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Welcome to Supermassive Black Hole A*, the hard sci-fi webcomic! A*—pronounced "A star"—tells stories of a human civilization at the center of the Milky Way galaxy: an area of space dominated by a gigantic black hole, where energy is abundant and life is cheap.
 
A* comics arrive daily Monday through Friday—although sometimes they don't get finished and uploaded until the wee hours of the next morning, technically speaking.
 
There really *is* a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy: Sagittarius A*, so named by scientific observers because it appears as the brightest part of a high energy radio source, denominated "A," located in the constellation Sagittarius when viewed from Earth. Sgr A*, the center of the Milky Way galaxy, about 26,000 light years from Earth, is roughly 4,000,000 times as massive as the Sun.

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Hello! I'm Ben Chamberlain, and I make this comic. : ) If you'd like to contact me, email me at smbhax@gmail.com, or contact me on Twitter (@smbhax) or any of the other networking sites in the link list above.
 
After concentrating in oil painting and digital artwork at the University of Chicago, I quit web design for game design and quit game design—where I had ended up as the sole remaining writer and designer on The Matrix Online, working with and continuing a story by Paul Chadwick—for A*, which began in 2009 as a digitally produced animated webcomic.
 
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Currently using: an H-grade Uni Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Pencil with a Pentel Hi-Polymer Ain Eraser - Dust Gathering (Large) on 300 lb hot press Arches Bright White Watercolor Paper, cut to A*'s 16" x 6.75" page size with an 18" Dahle Vantage Paper Trimmer. Colored with the Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors Quinacridone Magenta and Ultramarine Blue (Green Shade), using a Ĺ" Winsor & Newton Artists' One Stroke Watercolor Brush and a RaphaŽl 8404 size 4/0 brush; I sometimes use a W&N 1/8" brush for removing layers and an old size 4 RaphaŽl 8404 brush for watercolor/ink mixing, and to apply Deleter White 2 for highlights/corrections.
 
When I ink, I use an old size 0 8404 with Deleter Black 3; spatter effects like stars come from flicking a Speedball Hunt #22B nib dipped in Deleter White 2 across an old credit card, like this. I use a Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.3 mm and a Faber-Castell Pitt Big Brush pen for sketches in a 5"x7" Robert Bateman Cover Series sketchbook, and sometimes I doodle using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Work happens on a 24"x36" Berkeley Drafting Table and sometimes a 20"x26" Airlite Drawing Board. Art is scanned into Photoshop 4 (the ancient one) with a Mustek A3 2400S S-Series Flatbed Scanner.
 
Fonts used for the comic:
 
  Euphorigenic - robo-bird speech
  OCR A Extended - computer speech
  Trebuchet - other speech
  Georgia - A* logo
 
(The font names above link to where I got them. Euphorigenic is free for personal and most commercial uses. Personal use versions of Trebuchet and Georgia are included in recent versions of Windows. A personal use version of OCR A Extended came with Windows 98 and old versions of Microsoft Office and related software; OCR A is a standardized font and both free and paid implementations are available elsewhere.)
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Older A* links:
 
 
 
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