smbhax
Just a guy makin' comics.
  • Real Name
    Ben Chamberlain
  • Gender
    Male
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Sketch for a reader supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170722_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much! : D

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Update Monday 7/24: not going to manage a new page today, back at it tomorrow!
Maybe it was subconscious or something, but it turns out that the ink wash page I picked for this week's special sale of original art from the A* archives, like today's new watercolor page, features two women in a corridor. In the case of the ink wash page—episode 16, page 21, it is, with the art measuring 17" x 7.5", slightly bigger (I left more off in the margins when scanning) than our modern watercolor pages—it was Selenis shadowing the ebullient proprietor of Stella's Starships as she proceeded into the back of her shop. This was from the very brief period in which I was using art pens to add sharp ink lines to the artwork, and I still like how they brought out the shadowy form of Selenis, looming there in her dark ink wash. I've kept thinking I'll do another figure that way some time but it hasn't really happened. But we still have this page, at least until the special sale price auction for it ends next week; you can find that auction right here.

The auction listing has high-res images; here are some low-res previews:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170719_00160021.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">
<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0016/o/0021.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thanks for checking out the auction! : D (You'll also find similarly sale-priced auctions of the last week of new A* watercolor pages among my listings there on eBay.) We've got what umm I guess 15 or so ink pieces I've set aside for these weekly(-ish) sales left to go!
Trying to loosen up with the paint a bit and that reminded me that you can use brush stroke type as well as color to differentiate things. : j
With the original art for today's page, I've hiked my starting bid price for the comic's original art from $14.99 to a whopping $16.99. : o As I mentioned earlier in the year, after I'd done my taxes and found I wasn't actually making much money to speak of on sales after art supply expenses and so forth were taken into account, my scheming master plan is to get the starting bid price up to $25; I'd said I was shooting for the end of the year on that, but I'm probably a little behind that curve in my incremental increases at the moment. Oh well, we'll get there some day. Gotta be able to afford to keep making the comic!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who's been bidding on my art. : ) Oh yeah and the auctions finishing this week—namely, the auctions for the original watercolor paintings behind last week's comic pages—still have their starting bid prices of $14.99, so you've still got those last chances to get in on the previous regime's price!
Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170715_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

I wouldn't be able to keep making this comic without the support I get from readers through Patreon, so thank you all very much! You can pledge as little as $1 a month, which may not sound like a lot, but it's a big help to me. =")
We will eliminate facial features until proportions come out right! Yah!
Another Wednesday archive art sale opportunity missed because I spent too long working on the page. :"| Probably used too many lines. : P
Galaxy Zoo: Citizen science trailblazer marks tenth birthday is a recent BBC article that mentions some colorful new types of space objects found by volunteers examining photos of outer space for the "Galaxy Zoo" citizen science project—things with informal names like Green Peas (possibly active starburst galaxies) and Yellow Balls ("early stages of massive star formation").

Most of the article revolves around another new type of space object a project volunteer found, which also received a catchy name: Hanny's Voorwerp. "Voorwerp" is Dutch for "thing" or "object"; those discussing the curious smudge Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel had spotted in a space survey photo she was examining didn't know what to make of it, so they just referred to it as "Hanny's thing" in Dutch, and, well, "voorwerp" is a pretty darn cool-sounding word for something in space, so it stuck—and since then, more "voorwerpen" or "voorwerpjes" ("small objects") have been found. Subsequent analysis by big guns of science, including instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, has suggested they are vast clouds of intergalactic gas that have been ionized by powerful jets shooting out of actively feeding supermassive black holes at the center of adjacent galaxies, and subsequently set alight in a blaze of star formation by gas streaming out of that same galactic center. The galaxy next to Hanny's Voorwerp is not currently active, but the extra glow in the voorwerp's gases is thought to be an "echo" or reflection of a bright quasar event that took place at the galaxy's core 100,000 years ago.

Also don't miss the photo (in both the BBC and the Hanny's Voorwerp Wikipedia article) of the Teacup Galaxy—the reason for the name is obvious as soon as you see its picture. : D
Here's an ink sketch I sent to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign—it's a huge help!

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170708_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you! : DD
I didn't manage it yesterday but let's call today an honorary Wednesday and have our weekly A* archive art sale! : D This week's selection is the original 17" x 7.5" (that's bigger than my modern 16" x 6.75" pages—I used to cut more off in the margins when scanning : P) ink illustration behind A* episode 18, page 2, where Selenis, clad in classic femme fatale style, stylishly makes her way through the proverbial dark alley. That's up for auction at a special low starting price for just the next week right here on eBay!

The auction listing has high resolution images where you can really zoom in and see all the crazy cross-and-other-styles-of-hatching I used on that page; here are tiny, blog-sized ones to pique your interest:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170706_00180002.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">
<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0018/o/0002.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Last week I said I had just 18 ink pieces left that I was gonna offer in these little weekly (usually Wednesday : P) sales, so I guess now I just have 17 left! And if A* art sales interest you, check out the other sales on my eBay—which always include at least the latest week's worth of new watercolor page illustrations!
It's Wednesday and I should be putting up a specially selected page from the A* original art archives for sale on eBay alongside the usual new daily page paintings, but I spent way too long drawing today's page and now I don't have any time left for extra stuff tonight, doggone it. =p
I'm off for the July 4th holiday tomorrow—back to work on a new page on the 5th, though! Whatever you'll be doing, have a nice Tuesday. : )
Readers keep A* coming to you each day by supporting the comic for as little as a buck a month through Patreon! : D It makes a huge difference! And those daring even higher levels of support can get themselves unique A* rewards; here's a sketch I sent to one of those intrepid souls for their support:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170701_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much! : D Your support helps make this comic possible!
You can buy this page! (Like all my pages!) It would really help me out. : )
It's Wednesday and that means one of my favorite pieces of original art from the A* archives goes up for sale! This week I went through *all* my remaining ink pages and found 18 I thought were really peppy—so that's how many of these ink artwork sales are left. It may sound like a lot now, but once we're done with them, that's it for the special ink sales!

Okay so with just 18 to go, we have for sale the 16" x 6.75" ink illustration I made for A* episode 18, page 54, in which the Major approaches Selenis all Terminator-like in his armored exoskeleton on the surface of a fatal planetoid, in the middle of a pocket of space crackling with charged particles. It's all there in sharp black and white—in particular, the cross-hatching on the Major's armor may be my most successful cross-hatching ever. And that's what's up for sale at a special low opening bid price, for just one week only, right here on eBay.

The auction listing has hi-res images, but here are some tiny ones to get you going:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170628_00180054.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">
<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0018/o/0054.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

That's it! Just one week! : )
Must never again write episode having scenes featuring five simultaneous characters : oo
NASA is making raw image data from its Juno Jupiter probe available to the public, and the public is responding by piecing the data together into some really spectacular images, including a big enhanced-color view of Jupiter's light and dark bands of clouds in this article on NASA's site. The exquisitely detailed tendrils of twisting and churning storms across the giant planet's cloud tops almost look like fractal imagery. Spectacular!
Thank you to all the readers who are helping keep me at work on this comic by supporting it through my Patreon campaign! = D Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for their support:

<img alt="Image" src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/170623_patreon_sketch.jpg" border="0" hspace="0">

Thank you very much! I couldn't do this without you!