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  New Year's A* Dance Par-tay!Dec 30, 2017 3:35 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:I'm taking Monday off for New Year's Day, so I'll just jump the gun now and say Happy New Year! : D And to kick the celebrations off, here's Selenis uh doing an angry boogaloo:
 
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That's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign. : ) Thanks to all of you for a full 2017 of A*, here's to more in 2018! : ))
 
 
 
 
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  Look into her eyes: you want this art...Dec 28, 2017 9:24 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Let's do an A* archive art sale! This week it's the 16" x 6.75" watercolor illustration I made for episode 31, page 94, where Selenis is strapped in to a cargo module, waiting for the launch that will finally let her escape the nacreous clutches of The Pearl! For the next week, this original art piece is on sale, starting at just $16.99, over on eBay—where you can also see high-res images of it.
 
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I had been planning, like last week, to put a page from earlier in episode 32 up for this week's sale, but I happened to be rearranging my A* artwork (had to make room for more : o) this evening and this one just caught my eye. Sort of a different look for Selenis than I've ever drawn, I think.
 
 
 
 
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  Happy Holidays!Dec 23, 2017 6:45 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Merry Christmas! I'll be holiday through this coming Wednesday, so new A* pages will resume on Thursday, December 28th. Have a groovy holiday season! I'll leave you with this sketch I mailed to a reader who's supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign:
 
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Thank you very much! ^_^ See you after this little Xmas break. : )
 
 
 
 
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  Eject toward A* art: this week's special saleDec 21, 2017 10:51 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Okay it's Thursday not Wednesday, but better late than never, let's actually do a Wednesday(-ish) A* original art archive auction this week! This is where I pick an A* page that I think turned out particularly nifty, and put the original art behind it up for sale in a special featured auction. This week's page, then, is the 16" x 6.75" watercolor illustration I painted for episode 32, page 41, in which Selenis floats calmly at the apex of her ejection and escape from a big explosion way down in the Falquarium parking lot far below; we also see a close-up of part of the Falquarium's big 3D marquee. This page originally went on sale, when it first came out, for $18.99, but prices have gone down to a more popular level now, and so we see it here in this featured weekly auction starting out at just $16.99. : ) The auction will run for 1 week, through next Thursday, and you can get in on it—and check out high-res images of the artwork—right here on eBay.
 
Here are some low-res previews to get you started:
 
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I thought the way the multiple thin-ish layers of watercolor settled in Selenis' costume worked out particularly well here, where I went for a very subtle gradient from blue to more purple toward the toes. In fact the way I somehow painted her whole face and figure just all kinda worked out better than I generally manage—maybe that sort of Zen moment in the midst of ultraviolence sort of inspired me. I was also rather pleased at how my more or less first attempt at large 3D sign lettering in dramatic perspective—and in a cursive font, at that!—came out, where you see a section of the giant rooftop "Falquarium" sign on the left.
 
Explosion! Jet thrust! Vast parking lot! Aquatically themed nightclub facade! Selenis contemplating existence! It's an A* original art archive sale! Thanks for checking it out. : )
 
 
 
 
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  I did thisDec 21, 2017 1:22 AM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:A page is done! It's done! The page, it is done! : P
 
 
 
 
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  A* Xmas schedule (and domain names cont)Dec 19, 2017 9:39 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Christmas is this coming Monday! I'll be continuing to churn out new pages every weekday this week, but next week I'll be festivating Monday through Wednesday (the 25th through the 27th)—so no new A* pages for those three days—and back at work on a new A* page that Thursday (the 28th).
 
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(And thanks to the reader who wrote regarding yesterday's blog about the increased prices I've been seeing for domain name renewals—they pointed out that prices *haven't* actually increased across the board; turns out that it's mostly just *my* domain name registrar, Network Solutions, that is now charging more than twice as much as most everyone else. : P I have a non-A* domain coming up for renewal soon, so I think I'll try transferring that one to another registrar—Namecheap?—as a trial run. The smbhax.com domain is paid up for 3 more years already with Network Solutions, so I've got a little time before I have to decide whether to transfer it to a different registrar.)
 
 
 
 
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  The A* domain we shall never mention again :pDec 18, 2017 10:28 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:If you are used to accessing this site through a certain domain name that is considerably more verbose than "smbhax.com," well, you'll want to switch over to just plain smbhax.com some time in the next three years, after which point that other, longer domain name's registration will expire. : P
 
See, back when I first registered smbhax.com, I thought I should also have a longer version of the URL that would be more self explanatory, because what is a "smbhax" and how do you even pronounce it, anyway? And I put that longer version in A* gallery images and stuff that I made, so that in case they got reposted somewhere else, someone seeing them would see that long URL, read it like a title, and maybe get an idea from that of what the site was about and whether they might want to visit.
 
So that's great and all, but some time between then and the last time I paid to renew the registrations—I guess probably two years ago—domain names got considerably more expensive to keep around. = o It's kind of silly to pay all those buckaroos for a long domain name that I never use anymore anyway, and I'm gonna drop it, and just keep smbhax.com. I've gone through and wiped the other one out from all the images and blog posts and everywhere else I can find it on this site, and eh hopefully Google will forget about it soon, too. = p
 
 
 
 
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  Some days you just feel a little pricessyDec 16, 2017 7:20 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through the A* Patreon campaign : ) :
 
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Thank you very much! = D
 
 
 
 
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  Insert blog entry hereDec 15, 2017 12:41 AM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Well I got one eye painted. The other didn't want to cooperate. I should probably try doing something like David Downton does, painting one eye in very lightly, so if it doesn't quite line up with the other, you don't really notice. : D
 
Say have I mentioned yet this week that the 16" x 6.75" watercolor paintings I make and scan in for the comic each day have been going up on sale on eBay starting at a new, lower price of $16.99? Yeah! And that price is gonna stick around for the foreseeable future.
 
And if I ever fix my schedule so I have time to do real blog articles mid-week, we can even get back to extra pages from A*'s past going on sale at that figure, too. ... Didn't manage it this week. : P
 
 
 
 
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  No new Patreon fees; art sale excuse : PDec 13, 2017 11:19 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:I posted yesterday about fees Patreon had announced they were moving from creators to patrons this coming Monday—but today they decided not to roll out the fee change after all. So no new fees for patrons, yay! ^_^
 
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No time to set up a Wednesday bonus art sale item today—maybe I'll do better tomorrow. Gotta stop obsessively scanning national headlines multiple times a day. ; {
 
 
 
 
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  Patreon *NOT* shifting fees to patrons MondayDec 13, 2017 1:52 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
News flash: Patreon have decided not to roll out the fee change due Monday after all, after they received a lot of negative feedback from creators and patrons on the proposed change. So, no new fees for patrons! Yay! : D
 
 
 
 
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  Patreon NOT shifting fees to patrons MondayDec 12, 2017 10:56 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Update 12/13: Patreon have decided not to roll out the fee change due Monday after all, after they received a lot of negative feedback from creators and patrons on the proposed change. So, no new fees for patrons! Yay! : D
 
~~~~~~~~~~~(Original, now outdated post follows)~~~~~~~~~~~
 
If you're helping support A* through Patreon, first of all, thank you a whole bunch! : ) Anyway I wanted to make sure you all knew that Patreon's fee structure is changing on December 18th—that's this coming Monday.
 
Their description of it is here—and they probably emailed you about it, too. I just want to point out that if you are supporting a bunch of folks, particularly with pledges at the lower end, like $1 or so, you may find yourself paying more than you'd bargained for, because now a "$1" pledge is actually $1 + 2.9% + a flat $0.35 per-pledge fee—so basically each separate $1 pledge will now be costing you $1.38.
 
If you have fewer, larger pledges, your cost won't go up as steeply. The fees, which are credit card fees, pretty much, used to be a smaller, single fee taken from the creator's monthly total, rather than up-front from the patrons, so this change will let creators keep more of their patron's pledged money—but on the other hand, the patrons will be the ones having to cover the fees. So take a minute to have a look and figure out what you'll be charged under the new structure.
 
The change will also change *when* you are charged: up to this point, patrons were charged at the beginning of each month, for the most part; in the new system, you'll be charged on the same day of each month corresponding to the day of the month in which you made the initial pledge, which could be kind of complicated to remember if you're used to filling up your charge account just before the pledge date. As for me, unless they change the pledge tracking system in some way that makes it impractical, I'll still be working on rewards—e-book reward emails, in particular—starting on the first of each month, I guess except for the first month in which you make a pledge, if it's after the first, since then I'll need to get you your e-book right away. Gee this did already get a little complicated.
 
In any case, thank you to everyone who supports this comic in whatever way, including reading it. : D You're the best! ^_^
 
 
 
 
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  Batter up?Dec 12, 2017 12:03 AM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Maybe I should give up my weird obsession with people holding swords in this sci-fi webcomic, 'cause it took me like 3 hours just to work out the central figure's pose today. ... Nah I can't do it, swords are just too cool! In stories, anyway. (In real life I'm scared of kitchen knives. : o)
 
 
 
 
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  Guess who's coming to...linner?Dec 09, 2017 6:23 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Many many thanks to everyone who's helping me out by supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign! If you enjoy A* and want to help ensure that I can keep bringing it to you day after day, pledging even just $1 a month through Patreon is pretty much the best way to do that. It makes a huge difference! You'll receive my undying thanks, and those who support in even higher amounts can get themselves unique monthly A* rewards, like this sketch I mailed off to one supporter:
 
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Ding, dong! = o : D Thanks again! ^_^
 
 
 
 
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  OOh no okay this time I have a good excuseDec 08, 2017 12:25 AM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:This page was a bit delayed because after taking A* art to the post office today, I found I had a flat tire. No, really! Anyway it's posted now so huzzah. : )
 
 
 
 
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  Out wit de old! In wit de new! *cough*Dec 06, 2017 11:07 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Okay so another Wednesday goes by with me not getting around to doing a special archive art sale for the week. I really gotta work this time crunch thing out. : P But I did get more blank pages cut and ready to draw on! Usually get that done on the weekend before but this past one was kinda busy. Um oh but I do have not old but brand *new* watercolor pages for sale if you want to check those out, they're right over here on my eBay page thingy. (And yes, they're back to the nice old low starting price of just $16.99. : )
 
 
 
 
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  Yessss another page!Dec 05, 2017 10:19 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Nothin' to see here—it's bedtime! :" P
 
 
 
 
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  Got a good warp drive idea? Make a cool $500KDec 04, 2017 10:16 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Did you know NASA and DARPA are offering $500,000 to whoever can come up with the most promising idea for getting a manned space ship to another star within 100 years? Or something like that. It's called the 100 Year Starship program (100YSS for short : P) and while the propulsion methods thrown around are still more or less theoretical—light sails, fusion engines, and even warp drives (in *theory*, with an absurd amount of energy you can warp space/time around a ship... : P)—the idea is to help get serious discussion, at least, kick-started.
 
I found out about it through this BBC article.
 
 
 
 
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  A* art savings, and a sketchDec 02, 2017 9:27 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:(Just a quick mention that as of a week ago, the original, 16" x 6.75" watercolor art I make each day for these A* comics is at a lower price—$16.99—on eBay. : )
 
A* keeps cranking along thanks to you the readers! Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : D :
 
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Thank you very much indeed! : ) You too can get yourself cool A* rewards sent from me to you each month by supporting A* through Patreon—I gotta go mail off A* e-books to a bunch of other supporters right now, in fact!
 
 
 
 
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