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Artifice Page 11

75 Comments on Artifice Page 11

Hoo, boy! What a week. An evil hacker from Kaliningrad tried to turn my little webcomic into a zombie spam site, so I had to take everything down for a few days while I made sure everything was nice and clean and safe. Learned a lot about security and got some great assistance from Brian over at Vaultpress (which I had just signed up for a couple weeks back; lucky).

Anyhow, if you’re still with me, please let me know in the comments. I’d hate to think this hacker and my three-day “This site is under maintenance!” screen scared any of my readers off. :/

And in terms of my thoughts on this page: one of the most fun moments of writing is thinking about how to kick off from one scene into another—and the way Winona drew Deacon here, with his dead-pan introduction to what happened, is just what I was looking for to lead into the next page…

So, yes! This means we are about to leave Maven’s office and get into the meat of the story! Next week we are off to Da Vinci Four! 😀

(Special thanks to Marcin W. for the generous donation this week! 🙂 )

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!
  • I’m still here! Love the comic, can’t wait to see what happens next week 🙂

    • Yay! Thanks, @twitter-242835346:disqus ! I know the romance hasn’t begun yet so I’m hoping folks are still enjoying what I’m putting up. I’m glad to hear you’re still liking it! 😀

      (And in other news, decided to try this Disqus “mention” feature. A little strange that it forces me to use your full name. Not sure what to think about that. lol )

  • I wish it were a page a day. Waiting is horrible!

    • I actually wish it were a page a day, too. I want to share the whole comic with you right now! 😀 But when I started this webcomic, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t ever have to tell readers “Sorry, we couldn’t finish in time, don’t know when the next page is going to come.” And I know for sure that I can deliver a page a week without interruptions (and even an extra page every now and then…) So, for now, a page a week it must be.

      Glad you’re still here, though! 🙂

  • Still here. I didn’t even notice the down time. I’m excited for next week’s page.

    • Awesome. Thank you for letting me know that you’re still enjoying it! 😀

  • Jen

    Still enjoying the comic! Don’t let the evil hacker get you down!

    • Thanks, Jen! Hearing back from my readers definitely brightens my mood. 🙂 Very glad to hear you’re still enjoying what you’re reading here!

  • for some odd reason, in the second to last panel, i giggled. I saw her do the “And how does that make you feel” hands, and just laughed lol. I’m really enjoying this 🙂

    • Yes! Exactly! Those are the “And how does that make you feel?” hands! LOL

      Thanks for commenting!

  • I’m still around and enjoying it 🙂 Looking forward to the next page; and thank you for getting right back up again after the hack, too ^^

    • Thank you, Kate! (And yes, there was some heavy lifting to make sure everything was ok, but hopefully the nightmare is behind me. Thanks for the props!)

  • Just started reading this and it looks awesome so far. I can’t wait for the next page. =)

  • To be honest, since I’ve been super-duper busy this week and away from my home computer, I didn’t even know the site had been down. P: I’m glad it all worked out though, I would be sad if I came back to find this comic gone. :C

    • Thanks, and hopefully that will never happen again! 🙂

  • shaharw

    Glad to hear that you are back up and running. I got a bit concerned when your ‘under maintenance’ sign was up for so long.

    • Yeah, it was a fair amount of work making sure everything was clean, so it was up longer that I certainly wanted. But hopefully, the problem is licked and it will be smooth sailing from now on. 🙂

  • Never saw any downtime I remember, and still reading. You wouldn’t be the first comic website to be hacked, either.. it happens. I came back to read one comic that got hacked twice (both times after it was fixed, of course) after it tried to install malware on my computer.

    Very curious to see where this is all going.. I like Winona (edit: DR MAVIN; shouldn’t post comments when I’m exhausted from final exam studying) so far. Deacon too. 😀 And I like the angles that the comic is drawn at; it makes it read more like a movie than a comic (in the sense that it’s not ‘static’ in its layout as some comics, even really good ones, get)
    . ♥

    • Yikes! Hacked and re-hacked, huh? Well, hopefully this is a one-time thing. But I will be especially vigilant over the next several weeks, just in case I missed something.

      Glad you’re liking what you’re reading! (Oh, and by liking Winona, I assume you mean you like the character of Dr. Clarice Maven? Or are you saying you like artist Winona Nelson’s work? If it’s the latter, I couldn’t agree more!)

      And I actually come from a filmmaking background, so I write in the angle for every panel in the script and then Winona takes my suggestions and makes them even more awesome. Even though I definitely am writing a comic instead of a surrogate film, I will admit, that I see it in my head as a movie being played out…

      Thank you so much for commenting! 😀

      • Uhhh, both. I edited my post to clarify I meant Dr. Maven, but the art’s really good too. 😀 (I shouldn’t be posting when I’m bone-tired I suppose is the lesson I should learn by now.)


        • Ah, gotcha. 🙂 Well, glad you’re liking the characters and the art. And good luck with those finals!

  • Krondor2000

    Like the story so far especially the beginning! Hate it when hackers try to ruin something they don’t like. But glad you are up and running!

    • Thank you! (Yes, evil hackers. Grr! Although I think this was more about selling erectile dysfunction products rather than an anti-Artifice thing. But still…)

      Glad you’re enjoying the story! I hope to see you back here next week!

      • Krondor2000

        Don’t worry, I will!!

  • Glad to see the site is back up! Definitely haven’t lost me as a reader.<3

  • berlinconfidential

    Hey there! Glad you averted your spam crisis. I was really excited to find this comic — it’s always good to find people out there also doing the whole “smart gay” thing. It’s something I’ve been working toward for years. Plus, science fiction! Really excited to see where this is headed.

    • Thank you! So, do you have a comic yourself?

      • berlinconfidential

        Actually I’m co-authoring a piece of historical gay webfiction — a supernatural noir set in late Weimar Berlin, like you do. We’re at if you want to take a look. 🙂

        • A supernatural noir? Very cool! (And yes, that Klaus Reinhold is a cutie. 🙂 )

          • berlinconfidential

            Haha, thank you. We still have a good two-thirds of the cast yet to be revealed… it is an ensemble of ridiculous hotties, and Doctorow.

  • Glad to see the site back up and running. Can’t wait to see what’s going to come, it has me coming back for updates. Also signed up for your e-newsletter as well. Great work!

    • Thank you! Please let me know what you think of my other comics as well. 🙂

  • I’m definitely here! I’m very intrigued by this comic, and only wish it had more frequent updates because I want to know what happens! In any case, glad you took care of your hace

    • I wish it could have more frequent updates too! 🙂 Glad to hear you’re intrigued by it.

  • Well, I found you through SpaceBoiz, therefore consider you have a new reader.
    I hope you update often 😀

    • Cool. Welcome aboard! (And I’ll update at least once a week. I promise. 🙂 )

  • Hrm I’m still here, why would i leave anyways? that would be incredibly stupid me me since i haven’t figured out the plot of this thing yet. nope i’m gunna be tossin and turning all night till i figure it out or we get there… which seems to be a while =3

    • Hehe. Yeah, I’m looking for the slow build that lasts and grows for the entire story. But hopefully, folks can begin to see some of the stakes for Deacon—what will happen if he doesn’t give the right answers.

      Keep letting me know what you think is going on. It’s a lot of fun to see a story I’ve worked on for a long time fresh through a new reader’s eyes. 🙂

  • A gay webcomic that doesn’t have graphic sex in the first panel? You had me from the first page…

    • Hehe. That’s good to hear. 🙂 To be honest, I’ve often found myself wondering if I might be getting more comments and hits if I had started off this comic with graphic sex like some other webcomics have done. Whether that’s the “smart” way to make a webcomic with gay content.

      But ultimately, what matters to me most is just telling a good story, with a pacing that gives you time to get to know the characters. To create an intriguing sci-fi yarn that has heroes who just happen to be gay (while still not being afraid to focus on their romance). It’s my hope, that by doing that, the romantic scenes will be just that much more powerful when we get to them. That’s my hope, anyway. 😉

  • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

    I’m very happy to see the site back up again. Hackers won’t drive me away from Artifice, I’m enjoying it too much.

    I just noticed that Maven has a cup of tea or coffee, but Deacon doesn’t. He must not be very nervous talking to her. I suspect my mouth would be bone dry if I were in his shoes. I have to admit, Doctor Maven is someone I’d have trouble opening up to if I were on the couch. Deacon’s braver than I am. Maven scares me a little, she’s got a very strong personality. I can’t wait to find out what Deacon got up to on Da Vinci Four.

    I really love Winona’s art style. On this page, I’m particularly impressed with the reflections in the water in the fourth panel. They look very much like they’ve been painted in classic oils. They look very natural, it gives the water a lovely texture.

    • Oo, I love it when readers get this granular in a response. As I said below, it really helps me see the comic with fresh eyes. 🙂 Yes, Maven does like her coffee. And Deacon, well, he might indeed be a bit nervous, despite his brave front…

      You’re right, Winona actually digitally painted all the outside background for each of the scenes from Maven’s office. It’s something that I really, really like, especially with details like the water. Cool of you to notice!

  • Just thought you should know that according to Google reader you hace 40 rss subscribers, including me.

    • Cool. That’s good to hear. I can tell how many folks are subscribed to get the updates via email (241), but I didn’t know about Google Reader.

      Thank you very much for subscribing, Graham. And for letting me know you did. The responses from you and other readers are helping to put me at ease that this hack isn’t going to cause long-term damage. Please keep letting me know what you think about Artifice. 🙂

  • Still here! I keep track of you via Piperka, so i never saw the maintenance page. 😡 Sorry about that; seems a pretty crap thing to go through.

    • Glad to hear you’re still here! 🙂 (And Piperka seems pretty cool. Maybe I’ll have to add that to my webcomic reading routine…)

      And yep, evil hacker was a big, dumb jerk. But I think things are ok now. Support from readers like yourself has made it a lot easier, honestly.

  • Still with you and digging the comic so far. I am one of the google reader subscribers and look forward to every update. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you! Please keep letting me know what you think.

  • I’ve been reading your comic for a while and now I’m posting my first comment to tell that I still do and never saw the “site under maintenance”-screen… heh…

    Love the comic so far. The art is great, especially the expressions and I like that you’re focusing on your characters personalities and their development (at least I hope you will :D). I think this story will be great! yay!

    Well that’s all I wanted to say, I guess. Sorry for the weird english, I’m german… and I will pay more attention to my grammar and word choice the next time I write a comment. promise! 😀

    PS: Why do I have to log in to post the comment? >.<

    • Very glad to hear you’re loving the comic. (And your English is excellent, BTW. I spent a year in Austria in college, so I’d be able to recognize any “German-isms” 🙂 If you hadn’t had said anything, I would have never known.)

      I will absolutely keep focusing on characterization as the story continues (although the plot is going to start picking up speed now). Creating these characters was the biggest part of my fun in making Artifice.

      And I have folks log in to leave comments because it really helps a lot to keep spam comments out (and also, “troll” comments out). Hopefully, though, Disqus offers enough options so it isn’t too inconvenient.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! 🙂

  • Another amazing page! I’m excited to hear what Deacon’s in trouble for. Wonderful expressions, once again, and everything else, really. But augghhh the cliffhanger, I wanna hear the story he’s about to tell lol *W*

    • Thank you! And yep, this Saturday we begin to get some answers to that! 🙂

  • Rocket

    I love his *Cue NY accent* “Who you talkin to?” face in the 2nd panel!! XD

    • Hehe. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but that’s apt.

  • Am still with you!

  • Ah, I’ve been looking forward to a recount of what happened to land him in an examination room.

  • I’m def still here =D

  • Yay! I’ve been waiting to read about what happened. Sooo excite!!!

  • Can’t get over Maven’s glasses. Wonderfully drawn and coloured, it seems to me that they let out more of her dry humour in her dialogue. Love the comic so far! Great characterisation in such a short time! WOW!

    • Yeah, I think Winona did a great job with the glasses, too. Realistic and present without being distracting. Glad to hear they are helping you appreciate her dry humor—that’s one of my favorite parts of Maven.

      It’s also great to hear that you feel that a lot of characterization has been packed into a short time. Putting this out one page a week makes me scared that the pace is too… pokey. It’s nice to get feedback that you’re feeling like you’re getting something satisfying in just these first few pages.

      Thank you very much for commenting! 🙂

      • I wear glasses just like Maven’s. They’re so nice! Even better than the half-frame glasses I had before. You can see my eyes so well instead of being hidden behind dark frames. And they’re really light-weight and durable too! Kinda pricey, but I LOVE them!

  • Deacon’s body language is very interesting. He’s sitting so proper, knees together, hands folded in his lap, like he’s trying to appear submissive or weak. But then he says something vehemently, and he suddenly looks much more powerful.

  • Hey, what does “Advanced AP” stand for? Artificial Person… >.< Just answered my own question.

  • Exile 755 is a Higglytown hero

    Yaknow, not to sound shallow, but generally when I look for romance stories, I’m only interested in the sex. Mostly because people tend to make me vomit with all their “lovey bullcrap”. But even without a blast of sex right off the bat, I LOVE Artifice. The story is insanely compelling and the characters are all interesting. The art and writing is fantastic as well. I’d probably read this even if nothing but little cheek-pecks came of the “gay” part. Props to you! 😀

    • Thank you! And there will be more than cheek-pecks. Eventually… 

      As for “lovey bullcrap”—well, you’ll just have to wait and see… 😉

      • Exile 755 is a Higglytown hero

        Completely worth the wait! 😀

        Hell, with your writing and the brilliant artwork, I could probably stand it. It would probably even be good! o.o

  • Angelo Ventura

    Great webcomic!