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  Putting the Super in SupermassiveSep 30, 2017 8:22 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a sketch I mailed off to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign :") :
 
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Thanks everyone for your support! You make this comic possible! : D
 
 
 
 
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  & it doesn't rain inside domed cities anywaySep 28, 2017 9:35 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Convertibles are so much more adaptable to dramatic scenes, you know.
 
 
 
 
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  Weekly A* orig art sale: last ink wash page!Sep 27, 2017 10:07 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Wednesday A* original art archive sale! This week's pick is the second-to-last weekly sale I'm going to do of pages I illustrated in ink—so next week will be the last of the ink piece sales, and in fact this week's is the last one with ink *wash* in it, for those grey mid-tones. And it's the dusty billows of episode 17, page 80, which finds Selenis in her space activity suit and good ol' bubble helmet dragging her supply pack out of the impact cloud caused by her precipitous touch down on a hostile moon! This one of a kind original 17" x 7.5" illustration (the stars in there are actually white ink spatters, you know) is up for sale for the next week only at a special low starting bid price right here on eBay!
 
The auction listing has high-resolution images; here are bite-sized ones to whet your appetite for A* inky artwork:
 
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I think the shading on the figure and the billows of dust behind her were some of the most successful effects I ever managed in ink and ink wash. : )
 
The latest week's worth of A* watercolor page illustrations are also up for sale on eBay; you'll find 'em if you visit my eBay profile.
 
Remember, next week's sale will be the very last one of an A* ink page!
 
 
 
 
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  Maybe angels are made of negative mass : oSep 26, 2017 8:53 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : D :
 
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You can help me keep A* going by supporting the comic easily and automatically through Patreon for as little as $1 a month. And starting at the $3 support level, you can even get yourself cool monthly A* rewards, like e-books and sketches. : )
 
Thank you very much to everyone who's helped me keep A* going here for uh let me see... 8.5 years and counting! : o = DD I *really* couldn't have done it without you!
 
 
 
 
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  Massively negativeSep 25, 2017 8:31 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Physicists observe 'negative mass' (BBC) is a news article I've been sitting on since it came out in April, because I was afraid the wig-flipping concept of negative mass would lead me down a more or less incomprehensible hardcore particle physics wormhole that would take me untold hours to even try to navigate my way out of. Fortunately, the Wikipedia article on negative mass is mercifully constrained to the speculatively theoretical, an area I am not usually tempted to trip into.
 
Which does make the experiment reported in the BBC article all the more noteworthy, it being the first actual case of negative mass being reported in the laboratory. Researchers at Washington State University (in my home state! : D) say that after cooling rubidium atoms to near zero, so that they moved slowly enough to be hit by lasers, which struck them in such a way as to reverse their spin, the atoms took on behavior consistent with what would be predicted of a negative mass: namely, that when pushed (by the lasers? the articles don't say), the atoms, instead of moving with the direction of the push as boring, regular, positive masses do, moved *against* the direction of the push: "With negative mass, if you push something, it accelerates toward you. [...] It looks like the rubidium hits an invisible wall."
 
So, that's pretty crazy to my positive mass brain. Does this mean a negative mass would fall *upward* in a gravity field? : o Anyway, until further experiments can duplicate the findings and prove this really does appear to be "negative effective inertial mass," as Wikipedia called it, we shouldn't get too excited...I suppose. : P
 
 
 
 
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  This is totally normalSep 22, 2017 11:19 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a reward sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign—thanks very much for helping me keep A* going! : D :
 
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  Nothing to see hereSep 21, 2017 10:36 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Page done, whew!
 
 
 
 
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  Take off w/ one of the last ink sale pieces!Sep 20, 2017 9:54 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Wednesday A* original art archive sale! I'm only putting up *three* more ink illustration for sale here; keep an eye out in these next few weeks if you want a chance to grab the original illustration behind one of A*'s classic ink pages for well below its usual $50 price tag.
 
So, this week is the first of the final three, and it is the 17" x 7.5" ink wash illustration I made for A* episode 17, page 65—a powerful rocket just beginning to lift off from the pad, huge clouds of exhaust billowing all around as it strains against gravity's grip! And for one week, it is up for auction at just an $18.99 starting bid price, right here on eBay.
 
The auction listing has high-resolution images, but let's at least squeeze in some tiny previews here:
 
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This was in the brief period when I was free-handing the ink work—no preliminary pencil drawing underneath! : o—which was tricky and didn't always work out, but was capable of great energy, especially for dynamic, large scale scenes like this.
 
Thanks for checking out the auction! Along with that piece, on my eBay profile you'll also find sales for the original watercolor illustrations behind the latest week's worth of new A* pages.
 
Just two more ink piece sales after this one!
 
 
 
 
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  Fare thee well, thou shooting starSep 19, 2017 9:27 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:On Friday, the Cassini probe took its planned swan dive into the planet Saturn, ending its 20-year mission to the ringed planet. I've mentioned Cassini in 28 previous A* blog posts, so it's safe to say the probe's adventures, readings and discoveries have had a profound impact on this webcomic! I can't possibly list all of Cassini's scientific achievements in this one blog entry but, among other things, it discovered seven new moons of Saturn, dropped the Huygens lander on the moon Titan, getting us ground photos from Titan's surface, and it discovered water ice jets shooting out of the moon Enceladus, revealing a vast subsurface ocean.
 
You can see images Cassini took in its final, exploratory plunges over here, including an infrared view of what would become its own impact site in the colossal banks of clouds. My own favorite photos from Cassini have always been its views of Enceladus; here's a fittingly solitary, distant one it took of Enceladus and the famous ice jets in April of this year:
 
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image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute (source)
 
 
 
 
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  Last chance @ $16.99 A* art prices this week!Sep 18, 2017 9:53 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Starting today there's a huuuuge price hike of $2 on the starting bid for the original A* artwork I put up for sale each day on eBay—the starting bid price was $16.99, and starting with today's page it's $18.99. I guess I won't make it to my declared goal of inching up to a starting price of $25 ($24.99, I guess) by the end of the year, at this rate, but oh well we'll get there sooner or later. I don't like charging more for my art—I'd just like more people to have some of it : D—but A* *is* my only source of income, so I gotta actually have some income to live on. : ) Well I hope those who like my artwork can still afford to get a page to call their very own every once in a while, and I'll keep trying to make them better! (Emphasis on *trying* : ooo : )
 
The original pages I put up for auction last week still have their old $16.99 starting prices, so you've still got a chance to get in on the old price by grabbing one of those before they run out by the end of this week!
 
 
 
 
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  Surf's up!Sep 16, 2017 1:08 AM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:If you enjoy A* you may like the A* Patreon campaign! It's an easy way to support the comic, plus you can get yourself super-A*-y rewards, like this sketch I mailed off to a reader for their support:
 
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Thanks everyone for your support, it means a lot to this little comic! : )
 
 
 
 
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  Lovely watercolor & pencil piece by Cate ParrSep 14, 2017 10:38 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:I follow an artist named Cate Parr on Instagram and today she posted a really striking watercolor and pencil fashion portrait that is worth a look if you're into such things. : )
 
It made me wonder if I should be erasing my A* pencil lines—you can see what they look like before I erase them, on my own Instagram—and sent me flipping back to the A* pages where I *did* used to leave the pencil in—around episode 23, for instance. But that was largely because at that time I didn't yet have a grasp of how to replace the pencil lines with watercolor without losing the details of the image, and now that I look back on them, the pencil there seems more messy to me than anything. So I guess if I had really pretty pencil lines maybe I would keep more of them. : o Or maybe not? This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up nights. : P
 
 
 
 
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  A tough situation but you could buy the art!Sep 13, 2017 8:54 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Wednesday special original art auction! This week it's the original 16" x 6.75" ink illustration I made for episode 18, page 100, in which Selenis, now alone on a remote asteroid, has resigned herself to being zapped by a giant, insect-like robot laser cannon. : o It's one of those Zen moments! On sale for one week at a special low starting price right here on eBay!
 
The listing has the high-res images showing all the gritty, hand-made detail, but here are some tiny views to tempt you over there:
 
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So black and white! Less than a handful of special ink auctions left now, I think. Also, the last week's worth of new A* watercolor page paintings are on eBay at similarly affordable prices, check 'em out through my eBay profile. : )
 
 
 
 
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  I used to have longer blog entriesSep 12, 2017 9:59 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Page done! Page done! It's done! Ohhh yeahhh
 
 
 
 
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  It's Monday, go crazySep 11, 2017 10:58 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Big and brushy is kinda fun ya know : )
 
 
 
 
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  Support your local supermassive black holeSep 08, 2017 10:24 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Readers are supporting this comic for as little as $1 a month through the A* Patreon campaign! : ) And at the $3 or higher level you can even get yourself some cool A* rewards, for instance here's a sketch I mailed off to a reader as the monthly reward for their support:
 
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Thank you very much! Your support makes a huge difference to this comic! : D
 
 
 
 
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  QuickySep 07, 2017 10:09 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:G'night! : D
 
 
 
 
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  Special auction for my "Bottle Rocket" A* artSep 06, 2017 9:14 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Let's do a Wednesday special A* original art archive auction! Just gonna do about five or so more of these ink ones, so keep an eye out. : ) This week's is a dramatic, 17" x 7.5" (that's bigger'n the 16" x 6.75" watercolor pages I do these days) space scene with a small, boxy transport ship, a huge, shiny and undulating Coke-bottle-style rocket ship, a sweeping nebula, and a whole lotta stars, and for the next week it is up for auction at a special low price right here on eBay.
 
Oh by the way it's the original art for A* episode 16, page 71. The auction listing has high-res images, but here are some tiny ones to entice you over there:
 
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I always did like how I managed to get the ink wash shading on the transport ship to come out, it's more specific and directional than I usually do. Hm, I should remember that!
 
 
 
 
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  Aw just try to do everything last minuteSep 05, 2017 9:05 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Think I'd better to try to work ahead a little tonight on getting ready for an actual weekly Wednesday art auction tomorrow, since I've been missing getting those done lately : o
 
 
 
 
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  The planetoid where it's always winterSep 02, 2017 7:49 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:[Forgot to Mention Dept. 7/3] I'll be taking advantage of the holiday on Monday! Back to work on a new page on Tuesday! : )
 
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Readers help me keep this comic going through the A* Patreon campaign! ^_^ And I even get to mail out rewards for it, for instance here's an ink sketch I shipped off to a reader for their support:
 
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I really appreciate everyone who's helping me keep making this comic! Thank you!!
 
 
 
 
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  Totally not gonna stay up goofing offSep 01, 2017 12:48 AM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Finished painting! : ) Bed time~~!
 
 
 
 
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