Added 1 new A* page:Some sketchy design sketches for the space suits of these guys--decided to go with the more retro fishbowl-style helmets ;):|
Hm I think I *may* have ruined a brush in my art supply experiments after all. ;) See a few pages back I went back to using relatively small sable brushes for detail work, instead of the big synthetic/horsehair brush I'd been using for everything for most of this episode. The handle on the sable brush is a lot thinner, and I was afraid I'd start to get wrist stiffness / forearm soreness like I used to get before I switched to the larger brush. But then I happened to notice that the handle of the sable brush can just about fit through the hollow bamboo handle of the big brush; the first bamboo handle section I tried was just a *little* too narrow, but I found that soaking it in water--which I had to do anyway to get the red dye covering the inside to go away (that's what was going on in that photo I posted a couple days ago with that jar of red water)--caused the bamboo to expand enough that the sable brush's handle fit through the bamboo handle with room to spare. So I squirted some Elmer's "Wood Glue MAX" down one of the bamboo handle sections I cut off to balance the big brushes out anyway, stuck the small sable brush through it end-first, let it set for 24 hours, and I had me a Frankenbrush--a small-tipped brush with a nice thick handle:
I used it for the details in today's page, aaaand it seemed to irritate my wrist--way more than it had been irritated using a normal thin-handled sable brush yesterday. Now, it seems to take my arms two or three days to adjust to new tools anyway, so maybe it'll get better, but I'm starting to think that it's more to do with my wrist and arm position as I hold the brush than it is with the girth of the brush handle--with the big handle on, I think I just started to hold it differently. But with the big bamboo brushes, I unconsciously tend to hold those more sideways, because the brushy tip tends to bend to one side a little anyway, and plus to do bigger dry-brush effects you'd want hold it further sideways.
Anyway I guess I'll try Frankenbrush more next week and see if it gets better. It does at least seem to be bonded together pretty solidly. :P
I stuck a "Top Webcomics" voting link widget in the left end of the social networking bar found under the ad section on the comic pages; I've had A*'s TWC links solely as text links on the site's "about" page for years because I felt that TWC is more of an ad for TWC than it really is for the webcomics striving to raise their rank and theoretical visibility in its list, and also I didn't want readers to feel like they need to be doing anything more than reading the comic. And in fact even just with the text links tucked away on the "about" page, some kindly folks have made a habit of voting for A* on TWC, and often get A* hovering somewhere in the mid-200's in TWC's ranking (which resets every month), and that actually has brought in a decent amount of additional traffic to the site. So, while I don't like to shill for TWC or whoever, if putting their widget on my front page helps get me a few new readers, I guess it's silly not to do it. I guess I'll try it there for a few months, and if it doesn't get A* up into the more visible part of the ranking (like into the 100's), I can just remove it. :P
I've been playing around on A*'s Tumblr since I recently created it, having a surprising amount of fun browsing around and posting neat art and science things that I find--in addition to A* stuff of course! For instance, near the top just now you'll several interesting supernova articles and photos, a space adventure comic story by Al Williamson, inked by Frank Frazetta, and an old Radio Shack ad in which Isaac Asimov and his huge bushy white sideburns extoll the merits of the new TRS-80 Color Computer--along with a bunch of other fun stuff! So check that out, follow it if you like it, tell your friends, and here's that huge link button to it again, just to be gratuitous:
In any case, thanks to everyone who's gone out of their way to give me some feedback on the comic, whether it's been by emailing me, tweeting me, adding a message when buying something from the store, getting in touch on deviantART, Liking my A* posts on Facebook, giving a +1 on Google+ or a <3 on Tumblr, voting for A* in some poll thing, dropping a thoughtful comment here or there, or whatever--it means a lot to me to get each and every one of those... I guess it seems a little silly but they really do encourage me quite a bit! So thank you. :)