Written by Dan Watters, Art by Casper Wijngaard, Letters by Aditya Bidikar.
We find ourselves in the first week of Ami in the new town. She’s wearing a Ramones hoodie and is then shouted at by two guys saying how they think the Ramones are a bad group, trying to play pop but it comes out as punk. The three quickly bond and this is the formation of the Orphan Club or what is now the band called the Home Sick Pilots.
We jump forward to present day (June 1994), Buzz and Rip are terrified at scars just happened inside the house, so they make the decision to get help from the police. All while Ami and her newly found powers have made their way up to the 4th floor of an apartment building, where she intends to take back a haunted horse shoe that needs to be put back in place within the haunted house. Although just cause she is there to retrieve the item, doesn’t mean that the person who owns it, or even the horseshoe itself, wants to go back with her.
Dan Watters is creating a really enjoyable story so far, this issue is slightly different in that there’s less of a “Power Rangers” vibe, but still action and horror elements. What I find incredible about this issue is the way that he works with Casper Wijngaard to ensure maximum effect for both script and art. There are times where the script really shines. I said one drawback from the first issue was the lack of depth with the characters of Rip and Buzz; this is quickly rectified within the first few pages of this issue, giving us an origin of how the three of them met. Using the musical influence to great effect as Watters did with the first issue. These grounded moments really help enhance the horror and fantasy elements of the book. They really do have a great dynamic going of great script with fantastic art and utilising them effectively and efficiently. One such moment was a silent panel where Ami is in the middle of a hallway and a figure suddenly appears. This kind of tension I can only see growing as the story progresses, due to the fact that she has to face off with at least 6 more ghosts.
In terms of the artwork by Casper Wijngaard, this is some of the best I’ve seen. The flawless images are then pushed to extremes with some incredibly powerful choices of colour. This creates a dramatic yet stylised book that’s nothing like I’ve seen before. There was one page where I was in awe at both beauty and theatricality of it.
This one page just shows how powerful a good artist can be. Without the use of any speech we know what’s going on, and we are presented with a dynamic panel display, which is intensified with the choice of colours for the first three, then lack of for the last. The whole issue is masterful storytelling where both writer and artist are at an understanding and it makes for a highly enjoyable read.
Overall I’m very impressed with the first 2 issues of this new series. I shouldn’t be surprised as I enjoyed Watters' writing in Coffin Bound. Although very different, he maintains a true grounding for characters despite their situation. Add to that a punk '90s setting and we have some great nostalgia for anyone craving that kind of Stranger Things fix.
Home Sick Pilots issue 2 will be available as of 13th Jan from your local comic shop as well as comixology