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Busker The Street Musician Prepares For An Explosive 4th of July

July 1, 2014

Time to call Busker–everyone’s favorite street musician– back for an encore.

I drew Busker for about three years, back in the 90’s. Most of the gags involved Busker playing his saxophone, but occasionally he’d have a non-musical adventure.

This particular gag was for American Independence Day, July 4th, also known here simply as The Fourth. Fireworks are a big part of our 4th of July celebrations. Here in New Hampshire, you can buy some pretty high-grade firepower at outlet stores.

Do I shoot off fireworks myself? No. I’m an illustrator. I only blow up things on paper.

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Panel 1 of Busker the Street Musician 4th of July comic strip, guy lighting cigar, throws match away, match lands on fuse leading to huge armful of fireworks being carried away from fireworks outlet store by Busker

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Panel 2 of Busker the Street Musician 4th of July comic strip, guy lighting cigar, throws match away, match lands on fuse leading to huge armful of fireworks being carried away from fireworks outlet store by Busker


Panel 3 of Busker the Street Musician 4th of July comic strip, guy lighting cigar, throws match away, match lands on fuse leading to huge armful of fireworks being carried away from fireworks outlet store by Busker


Panel 4 of Busker the Street Musician 4th of July comic strip, guy lighting cigar, throws match away, match lands on fuse leading to huge armful of fireworks being carried away from fireworks outlet store by Busker

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Do you attend fireworks displays? Do you always forget to bring bug repellent??

Ever shot off any fireworks yourself? If so, do you still have all your body parts??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2014 2:38 PM

    We go to Toppenish, WA on the Yakama Nation reservation. The tribes are much more lenient about fireworks than our hometown area, although we choose to watch others light fireworks. We used to go to city displays, but those got too crowded and the road trip option is far more entertaining for cheap-as-free.


    • July 14, 2014 8:03 AM

      Hi, Jak. Now that sounds interesting. I never imagined Indians shooting off fireworks on The 4th of July. Does the Yakama Nation actually put on a formal display, or do folks just go there to shoot off their own?

      I’m with you re crowds: hard to enjoy an event when you’re boxed in on all sides. Hope you had a nice 4th, and do forgive this late reply! : )


      • July 14, 2014 7:40 PM

        Oh, folks just come and shoot off their own fireworks. The casino didn’t have enough funds to do their usual display, but everyone else made up for it.


  2. July 1, 2014 6:34 PM

    Oh, I’m so glad you only ‘blow up things on paper’. And how beautifully you do it too, my dear friend! One more unforgettable Busker… 😆
    This in fact is the closest I will ever get to fireworks and enjoy it! [nothing to do of course with mr. Kaboomski’s shop being blown away!]
    No, I do not like fireworks and of course have never handled any. I do not appreciate their rather hostile sound!!!! 😉 Go Busker!!!!
    Happy July, my dear Mark and a beautiful 4th to you!!! 🙂


    • July 14, 2014 8:41 AM

      My dear Marina!! You don’t need nasty old fireworks– you create your own exquisite displays: a canvas is your sky, a brush your fuse, and you yourself are a living pyrotechnic ready to explode into a lustrous and beautiful new work of art!!

      I trust I state the case correctly… : )

      Sorry for the late reply: I rode a rocket up into the sky at our local fireworks display, and have only just floated back down to earth… : )


  3. July 2, 2014 9:39 AM

    I’m so glad that I’ve stoped smoking. Now I can enjoy your firework of inspration safely.


    • July 14, 2014 8:09 AM

      Be careful around fireworks, my dear Tutti!!– you may have given up cigarette smoking, but your wit and wisenheimer personality continue to burn like infernos!! You’re a dangerous woman– especially since you’re so charming… : )

      Congratulations on Germany winning the World Cup! I saw you score that goal on TV… : )


      • July 16, 2014 10:40 AM

        Oh Mark, I can’t repeat it often enough – you truely knows how to read a woman!
        I’m so glad that you enjoy my single charming moments, they are rare as the wintersun 😉

        Gooooal! Goooaaaaal! Gooaaaall! OMG that was an exciting match!

        This championship with all these extra time was quite exhusting for me – could need some vacation!
        We- are-the-Champion- Holiday 😉


        • July 20, 2014 8:50 AM

          Now there’s a thought: Mark Armstrong: a man who understands women. I really must go lie down– I must be getting delirious… : )

          My dear Tutti! Could there possibly be a woman more consistently charming than yourself?? It seems highly doubtful– even if you do scream “Gooallll!!!” at soccer matches, and use a large bratwurst to discipline those fans rooting against Germany… : )

          The World Cup will look very nice on your mantelpiece– now take a vacation, you deserve it!! : )


  4. Margie permalink
    July 2, 2014 9:16 PM

    We were at the Canada Day July1st fireworks last night in a small town called Bassano in Alberta. They put on a ‘bang up’ show. There were free hotdogs too, though only the teens in our group thought a hot dog at 10:30 PM was a great idea. The fireworks started when it was suitably dark, which up here is 11 PM. One of the more senior people in our group remarked, “I wish Canada Day was in October. Then the fireworks would be done and we’d be home in bed by 9 PM”.


    • July 12, 2014 8:33 AM

      Fireworks, free hot dogs, small town ambiance– you paint a lovely picture, Margie. The anecdote about being home in bed by 9 PM made me laugh. Someday they’ll invent fireworks that you can watch thru your skylight, then drift off to sleep! : )


  5. July 3, 2014 6:49 AM

    Very funny Mark as long as it doesn’t happen to me!


    • July 12, 2014 8:36 AM

      Careful, Jenn– it might! Owls are notorious for stockpiling explosives and lighting fuses. And when you call them on it, they act all innocent and say: “Whoooo… whoooo, me??” : )


  6. soul . to . earth permalink
    July 3, 2014 4:47 PM

    Wishes for The Fourth and the Third…..a rockin’ Independence Day and a Hap-hap-happy Boy-day respectively! 😀 You’re simply the best, says Tina Turner and I simply agree. Hope you have your cake and eat it too. Some Kaboomski possible if you blow all the candles at once! 😉

    [At a cottage as I write this where lovely Kaboomski was seen on Canada Day o’er the Lake.]


    • July 12, 2014 9:01 AM

      My dear Radhika! Thank you for your kind wishes x 2! Yes, I wanted to be born on The Fourth Of July, so I could be a Yankee Doodler Dandy, but alas, I arrived a day early– probably so I could get a good seat at the fireworks… : )

      I’m trying to imagine you channeling Tina Turner. Yes… yes, it’s coming in quite clearly. Hmm… you seem even more vivacious. Sorry, Tina. : )

      A cottage by the lake, and you typing comments on your laptop as you watch the Kaboomski– sounds perfectly idyllic. Oops, you’ll have to excuse me. Some of the candles on my cake are still burning. Now where did I put that fire extinguisher… ? : )


  7. Steven L Campbell permalink
    July 4, 2014 12:44 PM

    Oh my! That’s one big stogie … and a BIG ka-BOOM to go with it! 😀


  8. July 6, 2014 5:02 PM

    We didn’t have to leave home to see fireworks. It was like we lived down the street from Busker just after he tossed his match by the Kaboomski Fireworks Outlet Store. Actually, we got this ‘treat’ two days in a row.

    I rather enjoy fireworks when it’s done professionally in a spacious park. But I worry when these fireworks are in the hands of amateurs as they could start a fire in our small neighborhood. Also, the noisemakers are scary for little ones and hurt pets’ ears.


    • July 11, 2014 9:35 PM

      Hi, Judy! I’m with you all the way. We always had sparklers for The 4th when I was a kid, but never any projectiles, or anything that made noise. Nowadays, seems like everyone wants to shoot stuff off– and it usually starts a week before The 4th. It’s a shame, and I’m sure solid citizens like Schultz and Dooley would agree with me… : )

      Always great to see you, even if you are an explosive personality with a lotta sparkle and sizzle!! : )


  9. July 8, 2014 3:56 PM

    Yes, I still attend firework displays. Saw them in NYC by the Brooklyn Promenade and enjoyed the festive energy of the evening. As a kid, I tried to like fire crackers that nearly burnt my fingers but I think Sparklers hurt even more.


    • July 11, 2014 9:18 PM

      Interesting– there’s something about your wonderful doodles that reminds me of fireworks: beautiful, soaring, festive, and they seem to go off in all directions! : )

      I was never much of a firecrackers guy, but enjoyed sparklers when I was a kid. My dad always insisted on providing a big bucket of water– spent sparklers immediately got the dunk. It was only later, as an illustrator, that I began to live dangerously… : )

      Thanks for the visit, keep those great doodles coming!


  10. SingingTuna permalink
    July 11, 2014 2:28 PM

    Whoa! Look out, Busker! Haaa!!!!! You’re so great at these, Mark!


    • July 11, 2014 9:05 PM


      It’s been too long– and I know you’re about to take an online break till… October?? And since you’ll be offline drawing and painting the whole time, you deserve much praise for your wisdom and good sense!! : )

      I shall drop you a line during that period, to make sure you’re sprinkling Reeses on yer corn flakes, and otherwise taking good care of yourself!!– and thanks as ever for your steadfast friendship and support, you dear sweet Tuna!! : )


  11. September 2, 2014 10:16 PM

    You win the Russel Ray Photos Award for most reading fun I’ve had this year. You need to publish more often, though!

    Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!


    • September 3, 2014 10:48 AM

      And you, sir, win the coveted Strongarm Visitor Appreciation Award for one of the nicest and most good-humored comments I’ve ever received– thank you! My face is aching a bit from the big grin you put on it, but it’s worth it!! : )

      I need to publish more often?? Well, I shall do my best. I suppose it’ll meaning putting away this box of chocolates and trashy paperback, and getting off the couch. Ah, well– sacrifices must be made… : )

      Glad you enjoyed your visit, delighted to welcome you back anytime– and thanks again for your kind words!!


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