Love, at first sight, does exist and it’s called Home Sick Pilots. Now I’m not even going to deny it, I am 100% a comic snob. If a comic comes at me with so-so cover art, or if I flip through and don’t instantly see something that draws me in, then I’m putting it back on the shelf and moving on. There is just too much variety and choice out there to be wasting time on mediocre.
Home Sick Pilots is everything that I look for in a comic. It’s visually stunning, the colours pop off the page, and the story pulls you in then drowns you in its nostalgia and originality. Home Sick Pilots is truly the love of my eyeballs life. Created for Image Comics (I Hate Fairyland; Skyward; Saga) by Dan Watters (Limbo; 24 Panels; Coffin Bound) and Caspar Wijngaard (Limbo; Angelic; 24 Panels). Home Sick Pilots is an ongoing series about three friends in a high school punk band called The Home Sick Pilots and their local haunted house.
Think Haunting of Hill House meets Scott Pilgrim Vs The World meets The Shining. Then you’ll have a rough idea about the ride that you’re in for reading this comic. The story takes place over the summer of 1994 when the three teenagers go out looking for a cool new venue for their punk band’s show and unwittingly end up with way more than they bargained for. After deciding to check out their local “Haunted House”, Ami, their lead singer goes missing, and it’s up to her fellow bandmates to find her. It’s the story of three friends who only have each other and a house that convinces them that they’re all alone.
The house also grows legs and starts walking across America. That’s a perfectly normal and regular thing that happens… In the very first issue. Home Sick Pilots isn’t the type of comic that does well when you’re trying to explain it. Like any good rollercoaster ride, it’s a trip that needs to be experienced for yourself.
No matter how crazy, disjointed and bizarre the story might sound, when you’re reading it, everything just works. The story, mixed with the “punk” aesthetic, makes everything look and feel real and grounded, no matter what craziness is happening. In addition to the story, the creative ways the panels are put together make everything just flow. More than once, I lost myself and forgot I was reading a comic instead of watching a show.
And don’t let all the vibrant pink, blue and green colours fool you, Home Sick Pilots is very much a horror comic. Filled with more than enough chilling moments and pseudo gory scenes to keep you from forgetting it. It’s not often that the words “horror”, “punk”, and “neon” belong together. Although, when talking about Home Sick Pilots, they definitely do.
Home Sick Pilots is definitely one of my top finds of the year, and I honestly can’t wait to see where this unpredictable thrill ride of a story is heading next.
Want to grab Home Sick Pilots for yourself? Head over to Critters and Comics. The series is currently available in the following formats: Digital; Single Issues (7 Issues) or as a single Trade Paperback