Space Navigation Console

12 December 2019

A Christmas Video Comic

This, the first ever video comic featuring the Beachcomber, will be premiering right now over in Edinburgh in the Bier Keller of Frankenstein's, host of this month's Event Horizon. Here it is for your enjoyment.
All story, art and music are by Space Pilot Comics, with fonts by Blambot and the tune was composed by Jack Fox.

03 December 2019

The Beachcomber Steps Out

I've just completed the latest Beachcomber comic for Shoreline of Infinity magazine. This has a festive air until the aliens come along. It's also a tribute to one of my favourite Christmas songs, 'Zat You Santa Claus? by Jack Fox and made famous  by the wonderful Louis Armstrong.

The new magazine appears digitally on Christmas Day, but the comic will be out sooner than that in video form. Watch this blog for a release announcement.

'Zat you, Santa Claus?!

29 November 2019

Astronauts In My Kitchen

Just been finishing off a couple of colour films. As autumn fades and we get into winter, a fast black and white film will get better results. So here are some wee colour studies.

17 November 2019

More Vintage Photography

I just realised we are half way into November without a blog post. So here is some autumn photography for you. I've just been trying out a C41 developing kit which means I can do old style colour film photography now. Here are some autumn scenes around my area.

But don't worry: more retro sf comic book stuff is on the way. I'm working on a Beachcomber right now. In the meantime here is what happens when retro black and white photography collides with retro science fiction alien stuff.

22 October 2019

It Was A Monday Afternoon In Dumfries

I took my Canon Canonet for a cycle around Dumfries on Monday afternoon. This is a really fun camera to use even though it's almost as old as me (it's a year younger). I've been getting nice results with Kentmere Pan 400 film which is fast but fine grained.

I like to take black and white photographs as it helps in learning to visualise the world in shades of black white and grey for drawing and inking.

17 October 2019

More Images from Comic Con Scotland

These are mainly from the Sunday.
Real live owls.

Ron's flying car.

Our good friends the Glasgow Ghostbusters.

Handy TIE fighter for a quick getaway.

Edinburgh thespian, writer and director Jonathan Whiteside, or is it Edward Nigma?

Christopher Lloyd in conversation.

The legendary Mr Lloyd.

The highest ranking Klingon in Scotland.

16 October 2019

Impressions of Comic Con Scotland

I've been developing some of the photos I took at the weekend's Comic Con in Ingliston. The first batch is the Saturday shots.

This is a fun event, especially if you are a fan of genre movies. Loads of guests, especially Christopher Lloyd, loads of props and movie sets to play in and take selfies. However, I'm not sure it's a good match for a small press comic trader like myself. The stalls that were selling movie franchised merchandise did a lot better. I think, in another year, I'd just go along for the day and enjoy the event.

My Trusty Sidekick

Rub shoulders with the superheroes.

Yes - real live daleks and robots.

The Doc checks over the DeLorean.

Some of the cosplayers had special dietary requirements. This one only ate bantha and jedi.

? and Rorshach stopped by at our table.

Ann checks out the amazing handbag stall next door. Avengers, X-men and Harry Potter styles available.

Sometimes the cosplayers teamed up with the stall holders.

07 October 2019

Comic Con Scotland

Monopoly Events' Comic Con Scotland takes place this coming weekend 12th and 13th October at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingleston, Edinburgh, and Space Pilot will be there. We have a stall in the small press and artist's area and would be very glad to see you if you can drag yourself away from the legend that is Christopher Lloyd.

It looks like it will be a big show and you can find out more from their website.

I'll be drawing sketches on request and we will have a supply of Tales Of The Beachcomber and some freebies. There are still some Beachcomber stickers left to get free with your comics and we have a nice selection of Space Pilot badges. There will also be some Shoreline of Infinity publications including the latest Shoreline of Infinity magazine, the home of the Beachcomber, and Watch The Skies, a guide to sf and fantasy pub signs with a cover by me.

We are in the middle of the hall just to the left, two tables past Alex with his memorabilia and merchandise.

Special Offer - Beachcomber and Reader figures at a special Comic Con price.

Come and see.

01 September 2019

Highlights of the Glasgow Film and Comic Con

I had some fun chatting to the comics buffs and drawing sketches. I also made the acquaintance of some new fellow artists and the wonderful Glasgow Ghostbusters.
Our stall was honoured by a visit from John Levene, the indomitable Sgt Benton from the Jon Pertwee era of Dr Who. Good to get the celebrity support for artists' alley.
So here is a wee album of the Con, captured with my trusty Yashica Electro 35.

16 August 2019

We're Going To The Glasgow Film And Comic Con!

In a couple of weeks you can come and chat to the Space Pilots in person at the Glasgow Film And Comic Con in the Braehead Arena, Paisley.
I'll bring my sketching kit and you can get me to draw your portrait or your favourite comic character or a combination of the two. And, of course, there will be Beachcomber comics on sale too.
Look for a big banner showing the Beachcomber and I'll be sitting below it. Come and say, 'hello.' You never know: you may end up in a Beachcomber comic.
The Con runs over the 17th and 18th August and they have a load of comics folk and a few TV and movie types that you may recognise too.
I'll know the exact location of our table on the Friday afternoon and I'll post directions for you then.
The Space Pilot presence is in the Artists' Alley with the Cosplayers on the right of the main entrance (turn right before going into the main hall). Look for the Beachcomber on the 'Mark Toner Illustration' banner, third table in on the left. Say, 'hello,' and see if I can do a sketch for you.

21 July 2019

Tales of the Beachcomber Volume 2

Tales of the Beachcomber Volume 2 is now available from the shop.
It features a new collection of Beachcomber stories previously seen only in the pages of Shoreline of Infinity, the award-winning science fiction magazine, but now collected for comic buffs in a convenient and portable pamphlet.

01 July 2019

Book of the Month: From The Earth To The Moon and Round The Moon

Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin

Continuing the Apollo 11 celebrations, we mark the month when, 50 years ago, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins went to the Moon and the Eagle finally landed. I've chosen the two Jules Verne novels, 'From The Earth To The Moon' and 'Round The Moon' for your entertainment.

The tone of these is of a very jolly adventure, featuring a whole bunch of comic characters, all experts in making weapons of mass destruction, who turn their talents to conquering the Moon. This isn't the only parallel with the actual events of the 1960s. Using some very shrewd astronomical and physical thinking, Verne came up with the same launch site in Florida and transfer orbit that took Apollo missions 8 and 10 around the Moon in preparation for the landing missions to follow.

This one was crying out for a comic treatment and Classics Illustrated did just that in 1952. I have a digital impression of the 1969 reprint which I may make available here if I can clarify the copyright position.

Download the eBook here and enjoy. Remember to join in with the community and comment below.

The Book of the Month comes to you with the invaluable assistance of  Project Gutenberg. I can recommend the Ice Cream eBook Reader to view the file.