'Love Is...'. 

Bill Asprey is a British newspaper cartoonist, who specializes in cute, gentle and heartwarming daily gag comics such as 'Love Is...' (1978 - ...), 'Moebius', 'Wheel Nuts', 'Only Human', 'Pooch' and 'Bees'. Scripted by Brian Lee, he created a long-running newspaper comic based on Roald Dahl's classic children's novel 'The BFG' (1986-1998). A stylistic break was Asprey's cheeky erotic humor comic 'Aphrodite'.


Early life and career
Bill Asprey was born in India, but eventually settled down in London, where he served an apprenticeship in a local cartoonist studio. He found work in the advertising industry before becoming an independent artist. Throughout his career, he made designs for Bedford Brewery and Vinopolis and published in most English papers and magazines. He could also be read in Hugh Hefner's Playboy.

Love Is...
In 1975 Asprey met Kim Casali, a New Zealand cartoonist, best known for her internationally succesful 'Love Is...' cartoons, which debuted in 1970 in The Los Angeles Times, syndicated by Tribune. 'Love Is...' appeared in a daily cartoon format of just one panel, yet was technically not a "gag" cartoon. All episodes starred a miniature version of a nude man and woman shown in romantic situations, which, according to the author, defined the concept 'love'. It had no intention to make people laugh, just to be heartwarming. At the time, Casali's husband was terminally ill with cancer and she looked for someone to continue the comic in her place. At first, Dale Hale took the job, but his heart wasn't really into it and he quit after a year. From that moment on Asprey took over and became the series' official artist.

In 1978 Asprey also created a weekly gag comic around 'Love Is...', which appeared in The Mail on Sunday. At the insistance of the newspaper editors, it differed from the one-panel cartoons by depicting the couple fully clothed. It featured them in actual humorous narratives with punch lines. Otherwise, not much was changed. The couple still remained devoid of any personality, except that they are a loving pair. They didn't even receive names. Casali was scriptwriter for both cartoons and co-oversaw the merchandising until her death in 1997. Since then, her son Stefano Casali takes care of the writing.

In 1986 Asprey and journalist Brian Lee created a newspaper comic version of Roald Dahl's classic best-selling children's novel 'The BFG' (1986-1998). It ran in Mail on Sunday. Originally it was a straightforward adaptation, but after a few months the authors had told the entire story. Lee received permission from Dahl to write his own scripts, which were read and approved by him afterwards. Rather than mimick Quentin Blake's original drawings, Asprey drew the Big Friendly Giant, Sophie and the other characters in his own style. After Dahl died in 1990, the comic still ran new stories for another eight years.


Another gag comic by Asprey's was 'Moebius', made in collaboration with American physicist Edgar Edelsack. It stars the absent-minded professor Cranius, Robert the dog and Moebius, a character who originated from a Möbius strip (the scientific concept, not Jean Giraud).

Asprey's most adult comic series was 'Aphrodite', which he published under the pseudonym "Leon" in Tit-Bits. It featured the Greek goddess of love in hedonistic gag situations on Mount Olympus. The comic also ran in the Scottish Daily Record for a while, but was banned because readers complained about the erotic atmosphere and frequent nudity.

Other gag comics
Asprey also created the gag comic 'Wheel Nuts', starring anthropomorphic cars, and 'Only Human', an one-panel gag cartoon series about people in everyday embarrassing situations. Asprey is also the man behind the cute puppy dog 'Pooch' and the romantic one-panel cartoons 'Bee Lines'.

Other activities
In 1981, when Prince Charles (the later king Charles III) and Diana married, Asprey received the honour of designed a wedding souvenir for the royal couple. He is also the founder of the Internet site 'Cartoon World', which promotes cartoon art by various artists.

'The BFG'.


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