Break-In: Some Thoughts On Home Sick Pilots 1 & 2
The Limbo team returns after four to five years apart to a comic called Home Sick Pilots. Both of the principal creatives now enjoy a higher profile than before. Dan Watters wrote Lucifer, and Caspar Wijngaard drew Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra.
So what's Home Sick Pilots about? Well, it's about a three-piece high school punk band from California who enters a haunted house. Said haunted house is, in fact, haunted.
In his review, Theo Dwyer wrote he didn't like the dialogue, but it wasn't a problem for me. Watters and Wijngaard hit a nice rhythm, especially around the time the cops bust a show. Wijngaard and letterer Aditya Bidikar effectively broke up the dialogue, and it didn't read stilted or rambling. Ditto for the other characters. There's a fun rivalry between the titular band Home Sick Pilots and the "derivative" thrash band Nuclear Bastards.
The need for the comic's titular band to one-up Nuclear Bastards feels right, even if it is completely childish. Then again, the band members are high schoolers themselves. Yeah, there's a bit of British slang that slips through: I can't imagine a California thrash vocalist saying "you lot" unless he's secretly a Monty Python super-fan. Maybe he's got that Ministry Of Silly Walks poster in his bedroom. You never know.
What Dwyer and I agree on is that Wijngaard's work is superlative and deserves a wider audience. His lines are clean, and his color choices are bold (I love those blues and purples). Like Dan Mora on Klaus or Once & Future, Home Sick Pilots should be a breakout series for Wijngaard.
I give leeway for moody teenagers making bad choices like the one that sets off the premise of the comic, and for my money, it doesn't need justifying. Kids like hanging out in abandoned, haunted spaces, whether it's wanderlust or just wanting space away from prying eyes. Issue number two finally pays off the Power Rangers-style big action the solicit promises. Wijngaard is just as adept at that as he is in lower-stakes scenes from issue one.
Watters and Wijngaard do such a great job with Home Sick Pilots that the most difficult to believe thing in the comic is that there's a California three-piece punk band in the 90s not primarily influenced by Bad Religion.
Home Sick Pilots may not have clicked for Dwyer, but it sure clicked for me. I heard Home Sick Pilots' next show's in a month. See you there?
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