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  A cosmic puzzle!Sep 30, 2019 8:00 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
First resolved photo of a black hole, or a dried well on my watercolor palette?
 
 
 
 
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  Always with the doorwaysSep 27, 2019 7:58 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Ink sketch for a reader supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :
 

 
Thanks to everyone reading the comic, and to everyone supporting the comic in other ways! A* happens thanks to you! : D
 
 
 
 
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  Is that Wildroot Cream-Oil in your pocket?Sep 26, 2019 10:13 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
Panel from a full-page ad for Wildroot Cream-Oil Hair Tonic, starring Sam Spade and Effie Perine, in Master Comics #99, January 1949.
 
 
 
 
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  Like totally swingin', Daddy-OSep 25, 2019 8:29 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Sketch for a reader supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :
 

 
Thanks to everyone supporting the comic! ^_^_^
 
 
 
 
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  Last day for A* lunar base original art sale!Sep 24, 2019 9:56 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Just one day left on the special A* art archive sale of the watercolor painting behind A* episode 35, page 2—the auction is right here on eBay, starting at just $16.99.
 

 
Ah, the ol' lunar base! And while you're there, if you're interested in more A* original art, you'll find the latest week's worth of new A* page art also on sale under my eBay profile.
 
Thanks for taking a look!
 
 
 
 
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  Danger wears a natty green hatSep 23, 2019 9:48 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
Cover of Night Nurse #3, March 1973. Art by Win Mortimer.
 
 
 
 
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  A* moon art for sale!Sep 20, 2019 9:19 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I've got a special sale auction going through next Wednesday for the watercolor illustration made for A* episode 35, page 2:
 

 
Thanks for checking it out! And I've got more A* art items on sale there—the paintings behind this week's new pages, in fact!—which you'll find under my eBay profile. : )
 
 
 
 
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  You just can't argue with logicSep 19, 2019 10:34 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
From "The Mystery of Mercury" in Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #13, June 1959. Script possibly by Joe Gill, pencils by Bill Molno, inks by Rocco "Rocke" Mastroserio.
 
 
 
 
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  The lunar base--A* special archive art sale!Sep 18, 2019 8:42 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Special Wednesday A* art archive auction! You may like the 16" x 6.75" watercolor painting of Selenis' lunar base in ring-light done for A* page 35:2; on sale for 1 week starting at just $16.99: https://www.ebay.com/itm/143387244382 : ) :
 

 
I got to use a rough style to render the cratered lunar surface and the shadows of the base going across it, and that's fun to paint! This page is also a reminder to me that isolating individual colors can create a certain bold, graphic look.
 
(If you check my eBay seller profile while you're there, you'll also find sale auctions for the latest week's worth of brand new A* comic pages, as is my custom. : )
 
Thanks for checking it out!
 
 
 
 
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  Always heed your nurse's adviceSep 17, 2019 9:23 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:(Revised Selenis' face in yesterday's page a bit.)
 

 
Isolated panel from Night Nurse #1, November 1972. Writing by Jean Thomas, art by Win Mortimer.
 
 
 
 
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  Sgr A* flares, graphic novel readingSep 16, 2019 8:43 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Reader Honza Prchal linked me to this Newsweek article about scientists finding that the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, designated radio source Sgr A*, flared three times this past spring, getting up to 75 times brighter—at locations just outside its event horizon—very briefly. They think this is due to it sucking in material, but flares of this extent have not previously been detected "in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole."
 
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Gonna see how many of these 27 graphic novels I can get through in my month-long free trial of Comixology Unlimited : ) :
 
 
 
 
 
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  I have a PayPal.Me page thing nowSep 13, 2019 10:26 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:If you're a generous billionaire or something and would like to send some of that money my way to help me make A* pages, you can now do that through this handy little page PayPal just showed me how to set up: https://paypal.me/smbhax.
 
From the looks of it, it requires a PayPal account. If you don't have and don't want a PayPal account, you can use the old-fashioned golden "Contribute" button down near the bottom of my store page—the interface it uses isn't quite as slick, but all you need for that one is a credit card. (I've put the paypal.me link thingy down there too for safekeeping.)
 
Not that I've had a lot of billionaires coming through there, but now they have one more option. ^_^
 
Anyhoo thanks to everyone who's helped me with A*, and thanks for reading! : D
 
 
 
 
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  How can she ever truly know??Sep 12, 2019 9:01 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
From "The Making of a Nurse!" in Night Nurse #1, November, 1972. Writing by Jean Thomas, art by Win Mortimer.
 
 
 
 
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  Poised poseSep 11, 2019 9:03 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Sketch for a reader supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :
 

 
Thanks everyone for making this comic possible! : D
 
 
 
 
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  In the '40s they really counted caloriesSep 10, 2019 8:09 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
From a full-page ad for Tootsie Roll candy, starring Captain Tootsie, in Master Comics #80, June 1947.
 
 
 
 
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  Spade's on the caseSep 09, 2019 9:33 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
From a full-page ad for Wildroot Cream-Oil Hair Tonic, starring Sam Spade and Effie Perine, in Master Comics #79, May 1947. Art by Lou Fine.
 
 
 
 
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  A* for offline readingSep 06, 2019 10:21 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:You can enjoy A* at your leisure offline with the A* SUPER EXPRESS PACK, available as the top listing on the episodes & e-books page: you get the PDF-format e-book of every A* episode completed to date—37 in total—packed into one handy, extractable .zip file: 3,523 pages of A* for just $20!
 
Just make sure you've got enough space on your device: it's a 622.65 MB download. : )
 
 
 
 
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  Scientists plan movie of A*Sep 05, 2019 9:25 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:The scientific team that got the first ever image of a black hole earlier this year—it was the supermassive black hole at the radio source designated Sagittarius A* at the center of our galaxy—has announced, according to today's BBC article, their plan to capture not just a blurry photo, but a "razor sharp" movie of the black hole "consuming the material around it."
 
The video capture is to be made possible by upgrades to the global network of radio telescopes they're using to peer through the light years of gas and dust between Earth and A*: telescopes in Greenland, France, and "parts of Africa" will be added to the network, as well as three small orbiting satellites.
 
 
 
 
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  Your head is the safest placeSep 04, 2019 8:38 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:
 
From Master Comics #75, December 1946.
 
 
 
 
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  Painting tips from A* pages pastSep 03, 2019 8:25 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Found some painting techniques I used in old A* pages that I want to keep in mind for those occasions where they may come in handy—I knew there was a reason I obsessively stream and archive to YouTube videos of me drawing and painting every A* page! ; D
 
- From page 29:88: Wet-on-wet layers for skin and other shading effects - Watercolor is well known for being able to build up layered areas of rich color, and it's something I've gotten away from trying, mmmaybe after being burned by muddled messes that got away from me on a few pages. : o But when it works, it looks really cool, with a translucent, illuminated quality. So eh I should probably find ways to work in more layering here and there and get better at it.
 
- From page 29:107: Use a medium-sized brush to fill complex areas - Recently I've been working on an expressive style done with a big brush and a small brush, and I'd forgotten that the handy thing about a *medium*-sized brush is that you can use it to fill in irregularly-shaped areas that the big brush is too clumsy for, and the small brush is too small for; for instance, for Selenis' jacket on the last page (38:25), if I'd had a medium brush to fill in the jacket, I could have got the edges of the collar sharper. And in general I've been avoiding filled-in interlocked complicated volumes for this very reason—subconsciously, I guess, but I'd started to suspect there was something I was missing. ; ) In particular, if you can pull this off, you can make a sharp-looking shape that doesn't have to have lines around it, and that can make for a pretty cool, streamlined look. I have one old medium brush left but it's banged up from being used for paint mixing for years. So I've ordered some sharp new medium brushes and we'll see if they do actually come in handy now and then!
 
Update 9/11: Turns out the small brush actually works better for this—I just use the small brush to do the edge bits, and fill in the rest of the space quickly behind it with the big brush. : ) But I'll be able to use those medium brushes for paint mixing and white ink once I finally work my way through my collection of the old medium brushes I've been using for that. ; )
 
- From page 35:45: Low contrast can work - I've been practicing a sort of graphic thick-and-thin line style lately, often going right to high-contrast, dark lines, but a more subtle approach of building up areas of lower-contrast can work better in certain situations, and isn't necessarily harder to "read" as a viewer; in fact, it can be less distracting than a network of heavy lines across the page.
 
All three of these techniques take a little patience, which is something I sometimes have in short supply in my need to get a page done each day. But for the past week I've somehow been able to get the drawing done in a more timely fashion than I had been for a while, and that I guess has given me a little unaccustomed extra time to think about more subtle things I could be doing in the painting. I want to keep the painting energetic and exciting, but mayyybe I'll be able to figure out ways to make some of these things work for it, too.
 
 
 
 
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