newspaper in early 1970, since then they have been published in the Los Angeles Times weekly. At first, the characters even bore their names – the boy called the girl “Kim”, and she drew the first letter of his name in the sand – “R”. Soon these characters became so popular that their images began to appear not only in magazines, but also on t-shirts, mugs, calendars and posters. Noteworthy, the comics Love is were published in 50 countries!

Mother Kim with her sons

Mother Kim with her sons

Unfortunately, the family happiness of Kim and Roberto did not last long: 4 years after the birth of sons, the man was diagnosed with cancer at the last stage. Unfortunately, the doctors could not help him. Kim left her comics in order to spend more time with her husband. But she did not want to quit this art, so she asked the British designer and animator Bill Asprey to replace her, continuing to draw comics under her name. Thus, he became the author of the first color comics.

Happy Kim with her youngest son

Happy Kim with her youngest son

In 1975, Roberto had surgery, however doctors were not optimistic about his health, and the family was preparing for the worst. One day before Christmas, Kim told her husband that the best present for her would be another child. Then the couple decided to freeze Roberto’s sperm in case his wife could not get pregnant before his death. In 1976, at the age of 31, the artist’s husband passed away, and in the comics an image of a girl and a tombstone appeared.

Three sons of Kim and Roberto

Three sons of Kim and Roberto

16 months after his death, Kim decided to carry out her plan, and gave birth to a child! After that, Kim issued a new postcard, which depicted her heroine with a stroller. The signature read: “We are pleased to introduce Milo Roberto. Parents: Kim and Roberto (posthumously, through artificial insemination). ”

...that super kiss given at twelve o'clock on the New Year's day

…that super kiss given at twelve o’clock on the New Year’s day

After a while, Turkish manufacturer Intergum used the color drawings of Bill Asprey for gum liners. Interestingly, each bubble gum consisted of two halves with different colors and tastes, which symbolized the love of the two “halves”.

Unfortunately, the same illness took the life of Kim herself. At the age of 55, she died of bone and liver cancer (1997).

Accepting to be the guinea pig for her new dishes

Accepting to be the guinea pig for her new dishes

Beautiful love story of chewing gum liners. Love is…

Allowing him her drive the car before taking out the insurance

Allowing him her drive the car before taking out the insurance

Allowing the girl you love inter-city calls to her grandfather

Allowing the girl you love inter-city calls to her grandfather

Approving his fishing adventures

Approving his fishing adventures

Being her caddy when she goes golfing

Being her caddy when she goes golfing

Cooking him a dessert when you are in diet

Cooking him a dessert when you are in diet

Counting until 10 instead of shouting

Counting until 10 instead of shouting

Eating less so that he loves you more

Eating less so that he loves you more

Finding he has a high kissability factor

Finding he has a high kissability factor

Finding strength in each other when the disaster strikes

Finding strength in each other when the disaster strikes

Giving each other different nicknames

Giving each other different nicknames

Giving up smoking together

Giving up smoking together

Keeping him her always in your mind

Keeping him her always in your mind

Leaving love messages into the drawers

Leaving love messages into the drawers

letting put onion in the sandwich

letting put onion in the sandwich

Motherhood

Motherhood

Not opening each other's letters

Not opening each other’s letters

Not without a few heartaches along the way

Not without a few heartaches along the way

Preparing him her breakfast in the morning

Preparing him her breakfast in the morning

Sending her a love fax

Sending her a love fax

Sometimes crying on your best friend's shoulder

Sometimes crying on your best friend’s shoulder

Spending a few minutes together at midnight before Christmas

Spending a few minutes together at midnight before Christmas

Stealing a kiss when you stop before at the red light

Stealing a kiss when you stop before at the red light

Toasting to celebrate coming of the spring

Toasting to celebrate coming of the spring

watch your mouth when children are near

watch your mouth when children are near

Welcoming the relatives with cheer

Welcoming the relatives with cheer

When the tide turns

When the tide turns

sources: 1, 2