Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Designer: Tom Muller
Production Artist: Erika Schnatz
You may be aware that we are big fans of Home Sick Pilots here at Bigger Than Capes, so it seemed natural to recommend one of our favourites this Halloween season. After-all it has all the elements of a good horror comic – haunted house, ghosts, brutal death and yet at the same time it’s a touching story about friendship, a riff on the music scene and a mystery. It’s a well rounded book.
The basic plot is there’s a haunted house, the Old James House which has been host to many tragedies. Ami, a member of the Home Sick Pilots investigates the house which takes a liking to her and wants her to recapture the various objects (host to ghosts) that have been removed from the house.
That however doesn’t really do justice to everything that’s going on. There’s flashbacks to the Home Sick Pilots attending a Nuclear Bastards concert. If you wanted some inter teenage band rivalry there’s plenty of it to be found here. We see how Ami struggles to fit in beyond her friends Buzz and Rip, how music brings them together with banter about The Ramones building their common ground. We see their friendship and how it’s tested.
There’s comments about youth, about music and about you know… walking haunted houses full of ghosts. It’s just tonally perfect. It’s both a nostalgia trip and something new. There’s plenty of darkness but there’s also black humour, and some really rather touching moments to. Oh, and there are gory deaths because, well, this is a horror book.
The great writing is complemented perfectly by the excellent art. Really it’s not always easy to give life to a house but here the house really is a character with a personality really displayed through the art. The ghosts are depicted not just as your boring spectres either but something different, unusual and full of personality.
There are some amazingly clever depictions of characters travelling through the house. The use of colour is also really excellent. If you are looking for a book with a really cool art tone then that’s Home Sick Pilots. It’s always interesting and keeps your entertained. I mean later on there’s a whole entity made out of video tape which is just amazing.
So yeah there’s great writing, great art and also great lettering. It’s just a really good book. If you haven’t been persuaded by our reviews and podcasts so far then let me try again and say: you need to read Home Sick Pilots.