This is the story "The Volunteer" from the 1982 2000AD Annual.
Byron Z. Gymp was a poor example of a man, barely touching 5 feet tall with thick socks, a misshapen nose, a limp and a very bad pair of lazy eyes, yet all he wanted to do was pilot a starliner. But star liner pilots were handsome, 6 foot tall men with chiseled chins.
His repeated attempts to fool the star liner recruitment office are always foiled, and in his desperation he finally breaks into the ship yard, intending to steal a star liner, but in doing so he discovers the real secret...
A few quotations from the story:
future for you in Laker Spacelines", It
proudly blared, showing a picture of a tall, handsome
Starliner Captain welcoming his passengers on board.
The scene switched to the liner's flight deck
The immaculate Captain opened the warp-drive
controls to maximum and the ship surged forward.
If you are over six feet tall, of a pleasant appearance and feel that a liner pilot is the job for YOU, call at ou
recruiting centre TODAY!" The man on the screen
turned a sickeningly bright and even smile to the
camera and the advert faded out.
and later on, after Byron has attempted to steal a starliner and discovered the flight deck was a fake:
Byron was still recovering from the shock as
Knowles led him back outside the ship and under her
nose. There was a bigger shock waiting for him there:
he thought at first that the figure standing there was a
robot--it was about his height and he had never seen
anything SO ugly, there were wires and tubes and
connectors coming out all over it. But underneath all
the metal and plastic there was flesh. Flesh bonded
directly to metal and plastic. It was half man, half
The creature walked under the nose to the circular
bulged dome that Byron had always thought was a radar scanner.
The Annual should be available second hand from Ebay or comic book dealers, or can be found online.