Issue: Home Sick Pilots #1
Words: Dan Watters
Art: Caspar Wijngaard
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Design: Tom Muller
Published: December 9, 2020
Publisher’s Summary: In the summer of 1994, a haunted house walks across California. Inside is Ami, lead singer of a high school punk band—who’s been missing for weeks. How did she get there, and what do these ghosts want? Expect three-chord songs and big bloody action that’s Power Rangers meets The Shining (yes, really).
“I was, in all honesty, quite afraid of the big bad house. It was rotting and creaking and doing all the things houses do when they aren’t live id—but worst of all, it was empty. I remembered being empty, too. I remembered when Mom died, and I lost everything. Can you imagine being stripped of all the things that you think make you a you? It was something I’d hoped never to feel again. It was something I could feel in that house.”
Look, any comic that opens with a ghost-controlled haunted-house-mech is alright in my books. As the issue progresses, it quickly becomes clear that there is a lot more to this book than ghosts and ass-kicking…although these two aspects to contribute a good deal to this book’s charm.
Dan Watters has done it, again. The house-mech captured my attention, but the Punk Rock show at the abandoned bowling alley sold me. Watters’ script is humorous and dark and makes for a read that’s difficult to put down. And, after spending just a short while with Ami, the series’ protagonist, I was eager to learn more about her and stand beside her while she navigates what promises to be an outlandish tale.
Given that Home Sick Pilots is a story about punk-rockers and a haunted house that kills, it may come as a surprise that this book be referred to as gorgeous; frankly, though, that’s a bit of an understatement given that Home Sick Pilots teems with Caspar Wijngaard’s electric artwork. The dramatic use of color throughout the book is extremely effective in establishing, and reestablishing, tone.
I’ll admit, going into my reading of this issue, it was difficult for me to imagine a successful pairing of The Shining and the Power Rangers. Thankfully, Home Sick Pilots makes good on the promise and has shown me the way.
The Bottom Line
A haunted house story unlike any other, Home Sick Pilots is a dark and humorous tale with some serious attitude.