If Stephen King discovered Riot Grrrl.
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Haunted house stories are usually pretty dreary. It helps with the horror: a bleak old house covered in shadows so that you can’t see what’s around the corner. But Home Sick Pilots goes in a different direction. It’s still dark and spooky, but it’s also incredibly vibrant — thanks in large part to its punk rock edge.
It’s a period piece, set in 1994, and Ami is part of a group of high school-aged punk rockers looking to make a name for themselves. Then she comes up with a brilliant idea: “We should throw a gig in the house that kills people.”
Initially, the haunted house feels pretty familiar. It’s that big old place that everyone in the neighborhood whispers about, but no one really knows much about its actual history.
The house gives her some supernatural powers — at one point, Ami describes herself as “just a little ghostly around the edges” — and tasks her with helping gather missing household items that contain the essence of different spirits.
Home Sick Pilots is dark and, at times, uncomfortable — there are grisly deaths, scenes of drug abuse, and worse — but it’s also a real page-turner, moving at a brisk pace that makes you want to push forward to uncover the next mystery or see if someone survived.
It’s also beautiful to look at, with a striking color palette with lots of blues, pinks, and purples placed starkly against black backdrops, and panels that move the story in clever ways.