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A* Episode 32 
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
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Here's a sketch I snail-mailed to a reader as their monthly reward for supporting the comic through the A* Patreon campaign : D (you can support the comic for as little as an easy, automatic $1 a month--I know it doesn't sound like much, but it makes a big difference to me! : D Higher support levels get various rewards--$10 gets you a monthly original pencil sketch, like this one : ):

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Thanks everyone for your support, it means a LOT! ^_^ Thanks for reading, and have a nice weekend!


Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:11 am
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NASA and the German space agency, DLR, have a flying infrared space telescope housed in the fuselage of a highly modified Boeing 747: the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or "SOFIA," flies above much of the water vapor in the atmosphere that could block infrared light. Just recently, it helped show how dust grains in the Rho Ophiuchi nebula--one of the star-forming regions closest to us--align along magnetic field lines.


Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:55 pm
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This BBC article talks about NASA's Chandra X-Ray space telescope finding evidence for a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy 800 million light years away having emitted two clouds of gas, 100,000 years apart, which would seem to confirm the theory that huge black holes can go through feeding cycles, where the intense radiation and high-energy particles thrown off during such a black hole's active period serve to push other material around the hole away, resulting in a quiet period in which the hole has nothing to "eat"--until material again drifts close enough for the hole to feed, and the cycle begins again. Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, is, in this theory, in one of those quiet periods between feasts.


Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:02 pm
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Wednesday A* original art archive sale on an actual Wednesday! Yes for the next week an original 16" x 6.75" watercolor illustration I painted for the comic--one that I think came out particularly well--will be on sale starting at a special low price of just $16.99, and this week it is page 69 of this episode, a searing action shot of Selenis diving for cover from a burst of gunfire in the amphitheater! Strong diagonal composition! Dynamic poses! Subtleties of lighting and coloration! Yes it can all be yours within the week, right over on eBay!

Small versions of the larger images included in the eBay listing:

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Thanks for checking it out! : D (My other A* original art sales--including the latest week's worth of brand new page illustrations--can always be found through my eBay profile.)


Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:20 pm
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Whew! Dunno if I'm gonna try another reflected face painting like this any time soon. :"P


Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:33 pm
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Here's an ink sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : D :

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Thanks everyone for your support through Patreon! Even just $1 a month really helps keep this comic going! ^_^


Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:42 pm
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I think this is the record for the most simultaneous Selenisusses I've ever put in a single panel? I know I have some scenes in her cloning chamber with clones floating in their tubes... 11:3 and 12:27 each have four Selenises--but that's two short of today's count, if we're counting that arm on the right. ; ) Hm well there could be some other page I'm forgetting right now, but as far as I can tell, it's the most. : o


Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:00 am
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SpaceX had a successful test launch of their new Falcon Heavy rocket: the rocket's two side boosters landed successfully, for re-use--the central booster, which is trickier to land, and hasn't had as much testing, didn't make it. It won't be known until Tuesday whether the rocket's test cargo, a Tesla convertible roadster with space-suit-wearing mannequin sitting in the driver's seat, has successfully achieved its intended solar orbit.

The Falcon Heavy is twice as powerful as most powerful rocket currently in operation, and four times cheaper by cargo weight: it can "place up to 70 tons into standard low-Earth orbit at a cost of $90 million per launch." The Heavy, which is 70 meters tall, is basically three of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets bolted together, packing a total of 27 engines.

SpaceX is already working on an even more powerful rocket: the "Big Falcon Rocket," or "BFR" (which follows a naming convention in which the "F" stands for a different f-word...), with which they intend to be able to send space tourists around the Moon.

Update 11:55 pm:

Thanks to reader Walter Milliken for correcting me about the intended orbit of the roadster!

According to Wikipedia, the point of the test was "to demonstrate that the Falcon Heavy can launch payloads as far as the orbit of Mars." Ars Technica says the intended orbit for the roadster was "a cycling orbit between Earth and Mars," although they cite Musk as saying "the vehicle should get as far as 380 to 450 million km from Earth, depending on how the third burn goes." Wikipedia says it "overshot the orbit of Mars," and it did, but it appears to have achieved a wider orbit within the bounds Musk predicted, reaching nearly to the orbit of Ceres in the asteroid belt. SpaceX has some surreal footage of roadster and its "Starman" dummy driver in space on YouTube.


Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:09 pm
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We're closing in on wrapping up episode 32, and I'm toddling away at some of the little tasks I make myself do in going from one episode to another--tonight it's backing up my high-resolution art scans to "the cloud," specifically.

The next episode will force Selenis to grapple with her feelings on her unusual state of existence. And then, by the end of the episode after that, a not-so-chance encounter will lead to a critical confrontation, secrets of the Core revealed, and the unleashing of a Selenis that *no* galaxy could be prepared for!

It's actually *the* major transition point I had most clearly mapped out since more or less the beginning of Selenis' arc. Just in the last few months I was thinking maybe I wouldn't do it--too risky! But this week I got some interesting feedback from a long-time but somewhat frustrated reader, and it has also occurred to me that I don't at the moment have further one-off episode plot ideas in my head for this current iteration of Selenis; generally more will pop into my head when the deadline for needing a new story approaches, but this time I thought well heck, why put myself through that particular stress when I've got this perfectly good major plot swing sitting here--and the more I thought about it, the more it occurred to me that particularly after episode 33 (and okay so I still need a plot for the beginning and middle of episode 34 : P), this Selenis will be developed to just about the point where she can face this crisis like I'll want her to.

At least, that's how I'm justifying it to myself. It's still kind of scary. And I'm putting it out here to make it harder for myself to backpedal on it. Although I still could, I guess. Uh and say hm probably by the time we're in the midst of all that, we'll be hitting the comic's 10th anniversary, according to my old A* development timeline at the bottom of the about page. So, you know, maybe it's time. ; ) Then again, it will only have been ten years...

Also, before that there's gonna be some major developments in A* on the outside-the-comic, business side of things in the late spring or early summer-ish this year, which *will* mean a not-inconsiderable break from new pages while I venture far and wide to take care of some stuff, but which, if I manage to pull it off, will ensure the future of A* for what will hopefully be quite some time to come, and will even allow me to offer more art to you, the readers, on an ongoing basis. It's all even scarier than a major plot development, but that's what's cookin'! : o (Vaguely. I'll be able to tell you more about it as we get closer to the time for action--which I intend to be live-tweeting so you don't miss me too much. :)


Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:15 am
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Past bedtime again eep eep eep


Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:28 am
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