Reviews

Review – Home Sick Pilots #1 (Image Comics)

Home SIck Pilots #1 (Image Comics) cover A (detail) by Caspar Wijngaard
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.3/10
    8.3/10

Home Sick Pilots #1

Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Designer: Tom Muller
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 9, 2020

High school punk rock group the Home Sick Pilots want to play a show in a supposed haunted house—what could be cooler than that? When lead singer Ami goes to check it out, she never returns.

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
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1, 2, 3, 4… Home Sick Pilots #1

Ami is the lead singer of the high school punk rock band, the Home Sick Pilots. Her life is a wreck and school isn’t any better, but her music and bandmates keep her together. Plus nothing is cooler than being in a high school punk band. Except rival band the Nuclear Bastards keeps one-upping them. Well, the Home Sick Pilots know one way they can’t be topped: play a show in the supposed haunted house in the neighborhood! Ami goes to scope it out without her friends. It is 1994. Ami goes missing and then the house comes alive in Home Sick Pilots #1.

Writing

Home Sick Pilots #1 (Image Comics) cover C by Dani
Home Sick Pilots #1 (Image Comics) cover C by Dani

Dan Watters starts us off on an interesting ride in Home Sick Pilots #1. First of all, with a tagline of “Expect three-chord songs and big bloody action that’s Power Rangers meets The Shining (yes, really)”, how do you expect me not to check out the first issue? The first issue is 30 pages and Watters uses that to his advantage. He starts off the story strong, introducing us to the main characters and actually getting us invested in them some. 

The pacing of the issue was excellent. Home Sick Pilots #1 starts off strong with a wild opening scene and then things settle down a bit. The issue flows nicely, bringing us up and down as the story progresses.

Obviously, this being the first issue, we are in the dark about what is going on in the house…which is good, as it helps build up the mystery for the second issue. The dialogue is sharp and fun, and Watters does a good job of mixing horror and hijinks.

It is still very vague what Home Sick Pilots #1 is about. Again, I do like that it is vague—it leads to some good mystery—but at the same time, I am not exactly sure what to make of it at this time.

Art

Home Sick Pilots #1 boast some delightful artwork from Caspar Wijngaard. Fantastic character design and just overall setting. Wijngaard catches that early ’90s feel superbly well. I adore how he dressed and designed the characters. Wonderful aesthetic and individual look to every character that turns up on the pages.

Wijngaard also adds some great background details, as well. The world and environment feel “alive” and settle you into the world of the Home Sick Pilots. That attention to detail helps engulf the reader fully into the story. Just little things added to the characters’ wardrobe or where they are hanging out tells a story in and of itself.

I do wish the characters had a little more “motion” to them. The pages at times do feel a little stagnant. I would also like to see a little more “expressiveness” from characters’ body movements and facial expressions.

I do love, love, love the coloring work in Home Sick Pilots #1. The use of pinks, purples, and whites is absolutely stunning. That, coupled with a great use of black/shadow work, brings a creepy, yet very “punk” vibe to the first issue. Tom Muller credited as designer, should also be deeply praised. Along with some delightful lettering work by Aditya Bidikar.

Conclusion

Home Sick Pilots #1 is a solid first issue. The art is wonderful and the coloring work is just to die for. The whole aesthetic of the book is right up my alley. The story gets you into the characters and starts off a good horror/comedy/mystery. It also, yes, does surprisingly have a Power Rangers type vibe to it as well. No spoilers, but I was very surprised from the start of the issue. It is hard to pin down what exactly Home Sick Pilots #1 is, or wants to be. As solid as the first issue is, it still hasn’t completely sold me yet. But I am interested to see where the creative team wants to take this story.

 


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