Home Sick Pilots kicked off its second story arc on June 23rd and it revealed what was going on with the surviving rival band members. More specifically, how Meg is improving her abilities to control ghosts through a mech. Changing gears, the seventh issue out this week and reveals what Ami and Buzz have been up to since the attack that ended the first story arc. The prevailing question of the issue is: can you feel good about being happy when so much is so bad?
This issue opens with Ami and Buzz riding the rails to stay hidden from the haunted house that seeks to join Ami once again. Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard do well to give this side of the story a slasher sort of feel due to the house always trying to find our heroes. They’re on the run and the house, much like Terminator, won’t ever stop. It doesn’t help that Ami is literally tied to the house and how they belong together. Knowing full well Meg is actively growing in her abilities one can feel the dread rising while reading this issue knowing the good guys are totally going to get their butts kicked if they don’t embrace the haunted house.
But why should they? Watters and Wijngaard beautifully show how Ami and Buzz truly love each other. One example takes place early on when we get a full-page reveal of how Ami saved Buzz from drowning. A word isn’t spoken, but the look on Ami’s face when Buzz spits up water tells us everything we need to know. This start to their new adventure shows how they’ve been taking care of one another from the start. This issue helps prove their bond is true while setting up some new things for them to be afraid of going forward.
There’s even an opportune test of their love involving some horrific monster imagery midway through the book. This conflict gives the issue a satisfying arc of sorts, revealing Ami and Buzz may be as strong as the bond they have formed. The power of love isn’t necessarily overt here, but it’s an element that is explored.
Given the last few pages of the book, it appears Watters and Wijngaard are exploring the relationships the ghosts have with Meg and Ami. It’s not exactly clear the grander purpose in these two scenes, though one could make that guess. This ending does feel abrupt though which could have used a “to be continued.”
Wijngaard’s art continues to be a masterclass in pushing what can be done with color and sequential storytelling. Textures are also on point, like in a page of Ami and Buzz walking away from a beach and seeing the grass and palm trees bordering an ocean view of the haunted house. The play of background and foreground are intriguing, as well as the purples of the plant life. Multiple ideas can be shattered throughout panels on a page like in one with translucent movement, silhouettes, and interesting dutch angles.
Home Sick Pilots continues to be a richly written and drawn series that continues to redefine itself. Home Sick Pilots #7 carves out an interesting love story and how that may affect the ghosts within the story.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!