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Every group of teenage friends has one time in their shared lives that defines them — but for the kids at the heart of Image Comics’ upcoming series Home Sick Pilots, that time centers around a haunted house with an evil mind of its own.
The series, by Dan Watters (Coffin Bound, Lucifer) and Caspar Wijngaard (Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra), is described by the publisher as The Haunting of Hill House meets Image’s earlier hit Paper Girls.
“I was a punk kid. Studded leather on my back and glue holding my hair up high above my scalp, the whole shebang. It was the most insecure, painful, exciting time I could imagine, and I probably wouldn’t change it for the world — well. Most of it,” co-creator Dan Watters told The Hollywood Reporter about the new title. “They say write what you know — well what I know is a teenage hellscape filled with pitfalls and secret etiquettes and beautiful broken people. We’re about to send the Home Sick Pilots — the power trio of Ami, Buzz and Rip — out of that same hellscape into another, and hope that they survive.”
“We’ve all had at least one unforgettable summer as teens, late nights, parties, gigs, stolen booze, heartbreak and most importantly friendships. Except in this instance the teens are causing chaos in ectoplasmic power suits whilst haunted houses are fist fighting on the horizon,” added Watters’ partner in crime, Caspar Wijngaard.
As to what the book is actually about, let Watters explain.
“The haunted house is the human head,” he said. “It’s a container full of traumas and horrors and broken bits and pieces, and we muddle through it the very best we can. This book is about what happens when the ghosts escape the house — and how we can let them destroy us, or learn to walk with them. It’s also a book about running away from cops, fighting big monsters made of household goods, and whether the Ramones suck or not.”
Home Sick Pilots reunites Watters and Wijngaard, who had previously created the Neo-noir series Limbo together for Image Comics in 2015.
“Since then we’ve been waiting for the right time, the right schedule alignment, and the right project to bring us back together,” Watters explained. “When we landed on the idea for Home Sick Pilots, we knew we had to cast all else aside and make it.”
“Myself and Dan have spoken about collaborating on a spiritual successor to Limbo for the last five years,” Wijngaard agreed. “This time we wanted to create something a little more personal, a story reflecting our teenage years.”
Accompanying the two on the series is letterer Aditya Bidikar. “He’s bringing the Homesick Pilots and their world to life with his outstanding hand crafted lettering, creating a punky DIY authenticity throughout our series,” promised Wijngaard. Rounding out the team is designer Tom Mueller, who contributes what the artist describes as “photocopied, glitchy cut and paste graphic design.”
Home Sick Pilots will launch in comic book stores and digitally Dec. 9. Look below for a preview of the first issue.
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