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Supermassive Black Hole A*

Supermassive Black Hole A*

by smbhax
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.

Updates M-F, usually multiple times per day.
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Supermassive Black Hole A*

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.

Updates M-F, usually multiple times per day.


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That's the end of episode 33! And it's the start of my summer break here, to get rid of a lot of silly things and move the rest of them across the state to somewhere much more affordable where I can keep making A*. : D I expect to be up and running on episode 34—in which Selenis may hit a bump in the galactic road on her way home from this snowy excursion we've just seen—by some time in the week of June the 11th, but I guess you never know what might happen, so keep an eye on my Twitter (@smbhax), where I'll post any status updates in the interim.

I won't be painting any new A* pages during this break, but I will be catching up on rewards for those lovely folks making all this possible through my Patreon campaign : D. For instance, here's a sketch I got to send to one of them for their support:

<img alt="Image" src="" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you! : D

If you're catching this article before mid-May, you might still be able to snag some of the last new A* watercolor page paintings off my eBay at their special low one-week just-off-the-drawing-table prices. For my move, I'll be auctioning off a few non-A* items through that eBay account too, so uh I guess stay tuned there if you're interested in picking up any old import Sega Dreamcast games and peripherals. : o : )

Well that's it! Thank for reading, and I'll see you when A* starts back up from its new home in eastern Washington in June! ^_^
One more page to go! And my current apartment manager is showing my current apartment to someone in the middle of tomorrow afternoon, just as I would like to be drawing that page. :P Oh well I guess that'll give me time to gather up the ~50 lbs of very old loose change living in my car's glove compartment. $_$
Two more pages to go for this episode. : )
White out what isn't quite working. : o ^_^
The episode will be wrapping up this week! : )
April 28th, 2018
Thanks to everyone who's helping me make this comic by contributing to the A* Patreon campaign! : ) Even $1 a month is very appreciated. : D And at higher support levels I will even send you A* stuff each month, like here's a sketch I mailed to a reader for their support:

<img alt="Image" src="" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much! : D

(I may be slightly behind on sketches in some cases but I should be catching up during my little A* summer moving break that starts in one week. :)
April 27th, 2018
A story for episode 34 arrived in my head today! : o A deep dark space sort of thing, and as I may have mentioned before, it will have a twist, and touch upon a briefly-seen-before mysterious character, all as a set-up to head us into a major story arc that will shake Selenis' world to its foundations, show us some galactic secrets, and lead us to new worlds and maybe even some new kinds of adventure. ^)_^ So that should be fun. : D
April 26th, 2018
This afternoon the pieces of this episodes final conversation—the one we're in now—fit themselves all together in my head when I wasn't paying attention, and counting them out now, it looks like—barring unexpected interruptions—the episode *will* finish up by next Friday, the last day before my summer break to get ready to move apartments (and then to move apartments).

I was sort of hoping it wouldn't finish before then, because then I wouldn't have to worry about getting the usual between-episode e-book, etc wrangling done over the move break, but oh well I guess this way has its advantages too. ; )
April 25th, 2018
Preparing for the move episode 599a: Yay! Can almost stand up straight this evening, since wrestling that the 40-pound hunk of particle board—I hammered it together as a stand for my old makeshift standing desk, years ago—out of my apartment building's basement storage area and into the dumpster a few days ago. I was a little disappointed it didn't make a mightier GONG as it hit the bottom, but anyway, nice to have that out of the way. : P

Rooted through a box that turned out to be filled with all sorts of electronics cables, as well as a Japanese-only game controller that I hardly used and I guess I'll have to eBay (a Dreamcast "Twin Stick"—add "joy" in between "twin" and "stick" and you'll have a pretty good idea of what it looks like; it's pretty large and as far as I know only ever worked for a few games—a situation similar to that of the DC's Samba de Amigo maracas controller, but that at least came out in the States so I can just sell it to GameStop...along with the fishing rod controller...) and a clear purple Game Boy Color, complete with a third-party clear purple plug-in twisty light to aim at the unlit screen. There were analog audio cables, splitters, and adapters a-plenty, loads of heavy old VGA cables—we're firmly in an era past their usefulness! huzzah! they can go—and one thing that stumped me until I googled "USB cable with big square end": turns out it's a USB A to USB B cable.

What the heck did (do? : o) I have that took (takes? : o) a USB B cable? This is gonna nag at me. Guess I'd better hang on to the thing for now. : P
April 24th, 2018
I've got this week and next week to work on A* before I take time off to prepare for my move across the state, which means I have at most nine pages left before the break, and it's looking like that won't quite finish off this episode—so when I get set up in the new apartment and back to the drawing board, we'll have a nice big anti-climax! : D
April 21st, 2018
Sketch for a reader who's supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : )) :

<img alt="Image" src="" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much! You're helping me keep this comic going! : D
April 20th, 2018
Ah, takes me back to those dragon-slaying days of episode 29, page 82. Still can't seem to get both eyes to cooperate. But maybe if I keep this up long enough, people will just assume it's my "style." : D
April 19th, 2018
Move prep episode 99xx: rooting around in old video game stuff from my storage space. (I have way too much old video game stuff, it was pretty much all I spent my money on during the 10 years I worked in the game industry. :"P) Found two more PSP batteries, both, like the one I'd found previously, swelled up to where they can't fit in the battery compartment anymore. Curiously, they swell up on one side of the battery, under a large label, and that whole side feels soft, unlike the hard plastic of the rest of the battery case. It's almost as though...they knew this would happen?

So anyway I have no unswelled PSP batteries, but I can power the things on to reset them (in preparation for donating them) using their charging cables for power. Then I realize I should "deactivate" them from my PS3s that they're registered on--I guess really this isn't necessary, it would just mean that if there was any downloadable game of mine on a memory stick in them--which there isn't, I've formatted the mem sticks and am going to try to sell them to GameStop : P--then that game could no longer be run. Or something like that. But I wanted to dot all the i's here so I hook them up to my PS3 and go through the deactivation procedure--but I can't deactivate one of the PSPs from the PS3 because the PSP is using an old version of its operating system--and for some reason needs to be on a newer version so it can be deactivated? Huhh.

Well either it's so old that none of its WiFi (it calls it "WLAN" or something : pp) security schemes are compatible with my WiFi router, or I've forgotten my own WiFi password--which I don't think I have. But you can download new versions of the PSP OS off of Sony's web site to your PC, then put them on a memory card in the PSP through the PSP's USB cable. So I do that. Go to run the software update on the PSP can't do it, because it doesn't have a charged battery. Even though it is plugged in, it still needs a battery to update--I guess they wanted to be sure your system didn't get bricked when your power went out or something...but this is a risk with EVERY NON-PORTABLE SYSTEM YOU PROBABLY OWN. Sigh. So, swelled batteries, no PSP update, no deactivation. : P

Hunting around Sony's site, they have at least two separate pages for deactivating systems registered to your account. One says it will deactivate all systems for you (but only once every six months)--why you can't select specific ones, I can't imagine. And I think this doesn't include PSP systems, which another support page says must be deactivated from the PS3 to which they're registered, which I can't do. So anyway I press the deactivate all systems button. Then I find another page, saying I still have one activated PS3 system. Which one is anyone's guess. My old US one that fried itself? My current US one? My old Japanese one? My friend's that I've logged in on before? None at all, because I just deactivated all of them from the other page on their site, only this one refuses to update? I'm not allowed to know. I go through a customer support form, type in one of the system's serial numbers, and get an auto-reply saying I'll hear back in 24 hours if my deactivation request will be granted. Boy. I try the form again with another system's serial number--nope, can't do that, already have a request in the system. Cool.

I'm pretty sure at this point that deactivating them doesn't matter all that much for my purposes and I'm not so sure why I bothered. But boy they don't make it easy. Oh yeah and some system is still activated for "video" (rather than the other category, "games"), but there's no mechanism for removing the "video" activated system (they're kind enough, at least, to tell you that much). Is that the old, fried PS3 on which I rented a movie from their on-board service once? No idea. Apparently I'd have to call them and talk to people about this in order have a hope of getting it cleared up. Think I'll leave it. : P
April 18th, 2018
I started my PS3 formatting itself today. It says it is going to take 20 hours. : o
April 17th, 2018
Octagons are surprisingly tricky to draw freehand. : o
April 14th, 2018
Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through the A* Patreon campaign : ) :

<img alt="Image" src="" border="0" hspace="0">

Even a dollar a month through Patreon makes a big difference, so thanks everyone who's helping the comic out there!
April 13th, 2018
My driver in Gran Turismo Sport has A* gloves! ^_^

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April 12th, 2018
Getting ready for the move journal entry #XX: Today I put some unused shipping boxes out for recycling! They were big flat boxes (not suitable as moving boxes, unfortunately) that I got to ship extra-large size A* artwork—but I only ended up doing a handful of oversized pieces; they were kind of too big to work on well with my little drawing table set-up! : P
April 11th, 2018
A farewell to day! A page is done. Exeunt!
April 10th, 2018
After struggling for a little while, I held my pencil sideways and went all super-sketchy with the pencils for today's page—I think it helped!