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smbhax
Just a guy makin' comics.
  • Real Name
    Ben Chamberlain
  • Gender
    Male
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The Washington Post: 2.58 million cubic feet of contaminated soil from 1940s and '50s bomb tests was dumped in a crater on a Pacific island, covered with a concrete lid, and left there since 1980, unlabelled and unguarded, with seawater free to seep in through the dirt floor of the crater.
Episode 36 of the comic wrapped up last week, and over the weekend I got it put together in downloadable e-book form, which you can find over on the episodes & e-books page. (Patreon supporters at the e-book level and higher will be receiving the download link for their complimentary copy at the beginning of next month. : )
Running late here at the end of the week (paintings don't always go the way you planned them—but I guess it would be boring if they did!) so I'll just say thank you very much for reading! See you Monday. : )
I'll be working on putting together the episode 36 e-book this weekend. A* Patreon campaign supporters at the e-book and higher levels will have their complementary e-book download link emailed to them at the start of next month. : )
A new BBC article reports that China says their Chang'e-4 lunar rover, exploring the relatively unexplored far side of the moon, has found rocks from the Moon's mantle—that's the layer beneath the crust—on the surface in the Moon's vast South Pole Aitken Basin, a crater that "covers nearly a quarter of the Moon's circumference," and is thought to have been caused by the tremendous impact of a 170km asteroid at least 3.9 billion years ago.

Theory has said an impact of that scale could have smashed all the way through the moon's crust to the mantle, and this could be the first confirmation of that. The mission's initial scan of the rocks claims to have found them to differ significantly from typical lunar surface rocks, with a chemical profile fitting what scientists think lunar mantle rocks could have; if these are indeed pieces of the lunar mantle, they "could now help scientists understand the chemical and mineralogical composition of the mantle, which could shed light on the origins and evolution of the Moon itself."
And that's the end of episode 36! Which means tomorrow we gotta start episode 37, with a different sort of Selenis, and no moon base to call home. Whither will we wander? Well we'll get right into that starting tomorrow. : )
Here's an ink sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190513_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Thanks everyone for reading and supporting the comic! : D
Sketch for a reader supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190510_patreon_sketch.jpg">

You can help me with A* for as little as $1 a month through Patreon. I do this comic full time and Patreon is the closest thing I have to a steady source of income, so I owe a great deal of thanks to everyone pitching in there! Thank you! You make this comic possible! : D
Spent way too long drawing this page. Sometimes letting go is hard. : P
Thanks to everyone who checked out this past week's special Wednesday A* archive art sale auction!

If you missed it, or might be interested in a different scene, the watercolor paintings behind the latest five or so A* pages are always up for auction in my eBay listings, starting at that same low $16.99 price, so keep that in mind if a new A* page comes along that speaks to you. : )
Just one day left in the special A* art archive auction sale for the close-up 16"x6.75" watercolor art of Selenis in the warm and cozy cockpit of her ship early in episode 34 (page 7):

<img src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0034/d/0007.jpg">

Original art in my archive (pieces more than a week old) usually goes for a flat $50, but in these once-in-a-blue-Wednesday auctions I pick remaining ones I particularly like and put them up for auction starting at just $16.99. One day left on this one!
Sketch for a reader supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190506_patreon_sketch.jpg">

That was drawn at the beginning of January (I'm a little behind on showing you sketches I've sent = o), when we were still in episode 35—so Selenis' armored space suit featured here in episode 36 hadn't appeared yet; I use these supporter sketches for working out costume ideas sometimes (sometimes just for getting wild ones I know won't work out of my system : D). : ) Thanks everyone for these opportunities. : )
There's a Wednesday A* art archive special sale going on now: until next Wednesday, the 16"x6.75" original watercolor illustration made for A* ep 34 pg 7—a rosy Selenis close-up—is on sale starting at just $16.99 on eBay!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The closest thing I have to a steady income in this world comes from the lovely readers supporting A* through my Patreon campaign; even just $1 a month lets you join in, and it makes a big difference to me!

And at higher levels of support you can get cool A* stuff sent right from me to you each month, like this sketch I got to send to a reader for their support:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190503_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Your support is *super* appreciated—I simply could not keep making this comic without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Let's keep having comics. ^_^
Hiroshima is journalist John Hersey's groundbreaking nonfiction account of six survivors of the atomic bomb; it took up an entire issue of The New Yorker in 1946.
I mentioned yesterday I wanted to bring back the Wednesday A* art archive sales I ran a year or two back, and wouldn't you know, today is a Wednesday! So let's dig out a piece I like that somehow survived its initial offering, and offer it at that special initial bid sale price of just $16.99 (as opposed to its usual archive price of $50): this week it's the 16" x 6.75" original watercolor art I made for A* episode 34, page 7, with Selenis in her ship's cockpit, turning down an offer to visit a nearby space station. You can check out a hi-res scan of the art in the eBay auction listing; here's a small preview photo in the usual weird bluish lighting I use just for photos at my drawing table : P:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0034/o/0007.jpg">

Here's the link to the page in the story. I often can't get two eyes to look better than just one eye, and this is one . p of those, but I think I pulled it off reasonably stylishly here, and the facial features that did make it are some of the sharpest I've ever managed. Also, this was one of my more successful uses of an initial wet-on-wet-paper application of paint, creating that sort of soft focus magenta effect around her head.

The auction runs for a week, and I hope you'll check it out if any of this interests you. And if that one doesn't get you, well, my eBay listings also always include the most recent week's worth of brand new A* original art pages, so maybe one of those will catch your fancy—and like this week's special sale page, new pages also always go up for a week at the low $16.99 starting bid price.
I seem to be doing better with my schedule these days, so I intend to get back to getting more art out. : )

First, if you were hanging around here a couple years back you may remember I was going through my A* art archives and, generally on Wednesdays, digging up an unsold piece I felt was one of my very best efforts and putting it up for sale on eBay—at a special low opening bid price, instead of the $50 fixed price most art pieces sell for here on my site. That series of archive art sales was pretty successful : ), in fact I guess it was so successful I kind of ran out of favorite pieces of mine.

But it's been a year or two and some of the pages from the last bunch of A* episodes fall into that category, so I'm going to be resurrecting the Wednesday A* art archive sales to find homes for them. : ) There are only eh oh 8 or 9 or so if I remember correctly (maybe I'll go way back into the bins and see if I can find some older stuff I really like that I didn't spot before, I guess we'll see how these go : o), so keep an eye out if you're interested; these sales, with their opening bid prices of just $16.99, might go by fairly quickly—maybe not weekly, but semi-weekly or so, depending on what else is going on.

Which may include *new* special art pieces; also a few years back, I wanted to start doing a semi-regular series of special A* pieces, mostly in vertical format for a change, where I could just draw whatever nice A*-y thing I wanted. I think I've just about got my weekend schedule buckled down now, along with the weekday schedule, so in the coming months I want to start painting new special pieces here and there—they would also go up for auction starting at $16.99.

They'd be probably like the one I managed before, 10" x 12":

<img src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0029/art/smbhax_0029_art_01s_evening.jpg">
but they won't necessarily be Selenis in an evening gown. Although maybe they should be. = o Well they're just a place to have fun with A* art, so we'll see where the whims will take me.

I will of course advertise this stuff in the blog and social media as I get them done; you can also keep an eye on my eBay listings if you really want to get a drop on things—that's where you'll see my auctions for the daily watercolor art generated for all the new A* pages, too. : ]
Totally not a wimple. : P
We've hit the end of the week and I haven't left myself enough time for blogging. I'll try to do everything better next week!!
Okay this is *probably* the last upside-down page for a while. o :
Gotta go box up some A* pages to carry to the post office tomorrow. : )