Last night, as part of their ‘Robots’ season, London’s science museum held a double bill screening of 80s classic sci-fi movies The Terminator and Robocop.
While obviously not space-related, attending the screening came with an added bonus: a a chance to walk through the museum outside of normal hours, which meant we were able to get up close and personal with a number of the awesome space exhibits, free from the usual crowds.
Here’s what we saw:
The Soyuz TMA-19M descent module that carried British Astronaut Tim Peake home from the International Space Station in June 2016.
A full size replica of the Apollo Lunar Module.
The actual Apollo 10 command module, which carried Tom Stafford, John Young and Eugene Cernan around the moon in May 1969.
A Nazi V2 rocket, developed by Werner Von Braun who went on to become chief architect of NASA’s Saturn V rocket after the second world war. The V-2 rocket was the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space during a vertical launch in 1944.
Sadly, this piece of actual moon rock was not on display, but here’s a photo taken in a previous visit:
As Chris and I continue to tinker with the script, Mike has begun to plot out the pages we’ve completed so far. For those of you not in the comic book know, this stage is called ‘thumb-nailing’, and it’s a crucial stage, allowing Mike to experiment with how the story visually unfolds on the page.
For now Mike is drawing the panels exactly as we’ve written them, and we’ll then see how it flows and discuss how we can punch things up visually and possibly even play around with the page breaks.
This weekend (18-19 March) we’re going to be at MCM Birmingham Comic Con. We’ll be at the Dead Canary Comics table all weekend so if you’re in the area swing by and say hi, and let’s talk space!
We’ve been looking hard at each astronaut’s personal journey. There are loads of things to play with stylistically. The loss of a daughter, the approval sought from a distant father, the hopes of all mankind resting in your actions. Be assured this book wont just be three men in a can traveling to a rock in space.
It’s interesting to note just how much of a super pilot Neil Armstrong was. He survived a number of air incidents including some very close calls!
While piloting the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) in preparation for flying thee Lunar Lander, Armstrong was almost killed when a thruster failed, leaving it to the final seconds to bail as seen in this dramatic video:
Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy (27th Jan 1967) in which flight commander Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee, died after fire swept through their Apollo spacecraft during rehearsals at Cape Kennedy.
Apollo 1 is a moment in hIstory that we intend to pay our respects to in APOLLO. So today Matt and I were looking at a moment history forgot – the private drinks where a number of prominent astronauts including Neil Armstrong met after a presidential event to toast their fallen friends. Uncertainty surrounded the accident. Would the mission be scrapped? Matt and I want to use this event and the theme of death to dramatically build on the Apollo missions and what they meant for all involved.
So Matt and I have been chatting today about the president. No not Trump for a change. Today we are looking at Richard M. Nixon and the role he played in the Moon Landing.
While he was always in Kennedy’s shadow, Nixon saw the race through. He was the man who had to deliver the bad news to the world if the mission failed. The speech written for this purpose is quite moving:
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
While Apollo will be a thoroughly researched, factual account of the Apollo 11 mission, we intend to take a degree of creative license as we explore the inner thoughts of the crew.
The page below, drawn by Mike as part of our Arts Council application, is one such moment, dealing with Neil’s feelings about death following the Apollo 1 tragedy.
On July 17th 1969, Just over a day into their journey to the Moon, the crew of Apollo 11 gave a tour of their space craft to millions of people watching on TV back home. The page below is Mike’s interpretation of that historic moment, drawn as part of our Arts Council application:
And here’s a clip from the actual broadcast. This is Mike collins showing us the range of freeze-dried food available to the crew:
As part of our application to the Arts Council we needed to show them some art. There were a few scenes that we already knew we wanted to include in the book, so we wrote them gave them to Mike to illustrate. The pages were then coloured by our friend Greg Menzie, a talented colourist and artist in his own right.
Below is a page from a scene in which Buzz Aldrin discusses the upcoming mission with fellow NASA astronaut Al Bean:
And here’s a PDF of the script that Mike was working from when he drew this:
The page above may or may not make it to the final book – we’ll no doubt rewrite (or at least tinker with) the scene, and Mike is still exploring various styles and perfecting the likenesses of the characters.
We’ll be uploading more sample pages in the coming days while we busy ourselves with the task of writing some actual pages!