Home Sick Pilots #8 ADVANCE REVIEW: Colourful backstories for the brutally tormented ghosts

Written by: Dan Watters, Art by: Casper Wijngaard, Letters by: Aditya Bidikar.

Home Sick Pilots band members Buzz and Ami are still on the run from everyone, and they stop to talk about the ghosts that are still haunting Ami in her dreams and in her everyday life. She tells Buzz about the things they have in common, which is time. Their time was cut short, and the house is their connection to their past life. Meanwhile, Meg is pushing herself harder and harder to be able to control the Nuclear Bastard, so she can settle things with Ami and the house. She and her friends are monitoring situations just so they can locate Buzz and Ami when something happens. Unfortunately for Ami, she is being pestered by a ghost of a young boy, who might stir up trouble for them.

Dan Watters has done a fantastic job of writing this series so far. There are some great elements to this book too: the emotional connection that Ami has with the house, the descriptive and ever so accurate way he describes gigs. However, there is one thing in this issue that hit me really hard, and it actually made me tear up. It’s personal but it ties so well into how well written this book is that I wanted to share it.

This mantle piece clock ties into the story of the soldier. When he was 8 he would sit in front of this clock, as he was told no noise in the house until after 8. So he would sit and wait for this clock to chime to begin the day. Ami goes on to say that so much of his life was wasted just waiting. This reminded me of when I used to stay with my Nan and Grandad. I would wake up very early, always so exited to start the day with them. I would go into their room to be told it’s not time yet, to go back to bed. That’s when I would stare at the mantle piece clock and just wait until it was time. I couldn’t wait to spend time with them and just wanted to get started, so I would even push my luck and try to get them up early. I say this as it shows how powerful even a side character's story can be. Without even knowing, Dan Watters has tapped into a part of me that makes me resonate with a ghost. That’s how good the writing is.

It’s not just the connection between the characters and the readers, it’s also how well developed the connection is between the ghosts and Ami. We feel the struggle within her as she wants nothing more than to get away and just live her life, but yet also knows that going back to the house is inevitable. We also get a great scene at a gig where it’s described to perfection. The stale beer and cigarettes is the good thing as it covers the body odour. In one sentence, it’s like I’m transported back to gigs, and I know exactly what it’s like at that moment for them.

I was incredibly impressed by the art in the last issue by Casper Wijngaard. This issue is much of the same. The beautifully muted stories make an incredible contrast to the very colourful gig that we get. The balance is perfect and the art style is great with clearly defined pencils that are very crisp. Add to that this stunning panel above. Casper is practically showing off as he depicts the James house underwater, still with a creepy and ominous feel to it, yet somehow peaceful as it sits at the bottom of the ocean, patiently waiting for Ami.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about this series and I feel like it’s getting better with each issue, as we now build to a confrontation between Ami and Meg.

Home Sick Pilots issue 8 will be released by Image Comics on 18th August from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology

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