Teenage punk band, the Home Sick Pilots, set out in search of the ultimate summer gig, but end up facing ghosts, haunted houses, and being alone.
Written by Dan Watters and illustrated by Caspar Wijngaard, Image Comics’ Home Sick pilots works both as a horror story for punks and as a punk tribute for horror heads. Anyway, the first collection of Home Sick pilots is a home run for Watters and Wijngaard, a book as unapologetic as its protagonists, and as terrifying as its premise.
Located on the west coast during the summer of 1994, Home Sick pilots follows the lives of Friend, Buzz, and Rip, three inseparable bandmates wandering the sun-scorched streets of Santa Manos in search of the perfect gig and the right time. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when Ami decides the band’s next gig should be in the old haunted house in town. When House decides they have their own plans for the trio, what was just another summer turns into anything but. Home Sick pilots tells the story of three punks who only have each other, and the house who tries to convince each of them that they are alone.
Dan Watters’ work on Home Sick pilots is phenomenal. Every character, big or small, has an instantly recognizable depth that shines through even with the simplest lines. Santa Manos himself seems to come to life thanks to the work of Watters’ characters, and the monotonous concrete forest serves as the perfect backdrop for the vibrant Eldritch ghost story that follows. Home Sick pilots crescendos significantly towards its finale, with the opening issues much slower than the bulky and loaded final chapters. But Watters takes full advantage of both gears, using the slower pace to thoughtfully explore complex themes, and eventually reaching a satisfying ghost story climax.
As good as the script is for Home Sick pilotsEqually impressive is the art of Caspar Wijngaard. Wijngaard draws with clear clarity and personality, compelling and a lot of fun to read. No panel too busy or too empty. Obviously, Wijngaard and Watters were the perfect team to bring this wonderfully dark summer in Santa Manos to life. Particularly in the previous issues, the character and the work of Wijngaard give Home Sick pilots an exemplary basis on which to grow. Wijngaard also provides colors for the series, perhaps the color choices steal the show. The horror elements of the book are highlighted in vibrant pinks and reds, while the streets of Santa Manos are laced with more subtle shades of beige and sun-washed tan. Home Sick pilots ” The color schemes fit in beautifully with the punk outlook he inhabits and offer a vibrant and interesting punk-inspired take on colors that should be scary.
Home Sick pilots Flight. 1 delivers a great first chapter to a title with a lot of potential behind it. The narrative certainly swells within the reach of the latest issues, but the dramatic tension comes and goes in the same way, ensuring that the emotional concern of readers always remains paramount. While some may crave the earlier, quieter side of Home Sick pilots Once he decides to raise the stakes dramatically towards the climax, the cliffhanger ending sets up a whole host of exciting directions the title could be heading in. Although if volume one was any indication, try to predict where Homesick Pilots will go next is a fool’s race.
Home Sick pilots recommended for anyone over the age of 17 who has a weakness for ghost stories or a weakness for punks. And highly recommended for those who don’t know where they fall either. It doesn’t matter whether or not Home Sick pilots will hook you monthly in the future, Home Sick pilots succeeds in every way and is certainly worth the detour.
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