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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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2,813
Updates
5 Updates/Week
Last Update
13 Hours Ago
Fans
271
Readers
136

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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Recent Comments

I still don't seem to be getting much more than the pages themselves done this week, but hey...I got another page done! :"P (:D)
Well it's an hour past my bedtime and I need to get to it, so no special archive art sale today. But! The watercolor paintings I made for the newest 5 A* pages *are* up for auction on my eBay, and you might like one or more of those. : )
smbhax
November 15th, 2017
I accidentally used a newer tiny brush (size 0: one I've just been using for inking a Patreon reward sketch once a month ; ) rather than my usual, rather worn down tiny brush for the detailed lines on today's page, and that worked so nicely—having an actual point on the thing instead of sort of a line segment ending, having better thick-to-thin ability, and having it hold more paint at once—that it finally convinced me to bust out a new tiny brush from the little stockpile I'd accumulated while they were coming for free with the larger brushes I used to tear through pretty quickly when doing A* pages with waterproof black ink. So tomorrow will be brand new brush day, whee! ^_^
smbhax
November 14th, 2017
That's it for Monday! : ) Seeya Tuesday!
smbhax
November 11th, 2017
Patreon is a great way to support your favorite artists, and I even get to send folks supporting the comic through the A* Patreon campaign unique A* rewards each month, like this sketch I mailed off to one reader for their support:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/171111_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much! : )
smbhax
November 10th, 2017
The recent BBC article The Women Who Sew for NASA talks about the female technicians who dominate NASA's cabling and thermal blanketing teams; that golden foil you often see covering sensitive space probe components, for instance, is stitched together from "over 20 individual layers - some just 1/1000th of an inch thick," then hand-sewn into place on the spacecraft.

The article also points to several examples of similarly skilled female technicians who made earlier, crucial leaps in NASA's space exploration possible:

- the custom spacecraft program hardware of the Apollo spacecraft was woven together by a team nick-named the "little old ladies": "many of them were in fact young women, threading copper wires through tiny magnetic loops to create the individual ones and zeros of programme code."

- "the seamstresses of lingerie brand Playtex pioneered new sewing techniques to create the Apollo spacesuits. Working to unprecedented levels of precision, and often late into the night, their innovations made human spaceflight possible."

... I really need to learn to sew one of these days.
smbhax
November 9th, 2017
Wednesday original A* art archive sale! This is where I pick out what I think is a particularly nifty page of original artwork from the A* archives and put it up for auction at a bargain price! And this week we're doing the 16" x 6.75" watercolor illustration I made for page 31:16, catching Selenis in a dimly lit alley in the lower sub-levels of the artificial world known as The Pearl, where she is busy applying some leverage to the back of a security patrolman's knee. : ) It's up for auction for the next week on eBay!

Here are tiny preview versions of the high-res images of the page that you'll find included in the auction listing:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0031/d/0016.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">
<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0031/o/0016.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

This particular page is one of my most successful applications of colored line work, I think. Should I do more of that, or try to form forms without lines, which can potentially look more natural but also easily goes kinda blobby? Maybe going for form, then applying line where necessary for further delineation would be the wise route? Or do the particular demands of each image require different approaches? Well if I could answer these questions I wouldn't have to agonize over each new day's page, and then where would I go for drama in my life?

... Anyway, thanks for checking out my artwork! : D (You'll find other attractively priced A* artwork under my eBay handle while you're over there, including the last week's worth of new page paintings!)
smbhax
November 8th, 2017
I just discovered that shiny bar tops are really fun to paint. : D
smbhax
November 7th, 2017
Trying to work on boiling the page layouts down to strong elements. We'll see how long I can keep this up. : ) Action scenes probably help, I suppose!
smbhax
November 4th, 2017
I'm not quite making a living at making A*, but I'm getting there, thanks in large part to readers helping me out through the A* Patreon campaign! As little as $1 a month means a lot to me, and if you splurge on a higher level of support you can even get unique monthly A* rewards; for instance, here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for their support:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/171104_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much for keeping me at work on A*! : D
smbhax
November 2nd, 2017
I think I am gradually figuring out what type of coloring I like with watercolors—by process of elimination. ; )
smbhax
November 2nd, 2017
Wednesday A* original art archive sale! This week's lucky piece is the 16" x 6.75" watercolor illustration I made for A* episode 31, page 84, which finds Selenis reading some hot info off a mobile device she just swiped from a rather disgruntled gentleman. You've got three count 'em three faces, each showing a different emotion, with a pleased Selenis up front, bathed in the tiny screen's glow. This painting is on eBay for one week now, starting at just $18.99!

The auction listing has high-res images; my blog is only big enough for these tiny previews:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/171101_00310084.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">
<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0031/o/0084.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

This page I think is one of my more successful attempts at layering the watercolors: heavy red with heavy blue on top built up an intense background, leaving bright blue and red highlights dancing around the figures; and the hair of the central female figure came out in a kinda neat duotone with a swirly purple splashed on over a lighter blue.

I hope someone likes it enough to take it home! = ) I've got other pieces on sale on eBay too—the latest week's A* pages are there; for instance, the painting behind today's new page is up for auction right here. Yep!
smbhax
October 31st, 2017
That's it for me! G'night! : )
smbhax
October 30th, 2017
Trying to work out how to do "wetter" watercolor painting. : P Hopefully things will get a little messy but I keep getting too scared so maybe they won't. : o
smbhax
October 28th, 2017
Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through the A* Patreon campaign : ) :

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/171028_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

You can help me keep A* going with as little as a $1 a month automatically through Patreon! Thanks to everyone who's helping me out, it means a lot!
smbhax
October 27th, 2017
So if say you're looking for some pose references and you search for "sliding in socks" on YouTube, you end up with Tom Cruise dancing in his underpants.

...

It was useful.
smbhax
October 26th, 2017
Wednesday special A* original art archive auction! : ) This is where I pick one of my remaining pieces of A* original art that I think is particularly nifty and run it in a week-long auction at a special low starting price. This week it's the turn of the 16" x 6.75" original watercolor illustration I made for A* episode 31, page 71, where Selenis and her adopted band of rebels are discussing their next move in the office of a captured base. The rendering of Selenis' face, and the watery shading and atmosphere I managed in this one, were rather exceptional by my standards. :") For the next week the painting is on sale, starting at well below its regular $50 price, right here on eBay.

High resolution images of the artwork are available there in the auction listing, but here are tiny ones to give you a peek:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0031/d/0071.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">
<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0031/o/0071.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thanks for checking out my artwork! ^_^ (The original watercolor paintings behind the latest week's worth of new A* pages are also on sale—you'll find it all listed under my eBay profile.)
smbhax
October 25th, 2017
Let's go back to those 1950s comic stories where guys were always inventing time machines in their basement out of sawdust and old wires. ^_^
smbhax
October 24th, 2017
I've noticed that sometimes if I draw and erase and draw and erase over and over until my brain goes numb, my blobby, rounded, cartoony drawing instincts get worn away and out comes this sleek, spare, angular, more realistic style. (Last time before this was page 41.) I wish I could do that all the time! It sure takes a while to get to. : P
smbhax
October 21st, 2017
Here's an ink sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/171021_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thanks to everyone who's helping me out through Patreon! You are making A* possible! : D