Wasted Youth And New Found Glories: ‘Home Sick Pilots’ #5 Advance Review

by Olly MacNamee


‘Home Sick Pilots’ #5 brings the curtain down on the first story-arc from Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard. Ami must confront the Old James House while her fellow bandmates help out in any way they can in a grand finale of epic proportions. The Home Sick Pilots’ lives will never be the same again after this one!


With Home Sick Pilots #5 marking the end of the first story-arc pieces of this macabre jigsaw are finally coming together only to reveal something even bigger in store for Ami and the band.

The Old James House seems to have turned on Ami, who up until now has been more than happy to help it. And that’s not the only surprise this clever and very contemporary horror has to spew up.

I’ve enjoyed the various spooks and spectres Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard have have conjured up in just these first five issue alone, but setting it in a very specific moment in time – 1994 –  gives it an air of a long-forgotten video nasty of the mid-‘90s too.

I won’t say too much about this issue, as it’s not out until tomorrow, but it certainly ramps up the mecha-action we saw in the early issues, which in itself is another dollop of originality Watters and Wijngaard bring into play in this genre-bending series. A series that breathes new life into old horror conventions by simply ignoring the idea of genre boundaries whatsoever. But then we do like in a world in which many of the stories we now digest through various media are hard to define as belonging to one specific genre. This may well have be easily sold initially as a horror comic, but it’s far from being just that.

Wijngaard judicious use of wide-screen panels, extra sized panels and splash pages captures the size and scale of the final supernaturally powered battle impressively well. The story, and the action seems to build and build through this issue, as is reflected in the art and pacing of the narrative. It’s reminiscent of big monster films like the most recent,  King King Vs Godzilla, while also playing up the various elements and influences gained from Watters youth watching and listening to horror films and punk rock which have all helped inform the writing of Home Sick Pilots. 

And with any successful comic book series, it leaves readers with a tantalising interesting change of status for Ami and the promise of even bigger action and horrors yet to come in future issues.

This whole first story arc may well have focussed on a haunted house to draw readers in – a punk rock remix of The Amityville Horror –  but it’s really always been about about the band the series is named after; their friendships and now their ghost-busting too. Something tells me that Ami and her fellow bandmates’ world is about to get a whole much bigger and much more dangerous, but with the potential for new found glories too. Rather than the life of wasted youth these characters could easily have fallen into. Although the jury’s still out where fellow bandmate and stoner, Rip, is concerned.

Home Sick Pilots #5 is out Wednesday 14th April from Image Comics. You can check out a preview of this issue here.

Olly MacNamee

A unashamed DC Comics fan and sometime teacher for over 20 years! I got lucky and found the escape hatch. Now, I just read and write about comics all day long. Co-host of the ICE-Cast podcast and one third of the brains behind Birmingham's street art and graffiti festival High Vis Fest.

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