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Artifice Page 25

259 Comments on Artifice Page 25

The last two panels of this page are among my most favorite in this comic. Winona totally nailed what I was going for there between the two of them. And it doesn’t hurt she made our heroes extra cute… 😉

I’ve added a couple more icons of Deacon and Jeff (which you can use for avatars) to the Links page.

Special thanks to Alexandra R. for their 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!
  • classic_bear

    Ahhh Jeff your subtlety suits you. haha awesome

  • And… I was right. *gives myself a cookie*
    Gotta love that glare! :3

  • Damn I bet wrong, guess I owe someone(s) a coke. I love how Jeff went from “Fuck you” to “Here is my lifestory and allow me to expose my heart with it” in, what, 3-pages? I guess thats part of Deacon’s charm, even if he kills everyone you know, you still want to just open up to him. lol

    • Perhaps even especially if he kills everyone you know… 😉

  • haha, just as we all suspected. Is this a more in-death play on the theory/fact/whatever that homosexuality is genetic? Love it. =P

    Ok…time for my fangirl moment. Jeff in panel two looks SOOOO cute and defenseless. xD That expression just compels me to wanna hug him. Damn you computer screens. ><

    And god I love the expression in the last two panels. Jeff has such a challenging look in his eyes. Just egging Deacon to make something of it. And Deacon has a smile filled with irony. He knows the feeling all to well.

    Now since both men are picked on for being different, the most obvious thing to do is jump into bed and toss off the clothes!! *nods and nudges Deacon and Jeff along* =D

    • I agree Jeff totally looks huggable in Panel 2—which is just how he wants to look in that moment. 😉

      And I think your interpretations of their inner states in the last two panels are spot on. As for clothes tossing… that maybe could be possibly happening at some point… 😀

  • Deacon looks so sexy in those panel! totally worthed the wait!

  • Vithalor

    I have to say, I absolutely adore the look on Deacon’s face in that last panel.  Those eyes and that smirk touches on everything from sly to sensual.  It’s perfect.

  • Although Jeff doesn’t quite get the idea that Deacon is different too.

    What I see in this page, whether I am right or not, is Deacon realising some similarities between them, and Jeff missing this completely.

  • WandNCritic

    Well, I wasn’t surprised to be correct. It really was so freaking obvious. The first guy besides deacon in a comic like this? what were the chances?!
    I love how Winona drew the last two panels. You can feel the pain both characters are expiriencing, Jeff’s blaming eyes, and lips, Deacon’s hurt and vulnerable expression, because he does know what it’s like to be different, from his sad smile to his eyes, which look almost old, and I think he is even slightly crying.

    This is probably one of the most important moments in the comic. We’ve seen Deacon angry, or happy, but never sad and always strong. For the first time we see his vulnerability and the fact that he is more than robot, but slightly human.

    Furthermore, Jeff’s expression of vulnerability in the first pannel and his spoken confession are paralel to Deacon’s expression of vulnerability and his silent confession. Another moment of importance in the comic is found in this page since both characters find a common ground of vulnerabilty and start opening up to each other.

    • I like how you’re interpreting this page. And you’re right, if anything could start to bring them together, it would be that.

  • Wow.  His homosexuality wasn’t a surprise considering the nature of the comic, but it’s still great to see the issue discussed like this because now we know how it’s viewed in this future.  Sad to say we develop artificial intelligence before we get rid of our bigotism, but it creates a great setting for the two to work in.

    • Glad you’re liking this. While I believe in the basic good of people, I’m not sure if hate and ignorance will ever be stamped out everywhere, even if great progress is made in the vast majority of places. And as others have mentioned, a colony far from civilization is likely to attract those with similar (and often unpopular) views. But regardless of how sexuality is viewed elsewhere, this has been the only society Jeff has known, so for him, it might as well be the whole universe.

      • Ah, so similar to the way the puritans were kicked out of England in search of religious freedom, Jeff’s community isolated themselves to keep their own views?  That makes a lot of sense.  Every time I’ve watched a futuristic sci-fi it’s almost always been set in a major city.  I never really considered the outliers.  In fact, the only “future outskirt” type setting I can think of is the Firefly/Serenity series, so, quite frankly, the idea never crossed my mind.

        It does make me wonder a bit though.  Even if he grew up in a fringe community who hated homosexuality, unless they were completely cut off from major settlements, Jeff would probably have heard of less rigid communities elsewhere.  I understand better than most that logically knowing something exists is entirely different from believing it, but it really makes me wonder the particulars about how Jeff’s head works. 

        Earlier in the comic we got to see plenty of Deacon, and Deacon talking to a therapist.  He’s got a very interesting hybrid of android intelligence and a child’s psychological development.  I can start to see Jeff being almost the complete opposite, as he’s clearly proved to be the superior manipulator between the two so far.  How well will his tactics work on an android?  Well, I await the next pages with excitement!

        • Hey Dawn 🙂

          Jeff is definitely aware of places where homosexuality is accepted and embraced. He has never been to any of those places.

          And yes, I can see why you would consider Jeff to be the superior manipulator out of the two. His technique is much more subtle. But will he be more successful with an artificial person like Deacon? Like you said, we’ll see. 🙂

  • yellowrock

    I was honestly hoping for something else, like ethnic background or something.  Jumping straight “I’m gay” is far less interesting than “I’m a gypsy that hitchhiked here” or something of that sort.  Deacon is some sort of robot/android right?  He could never really be the same as Jeff, because he wasn’t born gay.  I think a good explanation would be that he was “programmed gay” to enhance the camaraderie between all the members of the team, so they work better as a group.  At this point, Deacon is probably still trying to use Jeff to try to figure out what happened to his ship and team-mates.

    Then again, Deacon might not be homosexual at all, just “open minded” (best phrase I could think of), and willing to play the part to get the info he needs.

    • Hmm. Jeff as a hitchhiking space gypsy. That would be more interesting. 🙂

  • ErrorTime

    I love how Jeff said it XD, but I feel bad at his mother died :<, and the last panel I love his expression, both of theirs actually.

  • Henrithe9th

    I wonder why he knew about the cruelty… 😉

  • I love the last two panels too!!! They look so good! 

  • So after reading the comments a lot of people seem to think that the last panel implies that Deacon is confessing he is gay too. But I didn’t read it that way. I saw it more as a confession that he was different from the other androids, as in nicer, smarter or more self aware. Maybe he is closer to having more “free thought” and the other androids treated him badly because he didn’t just follow orders like a drone.

    • I got the impression that he said ‘people’ as meaning humans rather than androids, and that (given the information we got at the beginning of the comic) the humans treat androids with suspicion and hostility because they are different. I find your take on it interesting as well.

      • I’m enjoying reading all the different interpretations as well. I will say that your interpretation, Sigmund, is the one that’s foremost on Deacon’s mind.

        That said, he certainly would not exclude other Artificial People from this insight…

  • Well that certainly came out of nowhere.  I knew he’d be gay but for there to be a chomosomal reason for homosexuality….  Kinda threw me.  Maybe he still thinks he gonna get killed or tortured by Deacon and that’s why he’s spilling his guts like that.  Or it could be the concussion he just got.  Who know’s but the writer is the writer and he is the God of this little universe.  Make those puppets dance for us.  I enjoy the show no matter what.

    • Something that’s very important to me is that plot follows character and not the other way around—that is, that I as a writer don’t treat my characters as puppets, but rather as living beings whose actions are the result of believable motivations. (Whether I am successful in making this clear in my writing is another question, but truthful action is very important to me.)

      Both of these characters want something from the other one and both are using various tactics to try to get it. When a character succeeds, he can move on; when he fails, he can give up or try another tactic. One tactic you can try on a captor is to appeal to their compassion. You can see how well that works out for Jeff with Deacon. 🙂

      Now, perhaps in my attempt to be subtle, I wasn’t as clear with that as I could have been, but that’s the motivation behind his “opening up” here.

      I am glad to hear you’re enjoying the show! 🙂

  • My first time commenting. I truly enjoy this comic. The writing is splendid and the art is beautiful. I’m already a big fan of Deacon.This page feels exceptionally good to me. All those interesting implications about the possibility of gen determined homosexuality (actually, I think I’ve read about something similar in a psychology book not so long ago; they’ve studied twins and their research showed it might be true in some cases), and how people now dealing with it or refuses to (hence the natural order movement). Also, I love Deacon expression in the last panel. Gorgeously portrayed. I’m slowly warming up to Jeff, too!

    Can’t wait to see more.

    • It makes me really happy to hear that you’re enjoying the writing and the art of this comic—and that you especially like this page. As I said in my notes above, it’s one of my favorites. (And not just because of those last two panels, but also because of the Gattaca-like implicatons and what’s starts to happen between the characters here.)

      Glad to hear that you’re starting to warm up to Jeff. You’ll have to tell me if he ever wins you over. Thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙂

  • Reign

    Love the new page 🙂 I adore Jeff he is just too cute!! Great job Alex and btw this is Brandy finally signed up so I can post here and on Teahouse and Starfighter. I have been bragging and making everyone come over to read your work. I will donate again soon.

    • Hey Brandy! Thank you for getting the word out (like I said, that’s super helpful) and I’m delighted to hear that you’ve signed up so you can comment here too.  Glad you’re liking the new page! 🙂

  • ithilloke

     I’ve always been fascinated when reading stories involving androids that seemingly “develop” emotions, as opposed to being hard-wired for them. It will be interesting to find out which type Deacon is. LOVE his vulnerable expression in the last panel. I also hope that Jeff figures out soon that he’s not the only one who may have been treated harshly for being different in his life and gets that chip off his shoulder.

    • Yeah, I like those kind of stories too—as for what kind of android Deacon is in that regard, more answers will be forthcoming in future pages. 

      And as for Jeff’s chip, whether these characters can develop empathy for each other (considering where they are starting from) is one of the central questions of this story. 🙂

  • snager

    so, what, he’s one of the last homosexials on earth?
    : / in my future-world, EVERYONE IS BISEXUAL fff *u*

    so now i have to figure out what went wrong with this future-world. : ( kinda hard to believe that people would figure out what all the genes mean, decide which are the bad ones, and kill off anyone who has them. because, in real life, everyone has good traits and bad traits. if you kill off anyone with a bad trait, you’d be voiding the gene pool of valuable contributions. my (retarded) ethics teacher insinuated that anyone who’s an artist is also a little bipolar. he can go take a swim in a boiling lake for all i care, but he’s got a point.

    anyway: dem lips. dem lips forever.

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      Hard to believe? You must live in a very nice and forward-thinking place snager. I actually kind of envy that. I moved away from one of the most open-minded cities in the world to a fairly closed-minded country that’s still grappling with some big issues that were solved hundreds of years ago in my point of origin.

      An unfortunate thing is that humans, speaking in the broadest of terms, are afraid of something they don’t understand. They are also, by nature, a gregarious animal, and prone to a mob/flock/herd mentality, as it increases their chances of survival.

      In group dynamics, the mob is made stronger by being a mob, and it tends to strengthen radical attitudes and reactions. This is why it can be so terrible when a large group has a few bad apples in it during what’s supposed to be a peaceful protest. In the same sense, once one person has presented an intolerant view and has not been quieted by someone else in the mob, it is shown that such a view is acceptable within the mob. Someone outside the mob can’t quiet the mob once it gets started, because of the strength of a group.

      Perhaps when you look at it that way, it might become more believable that this future-world takes a less than inclusive view on those who are different?

      As to the perspective your teacher had on artists all being a little bi-polar. Yes, as an artist who has often wondered whether a diagnosis of something on the bi-polar disorder spectrum would fit, I can see what he means.

      However, I’ve concluded that mental health diagnoses are created based on the average perception; so it is that all artists, being a little different from the average in the way they see, feel, hear, taste, smell and think, are going to be diagnosed with some mental health disorder or another.

      Similarly, geniuses suffer the same lack of understanding, in no small part because the average is incapable of truly understanding the exceptional. Personal experience tells me that being an exceptional thinker and an artist, and having a non-gender norm identity isn’t much fun when you’re forced to interact with the mob.

      I actually agree that intentionally selecting against heritable traits can cause problems. We need only look to purebred dogs, cats, and horses to see how this can happen within a human lifespan. Likewise, I’m not in favor of selecting against traits, though I am certainly in favor of selecting for a wide variation to help ensure the survival of the species. Humans have entered genetic bottlenecks enough times it’s possible to trace humans to something like 20 females and four males at least twice using comparative genetics.

      Poor Jeff and Deacon. I know what it is to be different from the norm. I hope things will get better for them. At least they’ve found someone else who can perhaps empathize with them, though I don’t think Jeff’s realized that yet.

      Also, I agree… dem lips… dem lips forever. I have an undeniable urge to kiss them and nibble on them, Deacon’s in particular.

      Alex and Winona, I want you to know that Deacon pushes all my buttons just right so far. Thanks for creating him!

      p.s.: Sorry for the essay!

      • I just want to say that this kind of discussion is very gratifying for me as a writer. It was talking about these kind of things that I very much hoped Artifice would provoke!

        Well, that and the desire to kiss my characters on the lips. Both are awesome reactions. 😉

      • I’m replying just to comment on one quote of yours: “the average is incapable of truly understanding the exceptional.” I have to use that, that is what I’ve been fighting for years. Why strive to be normal and average when the truly extraordinary are the interesting people.

      • Robert Duggins

        “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

        • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

          @Robert Duggins A great quote, and one I hadn’t come across before. I think that one’s going in the quotes folder I have on the desktop of my computer. I stash all sorts of quotes in there so that I have some kind of great quote handy as inspiration.

          @yahoo-37LFCLA6JA325Q7AH3Z4YIGNOA:disqus I agree, why strive to be normal and average? I stopped trying almost five years ago. I think I can thank my dad for that, he’s always been the sort to not put much thought into what other people think. He was content to be the exceptional man he is, and didn’t feel a need to prove anything to anyone if it wouldn’t advance knowledge. It takes a lot of strength to go your own way and blaze your own path, but so far, I’m finding it very rewarding just being me.

          @alexwoolfson:disqus As a sci-fi reader, I love sci-fi that makes me think. I read a lot of Asimov in my early teens, which encouraged me to study psychology as soon as I could. I never finished that course, I flunked out because life was pretty tough then, but a lot of what I learned stuck with me. I’m enjoying Artifice the more I read, it’s stimulating reading, and excites me on many levels. I love that there are other readers asking big questions in your comments section too.

      • MiyuKazukii

        Yes.  Yes forever.

      • snager

        this has been another thrilling episode of Snager’s Adventures in the land of TL;DR
        tune in next week when Snager provokes a baby troll~!

        no, but seriously. 

        i actually do NOT live in a very forward-thinking place. it’s north Texas but my family are all from East or West Texas.
        for what ever reason, i do not seem to be a product of my environment. despite being negative in regards to the past and present, i have high hopes for the future.
        like you said, the place you live now is ‘100 years behind’ where you used to live. which suggest that 50-100 years from now, they’ll be where they ought to be, socially. and hopefully, this place will have advanced to where some places are right now. 
        a hundred years in the future, i would hope things would get better, not worse.

        in concern to the DNA testing and stuff. it makes no sense to me because the people who hate faggots don’t believe in Science or DNA and certainly don’t believe in Abortion. and the people who DO believe in DNA testing recognize the importance of genetic variation. 
        and this is all assuming being gay would be one set of DNA at ALL. :U i’m just gonna go with it. i’m betting it will start to make a ton of sense.

        like, just a few pages ago, i could not imagine how these guys could ever be freinds. now, i think they are perfect together.

        and finally: Dem Lips is Jeff. *u* oh gosh. but i don’t want to kiss them so much as DRAW THEM FOREVER. Jeff>Deacon 

        • It’s music to my ears that a few pages ago you couldn’t imagine how these guys could ever be friends and now you can see they might be perfect for each other. Taking my readers on that journey is a lot of the fun of this comic for me. 

          That and making my readers want to draw Jeff’s lips. That plan was supposed to be secret but you have found me out… 😉


    However, I’m not sure I like that it can be pin pointed like that.  Mind you, it’s cool! But iknow I wouldn’t want everyone knowing if I was gay without me telling them…

    • My own personal opinion is that sexuality is formed by many different combinations of genes and personal experiences; that there wouldn’t be one genetic expression that would account for everyone who exclusively is attracted to the same sex.

      That said, I do think there might be certain genetic codes that would almost guarantee an interest in the same sex. In my world, a “C37 pair” in your X-chromosome is one of those codings.

      And yes, what would the world be like if everyone knew that certain people were 99.9% likely to be gay—even before they were old enough to know themselves? What if 10% of the population turned out to have that coding? What if it were only 1% of the population? What if genetics showed that the vast majority had the potential to be attracted to both sexes—or the opposite? What would it be like to grow up in that world both as an exclusive heterosexual, or an exclusive homosexual or someone with feelings for both sexes? These are questions I find fascinating to think about.

      • Robert Duggins

        All scientific research into the genetic component of homosexuality has been inconclusive at best.  It is increasingly apparent that there is no such gene or combination of genes which affect the incidence of homosexuality, and now scientists are beginning to attribute it to a number of “nurture factors.”  However, the most promising of all these things, in my opinion, is the research into the “epigenome.” It is a series of proteins which bind to the dna of a person and basically choose which genes are expressed, and which genes are dormant.  The epigenome is passed between generations, but is also affected by the environment.  Stress, diet, adrenaline response, and any number of other environmental factors can influence the epigenome.  Preliminary research into it has shown that nearly 90% of people who’s grandparents experienced food shortages lived an average of 10 years longer than those who’s grandparents experienced bountiful food.

        Pretty heavy stuff.

        • I also find the recent insights into epigenetics very interesting, and I would be surprised if that isn’t a huge component in sexuality. 🙂

          And while I’m not sure I’d be willing to say that “All scientific research into the genetic component of homosexuality is inconclusive at best”—after all, the consistently higher (but not iron-clad!) correlation of sexuality between identical twins does strongly suggest a genetic component—I do agree that it is dangerous to think there is any one exclusive factor behind anything so complicated and compelling as sexual desire. 

          In my world, there is one kind of coding which has been discovered to give very reliable results in terms of predicting exclusive same-sex attraction. (But, as Word of God, I’d also say that there are also many people in my world who engage in same-sex fantasy and behavior, even exclusively, who do not have the “C37 pair”, so it’s not the only reason people identify as homosexual in my world.) Jeff does have that coding, however, and it has affected his life a great deal.

          I wanted to say that I appreciate you giving voice to the other gay guys out there who experience their sexuality as a choice—it’s not something that gets talked about a lot by those who aren’t looking to “cure” gays. Choice or no choice, consenting adults should be free to form loving bonds with one another without discrimination or harassment. While many of us don’t experience sexuality as a choice, in the end, we all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. And I find it good to be reminded that especially applies to those who don’t experience their sexuality the same way I do. 🙂

          (That said, and I understand that you must have to do a lot of explaining which can’t be fun, I’m not convinced that Alyssa was being exclusionary or “shouting her beliefs” in her comment above. In my experience, commenters here tend to be a pretty open-minded, accepting group. It would be best (and appreciated by me) if we all started out by giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Even, maybe especially, when we feel some useful education can happen. 🙂 )

          • MiyuKazukii

            I’m pretty sure I love you.  In a not-creepy way.

          • Hehe.

            I love you too. 🙂

          • Robert Duggins

            In the above comment in question, Alyssa was voicing her belief that homosexuality isn’t a choice.  As she chose to do that in all capital letters (an action which, in text-based communication correlates to shouting or yelling), she is literally shouting her beliefs in her comment.  It’s just the definition of terms, and I meant no offense labeling it as such.

        • MiyuKazukii

          They just found I think it was 3 new combinations in DNA strings,  so there’s still possibility of finding something,  but all of it is so fascinating.  It’s just….  I just wish I knew everything about how people work,  what determines a personality, why twins who eat all the same food and have all the same experiences and genes would act differently to a situation.  It’s all just so… real. 

    • Robert Duggins

      Please don’t rob people of the dignity of deciding who they want to be.  By asserting as a fact that being Gay isn’t a choice, you are only serving to alienate people like me, who did have a choice, and who chose to be gay.  I’m not saying that everyone had a choice available to them, but I did, so please try to take uncommon outliers like me into account before you start shouting your beliefs at people.

  • Kyahaha ! <3 Jeff is so cute… They're both handsome, I can't wait for IT :'0

  • Shinashi

    So, like, I never try to make, like predictions of what I read because if I’m right I have to go through the whole process of not being surprised. So I was real surprised with the code! Seeing as Deacon is still trying to win him over, I wonder how the conversation will go now. *does not make predictions*

  • For many years, my family tried manipulating me into believing homosexuality was a “sin”, yet it never worked. Psychologists call me Pansexual.

    When i was younger, I always felt that I was meant to be a man and wished to be one, this was increased when I was molested by my elder brother’s best friend. For two years I was to terrified to confess what happened, all because everyone adored him and he said no one would believe…. He was right. No one believed me… Except this boy named James )who is now a gay porn star by the name of Kyle foxxx lol) since then we became good friends, me, his protector from racist-bigoted red necks, and him, my constant nagger of why I shouldnt be so masculine and that my breasts were too big for my height.

    I was always single in high school (probably cause I beaten up all the guys for ticking me off) but I had a best friend named Dawn, she introduced me to the “evils” of yaoi. Back.then I was pathetic and got skittish at any form of physical affection…so she tortured me by making me watch ‘fake’ and read fanfictions… Lol it was good fun, but sense I always ran away to her home (abusive father and brother etc) I think I started falling for her…but I pushed those feelings aside due to cowardice. Lol we’re still best friends, 11 yrs… Well, later I met a sweet chivalrous young man and fell in love… Unfortunately he was a major homophobic Christian. So I cornered him in a drawn out debate once (when we were engaged) and finally, with a guilt ridden expression he said, “I’m bi-curious… I’ve experimented with myself in certain places and enjoyed it…” My response: “well that explains why you’re looser then me down there….Hehehe I could fap to this.”
    In the end, I’ve opened my husband’s mind… And boy, is sex more fun 8D

    Moral of this story: ….er…yay for gay? …hm I began with a point…but now I can’t remember where I was going with this…damn cancer is screwing up my mind…oh well, I wrote this much…8D that’s all folks!!!

    • Man, I’m sorry to hear you had such difficult times when you were younger— but it makes me happy to hear that you’ve found someone who can truly appreciate you for who you are and give you the hot sex. 😉

      (And if you are fighting cancer right now, I’m definitely sending you all my best wishes and positive thoughts.) 

  • I’ve been pondering this page all day. I love the implications and possibilities you are alluding to.  Jeff’s expression in bottom panel is so awwwwwwwwwwwww.

    • Yay! It makes me really happy that you liking this page, Judi! (And I agree, Jeff is totally cute in Panel 5.)

  • Winona is a wonderful artist. Jeff looks manly, even though he has feminine hair. Must be a tough life in a society which doesn’t allow gay people to even be born. Deacon is a very interesting character. Though I must wonder (and drop the content of this message into the dark chasm of useless, silly questions) – if he’s ‘inhuman’, as he called it, why would they make him a penis? And if he doesn’t have a penis, what makes him a man?

    Anyway, this is a very fine webcomic. I’d like to see where it’ll develop from here. 🙂

    • I don’t think I’m giving away the store to reveal here that Deacon does indeed have a penis. Now why he has one, I’ll leave it to you to ponder. (Also, if you’re pondering that question, here’s another one: why have him look human at all? It certainly wouldn’t be the most efficient form of robot soldier, right?)

      Thank you very much for the props. Very glad you’re liking Winona’s art (who I agree did a great job of creating a manly looking guy with long hair. Someone who even I—who doesn’t generally go for guys with long hair—finds attractive. 🙂 )

      Hope to see you back here soon!

      • MiyuKazukii

        My take on the why make it human looking- spy missions or infiltration, and having sexual organs so they can get information from sources that aren’t that clean.  At least that would be my thoughts,  and maybe to test for future marketing to people as companions.  
        Also have to say,  Love this page.  My favorite so far, actually.  I like the idea of this dystopian society that can tell everything about you from birth and can decide if they want you or not,  and you being homosexual is “reasonable justification” for abortion. This makes me interested too because you can’t tell what platform this runs under- Democrats or Republicans.  Or if it’s a new mixture.  Because ‘no gays’ is very republican to me,  but also most also run under ‘no abortion.’  Unless Homosexuality IS justifiable reason to them then.  Besides who doesn’t love a little drama,  heck them becoming the posterboys for odd relationships would be super fun

        • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

          Why does it have to be Republicans OR Democrats? There are many more options than just those, unless the only national entity we’ve been exposed to in the story is what modern day America has functionally become. It could be National Socialists or Marxists, or Labor Unions, for all we know 🙂

          • Not to mention the Walmart Party…

          • I prefer the Sausage Party myself. XD

          • MiyuKazukii

            Yes, but when I think “Dystopian” I think America-  but worse.  And That makes me think of democrats/republicans just because both are easy to … well to put it bluntly shit on (there is no perfect system but…)  I wouldn’t think that having a free choice weather or not to abort wouldn’t exactly mean Socialism,  Communism, or Marxism.  I dunno maybe I haven’t looked deep enough but they all seem pretty ‘all or nothing.’ But I hope they don’t open that can of worms.  Could you imagine the debates?  

          • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

            I could imagine the debates. That would be interesting, but would probably mean the comments would get very out of hand very quickly, like all forum threads on politics.

            To help you out with some political summaries:

            Socialism by its nature doesn’t mean that there isn’t a choice. The definition given by wikipedia states: “Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are publicly or commonly owned and controlled cooperatively, or a political philosophy advocating such a system. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management;
            relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of
            hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.”

            Basically, socialism
            is pro fair-trade, and anti free-trade. Socialism is more about fairness in goods and services than fairness in culture.

            Likewise, communism doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t free choice. From wikipedia: “Communism is a sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless and stateless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, and the end of wage labour and private property in the means of production and real estate.”

            In the simplest terms, communism is super-Socialism, creating a society completely lacking in hierarchy of all kinds. In a sense, the fact that communism aims for a classless and stateless society means that it is extremely pro-choice on all issues, since without a government to tell you what you can and can not do, in theory you can do whatever you like. In practice, your neighbors will determine what can and cannot be done, based on either a vocal minority’s decision, or a true majority’s decision.

            Marxism views society as inefficient, with these inefficiencies in a capitalist system manifesting in class struggle, where the minority who own the majority of the means of production oppress the majority who produce the goods and services, causing an inherent instability that will eventually resolve itself with a revolution. Communism is an offshoot of Marxist thinking.

            In many of the so-called communist states, what has actually existed was actually fascism that the leadership called communism.

            According to wikipedia: “Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists advocate the creation of a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through indoctrination, physical education and family policy including eugenics.”

            Fascism is one of the few political philosophies in which free-choice is routinely removed, usually through threat of violence, or by radical and hard-line education that includes revisionist history, and censorship.

            In theory, national socialism is about creating a socialist system based around national pride. In practice, it was a mish-mash of ideas from the left and right wing that created a system that was inherently very profitable and enjoyable for a certain leading elite, and very unfair to the minority.

        • You give very good reasons. 🙂

          I’m very glad to hear you like the page and its implications. In this world, corporations exist to cater to practically anything a consumer could want —if you can afford it. The impact that has on society and what it means to be human is something that’s a lot of fun for me to explore.

  • Ryn

    LOVE Jeff’s face in the 5th panel! ah, I keep being wrong! hee… 😀 but this is good, i’m really good at guessing what’s going to happen so it’s refreshing to be surprised. i keep looking at jeff and thinking how young he looks. 16-17 maybe? that and he’s short, or Deacon is just really tall!

    • The script lists Jeff’s age at 19. He is both shorter than average and Deacon is quite tall, over 6 feet.

      Glad you’re enjoying the page—and the guessing! 🙂

  • typhonblue

    Just a thought. If Jeff is trying to appeal to Deacon’s sense of compassion but lives in a world that hates gay people that much… would coming out to him be the best plan? Unless he figures Deacon is completely innocent of all that. But for all he knows Deacon could be a homophobot. 

    • Heheh, homophobot? I am sooo stealing that one.

    • I agree; it’s not the best plan. (Although in his defense, it was in the middle of answering Deacon’s question about why he was left behind that he decided to try to play the compassion card. Before that, he figured he didn’t have a whole lot to lose by being honest with this killer android that just threatened him with torture. You and I with cooler heads might beg to differ. 😉 )

      And I too love “homophobot”. Very nice.

  • So called it! I love this page so much; those last two panels are intense and gorgeous! <3

    • Really glad you like the page, Vanessa! 🙂

    • ALL the panels are intense! Jeff in panel one is so SERIOUS it gives me chills! (I for one always have and probably always will like the young-looking long haired prettyboys so Jeff is exactly my type. I’m more delighted that I actually find DEACON attractive as well) ^___^ Ah such delicious artwork… I’m rambling again, aren’t I? 

  • AWESOME! oh my gosh. =D i did a little dance in my chair. i can’t wait till next saturday. UGH I HATE CLIFFY’S but it’s so awesome 🙂

  • I’m thrilled that you added a scientific explanation for it- science is, after all, the reason for sci-fi! And it really helps my own immersion into the world to know that there’s this scientific “fact” in place that has formed the existence of one of the characters.

    • Cool. Glad you liked that, Krystal! 

      (I’m a big fan of “hard” science-based sci-fi myself. One of my favorite collections of short stories is Axiomatic by Greg Egan—really good, thoughtful sci-fi about science-based immortality.)

  • JLJones

    What I really love about this page is how young Jeff looks here, especially in that first panel.  He’s got such cute baby cheeks =O  Want to pinch them!

    And Deacon?  HOMG!  I always knew he was a looker, but this page really drives that point home.  His bone structure alone makes me drool.  Rawer. Awesome job, Winona.  (I’m such a sucker for strong cheekbones/chin. Yum.)

    Though I do sense (or at least hope) that this connection of mutual neglect/mistrust isn’t going to change things between them too much at first – Deacon may try, but I figure since Jeff has lived his entire 19 years faced with such persecution and cruelty that he’d have a LOT of walls to get through before he can own up to the fact that Deacon is meant to be his.  I sincerely look forward to the time when they can both let go and find at least a little happiness together =)

    Okay, enough sap from me.  See ya’ll next week!

    • Hey, JLJones! Glad you’re liking how our guys are looking! I look forward to hearing what you think about them on future pages where you get to see a bit more of them. Ahem. 🙂 

      And your sense of things with Jeff is correct—if Deacon really wants to break through Jeff’s emotional walls, it will definitely take some time…

      • JLJones

        Ha!  If I figure out a way to properly articulate sputtering, drooling and fawning, I’ll be sure to let you know 😉

      • Ryn

        ahh, makes me think of a cat that’s been kicked around all it’s life. 🙁 poor Jeff kitty!

  • Trent Wilson

    Does this mean the majority of people across the galaxy get abortions if they are going to have gay children, or is it only on Da Vinci V? Is this “natural order movement” new to the colony (which I would assume to be very conservative) or is it a galaxy-wide phenomena brought about form the abortion of fetuses that are found to be genetically determined to be homosexual?

    I certainly hope it’s only on the colony.

    If the whole future galaxy was that bad….. 🙁
    I would be mad at you!

    (On a brighter note, the comic itself is fantastic)

    • The “natural order movement” was a galaxy-wide phenomena that was brought  about for a number of reasons, one of which was a rejection of abortions on the basis of genetic screening.

      As for what the majority of people in the galaxy do when their screenings reveal a C37 pair in the X-chromosome, well, that’s outside the purview of this particular comic. But I will say that there are many who would find the action of aborting homosexual fetuses abhorrent.

      Glad you’re enjoying the comic, Trent! 🙂

  • Karolyn Ellis

    I love this! Every Saturday I come here to find a new page, it totally makes my weekend…Until I realize I gotta wait a whole week for another page.

    The art, the story line, they’re both fantastic. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here.

    • Thank you, Karolyn! I really appreciate your kind words and I always love to hear when people make Artifice a regular date. 🙂

  • JM

    Can I just say how much I love the way Jeff came out? Not only does he provide a scientific explanation, which I’ve never seen done in a comic before, but he states it in a way that can’t be argued. Now, I don’t know if scientists have proven anything so inconclusively as this seems to suggest, but it sure would be nice if people could just state that they had a c37 pair in their x chromosomes and that that would be that. I can’t tell you how many times people have said that I can’t be gay because I don’t “seem” like I am, or that I’m simply just confused. I won’t pretend that its never bothered me, despite the fact that I live the way I want to live no matter what people say. Still, it is sometimes difficult, living in a world where people like to judge and think that they know what your life must be like based on their own biases. I know some guys would love to tell their parents that they did nothing wrong in raising them and that it just has to do with x chromosomes, lol.
    That being said, I find it strange that I can’t find any article on chromosomes in homosexual females. It’s like we don’t even count! Anyways before I get too off-topic, I love this comic. The only thing that would make it better is if this wasn’t the last page.

    • Hey Judye!

      I’m glad you liked how Jeff came out. And the matter-of-fact, inarguable way he puts it has an appeal to me too.

      This happens less now to me, but growing up and going to college in Vermont, it seemed like I was always “on duty” to have to educate people about homosexuality whether I was up for it or not. As soon as they found out I was gay (or even worse, assumed I was straight but made some anti-gay slur or something), suddenly I was thrust in the role of being a “gay expert” even if I was just out for a drink with friends. So, the thought of just saying I have a “C37 pair in my X chromosome” and having everyone immediately get it does have a certain appeal. (Even though, as @facebook-1028112454:disqus points out, it would definitely have its downsides.)

      Also, I suspect that the reason articles about chromosomes in homosexual females are difficult to find is that the studies just haven’t been done. Medical studies still seem to focus mostly on men’s health and physiology with far too little time spent on the health and physiology of women. 🙁 But that’s just my guess. Perhaps others know of some studies?

      Thank you for taking the time to comment—and for your kind words. I’m really glad you’re enjoying Artifice!

      •  Nope. You’ve hit the nail on the head there. Studies tend to focus on men’s health as the default and only much MUCH later do they think that it’s possible that women work differently than men despite OBVIOUS physical differences between the sexes. One of my sisters has Aspergers and it was near impossible to find any studies on Aspergers in women, all the studies that had been done for over FIFTY YEARS were on males. 🙁

        • Yeah. It’s my hope that this is going to change as awareness around it increases. But it can’t change fast enough, IMHO.

        • Ryn

          that’s because it’s more common in boys than girls. also, trying to find information on adults with Aspergers, most of it is about children. @.@ very frustrating when I’m trying to find signs to watch for so i can monitor my behavior. my mom knows more about than I do.

  • so..they can identify homosexuals by their chromosomes during the pregnancy state? O.O!

    What an uproar it would create if that was in real life. *shivers*  a horrible thought when so many people don’t accept homosexuals. So many unborn babies would be killed by ignorant parents.
    on the other hand… with a scientific explanation haters would lose a lot of their arguments/reasons to hate. 🙂

    Anyway – I love this page 😀 Was not so fond of artifice before (because I’m not a shonen-fan) but now that they are getting to know each other the fun begins^^

    • I think you make some very good points about the implications of that technology. The ability to identify gays in the womb would definitely be a mixed bag and I would suspect one that might ultimately make the human community a far less diverse one. *shivers* indeed.

      I’m also glad you decided to stick with Artifice even if the style isn’t your cup of tea. Hopefully, you’ll continue to find things about it you’ll enjoy. 🙂

  • I’ve definitely warmed up to Jeff a great deal since his initial appearance in the comic.. and I keep liking his attitude more and more, heh heh.  I’m quite curious as to what sparked Deacon’s reaction here.. hmmmmmm. (Maybe it’s nothing, though I find it a bit curious.)

    • Glad to hear you (and others) are warming up to Jeff. We haven’t met him under the best of circumstances, but he does have his good qualities. 😉

  • I knew it was gonna be that he’s gay, though it all honesty I was hoping it would be something spectacular and magical. Guess not.

    • Nope. Just plain old gay in a very tough place. 🙂

  • I never knew I had a c37 pair in my x chromosome, great to finally know. really enjoying the strip:

    • Thank you for your interest in NoNeCo Home Genomics and for letting us know that you are pleased with our premiere consumer product, My 5 Minute Assay. While we are always eager to respond to concerns and questions from our customers, it is certainly a delight to hear back when they are happy!

      Thus, as VP of Marketing and Sales for NHG, it is my pleasure to send you a 10% off coupon for our other best-selling premiere consumer product, My 24 Hour Genetic Engineer. As I’m sure you are aware, with this product you can make safe, fast and effective alterations to your genetic code with plug-and-play ease! Many of society’s leading lights have already used our Genetic Engineer products to banish facial wrinkles, enhance mathematical aptitude, increase the frequency of their erections and eliminate male pattern baldness.

      We of course understand that our premiere products can be out of the price range of even highly successful customers like yourself, but having taken the liberty to pull your credit-income report, I feel confident that (with this coupon!) the cost of My 24 Hour Genetic Engineer is within your means. When you think of the fantastic possibilities such a product affords to enhance your life, surely that’s worth at least three to four years of wages, no? And remember we offer the best credit terms of any division of NoNeCo!

      I want to thank you again for taking the time to write us. Nothing is more valuable to us than our customers, especially outstanding and productive citizens like yourself. I truly believe that together, we are manufacturing a brighter tomorrow. 🙂


      A. Woolfson
      VP, Marketing and Sales
      NoNeCo Home Genomics

      • TransphasicPigDog

        Mr. Woolfson,

        That ad is both tantalizing and absolutely scary. Remind me to give you extra rewards in less than a year, when our 10,000 year plan to bring down this pathetic mode of existence has succeed. Also, I think that you probably deserve some other perks for finally seeing the light, Abdiel.

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        Chief Executive Officer,
        666 Group, Inc.

  • Oohhh man I LOOOVE their faces! The expressions are SUPERB! I want to have Winona’s illustrated BABIES! 8D
    Although Jeff forgot to add “Butt-pirate” , “Sausage Muncher” and “Queer” to his litany of gay slurs. >.<
    His face in panel two is so… sad. Combine this information with the way he's behaved so far and his being resigned to abuse and it makes me want to cry. His mother might have been the only person who was ever nice to him. How horrible… Before he even knew what sex WAS people were judging him cruelly based on the sexual preferences that he would have much later in his life. How do you explain to a four or five year old boy that everyone hates him because some day when he was all grown up he would love boys and not girls? There's no way he could comprehend that. Nearly ALL little boys think girls are gross and have cooties. But even though he wouldn't be noticeably different for YEARS, kids would shun him because their parents shun him. The parents realize what about Jeff is different, but kids are just cruel without understanding anything.
    Dear god, did he ever have any friends as a child? Poor Jeff! poor, poor little Jeffy… ;_;

    • You’re thinking about Jeff’s experience in just the right way. Very well thought out. I really enjoyed reading your comment. 🙂

      • See, I knew I’d have a profound comment EVENTUALLY. Just needed the right page. 😀

  • Must resist urge to play with Jeff’s hair…. its very hard…..

  • Sandra Virgínia

    To say that at that time in the distant future, one can already know if the person is gay or not or has some kind of disorder only making a surveys of chromosomes !? Wow, cool. I think that we aren´t far away. But be rejected for that reason alone, it´s not fair. /: What I find strange is that despite all this technology, a person with cancer can still die. And the characters are so similar and different at the same time. 🙂
    Humm, I´d like to feel the muscles in the arms of Deacon. 😉

    • You bring up a very good point. Most diseases in this future do have effective cures. Whether a person can afford them is another question.

      And you’ll get a chance to see a bit more of those muscles in upcoming pages… 😉

  • aargh why no mooore. I’m hooked on this beautiful comic now <3

  • Finneus McClain

    I’ve been following the comic since it was only 3 pages and I just recently got another friend hooked. This is an amazing comic. Every week it’s one of my favorite things to check. I’m quite excited for the next page!

    • Wow, thank you, Finneus! Getting other folks into reading Artifice is one of the best compliments you could give me and I really appreciate it. Thank you for sticking with it and for your kind words! 😀

  • Ooh, I’m late, but this is a niiiiiiice page~!

  • Ale Gorriz

    so gays are gays because of C37 pair in their  X chromosomes? ._. that’s so original… tha first time i heard about it! XD now i want to see more, hmm….

    • Then hope to see you again on Saturday, Ale! 🙂

      (Oh, and in my world, that’s not the only reason gays are gays—there can be other reasons why people would exclusively be attracted to the same sex—but this coding is the most reliable predictor of male homosexuality.)

      • Ale Gorriz

        sure thing ;D

    • Ale did you just found the webpage or you decided to write for the 1st time

      • Ale Gorriz

        i decided to write a comment for the first time 😛 i found it like a month ago… but i didn’t write anything because i was waiting for the first mention of boys love (you know my stuff XD)

        yeah… i know there are so many reasons that make someone gay… but this ‘genetical’ one is pretty interesting (:

        oh! and i sent you a message on smackjeeves!! XD

      • Hey Blaster! Thank you for the love. 🙂

        Now I might be misunderstanding what you’ve written, but I’d be hesitant to list sexual abuse or exposure to activities of the opposite gender (like playing with dolls?) as sources of same-sex attraction. The first makes homosexual attraction the result of psychological damage and the second suggests that attraction to the same sex is somehow equivalent to gender confusion—both reasons that have been proposed by “experts” in the past, but that trustworthy scientific studies haven’t supported.

        It’s my personal belief that attraction to members of the same sex is neither a result of trauma nor is it necessarily connected to rejection of one’s gender role. And in my world, outside of this one strong genetic source of same-sex attractions, the other “reasons” one might be gay involve the interplay of experiences and genetics so subtle, they would defy any convenient explanation.

      • Actually……

        It has long been proven that being sexually abused has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with one’s orientation. It was one of the earlier theories and some people still cling to it, but studies have been done and it’s been proven that it’s not the case at all.

        Secondly, making little boys play with dolls or little girls play with trucks doesn’t make them gay. I’ve read a lot of first-hand accounts from people who turned out to be gay about their childhood at . Sure, a lot of them talk about enjoying activities usually reserved for the other gender, but plenty also talk about how them being gay was a complete surprise, since they had always preferred to do stuff that fit within their gender norms.

        You can’t make a little boy turn out gay by making him wear dresses and play with dolls, but if he chooses to do those things on his own it might indicate that he is gay. On the other hand, it might not. I’ve always been a bit backwards when it comes to gender roles but I’m straight.

        Also, unless I’m hopelessly behind on my research, I think that C37 thing was made up by the author. Maybe it’s being looked into specifically as the cause, but I haven’t heard anything about it being confirmed.

        Besides genetics, one of the other factors that could make someone gay is chemical balance, etc, in the mother’s womb. There’s research that the more sons a woman gives birth to, the more likely each son is to be gay (apparently a lot of gay men have older brothers, which sparked the research). Something about how her body reacts to all the testosterone needed to develop a bunch of baby boys.

        The underlying cause of being homosexual is likely to be a number of things, but so far the evidence says that it’s NOT from environmental causes. If it was, you could “convert” a person from gay to straight or straight to gay. When has that ever happened? (Note: coming out of the closet is admitting to being gay and deciding to not hide it, not changing what you really want.)

        • The “C37 pair in the X-chromosome” being a strong indicator of homosexuality is completely a conceit of the author—as far as I know, there’s no such thing.

  • shiga

    Wellllp this just became my favorite comic

    • And you just totally made my day—thank you! 😀

  • Guess Who

    Wow, this is really great! In only 25 pages I am so completely sucked into the story. With very little details yet available, I’m already able to put together what this universe potentially is like and it definitely leaves me hungry for more. I can’t wait to read more, You’ve got me so hooked!

    • Thank you! Glad to hear we’ve got you hooked! 🙂

  • Miranda Washburn

    It is bad that I check this comic nearly every hour, sometimes half an hour?

    I just love it so much~~ <3

    • That’s not bad, Miranda. That’s delightful. 😉

      (And the commenters on here are so interesting and insightful, I think that’s reason enough to keep checking in…)

      • That’s certainly why I keep checking in. Plus to read your replies to my comments, Alex. 🙂

  • I just discovered this from HamletMachine’s Starfighter sight and almost had a breakdown when I realized there wasn’t anything after page 25. I can’t wait for more, I just can’t. This story is so addicting.

  • Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat this stops here??????  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! DX

  • karmelion

    Deacon. I see that look in your eyes in panel 6. And that cute little knowing half-smile. Man- so much conveyed in one expression!
    So- Deacon’s artificial human right? Does he have chromosomes? I read somewhere that they’ve developed an animal cell made from inorganic (not carbon based) material that can communicate with a normal animal cell using binary electrical impulses. Because our brains are basically a super complex computer that relies on electrical methods for communication within itself and between body systems to maintain homeostasis (paraphrasing slightly here); synthetic inorganic cells could, theoretically, function as an organism.
    SO how does Deacon work? Is he Artificial in the sense that he isn’t entirely organic/carbon based or is he Artificial in the sense that his genes are designed by others in a quest for human perfection, specific functionality and efficiency?
    I guess that in defining Artificial (as relating to homo sapiens) we are in need of a discrete definition of ‘human’. Since we are constantly evolving in both social and biological ways, this definition would be arbitrary at best and a zombie theory at worst (the idea is obsolete but is perpetuated anyway).
    It is evident that conservative ideas and opinions are still prelevant in this technologically advanced world you’ve created (Jeff’s homophobic bullies and the guards’ behaviour towards Deacon). Does the ability to pick apart our genetic make-up give us a better idea of what it means to be human? What sort of social climate is it that people are deemed less worthy due to circumstances far beyond their control? Will we, as a species, ever be able to overlook the overbearing attitude that “Different is Deficit”? With the spread of technology and the global sharing of cultures and ideas, can we afford to hold onto our outdated and frankly, retrogressive and destructive attitudes and be able to strive for a more honest and accepting global community? 
    Your webcomic/novel raises so many interesting questions that span so many topics, not just about the advance of technology, sexual orientation or the future of our species… I feel like I just entered sociology paradise. Who wants answers? The questions are often much more interesting 🙂
    Art is a means of communicating with the world, a type of language that helps us better understand and imagine ourselves and eachother. It is our way of making sense of the universe.
    Thanks for creating this wonderful webcomic/novel that makes my brain so happy 🙂

    • …. *holds up a lighter* That was the most wonderful comment ever. I, I can’t think of anything else to do.

    • I’m glad you are enjoying the questions that are being raised and that the comic is making your brain happy. Having folks ponder and discuss the larger issues is a tremendous pleasure for me to see. 😀

      I will answer one question, though—what makes Deacon “artificial” isn’t simply genetic manipulation (that’s fairly common among the wealthy); it’s that he was built not born and does indeed contain non-human elements. Elements strong enough to take a great deal of punishment during battle.

    • I really like your deep thoughts on this, but maybe because of my optimism, I’m pushing for opposite. Maybe its not to apparent yet, but society…specially the current generation, is slowly becoming more open minded and accepting of homosexuality. Gay/Lesbian couplings is popping up in our media, we’ve got yaoicon, and people are finally taking more serious looks at laws concerning the lgbt community. I’m able to find my yaoi more easily today then it was for me five years ago, and I believe deep down that must mean something. Sure, there will always be conservatives, but I believe there will always be open-minded people to counteract them. And with the widening of our world through technology and communication, we’re slowly becoming more open-minded towards different cultures and beliefs. Though I’m sure there are assholes out there that would abort a child with a possible gay gene, I know there would be plenty of people who wouldn’t. Abortion does hell to the psychology of a woman, and there would be plenty of women who would tell their man to get the hell out if they tried to push her to abort her child. The only way this could happen almost 100% of the time is if the government stepped in and stripped all our freedom away in concerns to this, but even then the human race is rebellious and there would be factions opposing such a government.

      I’ll enjoy Alex’s future as it is, but I believe in a more open and accepting future society for our reality. Unless we blow ourselves up into extinction in world war 3. =P

  • I couldn’t find any fan art for this comic. That is wrong. I am creating some now. 🙂

    • And you did an awesome job of it too. 🙂

      • I… I want to draw fanart too! But I have two major problems.
        1. first and foremost, no ideas on what to draw them doing or anything and
        2. Deacon’s hair intimidates the hell out of me. o.o cropped hair is NOT easy to draw.

        • There’s no rush. Fanart should be a just for fun thing, right? And I’m sure when inspiration strikes, you’ll come up with something awesome. 🙂

          • OMG I solved BOTH my issues in one fell swoop! 😀 I’ll send you a link sometime this week! Fanarts are fun. ^w^

          • I look forward to seeing it. 🙂

  • Totally called that!

    Also… holy hamhock on a stick, is it considered NORMAL to abort kids with the gay gene in this world?! That’s fucking scary! What if WE find the gay gene, are people going to start testing for it and aborting kids because of it?!

    Maybe it’s just in certain cultural groups that it’s normal…?

    This is no longer pure scifi, it is now also part horror.

    • Yes, it’s a disturbing implication—and one that I suspect could actually happen, perhaps even in our lifetime.

      In answer to your question, in certain groups and cultures in my universe, it is considered normal and expected to abort embryos and fetuses with a C37 pairing in their X-chromosome. But that’s not true everywhere and certainly not in the “core systems”.  In fact, among the wealthy of the core, it’s quite faddish lately to modify the genes of their unborn to ensure an openness to bisexuality. In this consumer driven world, options are everything and those who hold power want maximum flexibility for their offspring to form powerful and lasting alliances.

      • That… is pretty cool and awesome. Is there technology available so that two guys or two girls can have a baby that’s geneticaly theirs? I know today we recently found tech that allows two women to have a baby, but only baby girls.

        • There is indeed such tech—but it is very, very expensive. 

          It was discovered that due to genomic imprinting that the gender of the parent contributed unique genetic factors above and beyond the bestowal of a Y-chromosome (or lack thereof) from the man. Thus, unfortunately, many of the hundreds of thousands of babies born during the lesbian baby boom of the last two centuries had health problems. (And similar problems were reported from the offspring of male-male parents.) 

          I’m happy to say, though, that fifty-three years ago NoNeCo discovered a way to successfully epigenetically tweak the relevant chromosomes and thus parents of the same sex can now have healthy, lovely, long-lived biological children with ease.

          The technique is still under patent and thus a NoNeCo exclusive product. For the time being, the process is currently within reach only to the very wealthy. But the engineers at NoNeCo are hard at work to come up with a less-expensive process, hoping to realize their vision making same-sex pregnancy affordable to people of all means!

        • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

          They’ve actually succeeded at it in the real world with mice:

          • I’d be hard pressed to call it a success for male-male reproduction, but it’s a tremendously fascinating article. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

          • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

            You’re welcome for the link. It caught my attention as soon as I saw the headline. It may not be a big success, but it’s one of the many smaller breakthroughs (like Dolly the sheep) that need to happen before a feasible solution to male-male reproduction is found. 🙂

            I’m not usually the sort of person to store hundreds of articles. I think maybe I saved this article because I had a gay character in a Star Wars roleplaying game who really, really wanted to be a parent, and both he and his partner wanted that child to be genetically both of theirs if it was at all possible. They still had trouble finding a surrogate mother, and in the end, their plans for having a family fell by the wayside when they got recalled back into military service.

          • It is hard to start a family during wartime, huh? 🙂

          • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

            They certainly found it difficult. My grandmother apparently didn’t find it that hard though 🙂

  • AJTheShifter

    This comic has scared the living shit out of me.  Father’s would push for abortions on women more.  They would attack the women they impregnate.  They will leave them if they don’t get the abortion.  And all in the name of pride.  By the way, they already kind of know there is a gay gene, its passed by males.  ^_^  Still, this is a scary comic. 

    • Yep, the implications are definitely scary—and intended to be so.

      It’s interesting that you mention that a gay gene has been identified that is passed on by males. I’ve heard claims in the past about such a gene passed on by women (through the X-chromosome), but not by men. Do you have a link to the study?

    • This is wrong, males only carry on sex related genes, most of your identified genes come from your mother.  The supposed gene was found to be passed on by the mother NOT the father and they have no hard evidence that proves it is a “gay” gene, just that in a study more gay males had this gene than straight males, but they have no fully linked it to having anything to do with sexuality.

      There is technically no “gay” gene just researchers trying to find some relation and are tapping into genetics to see if they can’t find out why or what causes it but there is no pressing evidence as of yet.

      • What’s fascinating is new evidence that suggests that fathers offer additional specific contributions to the DNA of their offspring above and beyond simply determining gender. Some studies now suggest that the same chromosome given by the father vs. the mother (or vice versa) might have a different expression solely based on whether it came from a man or a woman. (I believe it’s called genomic imprinting.)

        If you need to have chromosomes from people of opposite genders to create a healthy baby, this has implication for the health of clones—and for those of us who dream of the day of same-sex biological parents. It’s something I’m keeping an eye on…

  • Woah, I really love the thing with the gay-gene XD
    And the last panel is indeed really awesome.
    Looking forward to next weeks update <3

  • Jimmy Mona

    I personally don’t believe there is a gay gene.  There are too many variations of sexualities to be explained by genetics there are people who feel sexually attracted to both sexes but only romantically attracted to one or people who are romantically attracted to both sexes but only sexually attracted to one.  Although I have always believed that gay people were born that way the idea of there being a “gay gene” just doesn’t seem plausible to me.  I supposed maybe there could be a multitude of genes that determine sexuality.  Or Or perhaps it is a mix of genetics and experience that makes a person gay?  Either way it doesn’t really matter, people love who they love.  Great comic mate, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for the props, Jimmy!

      (And for the record, IRL, I also think it’s likely to be a fairly subtle interplay of genetic and environmental factors that determines sexual attraction.)

  • Dex X.

    This is what I’m telling people from now on. “Oh yea and I have a C37 pair in my X chromosome….you know. Gayness gene.”

  • . . . You lose science points for having a biological on/off switch for homosexuality. The modern definition of homosexuality as a pattern of sexual behaviors is at least mostly a cultural construct, not anything biological. Look to other cultures in history, and you’re not going to find many that have direct analogues. Are there some deeper currents that might make it a more likely outcome? Probably. But as presented here? No.

    • Your analysis is equally as faulty. Homosexuality and sexuality in general is genetic expression and one in which many factors play. While there’s no single gene, there is likely an assortment of genes and developmental factors which predispose people towards homosexuality. There is also a theory based on the concept of “hetrozygous advantage” of sexuality in nature, which has some support.
      Either way, neuroscience and epigenetics have given us a lot of information into the field of the biological basis of sexuality and sexual orientation. 

      • I made a reply to the author, and I believe it addresses your post as well. You may wish to read it.

    • Hey Dylan!

      You bring up an interesting point, which is whether the concept of a gay identity is socially constructed—something that I think is likely to be true.  From my limited understanding of history, it seems clear that folks deriving their identity based on whom they are attracted to and making political/life decision on that basis seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon and one that so far has more support in the West than other places.

      Identity politics is so much a part of our culture that it can be difficult to picture cultures that don’t embrace that concept of the individual and it’s useful to be reminded that in many other places the concept of a person being “gay” is just not part of the world-view.

      That said, my conceit regarding the science of the “C37 pair” isn’t about the origins of Jeff’s gay identity, but rather about exclusive homosexual attraction. And while I share your love of science, I don’t share your confidence that the determinants of sexual attraction have been proven to be “not anything biological”. Is there likely to be a simple genetic on-off switch for homosexual attraction? I’d say I’d find that unlikely to be the answer in every case or even most cases (as I’ve said below, I feel it is likely to be combination of genes and environment in most cases.) But is it completely ruled out based on our current understanding of genetics? I don’t think so, thus I’m happy to allow my little conceit despite a desire to stay scientifically realistic.

      In my world, the C37 pair doesn’t account for every case of exclusive homosexual interest. But I do believe that a strong genetic basis is plausible in some cases and thus that my conceit for Jeff is too. 🙂

      • Perhaps I was a bit vague – when I said “deeper currents”, I was referring to genetic factors that likely have an affect on sexuality. Our genetics and biological composition affect everything about us, and I wasn’t trying to assert that sexuality was any different.

        The problem I have with this portrayal isn’t the simplification of these factors into a single one, but the idea that modern ideas of hetero- and homosexuality are natural roles to fall into, and not heavily influenced by cultural elements.

        I’ll take the easy example and say to look at Ancient Greece and Rome – in many cases, the binary tendency of these ideas renders them inapplicable. Pederasty is the obvious example, but you also find things like the concept of minions or the closeness of brothers-in-arms that still have wives. In societies with different gender roles, or more than two genders, the ideas of homo- and heterosexuality become even less adequate.
        There are (almost) certainly genetic factors affecting sexuality.While inaccurate, the simplification of these factors into one is not something I terribly object to – this is fiction, after all, and convenience is not a sin. The idea that our culturally-determined concepts of sexuality are accurate ways to describe these genetic factors is what I have a problem with.

        • Interesting. At first with your discussion of roles, it seemed like we were on the same page. As I said before, the conceit isn’t that the “C37 pair” created Jeff’s gay identity—growing up in his culture did that. The “C37 pair” merely determined who he was capable of finding attractive, which isn’t about a role at all.

          But then you discuss societies with “more than two genders” and say that “the idea that our culturally-determined concepts of sexuality are accurate ways to describe these genetic factors is what I have a problem with.” which makes me wonder if I’m still misunderstanding you.

          Is it your belief that, identity aside, it would be impossible for our genes to determine (or at least very heavily influence) an exclusive sexual attraction to members of the same sex? If so, do you believe this to be because gender is socially constructed and thus not something that would be fixed enough for someone to genetically be predisposed to find one gender attractive and not another? (That gender would be too much of a “moving target” as it were.)

          I have to admit, reading over your response, it still feels to me like we’re in agreement. I would expect your answers to both those questions to be “no”. But because you’ve stating that you are still taking (gentle) exception to this conceit, makes me want to be sure. 🙂

          P.S. With your reference to Greek pederasty, I’m also wondering if we’ve read and been informed by the same excellent article by Dirk Deppey.

          • I hadn’t read that article, no, but thank you for the link.

            I would consider the difference between “determine” and “heavily influence” to be a huge one – the difference between a big number and infinity. The mind has a marvelous lack of absolutes. I would say that genes cannot determine  (but do heavily – or not so heavily – influence) what sex a person is attracted to – attraction is a very social attribute.

            The core of what I’m saying, though, is that the end result of these genes is not likely to be a binary choice between attraction to males or females, or even a Kinsey-esque scale between them. Sexuality consists of more than one axis.

          • Ah, yes, that’s clearer. Thank you. 🙂

            I do think that we’re on the same page about the contribution of social factors being important, if not in all cases essential. My conceit is that the C37 Pair very heavily influences gender choice in mate selection—so much so that 99.8% of every male carrying that encoding has exclusive homosexual attraction  throughout his life. (The .2% who keep it from being an absolute? Social and environmental factors at play… 🙂 )

            The point where we differ seems to be about whether it’s plausible that genes could encode a “binary” choice of attraction between males and females. If I’m understanding you, you suggest that there are other factors–“axes”, if you like—which would confound this. That whatever potential attraction these genes “heavily influence” in a human male—for example, an attraction that makes the vast majority of biological males appealing—would also be sparked by biological women whose axes balanced out in just the right way. Through social pressures, the occasional C37er might think he needs to be consistent and thus never avails himself of these potential interests in the fairer sex, but that would be cultural and identity pressures that would be keeping him binary, not his genetic potential for attraction. And thus, no valid scientific studies, fictional or otherwise, would consistently support these genes or any other genetic encoding as reliable predictors of exclusive homosexual attraction in human males. Having that be the case would ignore current scientific consensus about gender and attraction.

            Did I get that right?

            If so, then I admire the subtlety of your thinking about gender. You might very well be right. But with studies that show that we can create exclusive and novel homosexual behavior in both fruit flies and sheep, I’m not convinced that science has settled this matter. Clearly humans are not sheep and clearly pheromones don’t have the same powerful affect on us as they seems to have on other animals, but those studies leave open to me the possibility that male-female gender, binary though that the concept is, might very well be a specific target for attraction from purely genetic/biological perspective. Those studies and Occam’s razor give me confidence that it’s plausible that genetics could encode an attraction to one biological gender vs. another. And thus I remain convinced that my C37 conceit is plausible from a scientific perspective—the question that launched a thousand ships and this comment thread.

            I doubt that anything I’ve said has convinced you of the scientific plausibility of my conceit. But as you seem to be willing to suspend your disbelief in this matter of fictional convenience, I hope that you’ll continue to enjoy Artifice—with its potential over-simplification of human sexuality and all. Because I have certainly enjoyed this discussion with you. 🙂

          • If I’m reading your interpretation right, then yes, you got that right, more or less. 😛

            While I would consider it plausible for genetics to code for a lot of things, I’m not convinced that they actually do.

            And I’ll certainly continue to enjoy the comic. It’s one of the few – well, alright, one of the many that I do enjoy, but it is one of the few that might be considered to have objective quality. 😛

            As an aside and an afterthought: it might make more sense (as far as my picky, meddling self can tell) if C37 coded for attraction to males rather than homosexuality – otherwise, the obvious question is “What about the bisexuals?” But I could keep going at that for every possible configuration of sexual attractions, so it might be less of a can of worms to just ignore it. 😛

          • Fair enough, my friend. Thank you for the props—and the interesting discussion. 🙂

  • happysugarhunny

    And Happy has come back simply to go  ‘Awwwwwwwwwww’ over the expressions and mentally vent about the prejudices of society.

    • And thus Happy gets a hug from the writer. 🙂

      • happysugarhunny

        Yay! ^^

  • oh, my god. Love this comic, and those last panels… Jeff looks… Hot… And Here I thought that was Deacon’s job.

    • Hehe. That’s music to my ears. It was important for me to have romantic leads with different body types and yet (hopefully!) make them both appealing. Glad to hear that Jeff is stepping up for you. 😉

  • classic_bear

    I need to run my fingers through both of there heads.

  • Firekitty

    I’m sure I don’t need to point out how stunning the art is XD. The second to last panel is  my favorite this time; Jeff looks really cute there.

    Interesting twist, though not a totally shocking one. It seems to me that it would naturally become the norm to abort ‘defective’ children in a society capable of determining such things before birth, and of course, what constitutes ‘defective’ varies from culture to culture, or even from person to person.

    I would personally feel obligated to abort a child that I knew was destined for severe mental disability, or a serious and incurable disease. I’m sure that there are others out there who wouldn’t hesitate to abort a child that they knew would grow up to be gay, (while at the same time protesting my right to that option in the previous example, no doubt).

    That said, it does present a pretty horrifying potential for abuse. People are cruel enough to those who are different, but in this case it could be more like having everyone know you’re fated to leak a sex tape or kill someone when you’re twenty, and getting the ridicule for that FROM BIRTH.

    • Yes. It may not have been from birth, but Jeff has been exposed to ridicule and scorn from a very young age…

  • I have to say that I really like Deacon, although Jeff isn’t bad at all. Although, I’m rooting more Deacon then Jeff. The reason being: Deacon isn’t human, shown in the first couple of panels, it looks like he has to deal with a lot of shit because of this fact. While this doesn’t mean Jeff doesn’t have hard time going through life, but at least there is support groups and LGBT communities out there that would welcome someone like him with open arms. Last time i checked, there wasn’t an android support group nor a community that would help with the struggle of Artificial Intelligence integrating with human society and norms. Although, I can’t say for sure that they aren’t in this advanced world.

    I’m really interested on Deacon’s view of ‘love’ and other such emotions. I know he’ll be quite analytical about it, especially with the doctor listening, but I’m more curious of what he’ll tell Jeff. I have a feeling he’ll be more honest and forthcoming with Jeff.

    I also really like that fact that Jeff has the ‘gay gene’. for some reason it makes me think that gay people (or anyone else who may have this ‘C73’ in their gene pool who may not be gay or what-have-you) is like the next step in the evolutionary line. 

    All and all, this comic has me hooked and Im really looking foreword for the following panels and chapters. The artwork is just as wonderful as the plot line and there are no greater words to describe my interest in this comic. I’ll be sure to recommend it to my friends.  

    Great Job guys! 🙂

    • Hey Gwen!

      You are right, there are no support groups for artificial people, so in that sense Deacon has the potential to ultimately be more isolated. That said, Jeff has not been within 25 light years of an LGBT support group in his life and he’s had little expectation that he ever would be. 

      Very glad to hear that you are hooked. Thank you for the thoughtful comment and the support! Both are much appreciated. 🙂

  • You know, now that I think about it, lung cancer seems like a very mundane thing to die by. I mean, considering they seem to have mastered space travel and artificial sentience but still die from lung cancer. I guess health care in the future is still a bitch. Of course I’ve considered Jeff could be lying and shes alive/died from somthing else or she didn’t seek treatment for personal reasons (if there is treatment). Hehe, your gay son brings a murderous android home for dinner…

    • In my world, lung cancer would be trivial to cure—if you were wealthy and in the core systems. On Da Vinci Four, it would be an inescapable death sentence.

      So yes, health care in my future is still a bitch. 🙂

  • eleutherios

    “You have a whatsit thingummy chromosome thingy too?”
    “Yeah.  I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”


  • HarmHarm210

    …I can’t stop staring at their lips, they’re so pretty, everything so very pretty.  <3 Perhaps its because if I do anything near realistic with guys and try and draw lips…they end up looking…not so pretty? =o= I'm not sure. 
    I can't wait for the next page. @.@ 

    • Winona does draw some purty lips, don’t she? 😉 I love the way she does that too.

      Glad you’re looking forward to the next page!

  • Rocket

    Jeff looks so hurt in the first and second panel… his face says “I has a owie…” [3-5 y/o voice]

    Oh? What’s this? Deacon’s interest is peaked? Lul, Jeff’s gonna turn him =3=

  • Diseasedface

    Don’t you dare mess with Jeff! what a tremendously wonderful face in the second last column! I really am LIKING this more aggresive side of him! hohoho.

    hmmm Deacon… What are you thinking? ~ponders~

    • Heh. Glad you’re liking the “aggressive” side of Jeff. You might just see a bit more of that in future pages… 😉

  • Holy smokes, loving this comic so far. Suspense! Action! Homoeroticism! Android Super-Soldiers! That’s a whole smörgåsbord of Things That I Dig.

    • Good. I hope that means we’ll be seeing you here again, Matthew. 🙂

  • Is it weird if I say that Jeff’s nose (in the first panel) is adorable? Love his hair too.
    You update every saturday, right? So I’ll just have to be a good girl and wait patiently until then…

    And honestly, the thought that people can anticipate if a child will be gay is just…horrifying. Mass abortion comes to mind. But personally, I’m not sure there would be such a thing as a C37 pair…it makes me think that if there were truly were something like that and people could explain the reason some children are born gay…in my mind it would be horrible. It reminds me of X-men and how certain scientists wanted to ‘cure’ the ‘disease’.

    • Totally not weird to like Jeff’s nose and hair. And I do update every Saturday. 🙂 

      (Also if you’re interested in the question of the plausibility of my C37 pair conceit, check below in the comments. There is much discussion on that…)

      • Ahahahah.

        (Aw, don’t call it conceit. Call it necessary creativity. It’s an interesting discussion, though).

        • Yes. I’m really enjoying the discussion too. 🙂

  • Guess what today is? 😀 That’s right! It’s my birthday! And instead, I’ve got a gift for YOU guys! Here’s a link!
    Now excuse me, I forgot I need to go get my driver’s license renewed. O.o

  • Hey! I’ve only very recently found this webcomic (yesterday, actually, ha! The wonders of boredom and easy internet access…), but it seems very cool, and yes, I agree with everyone else, the characters here are very pretty! XDDD the style almost reminds me of a softer, more rounded anime version of DC and Marvel comics. There’s not like a whole surge of detail coming out at you like a lot of webcomics but the art is stunning and still captures the sense of realism and emotions from them…I’m not a fancy art critique, so I’ll just say the art is pretty. XDD
    Anyway, there seems to be a lot of discussion about the whole “gay gene” thing going on, but the idea is really fascinating. Again, I’m not a major science buff and I’m not some crazy, mad-smart scientist, but it always seemed to me that seeing as attraction is really kind of a chemical reaction in the brain and such, it wouldn’t really matter what gender you were, only that you fit the little set of criteriayour brain needed/wanted…IDK, I’m babbling I guess. So, maybe genes have something to do with it, but I’ve never before read a comic that involved the idea of a gay gene. as horrible as is it to think about what would happen if people found such a thing exists, it rouses my attention, and just know that I will be eagerly awaiting the next page of this! 🙂

    • Hey Jennifer!

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the comic and the discussion its provoking. And I agree, Winona’s art is very pretty. Hope to see you back here soon. 🙂

  • Jimmy Mona

    When will the next page be out?

  • Marlyn Wood

    I just discovered this comic and I think I’m in love. The art is amazing and so expressive! The dialogue is absolutely perfect. I seriously think I’m going to have to add this to the (very short) list of comics that I check weekly. 🙂

    Keep up the great work!

    • Yay! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it, Kiasyth! I hope to see you here again this Saturday! 🙂

  • Oh no! My last comment didn’t post? But.. But I gave you a giftie! ;_;
    And it’s technically the 4th of August now, too! Well, the 3rd was my birthday and instead, I got YOU guys a gift! I drew some fanart! Here’s a link!

    • OMG! It’s Maven! And I LOVE it! Very, very nice! Thank you!

      I’ve been thinking about creating a Fanart page on this site. If I did, could I post this here? How would you like to be credited?

      Thank you again. And….. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

      • That would be totally fine by me if you post it here. A link back to my DA page would be great if you could do that somehow. I love getting comments. Otherwise you can list me as Yoko Greyword/Enkidu. ^_^

        • Cool. And I can do both those things. 🙂 It might take me a couple more days to set this up, but I’m looking forward to sharing your awesome work!

  • Holly-Marie Jackson

    I’ve seen a lot of comments about how the author is wrong about there being a single gene that ‘makes you gay’. They complain about how it’s not plausible, and that’s stupid. This is the author’s story, in which there is a futuristic setting, and there a lot of things that happen in those settings that aren’t possible right now. Why can’t you just accept that this is the author’s story, and if you don’t find it plausible then you don’t have to read it. I don’t care about what you think is plausible or not, this isn’t your comic. This comic is Alex’s and this is his vision, so really, don’t like, don’t read.

    • Hey Holly-Marie!

      You’re a total sweetheart for coming to my defense, but it’s not necessary. The discussion of big ideas on this site—social engineering, epigenetics, Marxism (and in the comments section of a yaoi webcomic, no less!)—has been a great pleasure for me.

      If the attacks ever get personal (e.g. “You’re an idiot!”), and especially if the attack is directed at another commenter or Winona, I’ll intervene and bring down my comment moderation policy like a ten ton hammer of the gods.

      But so long as people are treating each other with respect—and that means making it clear in your response that you assume that the person you’re responding to is intelligent, has a useful perspective as well as good intentions—then all ideas are open to discussion and constructive criticism. 

      Even, probably especially, the ideas I’m putting out there on the pages of this webcomic. 😉

  • DorianCherrystone

    …How is this conversation going to develop? :3 I’m dying for the next page. I really am.

    (Well, actually not really REALLY ’cause I wouldn’t get to know the next page if I was. ^^)

    • Yes! Choose life! Come back this Saturday for the next page! 😀

  • … Wait a sec. This is the future. How did his mom die of lung cancer? Did the Natural Order Movement also forbid cancer treatment? Or maybe she couldn’t afford it?

    • Oh wait, it was answered below.

      Funny how long it took for everyone to get over the “gay gene” and finally notice the lung cancer thing though, huh? 😛

      • I guess some aspects of the future of biology are more provocative than others. 🙂

  • MonicaProwl

    Awww I love this! I’m not sure if I posted already but I just have to say I love the whole getting to know one another bit. Much love Alex! and Winona this is beautiful artwork! 😀

    • Thanks, Monica! Glad you’re liking what you’re seeing. Much love back! 🙂

  • I too love those last two panels. How extra handsome they are!
    But I gotta say, the term “fudgepacker” always makes me go ‘Eeeeeg’ and cover my face. Vulgar, nothing, that’s just gross, Jeff!

    • Yep, that term gives me the heeby, geebies too. But Jeff is deliberately trying to be provocative here—and sometimes characters even provoke their author. 😉

  • Ohoohohoho.
    I love this page (and you’re right, those last two panels are divine. Kudos to Winona!)

  • There are too many ‘functions’ in human (and other sentient beings’) chromosones for the whole eugenics thing to work well. First, this is the storyteller’s world, and apparently a genetic predisposition towards homosexuality works in it. Second, if you filter out everyone with ‘sickle cell anemia’, the remainder are likely to die from malaria; filtering out ‘diabetes’ leaves no people who can survive on a starvation diet. Eugenics is a lie and the entire concept is unworkable in the ‘real world’, so the webcomic makes a good warning. Eugenics is a killer! Third: The survivors are a HORAR (Homolog Recruit Army Replacement) and a human who would have been ‘filtered out’ by defective eugenics policy. So the ‘main government is defective and we need a revolution. ‘Welcome to the Club of Humanity!’

  • Fire Child

    Hey there! I just read through the entire archive. I just wanted to say Artifice has great art and an engaging story. This site has been bookmarked and I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for an update! *excitedly refreshes page*


    • Thanks, Layman! I appreciate the props! Next update in less than 24 hours… 🙂

  • Ooh, this is brilliant! ^.^ I love the storyline and the artwork; both are amazing. Aha, I am -very- excited for the update. ^.^

    • Thank you, Madisson! Glad you’re liking what you’re seeing! Update in less than 12 hours… 😀

  • Lorescien

    This is where I go back and read it all over again. Like, three times. XD I just love thhis comic so much!

    • 3x? Really? Wow, that very flattering! Thank you for your kind words! 😀

      • Lorescien

        Aw, you’re welcome! This is just such awesomeness… and it deserves the multiple reads every time you update, lol, I swear it. :3

  • classic_bear

    I was sitting in bed thinking hmm what day is it? and im like omg Friday artifice update tomorrow! *set up camp*

  • I love these panels so much gawd =3= if you ever decide to take an underling please, consider this underling =3= 

  • Natsuuu~!

    I just love how blunt he is.
    “i’m a fudgepacker”

  • That ever-so-slight tiny little wry twist of Deacon’s mouth in the last panel… I haven’t words for how happy the little details are making me.

  • I don’t really see what a C37 neoplasm has to do with him being gay, but lol anyway.

    • Neoplasm? He said he has a C37 CHROMOSOME in his DNA that makes the person with said chromosome gay(as apparently discovered by the denizens of the artifice universe) 😛 there are alot of people now who believe homosexuality is genetic (sorry if i sound b!cthy i don’t mean to be :P)

      • However homosexuallity is not caused by a chromosome alone but more as a combination of gentic code and internal and external humoral environments.

        • yes yes, i was explaining that that the people in the comic believe that, sometimes my typing fails, that ceiling cat for the edit button

  • Yushan Cong

    huh. and here I was thinking it had something to do with Xq28. Silly me. 😛

  • Pronombre

    I really really love how Jeff and Deacon looks in the last 2 panels, they look so gorgeous.

  • I ADORE the art in this comic, but this is one of my favorite pages, especially the last two panels. <3 

  • anonymouslizzy

    This reminds me of the movie GATTACA, where your genes mean everything. XD

  • Angelo Ventura

    The gay chromosome theory is a simplification, obviously,. In trality, what causes sexual orientationis a mix of genes and hormones, plus ambent both intra and extra uterine.. But let’s accept it for rhe sake of the story

  • Jeff looks sooo much like my crush… I’m liking this 😉

  • F1ct1on

    Oh sweet lord Deacon i forget how sexy you are. *Q* #TakeMeNow

  • My Rylander

    Last picture with Deacon is great. The lines, light, the humanity. And you med the conversation much more flowing and natural then other comics I’ve read. Great work!

  • Ree

    Omg yes the last two panels are indeed wonderful 😀

  • Zephyr10101

    yeah im sorry im not a believer of the whole “born gay” thing. but for the sake of the comic it is an entertaining notion

  • WOW! This is deep, loving this comic more and more page by page. Kudos for bringing such intensity to a comic without dogma. Awesome.