The Little Vampires and their friends love Independence Day in the U.S. Wolfie loves to BBQ with his family, Frank loves the fireworks, and the Little Vampires love wearing their little tricorner hats. Because nothing is cooler than a tricorner hat.

This week’s strip is an homage to Willard’s The Spirit of ’76, an iconic American painting. I never really analyzed the work before, but the more I examined it, the more I came to realize that this piece was Willard’s love note to the American spirit. And according to him, this spirit turns toothless old men into constipated percussionists. It makes middle aged men put on aerobics headbands and decide, “Now is the time to learn the flute!” And it makes dying soldiers wave their hats and mutter a weak “hurrah.” Who needs medical assistance when the healing power of fife and drums is marching by?

My interpretation is open to interpretation, of course.

My country is not the only fabulous entity celebrating a birthday. Today is my husband James’s birthday. And he is a fabulous entity indeed. You can wish him a happy birthday in the comments, or by following him on Twitter (@jhicks).

If the Fourth of July wasn’t coming up, I would have done a strip to acknowledge the World Cup. I’m very proud of the performance of the U.S. team, and look forward to their next go round on the world stage. Congrats to all the countries that have made it this far. I’m looking at you Germany, I know I’ve got fans there. 🙂

To honor the World Cup, here’s an extra bit of art for y’awl.