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Artifice Page 34

156 Comments on Artifice Page 34

Yeah, Deacon, why?

So! New Fan Art this week. This time a full-color head-shot of Jeff by Suf. Thanks, Suf!

The awesome translators continue to submit awesome translations. I believe we’re all caught up on Dutch while French-Canadian and German aren’t far behind. I’d like to welcome Matt who has started translating the pages into Italian this week as well as Zed123 who has joined Eleinor in creating Hungarian translations.

I’ve been working closely with the translators to try to keep things as clear, accurate and true to the story/characters as possible. If English isn’t your native language, please take a moment to check out the translations, starting with Page One. You might discover some subtle meanings that will help you understand what’s really going on in Deacon’s head. (You can find the drop-down menu for the translations right above this note from me. It says “Available Transcripts”.)

Finally, special thanks to Jaclyn T., Hikaru K., Jonathan D. (a longtime friend of Artifice! Howdy!) and Daniel M. for their generous donations this week. And big bear hugs to longtime supporter Larisa V. for her $25 donation and to Micheal B. who has now donated three weeks in a row! I am so grateful to you all. 🙂

(And good golly, we’re now just $26 away from a bonus page, so keep an eye out—it could happen this week!) DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Thanks to your super generous donations, we hit $250 this morning (Sunday) and so there will be a bonus page—Page 35!—posted up this Wednesday, September 28th! See you there! 😀

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!
  • crimsonkiss22

    Because you can’t murder someone with such fabulous hair?

    Not until you learn his secrets, anyway.

    Also, she seems to want to get Deacon to say he liked Jeff. Either she’s trying to make sense of his behavior, or she’s definitely a closet fangirl. I’m pulling for the latter.

    • Hyperminimalism

      I thoroughly agree.  To cut off the life supply to such a gorgeous head of hair would be completely and utterly heinous!  In any case, I am very much intrigued by Dr. Maven’s question as well.  Poor Deacon, you’re not so good at hiding your [human-esque] feelings.

      • crimsonkiss22

        Come now, Dr. Maven, we won’t judge you. Just be honest. There’s no shame in wanting to see them get together.

        She’s shipping them like whoa. xD

    • I love that you all think Maven is a closet fangirl. And yes, the hair must live on!

  • ChopstickChick

    I can’t say how much I love this comic, and how anxious I am to see what happens between Deacon and Jeff. I must say I am really relieved that Jeff didn’t die…or doesn’t die…the past is in the future (brain hurts), either way I was worried about that lol. <3

    • crimsonkiss22

      I wouldn’t get too comfortable just yet, it was mentioned earlier that Jeff is probably faring a whole lot worse than Deacon. The possibility of him being hurt or tortured is extremely high. 

      I just depressed myself ;A;

      • Syreen

        You just depressed me too

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying the comic, ChopstickChick. And that you want to find out what happens next. 🙂

      As for Jeff’s fate, yes, he is alive…

  • Syreen

    Right, Deacon, why?
    Oh wait… even I know the answer for that 😛

    I agree with Liz Thorne’s comment, the doctor is a closet fangirl! 😀
    I like this comic more and more. So glad to see it is translated into hungarian (yeah, hungarians always around good yaoi stuff) 🙂

    How can that doctor keep her hands off of Deacon’s body?!

    • SteveMcSheffrey

      I was beginning to think the doctor might be getting caught up in Deacon’s story and waiting for every ‘installment’ like we are but she already knows everything except for Deacon’s exact feelings.  This seeming to want the next chapter is just more of her devious manipulations!

    • Hehe. Maven as closet fan-girl…. 🙂

      So, is it true that there’s a big yaoi community in Hungary?

      • Syreen

        It’s true 🙂

        Okay-okay, I don’t think that she is a shipper… but I don’t like to analyse too much either. So, for now, she’s a fan and she can’t wait to have some details 😀
        (I really like that woman… you can see those gears moving in her head)

        • Glad you like Maven—and I’m glad there’s a strong yaoi community in Hungary. That’s cool. 🙂

  • Hikaru Segura

    I love this comic.

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    Nice writing trick.  My doubts about Jeff’s original motives are still in place but now we know Deacon at least had genuine feelings for his target.  BTW, are we going to get any pages of Jeff’s captivity and debriefing post-rescue?  And it’s starting to look more and more like the rescue team Deacon killed must have been trying to kill Jeff…

    • Glad you’re enjoying the reveals, Steve. 🙂 As for seeing Jeff’s current experiences, I make no promises around that—this is Deacon’s story and it is with Deacon will will stay until the end.

      • SteveMcSheffrey

        Deacon could always hack the files showing Jeff’s debriefing.  If he was successful no one would ever know, since his view screen is on the inside of his noggin rather than the clumsy way we view data…

  • Ack, the Doc is so aggressive, she really creeps me out. DX  I wonder if she’s like that with her human patients.  I’m worried for Deacon (and Jeff!)–what is she going to do with the information once she gets it?  *chews lip and waits*

    • Dr. Maven currently has no human patients. At least, none that are aware that they are under her gaze.

      • Even scarier! Teaming the evil corporation with the manipulative psychologist is a chilling combination.

  • Rissicat

    I love the locked wills in the panels here. But she is essentially accusing him of *being human*, which likely to be seen as a massive flaw in his programming. Who can blame him for denying it so stubbornly?

    • Yes. Glad you are enjoying battle of wills, Rissicat. 🙂

  • Deacon, Deacon, Deacon… When will you learn that doc Thorne knows better? Now shush and hear the woman, boy! She must be thinking what a silly case of intense denial you are. Silly Deacon. <3

    • Doc Thorne? From Jurassic Park? Was he a yaoi fangirl too? 🙂

  • This totally makes up for the super dynamic zombie apocalypse dream I just woke from! Thank you for always dishing up the awesome Alex and Winona!

    • You’re very welcome, Lindsay! May all your nightmares transform into fun yaoi. 😉

    • W Nelson

      No prob, anytime 😀

  • I love Maven’s face when she says, “You LIKED him.”

  • Laymanterms303

    Yes Doctor, why *are* you contradicting Deacon by insisting he likes Jeff? What’s that? Because they’re your One True Pairing and you totally ship them? Yeah I thought so.

    Note to Alex: There’s an error in Dr. Maven’s dialog in the first panel. In the last word, the first E shouldn’t be there and the should be a C after the I. I know you’re working hard, so no worries.

    • LOL You totally had me going with the “typo” you caught. Oh, you….

      • Laymanterms303

        Oh me : ). But seriously, I’m starting to wonder if Dr. Maven turns out to be the big bad. One of my many credos is “Never trust someone who represents a corporation”. They only have the company’s interest in mind, not yours.
             Just because the doctor isn’t being overtly evil, or even unpleasant, doesn’t mean she’s a nice person. After all, she’s working for the company who sent the android death squad to Da Vinci Four in the first place.

        *ponders* I wonder if they’re affiliated with Wolfram and Hart…

        • NoNeCo bought Wolfram and Hart centuries ago… 😉

  • fujoshifanatic

    It seems to me that the commentators are shipping waay harder than the Doctor is. Judging from the accusatory expression on her face, I would say she does not find it a good thing that Deacon developed feelings for Jeff. It will be interesting to see if she hangs on to this opinion as the story plays out, but I won’t hold my breath.

    Now back to Deacon and Jeff please!

    • Yes, kidding aside, I think you’re more in tune with what Maven is actually feeling. And not to worry, we’ll be back on Da Vinci Four fairly soon. 🙂

  • A homosexual android?
    How absurd!

    Funny how she quickly jumped into conclusion like that.
    Deacon may not admit it, but it’s impossible not to like Jeff.

    ‘Useful’ eh? ♡

    • Glad you find it “impossible” not to like Jeff. Music to my ears. 🙂

  • ithilloke

    So glad to see another page and finally…someone has asked the question I’ve been dying to know the answer to. What’s happened to Jeff and why?

    • Yes.

      • ithilloke

        Argh. SO not the response I was hoping for! Love your writing anyway, it’s thought provoking. 🙂

        • All will be revealed in upcoming pages. Glad to hear you’re liking the writing! 🙂

  • D

    Love the closed body position of Deacon with his arms crossed.

    Denial Much?

    I worry what will happen to Jeff after they finish taking him apart to find out why Deacon succumbed to his charms. Or even how MUCH of him will be left…humans are so damned messy…

  • Reign

    I want to know the answer to that question too!! I can’t wait to find out Deacon’s answer and to see Jeff again he is just to cute!! I really am hoping that they get reunited eventually 🙂

    • Glad you are looking forward to hearing that answer, Reign! 🙂 

      As for whether they get reunited, well, we’ll see…

  • Mavis: “Get to the yaoi already Deacon!” lol but I am patient. I am loving this story alot!

    • Thank you, Cheerio! And I appreciate your patience.

      •  I’d like to be the voice of dissent in this particular instance and
        say, “Please, dear god, don’t rush into the sex.” I personally would
        find that incredibly dull and un-compelling, because
        life isn’t a teleological trajectory to a bedroom scene. Life is
        trouble with your boss, trouble with your shrink, trouble at work, et
        cetera, and sex might happen as a symptom of life, especially in the
        dire circumstances I see in Artifice. I go for weeks
        reading your comic
        and forgetting it’s yaoi, and that is precisely why I am thrilled with
        it and am
        following this comic and no other comic on the web right now. Truth.
        (From being busy and junk. I also love to see at what speed you
        progress with each page so that I can learn a realistic time scale for
        a project like this!)
        BTW, would it help if I spread the word on other social networking
        sites besides facebook? My weird family would skin me alive for
        publicly announcing my fandom of any work that involves homosexuality.

        • Hehe. Well, I’m not sure anyone would accuse me of rushing into the sex, but I’m glad to hear you appreciate my more realistic pace. And I can tell you that while the erotic moments are meant to be one of the very fun parts of this comic, they aren’t the end game. Larger issues are at stake.

          I’m really flattered to hear you’re following Artifice despite your busy schedule. In terms of your question about speed for each page, do you mean plotting or how often I post?

          And yes! It would totally help to spread the word on other social networking sites! Any help in introducing Artifice to new readers is greatly appreciated. (The biggest comment I get in emails, etc. is “How come I haven’t heard about this comic before?!”) And if you’re looking for a more automated way to share a page, you can click on the Share/Save button right under the FB Like button—that will link to pretty much everything.) Thanks for even offering! 🙂

          • Great, thanks! It’ll be my pleasure to spread the word for Artifice.
            It’s really easy to do, unlike keeping up with all these comments the
            way you do. That’s downright amazing and very generous! Re:
            your question, I guess I mean how often you post. I will be making a
            comic of my own at some point, so naturally I wonder, how much of my
            life is that going to consume when I already have a 40-plus hour a week
            job? It’s very educational following your comic, because it’s the level
            and style I’d like to meet, perhaps without color.

          • Hi Crow!

            I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep responding to every comment forever, but right now it’s a real pleasure. I’ve said it before, but I really do think I have the coolest readers in the world and it’s awesome to connect with folks like yourself, y’know?

            In terms of scheduling updates, unless you’ve got something tremendously compelling (such as explicit sex or amazingly innovative pages like those offered in Romantically Apocalyptic), updating one page a week seems to be the price of admission for building momentum in your readership. Better if you can do more, of course, but that at least gives a consistent time every week so that folks can form a habit of checking in.

            That said, I don’t want you to think that Winona and I pop out each page from concept to colored, lettered art in 7 days. If you check my blog, you’ll see we’ve been working on Artifice for years. The high-quality yaoi comics I see that seem to create new work page-by-page such as Starfighter do not update on such a consistent schedule (although Teahouse looks like they might be managing it now, go them!).

            It was very important for me that there would be no delays in updates, no stalls, no hiatus, no “sorry, lost the will to create this anymore, I’m stopping”. (I’d been burned by other webcomics.) So, I worked with Winona to come up with a buffer that would guarantee I could maintain my page-a-week update schedule (with the occasional bonus page thrown in). That’s one advantage that comes with having your comic completely scripted out. There are still last minute tweaks I might make to the dialogue or Winona might make to the art, but I make sure I always have plenty of completed pages in our buffer… always.

            So, if you’re looking to take your cue from me and follow the “Artifice model”, I’d say: script out your whole story and then create months worth of finished pages (at least finished art, lettering can happen at the last minute if need be)—create more than you think you’ll need to keep your head above water. Assume that you’ll have illness, family emergencies, server crashes, etc. and factor those delays in. That you’ll be working in black and white should save you some time in each page’s creation, but IMHO that just makes creating that huge buffer easier, not unnecessary.

            Anyway, hope that helps! Let me know when you’ve started posting. And good luck!

          • I don’t know what to say to thank you enough for this. I’m humbled and almost embarrassed at your extremely generous reply. I am now following your blog to get a better idea of what you are doing and to make it easier for me to contact you should the need arise. I like what you say about homosexuality on the blog– “The truth of the matter is, most of us (including myself!) wish we lived in a world where such distinctions were irrelevant.” They were irrelevant in ancient Greece (that’s the obvious example. Aside from Victorian homosociality which is different, I don’t know of any less obvious ones.) Today, I get the impression that some people define themselves with a sexual orientation because they’re not intellectual enough to define themselves according to a vocation. Then others define themselves sexually because they feel compelled to, which is the tragic part.
            Your advice is very practical, and it is also the reason why I haven’t bothered starting, yet. The story isn’t finished enough. 😀 Thank you so much for your mentoring and generosity. I would be delighted to help you in return (in addition to publicizing this graphic novel), but I realize this is not the reason why you helped. 😀

          • It’s my pleasure, crow. I’m glad to help. Yes, following my blog is a good way to keep up with my thoughts about the creation of Artifice. I also get questions via email so I’ve started experimenting with posting up my answers to those questions on a Tumblr blog:


            So, you might check into that too every now and then. 🙂

            It’s interesting to think historically about the acceptance of homosexual behavior. I too had thought that there were times in recorded history, such as in Ancient Greece, where such distinctions are irrelevant. As I learn more about how things actually were there, though, I realize that even then, true homosexuality—the mutual love between adults for other adults of the same sex—wasn’t so accepted (it was mostly pederasty that was somewhat accepted, a different thing with a specific power dynamic). And as for Victorian homosociety, one only has to look at the fate of poor Oscar Wilde to see that it was hardly irrelevant there either. No, the more I find out, the more that I’ve come to believe that we are mostly likely living in the best of all possible times for men and women who happen to fall in love with other adults of the same sex. And even now, there’s still a long way to go before even the majority of people can be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin or who they happen to fall in love with (or what kind of consenting adult they want to fall into bed with).

            But I am hopeful that someday we will get there. 🙂

          • I find that very surprising, and I am glad that you told me! I had thought that ancient Greece was so misogynistic that they elevated manly love above heterosexual love. From what you are saying, it was more particular than that. And I know that homosociality is different. Wilde is one of my heroes. I should not have conflated the two. Maybe I did because I think after the 20th century, they were conflated in British and American culture. Seems like a lot of men today still avoid homosociality in order to avoid the label of homosexuality. 🙁

            Thank you so much!! 😀

  • WandNCritic

    Contrary to what fellow fans say, I don’t believe she ships them, much as I might want that.
    The expression she makes when she says “You liked him” is hard to disscern. Obviously however, you can see the wheels turning in her head at that momment, coming to the realization of the situation, thinking, planning, interested. Throughout the strip, she is weighing wether this new realization is good or bad for her and her plans, when she’s angry, she’s almost reached a concrete decision on wether it helps her or not. Three possible options for the cause of her annoyance and accusation: 1. It will only distrupt HER plans (her, I’m sure now she has alterior motives,   maybe to do with  power).
    2. It fits her plans and she may bennefit from it, waiting for Deacon to blurt a confession so she can use him or make him an ally.
    3. It does not interfere nor help her plans so she just wants to finish her job faster, for a possible premotion.
    I think it’s number 2 and that if they are being recorded, she will somehow, non-suspiciously, distrupt the recording and actually make him an ally, but not yet.

    And Deacon is afraid. As he damn well should be.

    • Very good analysis, WandNCritic. 🙂

    • crimsonkiss22

      I think when we talk about her shipping them, we’re just having a little fun with her character. She seems like a pretty cool cucumber, and it’s nice to tease a character like that. I think she’s a professional just trying to figure out what the hell happened, personally? 

      I’ll ship them enough for everyone. 8D

      • WandNCritic

        Oh, don’t get me wrong, having fun with her character is perfectly alright. Frankly I just give serious “reviews” and joke around when I remember to. For all my non-analitycal dide, she ships ’em hard.
        Well, maybe, and I’m not excluding that possibilty, but Alex has hinted her as a villian, thus I treat her as one.

  • she’s better then a boss

  • KBatty

    One more degree on that wall and Maven will be a thermometer. That being said, it’s about time she got to the point. I look forward to the next page.

    • Shinashi


    • LOL

      Glad you’re looking forward to the next page. I’m looking forward to your next wisecrack. 😉

    • W Nelson

      Haha I love it when people notice those little art details ^_^

  • Shinashi

    Deacon, you let the kid live for weeks- you’re not going to get out of this emotionally unscathed.

  • SholtoMaru

    Dr. Maven, you are one hardcore lady. So, are we getting down to the reason that Deacon showed up in her office, now? It seems the good doctor is trying to figure out what happened in Deacon’s programming to make him disobey an order, and not kill Jeff. It suddenly struck me that Deacon’s desire to live might be stronger than his programmed desire to obey orders. He could have killed Jeff, as instructed, and accepted that he’d soon shut down due to a lack of energy. But he chose to keep Jeff alive instead, and in so doing, prolong his own life. Of course, these are just my assumptions based on what I already know. Deacon and his brothers were dispatched to Da Vinci Four to kill the humans there. I have no idea if there was a side mission on that, which required Deacon to remain functional for all that time. Maybe reporting back? But no, there’s got to be some way for Deacon’s information to be accessed by his creators, so that they could see what he saw, and know what he knew. Otherwise they’d just have to rely on his account of events upon reactivating him. But if that’s the case, why is he in Dr. Maven’s office? Is it because they want to figure out when he started thinking and feeling for himself, or is there something else entirely going on here?

    I’m really over thinking this, and I’m probably way off on all of it. BUT! I love this comic for making me think so much. Fantastic!

    • I’m loving that Artifice is making you think. And I like the way you think. 🙂

    • Brittney Lind

      Don’t forget what we learned in the opening pages: Deacon killed a bunch of people who were sent to fetch him.

  • Humm…  I think Deacon gets grumpier every time Maven inquires about his supposed emotions (you know you got em Deacon).  He doesn’t want to admit that he has them because it would make him more human and he despises them.  Except for Jeff who has suffered the same prejudice as he.  I think the closer Maven gets to his attraction to Jeff he’s going to actually have a lot more emotional outbursts.  Though his annoyance is always giggle worthy.
    Man this art!  I love this art!!!!!!!  The subtle facial expression have me in awe!  They’re not all blatant like you would see in most comics.  MAN!  It just make the story that much more compelling.  Great work!  BRAVO!!!

    • Heh. Yep, Deacon doesn’t have tons of love for the humans. Glad to get a giggle out of you.

      And I know, right?! I love the subtlety of Winona’s expressions. Totally realistic, yet totally clear. I couldn’t ask for anything more. 😀

    • W Nelson

      I’m glad the art makes you so happy!  Working on this comic I had to learn to “act.”  Many artists don’t consider the subtleties you can get in an expression with just one pixel changed; how a smile can turn from being a nice and happy thing to a brittle, cold, scary fakeness just by changing the eyes and eyebrows slightly…  It’s soooo much fun to play around, and you really get a feeling like you’re performing as much as drawing when you get really into it.  And working with Alex the feedback is always so interesting to implement (he might say something like “Deacon here looks too openly happy, we really want him to have the minimum amount of happy relief that will be perfectly obvious to the reader yet still look like he’s trying to hide it”).

      Sometimes it can be frustrating…  Trying to capture something like “Laughing ironically at himself and the cruelty of God” is incredibly difficult 0_0

      I do sometimes get caught making the expressions with my face while I’m drawing them, to see how I would move my face saying a certain line and feel which muscles are being used.  It can be a little embarrassing if I’m drawing in a coffee shop or on a train 😛

      • LOL. Yes. That first note definitely sounds like me. Yet another reason why Winona is the most awesome artist in the world—that she can take a note like that and totally nail it on the next pass. Oh, Alex…. 😀

  • Because he’s to pretty to kill…..

  • Ryn

    Nooooo! cliffhanger!!

    She’s on to you D. he’s trying really hard not to expose a weak spot,if they think Jeff is important to him than the company(gag barf) could use that to…manipulate him I guess. more specifically; individuals could use that against him rather that the company as a whole.

  • Yukiness

    Yay! Maven!

    Italicized emphasis for the win

    • LOL. You should see what she does with red outlines…

  • HarmHarm210

    ……I hope this comic doesn’t end badly……. like almost all movies
    I’ve seen of guys falling in love.. You know the one’s  that leave you
    sitting there thinking “….What the…….what. Just. Happened?? Did
    that really just happen?!”

    xP   …I kind of want to see a happy ending for this… 

    • Well, I for one hope you stick around to find out. 🙂

      • HarmHarm210

        Of course I will! XD
        I just hope it doesn’t make me sad.  -w- 

        • SteveMcSheffrey

          I think it was  the movie Wonderland two decades ago with the good and positive teen lover senselessly and brutally killed in the end while the nasty gay kid was unscathed (physically) that convinced me that a lot of these movies (and books like the President’s Son) are products of writers and producers having a bad case of self-loathing.  I think if Artifice were to end with Jeff’s torso having more holes than his shirt, it would be an organic thing in story that would make sense even if it let down those who prefer their romantic characters walking away into the sunshine hand in hand.  Alex’s comments and the bits of himself he allows us to see online point to a man without a bit of self-loathing of that sort so I trust implicitly his judgement on the fates of this wonderful character and his evil human sidekick…

          • and sadly, i’m with the happy fluffy ending people. xD I don’t read or watch these things for death and misery endings. I get enough of that in reality. This is supposed to be our escape from that reality.

            That and death fics, sad endings, etc… leave me depressed and wishing i’d never read/watched them.

            Like Winter Cicada. I wish I never watched that anime. >_<

          • SteveMcSheffrey

            The ones  that really upset me I just picture five minutes later and they’ve found a pulse or the guy doing the rejecting comes to his senses or some such.  Like Thelma and Louise having airbags like they had in Hudson Hawk…

    • Hyperminimalism

      I actually wouldn’t mind something like that.  While happy, sunshine, smile, rainbow endings are fine and all, it gets old and typical and expected.  Not saying that’s going to happen here, but it would be interesting. :3

    • yaoikitty

      I am with you on this…I just finished an anime (No. 6) that left me feeling exactly like this, although it was fabulous right until the last episode. 

      But it would be something if this comic had a shiny, happy ending — I mean, at the end of the day, Jeff is in fact human, and Deacon is…not. Nevertheless, I am definitely all in for this ride, wherever the destination may be, specifically because it’s on such an intriguing road story-wise. 

      And who knows, I may get thrown a curve I didn’t see coming, which will make the trip that much more worthwhile. 🙂

  • Asylus

    Because he’s HAWT! (That’s why.)

  • D

    Would I like to see a happy ending? Yeah. Do I want them to have to work for it? Yeah.

  • How i would answer question: cause he’s not an annoying cunt like you > 8(…and he was useful…in more ways then one if ya get my drift ;D

    Lol jk. In all honesty, the therapist isn’t really trying to be judging as much as solving a puzzle. She seems intrigued and probably just want to discover if this android “malfunctioned” by protecting the enemy. Perhaps, there was a way the “enemy ” rewired deacon… She’s not sure but is determined to find the answer. She should manipulate him by saying “yea, we’re just gonna have him executed and the higher ups want you to do it on video, so we know you’re not messed up, are ya ready?” ….then you wait to see his actions as you set up the false senario. Lol.

    • KBatty

      Now, now… if you’re going to be salty, at least make it worth our while:


      • I LOVE this link. LOL! 

        I myself am also not a huge fan of the c-word and, after seeing Sawyer’s comment before going to bed, even fantasized about a reader creating a fan-comic where someone called Maven the c-word to her face and then she… reacted. With the full, chilling force of her intellect, wit and power. Would there be anything left?

        But this is also lovely.

        • I would LOVE to see that fan comic. There have been a many of therapist I stumped with my wit, but a true psychologist would know that to simply ignore the insult would have the best affect on the human Psyche then to retort, due to the fact that there are people who feed on that sort of reaction for their own humour. (Commonly known as trolls)

          But that link was hilarious, I do apologize that the term disturbed some. I suppose I got used to others who aren’t easily offended with such language. I feed navy men sometimes since they have no families to go to on long weekends or holidays, so I must’ve picked up on some vulgarity. Oh well, either way I’ll refrain from commenting so not to bother. ^^

          • Sawyer, it would be a tremendous shame if this got you to stop commenting. I LOVE your comments. 

            If I thought your comment was any sort of “bother” for people, I would have moderated it in line with my policy.  But while using provocative language like that about another commenter or Winona is out of bounds, it’s certainly OK to use strong language when talking about one of my characters—just so long as you’re aware that the general tone of this comment section tends not to use swear words, so you might get some response from other readers about the use of that language. In this case a link to a funny comic along with a smiley face emoticon to (I assume) show there were no hard feelings. 

            So, please, for my sake, keep sharing your thoughts. 🙂

          • KBatty

            Absolutely. I was just poking fun in good humour. Don’t censor yourself on account of me.

          • OH it wasn’t on the account of you, I just felt bad that it was inappropriate. Your link made me laugh hysterically. ^^

          • I’ll refrain for now, just in case I make a mistake again. ^^; Sorry, I PTSD so I tend to beat myself up over small things for a while until I feel ‘it’s safe’ (not really good choice of words…) So I’ll just lurk a little while doing art commissions. Thank you.

    • Heh. That would indeed be aggressive therapy…

  • I get that she’s trying to get around Deacon’s version of the story, but putting words in his mouth isn’t going to go far… however, asking questions that he can’t give an easy answer to might. 😉

    • If one tactic doesn’t work, Maven is certainly savvy enough to try another…

  • ErrorTime

    Welcome back Doctor~
    and I still can’t wait to see what her reaction is when she finds out the truth, not that I’m expecting some kind of Out of character expression from her XD

  • Because, Doctor, Jeff is to damn cute and sexy to die. xD

    I love the lines in the last panel. Yes, that’s a councilor for you. They ask you questions, then correct you on your answers. And then you sit there and think, why are you bothering to ask my opinion, then? ><

    So either she knows, or she doesn't know about how 'close' they get. =3

  • I’m glad to see more comments per page. I started reading this when you were in page 4, so it’s been a long, long road and finally people are realizing how amazing this idea is and how wonderful the art is drawn. I’m also looking forward your next projects, but I’m glad people start knowing about this site with this comic. How can you not fall for Jeff? and Deacon is so lovable too! you people make an amazing job together, I hope this continues as cool as always <3

    • Aw, thank you very much, Maria! You’re a sweetheart. Glad to see you back here. And glad you’re liking Jeff and Deacon!

    • W Nelson

      Thank you!  What a sweet comment 🙂  Working with Alex is great, it’s always good to be able to team up with someone with the same goals and with whom you agree on so many things.

  • I can’t get over the awesome art right now. The close up lower angles for their back and forth banter is perfect.


    • Yes. I gave Winona a really hard task—take two people sitting in one room talking and make it visually interesting. I couldn’t be more happy with what she did with that. 🙂

      And yes! Extra page! WOO HOO!

    • W Nelson

      Those upward angles are fun to draw 🙂

      • Oh my goodness! I didn’t know the artist herself was here to comment! I love the work you do, it always impresses me.

        • W Nelson

          Aww, thanks!  You’re making me blush ^_^

  • It’s a secret :3

    Hard questions to make Deacon squirm. *giggles* I can’t wait for the bonus page. I miss seeing Jeff already. 🙁

    • Glad you’re looking forward to the bonus page! And I promise when you see Jeff again, you’ll get to spend a little more time with him. 🙂

  • KBatty

    The more I read, the more compelled I am to try my hand at fan art. We shall see.

    • Do it! Do it! 😀

      • KBatty

        Winona sets a very intimidating artistic standard to respectfully pay tribute to. 😉

        • W Nelson

          I’d love to see what you come up with!  I seriously love all the fan art, it’s the most flattering thing in the world 😀

  • because he’s so gosh-darn cute?

  • Wow, didn’t even know that they were translations o_O Thankfully in Germany you learn English in school from the first grade, so it’s not a problem ^^

    • Yes, I’ve always admired the language education in Europe. Wish we had such high standards here. 🙂

      And… even though you don’t need to read them, I’d still recommend taking a peek at the German translations. Ckazka is super-dedicated to getting everything perfect and often checks in with me about subtleties. So, you might find that it could add to the experience. Just a thought. 🙂

  • F1ct1on

    😛 Alex, Winona, I love joooo.

  • Just read this thing from the first page to now and I’m addicted. 🙂  I absolutely love Deacon! XD (bookmarks comic)

    • Thank you, Noah! It makes me really happy to hear you’ve decided to start following Artifice. I hope you’ll keep letting me know what you think! 🙂

  • Salahare

    oh mi gog the story of this comic is so compelling! Thank you so much for sharing it, I look forward to reading it to the end!

    • You’re very welcome, Czarina! Thank you so much for your kind words. I look forward to seeing you here again! 🙂

  • eleutherios

    “I saw that.”
    “You like him!”
    “No, I – ”
    “Yeah, right.  GO TO YOUR TENT!”

  • Miina Liias

    Y’know, there’s one thing I seriously like about this comic – body language. Not all comic artists take it seriously, but for those, who can read it, it gives so much more information than just simple words.

    • Yes! Winona does such a great job with that! I agree that in general it’s a good thing for an artist to take seriously, but in the case of this particular script where folks do a lot of talking, it’s essential—her attention to detail here turns something that could be very dull into something very compelling. 

      And from a writer perspective, it was such a pleasure to get these pages back from her. The body language added a ton of realism and life to the characters I’d come up with in my head and by giving each panel such care, she quite literally made my dreams “real”.

    • W Nelson

      It’s a shame more comics artists don’t take advantage of it, it’s a much more efficient way to communicate emotions than dialogue.  Glad you’re enjoying it!

  • Laymanterms303

    Bonus page! *backflips* Now I’m glad I compulsively check on the comic everyday, even though I know it only updates once a week.

    Donators: You rock! *hands out pizza and cookies*

    • It is so flattering that you do that. Puts a big smile on my face. 🙂

  • Ryn

    wow, that was fast! not that i’m complaining. 😀

  • Emperor_Meiji

    I don’t know how I ended up here, and I don’t care. I’m utterly captivated by Artifice — the storyline, the characters, the dialogue, the artwork. I’m not even a fan of yaoi, being middle-aged and terminally boring. But I’m fascinated, drawn in, and looking forward to watching the story unfold … even if, as I expect, some of the themes take me (slightly) out of my comfort zone.

    Thank you so much!

    • Well, you’ve just given me and Winona a huge compliment, Emperor_Meiji! Thank you very much for your kind words. This comic might indeed go to some places that take you a bit out of your comfort zone, but I hope you’ll stick around for the ride and keep letting me know what you think. While the yaoi is definitely part of the fun, it’s meant to be an entertaining sci-fi story first.

      And you’ve come at a great time. New page up in less than 2 days! 🙂

    • W Nelson

      Thanks so much!  I’m so glad you like it appeals to you outside of your normal tastes, that’s what we were hoping to achieve 😀

  • that lady looks like the lawyer from Law & Order:SVU

  • I just discovered this comic today and I’m hooked.

    Also I think I’m a little bit in love with Jeff. NEED MORE :3

    • Hehe, glad to hear you’re hooked, Lucy! And that you’re liking, Jeff! 😉

  • I was going to wait until the next page to comment, but I don’t think I can! I found this quite randomly, and I’m practically bouncing in my seat for more. Deacon is so cute when he’s unsure about something, and Jeff has this natural charm.. I think it’s an absolute must read, even if the person isn’t entitled to reading about men. It’s amazing and I’ll definitely recommend my best friend to read it!~

    • Bouncing in your seat for more? A must-read? That’s very flattering, Chelsea! Thank you very much for your kind words!

      (And also for telling people about Artifice—that’s super helpful!)

  • Found this comic by chance, and my goodness am I enjoying it. Kind of disappointed that there isn’t a bigger archive, I could read this for hours. Lovely art, great writing. I’d make a donation if I weren’t dirt poor. Great job you guys.

    • Hi Chell! Glad you found us—and that you’re enjoying the comic! 🙂 Thank you very much for the props!

      (And I’m working on that bigger archive. One page at a time. 😉 I hope you’ll stick around for what’s coming. Next page in less than 4 hours!)

  • justyn mirade

    Wait no. They dun have a bakery…

  • I am really excited to have found this comic. There’s not enough gay character-driven sci fi, and what there is seems to be all about the “gay” and not really about the “sci fi.” As a gay sci fi writer myself, I’m really psyched to see where you go with this.

    • Hey Michael! It’s always great to receive props from another creator. Glad you found Artifice too. 🙂

  • CottonCory

    miles edgeworth right there in the last panel 😀

  • SolrSurfr3

    Methinks the android doth protest too much. ^-^