Before the rise in television ownership began to dent cinema attendances, it was common to see street performers attempting to entertain queues of eager film fans as they waited for the picturehouse to open. These musicians/dancers/escapologists etc would of course be hoping to raise cash from their captive audience. Krazy Town’s busker, Buster, was often seen performing to the queue of kids waiting to stampede over the Commissionaire and into the Saturday morning picture show, but his less-than-harmonious one-man-band stylings were never seen to result in donations.
|Buster's debut in Cheeky Weekly issue 1|
Art: Frank McDiarmid
The 03 December 1977 issue was the only edition in which Buster had two separate encounters with Cheeky – the first being in the usual pre-film show sequence, but the second occurring as Cheeky left the cinema after watching the programme. This 3-panel strip was constructed from images originally seen when Buster made his debut in issue 1 (above).
|Cheeky Weekly 03 December 1977|
Art: copied and pasted from above Frank McDiarmid artwork
It would seem that Buster’s absence during the 16 weeks between his 31 December 1977 and 22 April 1978 appearances (something that Cheeky remarked on when he returned) was due to a change in his choice of audience…
|Cheeky Weekly 22 April 1978|
Art: Barrie Appleby
In Cheeky Weekly dated 19 August 1978 the toothy funster got a glimpse of his life in the year 2038, where his bewhiskered future self met up with Buster…
|Art: Frank McDiarmid|
The final Saturday picture show sequence appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 02 December 1978. A week later Buster was seen on Friday (the first time he had appeared on any day other than Saturday) departing for a new location…
Buster was then absent from the comic until the 05 January 1980 edition where he was seen (or WAS he?) on Monday at Cheeky’s new year party. My original thought regarding the long gap between Buster's 09 December 1978 and 05 January 1980 appearances was that the January 1980 artwork was drawn a year earlier when Buster would still have been fresh in readers’ memories, but was not used at that time due to the industrial dispute which caused the comic to suspend publication for 3 weeks in December 1978. However, this is clearly not the case as Cheeky's new year 1979 party was depicted in the 13 January 1979 comic. This makes me wonder whether the one-man-band shown at Cheeky's 1980 Hogmanay bash was indeed Buster with his bass drum moved to his back to accommodate the accordion, or in fact a musician hired by Cheeky's parents. The fact that the partygoers seem to be enjoying the music (the way that Disco Kid is seriously getting down indicates some damn funky accordion) suggests that it isn't Buster.
|Cheeky Weekly 05 January 1980|
Discounting the above as being a performance by Buster means that the incompetent instrumentalist appeared in a total of 32 editions of Cheeky Weekly.
The terrible tunesmith was featured on the Pin-Up Pal poster in Cheeky Weekly dated 25 March 1978.
Since the Saturday morning picture show sequence was never depicted in Cheeky’s strips in Krazy, it’s no surprise that Buster never appeared in that comic.
|Character||Total Issues||First Appearance||Final Appearance|
|Buster the Busker||32||22-Oct-1977||09-Dec-1978|
Buster the Busker - Number of appearances by Element
|Element||Number of Appearances|
Count of elements by artist
|Buster the Busker||Frank McDiarmid||15|
|Buster the Busker||Frank McDiarmid pencils||8|
|Buster the Busker||Mike Lacey||4|
|Buster the Busker||Dick Millington||2|
|Buster the Busker||Jim Watson||2|
|Buster the Busker||Barrie Appleby||2|