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  Just stand in front of this patterened wallMar 16, 2018 11:52 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 the A* Patreon campaign : ) :
You get a sketch each month for contributing at the $10 level, but even $1 a month makes a big difference to me! Thanks everyone for your support, I couldn't do this comic without you. : ))
  Gasp! 2nd-to-last special A* art auction!Mar 15, 2018 10:20 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:Let's do our Wednesday special A* archive original art! This is where I pick an unsold page of A* original art and put it up for sale at a special price! I only have two pages left in the archive to try to sell to you at this steep a discount for the time being—before June at least, I guess! So anyway here's the second-to-last one, it's the 16" x 6.75" watercolor illustration I painted for A* episode 32, page 80, where Selenis is pulling herself out of a pool after escaping a sudden flood in an aquatically themed nightclub: on sale for one week on eBay.
That auction listing has high resolution images, way more detailed than these tiny teasers:
I don't end up doing many pages with sort of selective, up-close cropping like that, and I think in this case it worked out pretty well! It was also fun to play with water effects all over the place. ^_^ Thanks for checking it out!
  Black hole theoretician Stephen Hawking diesMar 14, 2018 9:21 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking passed away today. Hawking was pretty much the man when it came to describing the theoretical workings of black holes; for instance, his work provided the mathematical and theoretical underpinnings for asserting that black holes, rather than sucking everything in, emit their own very slight radiation, and could, if left without any new material to consume for nearly untold eons, actually evaporate; that radiation is known as Hawking radiation.
I read his book A Brief History of Time in my younger days; I was particularly interested in reading it because I'd heard that it talked about how black holes worked. And you know, now that I think about it, maybe that helped get me hooked; maybe without having had that book to give me more information, I wouldn't have subsequently become so fascinated when I learned about the supermassive black hole at the radiation source known as Sagittarius A* at the center of our galaxy, and have been inspired to make a webcomic set there.
So, thank you, Stephen Hawking. I have little doubt that black holes will be emitting your radiation until this universe is very, very old indeed.
  Stuff might start happening!Mar 13, 2018 8:52 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:Just so as not to startle anyone unduly: I think tomorrow's page is going to have some words in it. = o
  I'm moving in June, back w/ more A* than everMar 12, 2018 10:03 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:Made it back from my dash to look for apartments across the state in eastern Washington. I found an apartment! : D My lease starts in June, so my plan is to take about the last three weeks of May and the first week of June off to get the move and everything taken care of. A month without A* in early summer! = o But after that we'll pick right up where we had left off, and also I'll be able to start taking art commissions. : )
The apartment I got isn't the one I tore out there to see—they called me 2.5 hours before I was due to see it to tell me they'd rented both units the day before ;_;—but this one that nearly miraculously popped up in my last, despairing scroll through Craigslist is much homier: I'll have the bottom floor of a small house built down into a hillside all to myself, with pretty much my own grassy, tree-ringed back yard to look out into. : ))
I want to thank everyone who's supported A* over the years, right up to the flurry of new folks who've joined my Patreon campaign in the past few weeks—your support really *is* making it possible for me to keep A* going, and with your help we'll all be able to have fun at the galactic core for a good long while to come. This move across the state will reduce my living expenses quite a bit, but I'll be depending more than ever on the income I make from A* to pay those bills, so if you've been considering chipping in even just a buck or two a month through the Patreon campaign, well, now more than ever it will really go a long way toward keeping a roof over my head while I make A* pages. : ]
That little compendium of cell phone travel photos up there from the trip, in chronological order, are:
- a snow covered lake in the Cascades
- giant windmills in the hills east of the Cascades
- a "pixel art" mosaic in the walk up to an empty storefront in the town I'm moving to
- melting crests of snow on rolling hills in the "Palouse" region
  Out *this* week on important A*-related trip!Mar 05, 2018 11:07 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:Update Tuesday 3/6:
Well apparently things are moving very quickly in the rental world over there, so in order to have some shot at securing a decent place for summer I'm actually now leaving TOMORROW, Wednesday March 7th, and will be gone for the rest of the week. And packing and getting ready today, so no more pages *this* week—but I should be back cranking out pages as normal *next* week, rather than being out of town then.
[Older post]
You may notice that the auction for the original art behind today's new comic page is a 10-day auction, rather than the usual 7 days, and that's because I'm going to be gone next week—or most of it, anyway! Yes and it's even an A*-related trip: you see, the hip town I live in, Seattle, has gotten a little too hip for me to afford on my extravagant webcomic creator salary, even with an incredible amount of support from my wonderful family ^_^, so I'm taking a trip to the far side of the state to look for an apartment in a more affordable place, so I can keep doing A*! : )
So I won't have new A* comics for you next week, starting Monday the 12th. : o I will try to post an update or two of the trip on my @smbhax Twitter account just to show that I'm still kicking!
Not sure quite how long it will take (but I've got a recital, birthday party, and dental appointment to attend (separately : P) the following Sunday and Monday, so I'll have to come back before then at any rate!), but if I make it back early I guess I'll try getting the jump on my A* taxes or something, that'll be a hoot. = P Oh and if I still have time I can work ahead on another project, namely switching A* production from my old Windows XP desktop—which is running in to some trouble due to decreased antivirus and web browser support : P—to my Windows 10 laptop and art streaming machine. Easier to move just that across the state, anyway!
So if I do find a place, the idea will be to move in the summer, or autumn at the latest. I'll probably need to take like a whole month off of A* then : o as I dispose of most of my earthly goods, say my goodbyes to friends and family, move the rest of my goods across the state, settle in to a strange place, and get ready to crank up A* from a new HQ. That month of no comics will be a bit of a drag : | but on the plus side, if things go according to plan, the move will pay off in the end in terms of A* output. Not having any acquaintances to visit, I'll have a bit more time to work on art and stuff—so no more sometimes slightly rushed Friday pages ]_], and I'm even planning on opening up artwork commissions! I've done a couple in the past, but haven't really made it public that I'm accepting them. And currently I'm not—no darn time! But once I'm moved, I'll have more time. : ) So you'll be able to pay me, basically, to draw whatever you want me to draw. (So far I think someone wants me to paint them a moose, which could be fun. ^_^) I've had a whole art commissions wing of the web site typed up and ready to go for months now, but I can't roll that out until I actually move and am ready to do 'em, I guess. (The short version is I charge $25/hour. : P) And if it happens that I don't have commissions waiting, I'll be able to do more like special A* larger/vertical format paintings too. Heck maybe I'll do some wildlife paintings or landscapes. Anyway, lots of options! Should be fun.
First things first, though, and that's the apartment hunt next week. Wish me luck! : D
  A protective helmet couldn't hurtMar 03, 2018 7:49 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:I'm able to make this comic thanks in large part to the support I get from readers through the A* Patreon campaign. : ) Even $1 a month is a big help! : D And I get to send out rewards, too; for instance, here's a sketch I mailed to a reader for a month of their support at the $10 level:
Thank you very much! ^_^ You help me keep A* going! : D
  Words words wordsMar 01, 2018 11:33 PM PST | url | discuss | + share
Added 1 new A* page:Don't worry, this silent scene won't go on for nearly as long as last episode's marathon. : o We're actually approaching the end of it already, I think.
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