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Artifice Page 44

237 Comments on Artifice Page 44

Oh, Deacon, who could resist your sweet, gentle killer-android smile? And yes, Jeff is a boxers man. Knowing is half the battle.

And speaking of sweet, we have some very adorable new Fan Art from Kelsie—”Jeff’s Fantasy”. Thank you, Kelsie!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Esperanza V. & Steven H. & Mark H. & Steve M. (all four donating for the second time in a row!), Annalisa C. (donating twice in one week!), Erin H. & Brittany H. (both donating for the fourth time in three weeks!), Larisa V. (donating for the 4th time in a row!), Christina K. (donating for the 6th time in a row!) and Laura Beth W. (donating for the ninth week in a row! OMG!) and please let me extend a warm welcome and a grateful bow to new supporters Megan D., Rebecca L., Adriano B. and Pierre N. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs to long time friend Michele M. (donating for the 2nd week in a row!) and also to new friend Monique P. for their generous $25 donations!

And an android-strength hug, leaping cheer, high-five and a sincerely humble bow to new friend Jennifer B. for their whopping $50 donation! WOW!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, in addition to helping me to make possible each of these pages in a very real way, your donations are huge morale boosters for Winona and me. Thank you all so, so much!

And, thanks to your previous donations, there’s a new bonus page—Page 45!—that will be posted this Wednesday, November 2nd! (Unless something else—that for the sake of my fragile constitution shall not be spoken of here—happens before 11:59 PM PST on Sunday, October 30th… Then it might be posted earlier…..) Either way, I hope to see you for Page 45!

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! You are UNSTOPPABLE! 😀 The donation bar has hit (and exceeded!) the target and so we will have three pages next week! Page 45 on Monday, Page 46 on Wednesday and then our regular update on Saturday, Page 47! I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this again, but for this one special occasion all I can say is whee! What fun!

In other news, I managed to really hurt my back on Thursday and it’s getting worse. I’ve never had back trouble before so I’m not sure what the recovery is going to be like. (Off to Urgent Care shortly.) But I’m in a fair amount of pain so being on the computer is a bit difficult. So, I might not be as present in the comments today as I sometimes am, but I am reading them on my cell and your kind words are greatly cheering me up. So thank you!

UPDATE ON YOUR BUDDY ALEX, 10/29 11:50 PM PST: Well, I spent the first part of the day curled up in a whimpering ball of pain, but I was able to get into Urgent Care and with the help of a muscle relaxant, an anti-inflammatory and Vicodin (another first for me), I am happy to say that I am very, very sleepy, but also finally pain-free. And this makes for a much, much happier Alex.

But not so happy as reading all your comments have made me! Yes, computer work is still a challenge, but throughout the day, I’ve read each and every comment and they’ve been a huge bright spot in any otherwise very challenging experience. I really appreciate the well-wishing (and that very sweet fan-art from Aikka!)—all of which has cheered me up a lot. There’s so much I’d love to chime in on—the seme/uke discussions, the questions of consent and power in what’s going on, your kind words about the pacing of what’s happening, whether we’ll get to see cosplay/fanart depicting Sawyer’s Deacon-look-alike-husband with Jeff—but right now, I’m just going to have to take pleasure in the fact that we have the smartest, coolest readers in the world who seem to be totally getting what we’re trying to do here. And that’s indeed a lot of pleasure.

In terms of whether this injury will keep me from posting up the Monday, the answer is “Hell, no!” There’s still a bit of work for me to do on it to get it ready, but you all mean the world to me, so even if I have to type in the word balloons with a pencil in my teeth, I will have it ready for you.

Thank you again for all your kind words and support. You are all the best medicine a creator could hope for. Together, I really do believe we can manufacture a brighter tomorrow. 😀

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!
  • Please oh please hit 250 for the extra extra page PLEASE

  • Very nice :3 and lol so straightforward…tho the last panel…I think deacon’s head there is a bit too big, hate to be a critic and all but nice job overall ^^ can’t wait for this Wednesday

    • I noticed the same thing. I think it’s actually because he’s leaning in across Jeff a bit, so he has to be drawn a bit out of proportion.

      • W Nelson

        Could be because his body’s turning too, it makes the body look smaller in proportion to the head.  Or could be I drew it too big!  We Native Americans believe it’s presumptuous to make too perfect a piece of art as it means you’re saying you’re equal to the Creator.  So you put a flaw in.  That’s why I did it!  For real 😛

    • Thank you for the props, Melody. 🙂

  • m s

    Very nice! Make sure you keep a defibrillator handy, Alex, as I’m sure the donations bar won’t fail to fill! 😉

  • I love Deacon’s face as he says ‘yes’ as if it’s obvious! Wonderful page, Alex, really wonderful 😉

    • Thank you very much, Cathcer! I’m really glad you like it! 😀

  • OMG I don’t know why I love YAOI but GD it I LOVE it and this page fills me with such joy!

  • MinnieAmos

    Deacon is quite the learner. I’m not sure his fellow andriods would have been able to advance their conversation skills to such a persuasive level.

    • Hell yeah. The ‘deeper connection’ argument. My my, does the boy learn fast

  • Alor_Laneau

    Panel 3 OMG
    SO HAWT!

  • AnyOtaku

    I can’t wait to see what happens next!! And I’m just wondering if soon ( I hope really soon) there will be a kiss…
    Btw, the last two panels are really lovely, Deacon taking of the bedsheet and then ATTACK!

  • Alor_Laneau

    And there’s no pumpkin! I was mislead!

  • Alex House

    Poor Jeff doesn’t stand a chance XD
    Lucky bastard…

  • ….so I officially want to see the Doctor’s reaction to this….Deacon, where oh where did your programming go so wrong (RIGHT!)?

    • Emily Hood

      I agree wholeheartedly, I am so excited for the next Maven page.

      • W Nelson

        It’s interesting to see how the amount of people saying they’d punch Maven and the amount saying they can’t wait to see her reaction has been changing, hehe!

    • Ooh, me hope he’s ot actually TELLING her all of this. Any of this, in fact.

      • Ryn

        he’s definitely telling her all of this. she did command him to tell her the truth. ^^

        I wonder if she’ll do a Giles and polish her glasses.

  • Aikka


    Yesterday i was guessing with my friend what they will say and do now. We failed. We need to learn their conversation is really straightforward “XD

    Anyway: Love it as always and waiting for more *-*

    And that new fanart is cute ^-^

    • Thank you, Aikka! (And I think Jeff is also being kept off-guard by Deacon’s responses…)

  • Micaela Adana Montes

    Something I have to say is that I see the lines of the draw not so soft as usual, or maybe I’m wrong?

    • W Nelson

      Could be, there’s some variation in how I colorize the lines sometimes, sorry!

      • Micaela Adana Montes

        Oh, don’t apologize! I love the way it’s colored.
        I’ll be waiting for the next, keep the nice work!

  • Ryn

    phew! *fans* subtle, but hot. very hot.

    Jeff’s still looking unsure about the whole thing, but willing to see where this goes. But i have a feeling He’ll have no problem with putting a stop to this if he decides a big “NO”. Deacon would be put out though, lol.

  • Emily Hood

    Panel one makes me feel warm fuzzies… I never feel warm fuzzies… what is this I don’t even.
    I wonder if sex was something he knew about beforehand or if it was something he learned about during his time on Da Vinci Four…

  • Saberri

    Me gusta.

    • Ryn


  • Shika

    Oh Deacon.
    You really are a dirty little pervert!
    But I do like it, soo.. I wont deem it a bad thing C;

  • fujoshifanatic

    No Deacon, don’t beat around the bush–tell Jeff what’s really on your mind! Seriously loving how this is unfolding, especially panel four, where it looks like Deacon is saying “Don’t worry, my little man-cub, I will take good care of you,” and Jeff is all, “Be gentle with me!”

    Alex and Winona, this scene is equal parts intriguing, sexy and cute, and I am loving how you’re conveying this through the art and dialogue. 😀 It’s barely Saturday, but I am already eagerly awaiting Wednesday! Awesome as always!

    • “My little man-cub.” Hehe.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, fujoshifanatic! I’m so glad you like how this is playing out! 😀

    • W Nelson

      Looks like you won’t have to wait that long…

  • azurefiction

    … could be worse. Deacon could be able to exude pheremones that take the decision away from Jeff. Mind you, Jeff’s in a touch situation. Deacon isn’t offering just SEX, but also human touch and potential comfort for someone who’s been deprived and shunned merely because of who he is. It makes for some pretty heady stuff and a likely reason why Jeff could possibly go along for the ride for a bit before he comes back to his senses.

    I wonder if we’ll see him be a hypocrite just like those that tormented him – as in he’ll tell Deacon NO because he’s not technically human.

    • W Nelson

      Love the way you’re thinking about this 😀

  • Dani J.M. Hewak

    DEACON’S FACE. Perfect. So perfect omg so perfect. 

    I enjoy that Jeff looks unsure but kind of excited yet scared all at the same time haha!

  • melinda stumpf

    YES!!! Finally Jeff took you long enough. GO DEACON GO XD!!!!

  • Fracking adorable! Always nice to see comprehension and surrender! X3 Lovely art as always Winona! Too tired to sing your accolades properly tonight been up too long. Alex way to succinctly put it! Again just freaking adorable and now I will go to sleep dreaming of sexy little gay boys! Wonder what Maven would make of that! XD

    • W Nelson

      Well, you’ll just have to come back when you’re better rested ;D  jk!

  • SholtoMaru

    Wow, wow, wow. I love this comic to tiny pieces. I really enjoy how realistic it is. People don’t (usually) jump into bed with each other after five seconds of knowing each other, and they aren’t instantly comfortable with each other’s bodies. They do pause, and talk, and they are a little awkward, especially that first time. I thank you, Alex, for giving us something meaningful here, instead of just random ‘insert tab A into slot B’ style pornage (though that does have its place…) Jeff’s reluctance, and Deacon’s ‘I’m not going to force you, even though I technically could’ vibes, it just works on a very nice level. I mean, usually, when I’m reading a comic in the M/M genre, honestly, I’m kinda waiting for them to screw. And then afterward, I’m just waiting for them to screw again. I’m really surprised that isn’t what I’m here for. I would be alright if nothing sexual entered into this comic, the story is that rockin’ for me. And I seriously never say that about anything. -Made self sound cheap and pervy.- Whoops. ANYway, long story short, I’m here for the story. Diggin’ the physical stuff going on now, don’t get me wrong, but the story itself is fantastic enough that it doesn’t need hot sex to carry it. If that doesn’t sound like a compliment, I’m failing badly, here. Watching these two gorgeous men being awkward and careful with each other has, somehow, made me feel less lonely tonight, which I really needed. So, thank you.

    Winona, you rock so darn hard. Your attention to detail and the way you capture expressions and body language is just amazing. I find myself looking at this comic and wondering why the world around me isn’t as lovely and expressive. The art is the reason I find myself revisiting the pages through the week. I always find some new little detail I missed, which is a real treat. I love that, as much as the characters are the main event, there’s always something neat to see in the background too. Gorgeous work!

    • W Nelson

      I lol’ed at “made self sound cheap and pervy” XD  Thank you for the kind words!  You rock too, I looove when readers comment, especially long ones, especially serial posters like yourself, it makes me feel like I’m showing pages to my good friends <3

  • Mandy Aspen

    Jeff would be insane to turn down Deacon after panel 3 lol XD His face was too darn cute! I can’t think of much else to say, my brain overloaded with sexy cuteness! Amazing work as always!

  • Stephi C

    LMAO, that was so cute. I love the last panel where Decon goes to shy and tentative to just getting on with business, and as always Jeffs expressions are wonderful.

  • grinsekatze

    Aw Jeff looks so vulnerable the way he clutches the blanket. I want to hug him, but I’ll be generous and let Deacon handle this! xD
    This comic is so unbelievable awesome! Thank you so much, Alex and Winona, for providing us with so much sweetness. It doesn’t get more awesome!^^

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    Okay, now i want a Maven page, the equivalent of the old films ‘kiss, kiss, oh look there’s; the stars’ kind of prudishness because I AM DYING TO KNOW WHAT DEACON’S THINKING!  Is this just opportunity?  Does Deacon find men more attractive than women?  (It would make a sort of sense since men look like him and women look strange)  How long has Deacon been curious about intimacy and was it a problem with his fellow soldiers?  AARGH!  Is there any way we can get a week of page a day?  I think that’s the only thing that’ll keep me from meltdown…

    • W Nelson

      Hee hee, I love your posts!  You tend to be so serious, seeing the allcaps makes me think we’re really making an impact 😀

  • Congratulations, Jeff! Marvels of deduction! Seriously. What are you doing? Why? Well, now looks like you’re both on the same page.

    Aaaand, Deacon’s not blushing anymore as he’s saying Yes. Wow! Looks like only the actual touching gets him blushing, but he can speak openly, like he hasn’t been taught that saying some things is supposed to make you embarrassed/nervous/awkward/whatever.

    • W Nelson

      Haha, it did take Jeff a while to catch on, didn’t it?

  • Krondor2000

    Deacon may be able to explain why he wants that “connection” to Jeff. He sure as spit won’t be able to explain it to the “good” doctor. We are in for an intense session with Maven after a few extra pages. 🙂

  • KBatty

    Deacon looks adorable in panel three. “Look at me! I’m connecting!”
    Then you have panel four, which seems mutually timid to a degree, followed by panel five’s: “Okay Jeff, I’m gonna’ jump your bones now. Get ready!”

    If Jeff weren’t currently in a state of shock, he could probably explain that knowing a person better can be achieved through means other than sex. Kudos to him for not running out of the room screaming, though. I’d like to think I’d be all for this if I were in Jeff’s shoes, but something tells me I’d have a meltdown.

    As sexy as it is to watch this, I can only assume it won’t end well. Even if it goes decently between Jeff and Deacon, once we go back to Maven, she’s going to have a conniption.

    • crimsonkiss22

      I think there are quite a few screaming-face, white knuckle panels of Maven in our future. Hopefully with some twitchy eyebrows. 


      • KBatty


        “You are the worst soldier ever…

        …but please, tell me more.”

        • W Nelson

          Hahaha!  I love that everyone wonders what Maven’s thinking as all this unfolds 😀

    • W Nelson

      Haha I love your breakdown of the action!  We’ll find out soon enough just where this leads 🙂

  • ohohoho i’d like to have a deeper connection with both of them too… 

    epic page as always! 

  • This is so hot and I love both of their expressions and the blushing its so cute.

  • mikakitten

    Woah…wow…WOW!! 😀 Jeff just came out with it!! That’s awsome!! Love his green boxers!! They suit him! :3 Heheh Deacon is so cute with that cheeky smile!! Just love it!! I love the last two pannels! Jeff’s expression are Amazing!! So subtle but sweet! It’s sorta like shy…to eep! o_o this is happening!! 😀 heheh!! Blush blush blush!! So happy there are so many donation pages! It’s getting so exciting!! Can’t wait to find out so many secrets…like what Sex is to Deacon…and if he gets any pleasure out of it…or if he’s just doing this for the sake of espionage! Aaah!! <3 

    • crimsonkiss22

      Sex espionage. Hurr. <3 Best spies ever.

      • mikakitten

        I AGREE!! 😀 … I read that as Sexspionage XD haha!! An I think that’s the best word ever!

    • W Nelson

      I take it you liked the page?  Hehe XD

      • mikakitten

        HELL YEAH!!! XD love the last two pannels especially!! Well done! <3 *gushes*

  • Adam Black

    Alex, I missed this implication before:
    If he’s a soldier and hes programmed to give and receive sexual stimulation,
     —or even just its capabilities,
    It implies the Corporation may have wanted his model to be capable of organized conflict rape … If there was a model that should have this function disabled, it would be the soldier…
    What exactly is this creepy corporation up to?
    I cant imagine any psychologist or Robopsychologist in the future and not knowing this… A sweet homo AP may be the least of their problems if this gets out!!   I suppose it could just be fridge logic on the creators part, but you seem to be too self-aware not to have thought through the implications of your story…

    and of course its coming along great!

    • crimsonkiss22

      It might be possible that initially they weren’t created just for warfare? I’m thinking sex dolls. Go sex dolls! 😀

      • Rissicat

        Also, deep cover espionage…

        • crimsonkiss22

          Baww, that’s not as sexy. ;A;

          • It would be if you put the guy in a suit.  Mmmmm.

          • W Nelson

            Yessss hooray for suits!!

          • KBatty

            I think how sexy it is depends on how deep you want to go…


  • Whoooooaaaaa. <3 I wish I could donate this week but I absolutely cannot, and it makes me a sad panda! 🙁

    But both a Teahouse and an Artifice update in one day? Arghjafkgbwivcbsigbtvs @_@ XD <3

  • Nitya28

    If Deacon was an animal, he’d be an eager to learn military trained puppy. For sure! Look at those eyes you can’t resist >_<

  • I’m still getting questions on weather this vampire book written five or even twenty years ago is “Like twilight?” Fffffff *Locks them in the store and burns it down* …. Well either that or strangling them would be nice…. I missed 2 updates thanks to work…and now I’m happy again good god their adorable! <3

  • Kayla

    So matter-of-fact, Deacon. I love how Jeff is like “… maybe want?” Go with the flow, man.

  • KBatty

    $330?! Holy Hannah! You donators are amazing, guys.

    • W Nelson

      Yeah, we have the best fans!!  <3

  • I was in a completely terrible mood… Until I read this page. You cheered me up sir, and for that I am entirely thankful 🙂

    Such cute Pre-sex faces XD 

    • W Nelson

      We are glad to be of service.  At NoNeCo, it is our mission to enhance the lives of our customers and shareholders alike.  Together, we can manufacture a brighter tomorrow!

  • crimsonkiss22

    Someone is taking the initiative, and I think Jeff is a little upset that it’s not him lol 
    I don’t know if Deacon is being sexy or just awkward. Sexy-awkward? It’s some kind of new thing he’s inventing. 

    I’m a little curious about why Deacon wants to have sex. I could understand him being curious and wanting to see what all the fuss is about. I’m wondering if he’d have come on to just about anyone, or if there’s just something about Jeff.

    “I want to make a deeper connection with you.”

    Hurrrrrrrrrrr <3 

    • W Nelson

      Love the way you’re pondering all this 😀

  • Aikka

    D-Does it mean…

    we get 3 pages next week ?!

    *stares at the donation bar* O_O

  • psiquest

    Winona would totally mop the floor with Adam Hughes’ face in a comic expression fight.

    Just saying.

    • W Nelson

      Don’t make me faint 0_0  …too late *swoon*

      • KBatty

        Seriously, psiquest has got a point. I’d be stupid not to respect Hughes for his achievements in the industry, but I don’t particularly like Hughes’ work. His style lacks in a good many ways, and I suppose it just doesn’t feel genuine, if that makes any sense at all. I would sooner pick up your work than his.

        (And frankly, I always found him kind of creepy, so that probably doesn’t help what I think of his work either.)

  • Deacon’s face in Panel 4 tugs at my heartstrings. It just makes me want to smile and melt simultaneously.
    Oh Deacon, who programmed you to be such a sexy fox?

  • You know, this is pretty weird, as Jeff says. Imagine being stuck with an android who wants that from you (and can also kill you?) Were I Jeff, I would paaaaaaaaaaaaanic!
    (But it’s Jeff’s fault for being so cool around Deacon and not avoiding him…of course, he was alone all those days, so I guess it’s somehow hard to avoid the only person you can talk to.)

  • yellowrock

    “so you want to have sex?”
    “ok, I just wanted to be sure”

    Also, I know you said “no smut”, but will we at least get some cleverly censored tender lovins?  (and maybe a few ass shots 😀 )

    • W Nelson

      We are not at liberty to divulge that information, but we will not interfere with your investigations ^_^

  • Reign

    First and foremost I want to thank everyone who has donated!! Alex you and Winona are so awesome, but you already know this. The new page made me melt into the floor 🙂 Jeff and Deacon are lucky men indeed. So excited for page 45. I have been dying to see them kiss.

  • Buahaha. “Yes.” So simple and straight to the point. X3 I love Deacon.

  • yes plz

  • Laymanterms303

    I swear if the next page is back to Maven, I’m going to jump through the screen and punch her in the face.

    • ErrorTime

      You and me both.

    • W Nelson

      Haha!  Maven’s really made an impression on everyone XD

    • I couldn’t agree more. Poor Maven will have such a look of shock as multitudes of people suddenly leap forth into the comic and dogpile her like some poor sap on a football field.

  • Dex X.

    his reluctant face in the fourth panel is the cutest thing i’ve ever seen


    • plus the last panel. it’s so cute that he’s touching jeff so tenderly like that, like how i was when i had a shiny new toy when i was a child XD it’s like he’s taking in all the new experiences XD

  • Aikka

    *gently hugs to not cause more pain*
    Hope you will get better soon Alex! o..o

  • ErrorTime

    Get better soon Alex!, and I love’s Deacon’s ‘yes’, and Jeff’s blush.

  • Lusidicious Milk

    …..does he have a penis? I just can’t imagine designing a robot for the army and thinking

    “You know what he needs…. a reproducing organ! Yeah….”
    Than again I probably would just incase this could happen.

    Oh yeah, I would make many many handsome gay robots.

    I finally know why science is nessasary


    • W Nelson

      Word of God has confirmed that Deacon’s fruitstand is fully stocked.

      • Yukiness

        this comment wins free internet

        • W Nelson

          Just keepin it classy until Alex gets better 🙂

          • KBatty

            He’s definitely coming back to a wealth of debauchery and scandal, in that case. =P

          • W Nelson

            Heyyyy what are you implying?!  I fully support it!

    • psiquest

      You can look at it this way… A corporation makes a nifty product that can serve a myriad of purposes
      from military action to simple housecleaning. The most economical thing
      to do is to make a single, fully functional model that can meet all
      customer demands… and then adjust the OS settings to customize
      according to client needs.

      So all the bits are there. The question is this: is Deacon running SexyPoleDancer 4.2 or Steath&DestroyStudMuffin 5.7? 😉

  • If their first kiss isn’t as hot as I’m imagining it in my head…. that’ll be okay, because I’m already imagining it in my head. XD

  • Panel 4: A sweet, gentle moment…
    Panel 5: Deacon, “You just lay down, I know what I’m doing”

    LOL Sorry, but Deacon’s face seemed to change drastically between the two panels. I can’t wait for Monday. <3 <3 <3

    • W Nelson

      Hehe I like to imagine his thoughts got overridden…

  • W Nelson

    I’ll hold the fort down, Alex 😀  Feel better soon!

    • Thank you, Winona. I really appreciate that. Hugs! 🙂

  • danigirl921


    ^that is my head keysmashing the keyboard after seeing this page. because omg, i cannot. so adorbs and awesome and BOXERS!

    also i’m sorry to hear about your back. 🙁 feel better soon!

  • classic_bear

    Alex noooooo get better! We will wait for yooou forever! 

    I dont know what to do about this page, its been open since midnight and every now and then ill open the tab and just stare, its to much for my heart.

  • I’m sorry to hear about your back, Alex. As I do have back trouble despite my fairly young age, I understand your pain and I hope you get better very soon. <=3

    In other new…..I LOVE THIS PAGE!!! 8DDDD Especially Deacon's directness. That always gets me to smile. The conversation in general is just too damn cute, and Jeff's expression in the last panel….<3 It's like his brain is trying to implode but instead it's giving him this adorable expression.

    I also really like the pacing of this page. The tiny conversation followed by brief hesitation and then contact…it's an oddly sweet page, this is. I am very much looking forward to Monday. ^3^ You and Winona are such a genius team. I love you guys.

    Again, I hope you get feeling better!

  • Yukiness

    Goodness Alex, I hope you get better. I know what’s it’s like to have back problems. That’s one of the few things where you have no choice but to go to the doctor. Fingers are crossed for your swift and painless recovery.

  • Ryn

    hope your back gets better and i hope it’s not too serious. if you can manage, i would recommend “Village Naturals” the therapy one for aches and pain relief. It’s really relaxing and totally feels great. though you will smell like a tub of vicks afterwards, lol. heating pads would would help too. I don’t know if your problem is the muscle or in the bone it’s self but these would help relax the muscles and ease off the spine in any case. Really hope it’s just muscles; my mom has arthritis in her spine on top of the bulging disks in her neck, which is a worse problem than the arthritis.

    • W Nelson

      I’m sure Alex will be fine, he coached me through healing my partially-dislocated shoulder a couple years ago, having gotten through one himself.  He’s a trooper 🙂

      • Ryn

        Owwww, that had to huuurt!

        • W Nelson

          Yeah.  Worst part was it happened while I was carrying a bike down 3 flights of crowded subway-station stairs, I still had to carry it the last flight down before I could drop it.  And no health insurance…  SO Alex gave me his printouts of all the stretches and exercises and gave me advice on cold/hot packs and such, and I healed good as new ^_^

          • Ryn

            owowowow. *cringes*

      • KBatty

        Oh, I did the partially dislocated shoulder thing once, moving a big-ass CRT TV with a friend. I under-estimated its weight and my right shoulder just decided it didn’t like the situation at all. I dropped the TV and wailed like a little girl.

        Of course, I never considered it was dislocated and just decided it was sore. Two days later I went to buy curtain rods, and I leaned with both hands on a check-out counter. My shoulder decided to pop back into place and I simply screamed in the face of a cashier. As you can imagine he was bewildered. Fortunately, after I explained it to him, he thought it was much funnier.

  • Jennie Yates

    I hope your back gets better~!!!

    And thank you once again for the wonderful page that brightened – once again – terrible day.

  • Spirited_Dreamer

    Omg…Deacon is so cutely blunt! And the blush suddenly makes a reappearance on Jeff’s face in the last panel! I LOVE IT! I’m excited for the 3 pages next week too! Hope you feel better soon, Alex. I have a history of back pain so I understand what you’re going through and it just sucks all around.

  • Alex, I’m so so sorry your back is bothering you!  I hope that they will be able to do something for you at the urgent care.  Chances are you’ve pulled some muscles.  I hope your recovery is swift!  Could be that the treatment is to go get a massage to help the process along.  Pluses if the massage therapist is attractive.  Failing that, I’m sure the one thing they’re going to tell you is “don’t go lifting anything heavy” and that’s nothing but right.  I hope you’re not into deadlifting weights in your spare time, but if so, you’re just going to have to resist the need for a while. 🙂

    I didn’t feel up to giving a comment when the page went up earlier today (because yes, I did stay up until the update happened) because I was flailing around like a madwoman and I actually couldn’t speak a word for five minutes.  That’s how happy this page made me.  The art was stunning (as always, Ms. Winona!), and honestly, the expressions on Jeff and Deacon’s faces are what got to me the most.  Jeff looks so scared and yet oddly pleased, and Deacon definitely looks like a cat who just ate a canary!  

    As an odd note, I also can’t help but notice that Jeff’s lovely green boxers (I love boxers on a man) are the only article of clothing that fits him right.  I find this sad, even while I’m happy to see him in nothing but.  I’m weird that way.

    🙂  I’m totally excited for the next page!  NoNeCo truly does help bring a brighter tomorrow!

    • W Nelson

      That’s awesome that you noticed that about Jeff’s clothing fit; we always envisioned him as wearing crappy secondhand clothes, being the outcast of the colony.  I totally love it when people figure out those details 😀

      • 🙂  I appreciate a man wearing good clothes.  Those boxers definitely qualify.

  • Get better soon!  Be careful with your back. 🙁

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    I have a persistent pain in my neck that I’ve been recently told by my doctor isn’t healing because of stress.  Since the tangible proof of our love of you and Ms Nelson’s product is right there at your fingertips I hope that means you won’t have stress interfering in your recovery.  And you need bunk beds so you attach the monitor to the underside of the top bunk and put the keyboard on your stomach…

    • YES. ^I propose this to be implemented in every bunk bed design in the future.
      When I was in college, I attached a clippy lamp onto the underside of the top bunk.

      • W Nelson

        In high school I had a bunk bed and strung Christmas lights on the underside of the top bunk.  Bunk beds are so fun and easy to turn into forts 😀

        • KBatty

          Agreed. I grew up with bunk beds and I pretty much lived perpetually in Fort Land until I was given a double bed for my… 13th? 14th birthday? Somewhere in there. Ah, how bittersweet that was. No more forts but so much sprawling room.

  • Aikka

    Just a quick doodle for you Alex ^^”

    • W Nelson

      That is super sweet of you, and a cute drawing XD

      • Aikka

        Thank you ^^ xD

  • CK

    Oh I hope you feel better soon Alex!
    The page is absolutely wonderful as always! So many different things could happen now!
    next week will be amazing; 3 pages! <3

  • Fangirly

    Deacon, I hope your programmers included an info packet about the seriously important topics of “foreplay” and “lube” because you’re gonna need ’em. That boy looks tense!

    Alex, I hope you feel better soon. Sending you mucho back massages and pain meds in spirit, back pain sucks.

  • Next week will be pure heaven here <3

  • Kiwilite

    Get well soon Alex!  and “bow chicka bow wow” is eminent (can’t spell…so happy).

  • C. O.

    Oh glorious, glorious next week! x3

    Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, Alex!

  • Cristina S-J

    Get well soon, you are so awesome!!<3 Thank you for producing this lovely comic for us, and know that we all care about you and wish you a speedy recovery!<3

  • OMG NO ALEX! GET WELL JUJU FROM YOUR LOYAL READERS! <3 And this is getting intense…..So much love to Winona and Alex. 😀 This comic is the highlight of my life lol. I love reading this.

    • W Nelson

      Ahh it’s so great to hear we’re making a difference for you!  XD

      • Do either of you have a laptop or know someone who has one? You could just plop it on Alex’s tummy if he’s stuck in bed and let him read the comments. THAT’LL fix him up!

        • W Nelson

          I’d do it if we still lived in the same city, unfortunately, Alex and I are on opposite coasts…  I’m afraid my laptop won’t help him him much.

  • shinashiasusual

    You hurt your back? :c That is terrible! I really hope you get better! >.<

    And thank you to all those who donated! I am shamefully leeching…

    "So you want to have sex?" Me: "Yes!"

    • W Nelson

      It’s kind of a mini-utopia, isn’t it?  Those who are able are contributing for the betterment of all ^_^

      • shinashiasusual

        And again, many thanks! 😀

  • metisofarabia

    Oh my. Good page.

  • thisboybroken

    I hope your back gets better very soon, back injuries suck!
    OMG I think I just died and went to heaven. Great job on this page, it not only made me smile but blush and then close the blinds for more “alone” time lol. Every one of Deacons facial expressions is gorgeous. Poor Jeff! Super hot android wants to have sex with him, darn what should he do??? When I look at that last panel I just imagine Deacon saying, ” it’s okay, I’ll drive” !! I cannot wait until Monday! If ever there is reason to donate again, this page is it! Well, that can be said about every page actually lol Great job guys!

    • W Nelson

      I’m glad you liked the page so much 😀  Yeah, Jeff’s in a tricky spot…

  • Silentwisher

    OMG This is amaizng 🙂 Love it

  • I’m guessing Deacon has no clue about how much actual pressure he’s putting on Jeff.

    I wonder if Jeff’s thinking ‘if I say no, will he kill me?’ 

    • I wonder if Deacon will clue into it and stop the action. That would certainly be an indication he’s becoming more understanding of human nature. 

  • How do I describe this….I feel like…I’m watching my husband…going down on, well, jeff. xD ahahaha Although I know it’s deacon, a whole other man….a fictional man at that… XD lol I dunno i’m just…blushing hahahha 😛 <3 It's sweet that he wants a deeper connection. ^^ 

    • W Nelson

      Hehe, it seems like you’re having trouble forming a coherent sentence.  Have we driven you to distraction?

      • You drive everyone to distraction.

      • lol well, to be honest, I used to be a major prude, but then I opened myself up to reading yaoi…but I tend to have a hard time responding to sexual interaction….especially when my father is visiting and he’s a complete homophobe.

    • Why is it now that I am picturing yours and your husband’s hypothetical kids someday becoming the physical blueprint for what Deacon looks like today?  Somehow I’m thinking that after your comment. 

      • lol XD but then Deacon would have to be brown. xD

        • Hey, that could work!  Lovely dark skin and gorgeous green eyes?  Mrorw 😀

          • O__O how did you know…I Had Green eyes? 

          • You do????  I didn’t know that!  I just figured that eyes would be green because DEACON’S got green eyes!!!

          • oh well, that solves the mystery of the hour XD ahahahaha god I’m a dork XD

          • 🙂  It’s cool.  We’re all mad here.

    • KBatty

      This only makes me immensely happier that he decided to sneak onto your computer and see what the deal was. Too awesome.

  • eleutherios

    Please tell me Deacon is a boxer briefs guy.

    • Jock pls. 😀

      • If he goes commando (pun intended), I will not complain.

        • KBatty

          Well I can’t see him being likely to have underwear per se, as he doesn’t have the same biological processes as humans do. It seems like a frivilous expense to give all their ASOs boxers when they don’t need them.

          Then again, the same could be said of a lot of things they gave their ASOs, so my logic may be flawed.

          • But it’s a deliciously flawed logic.  If they did give their ASOs boxers, then that’s one more thing to remove.  Slowly.  Delicately.  Possibly with one’s teeth.

    • psiquest

      I think one of the character design pages showed Jeff in his bland military green boxers and
      Deacon in a pair of exquisitely form-fitting black (or very dark grey)
      boxer briefs.

      That said… maybe if we all beg winona and bribe her with various chocolate confections, we can get a doodle of Airboy’s suggestion… 😉

  • Feel better soon!

  • You thought your comic wasn’t amazing enough for it to ever happen, and I’m so glad we could be here to, in a very good way, prove you wrong. Your story and your art(Hi Winona!) are amazing. I do hope you get better however, and while I may not speak for all, I’m sure most of us will understand if any pages need to be postponed due to your injury. Get better soon! <3

    • AirBoy, I totally agree with you on the front of delays due to injury.  We’d rather have a happy healthy creator!

  • Adam Black

     I’m too poor to donate cash, But I’m unusually skilled at backrubs. So I am donating one…If for some insane reason you to find your to Boston inside what looks like its becoming an ridiculous  white winter I’ll work out that final kink for you…
          There was just no way i could donate a backrub, and express that its actually very fair exchange, on this page,  without it coming across completely filthy…well whatever…
    If you have a  deep bathtub , do an epsolm salt bath in the meantime.  If you dont, just do a long hot soak of your feet! Your skin will absorb a larger dose of magnesium than you can digest, and relax your back muscles…
      ( If you are bedridden,  this technique can work with just a hand! )

  • Erica

    O _O O __ . > lol… and now i can’t wait for monday. OMG OMG OMG I JUST SQUEE-ED SUPER HARD. almost sounds gross. like i pee-ed myself, but i assure that didn’t happen. close. but no. though i’m still excited.

    let the power of our fangirl-ism heal your back. :3 you’re a blessing to us all Alex. lol

  • “YES! ARTIFICE UPDATE!” is my response whenever the RSS Feed tells me about the new page. <3 The art is delightful as always. I like Deacon's insane honesty.

  • 😀

  • Aw, man, back problems are the worst. I hope it’s nothing too serious!

    In other news, YAY update on Monday!

  • iamlingy


    • I love your incoherent caps-locked comments. I mean that in all sincerity. It’s because of your avatar being Pinkie-pie either gasping or making some kind of fangirl noise. It fits so well with your comments that I always get a chuckle out of them.

      • iamlingy

        Pinkie Pie is my spirit animal.

  • geneticsgirl

    I got up this morning and there was an update for Artifice AND for Teahouse. SQUEEEEEEE.  The only thing that would have made this day MORE perfect is an update for Starfighter.

    and might I say that Jeff’s hair is so friggin sexy I just want to run my fingers through it. grrrr. props to winona and alex. I’m camping.

  • O[]o I hurt my back too! I took a long, super-hot shower to try and relieve the pain. Overdid it a little on the Ibuprofen (3 instead of 2. I have an immunity to meds) Then my big sister rubbed my shoulder with some Aspercreme. You should totally go take up Adam Black on that back rub offer. My sister learned massages when she was in beauty school along with manicures and other stuff, and the back/shoulder rub helped more than anything else.

    So take a hot shower or bath to soak and warm it, take some pain meds and then let Adam work out any knots that are still in there and you should at least be able to sleep without it hurting and keeping you up.

    Or you can program Deacon to do massages. I’ll bet you have his master codes. Just make sure he doesn’t use too much pressure or work the muscle against itself, cause that would just knot it up worse. On a more evil note, now that you can’t comment I have a chance to succeed you for comment supremacy! >:D I just need to comment on EVERYTHING.

    Oh this page? Well All you really need to know is that I checked it on my phone… And stared at it until my battery RAN OUT.
    So you win the internet.

  • Money? Money cannot stand between internet users and their porn. xD

    Feel better, you hear? Take comfort in knowing that at least it isn’t something wrong with your brain. 😛 Not fun.


  • Finzz

    I hate back pain, I’ve had it and it sucks so much.  I feel for you, so feel better soon Alex 🙁 

    Meanwhile, awesome page.  I personally don’t find boxers appealing to wear but meh, you like what you like.  I’m a lover of underwear so I can’t complain 😀  Fun color though ^^

  • I’m posting again in the same day, but I hope that (1) Alex, you feel much better and post about what happened at the urgent care.  My second thing is…could someone PLEASE tell me what Deacon’s out-of-sight hand is doing in panel four?  It’s the stuff good dreams could be made of, right there.

  • elijah elquest

    I love decons face. So matter of fact

  • Well, I spent the first part of the day curled up in a whimpering ball of pain, but I was able to get into Urgent Care and with the help of a muscle relaxant, an anti-inflammatory and Vicodin (another first for me), I am happy to say that I am very, very sleepy, but also finally pain-free. And this makes for a much, much happier Alex. 

    But not so happy as reading all your comments have made me! Yes, computer work is still a challenge, but throughout the day, I’ve read each and every comment and they’ve been a huge bright spot in any otherwise very challenging experience. I really appreciate the well-wishing (and that very sweet fan-art from Aikka!)—all of which has cheered me up a lot. There’s so much I’d love to chime in on—the seme/uke discussions, the questions of consent and power in what’s going on, your kind words about the pacing of what’s happening, whether we’ll get to see cosplay/fanart depicting Sawyer’s Deacon-look-alike-husband with Jeff—but right now, I’m just going to have to take pleasure in the fact that we have the smartest, coolest readers in the world who seem to be totally getting what we’re trying to do here. And that’s indeed a lot of pleasure.

    In terms of whether this injury will keep me from posting up the Monday, the answer is “Hell, no!” There’s still a bit of work for me to do on it to get it ready, but you all mean the world to me, so even if I have to type in the word balloons with a pencil in my teeth, I will have it ready for you.

    Thank you again for all your kind words and support. You are all the best medicine a creator could hope for. Together, I really do believe we can manufacture a brighter tomorrow. 😀

    • KBatty

      You’re alive! That’s good news! Now go rest.

    • psiquest

      agree with K… glad you’re doing better and wish you a speedy recovery (and hoping it was just your body saying ok-get-away-from-your-computer-and-go-flirt-with-a-cute-nurse-or-something).

    • mikakitten

      D: Sorry to hear you’ve been poorlie!!! ;_; … take care of yourself Alex and get well soon!! Don’t push yourself…we will always be your ever faithful fans! If you need some time, we’ll understand. Though it does make me giggle your dedication! Best wishes! 

    • see u when u get back, Alex ^_^ ps don’t exert urself – k?

  • PANEL 4 thts the pic that was used in the advertisement that i clicked on … it intrigued me 🙂

  • Jenny May

    I hope that you feel better soon. <3

    I am very excited for the three pages next week (especially as the one on Wednesday is also my birthday).

  • HonneyLeigh

    Alex, I love you : ) The fact that you can still be happy and enthused to post on Monday is really admirable in my opinion (I’m a terrible procrastinator{which everyone knows is a fancy way of saying lazy}). I hope that you’re 100% a-okay!
    There’s not much to say about this page except that I’m slowly growing to like Jeff more and more~

  • *flails* Chiropractor! For serious. I wrenched my back (while going pee, come ON -.-) and he fixed me right up. No drugs, no nothing, just a twist and a crack and I was better.

    Doctors don’t like the chirporactor, so they’ll never suggest it. They would rather send you to weeks of physio.

  • We know about priorities. And gay sex is right up there.

    • W Nelson


  • Jeff,I’m so sorry to hear about your back. That you can be so upbeat and sweet is a wonder. Just rest and concentrate on recuperating.

    Winona, you are so fantastic with the body language and expressions in this comic. I adore Jeff’s shy look in response to Deacon’s sweet smile and how it morphed into an  OMG blush to Deacon’s ‘I’ll handle it from here attitude’ in panel five.   

    • W Nelson

      Hehe I think you just called Alex Jeff!  It’s an easy mistake, Alex is sweet too, but his hair’s not as pretty.  (Sorry Alex, just telling it like it is!)

      Thanks for the kind words ^_^

    • Jeff’s back isn’t hurt YET, Deacon hasn’t even DONE anything! D:

  • Dear everyone; I’m camping already.  Just so you know.  There.  I said it.

    • W Nelson

      Glad to have you XD  I’m roasting corn on the cob.

      • Just had a grilled cheese sammie.  Debating dessert; whether to make it or go after some of the sweet stuff lying around 🙂  I would love some corn 🙂

  • Lorescien

    And this is where everything starts to make me giggly and happy for hours on end. 😛

  • Eeeeeeeeeeee so excited for tomorrow now! <3

  • animalbecome

    They couldnt pick a BETTER place in the story to give us three updates in one week -nose bleed- I REALLY dont think I could wait an entire week to see Deacon hit a home ruuuuun~!! :3

    Thank you Alex and Winona!!! <3 <3 <3

  • That is it!!! Trow him at the wall and call him a gecko!!

  • Didak

    Seriously, your comic is awesome! I mean, even though I know when the updates are I never close this window on my browser. It’s always lurking there.
    I’m one of those creepers who persistently refreshes the page on the day of the updates, hoping to see that little glorious “Next” button show up and when it does I hurriedly click it with a jittery feeling of eagerness and excitement.  
    Questions like “what will Deacon do?”, “how will Jeff react?”,  
    “what eye candy pose will they strike next?”
    ,”what will Maven do?”, “what is the corporation up to?” and so much more rush through my mind.  I can’t quite put it in words, the plot, the way it comes alive and flows so naturally… Everything is just so interesting that I always want to know what happens next. I think it must be the feeling most (if not all) Artifice readers get.

    You are an amazing writer (and also adorable!), Winona is an amazing artist and your work comes together perfectly and all that becomes clear in the comic.

    Anyway, I wish you the best of the best and I hope you get well soon!!! 
    I shall be sending you mental, cosmic waves of wellness <3

  • mitts2

    I absolutely love this comic! I just saw a new advertisement for it on smackjeeves. It was a scene not yet posted and it just leaves me to anticipate more! Wonderful art, and a very intriguing story line. Good work guys! I look forward to more~ <3

  • timeaesnyx

    Thank you for the lovely story, & I hope you get fixed up Alex.  Jeff is my favorite 🙂

  • Okay, the tv’s on, Next Iron Chef will shortly appear, and I’m eating some of the halloween candy I bought for whatever trick-or-treaters show up tomorrow.  This here is camping 🙂

  • Deacon’s abs. I gotta say it: DAAAAAAAAAAAAANG.


  • CommodoreZelda

    Wow. Way to be subtle there, Deacon. 🙂 I feel really awkward as I read this page. The awkwardness is astounding. I love it. <3

  • Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Alex. Back pain is no fun at all, and can be pretty scary– I’m amazed you’re not passed out on all those meds though, hah.

    I’m finally camping this comic– which is something I rarely do, actually, because a bunch of the webcomics I like have somewhat sporadic update times, even if they update daily. (Like, sometimes it’ll be done by midnight, sometimes the author will still be working on it at four.) Also, it seems silly to constantly refresh or check a web page when you know that it’s not technically due until a certain time. Actually, the only comic before this one that I checked fruitlessly was Starfighter… because even though the slow updates make me sad, the wait is always worth it. XD

    So I hope it comes as a compliment to you, Alex, and also Winona (as opposed to being creepy or stalkerish), that I am legit camping this comic. Not only enjoying new pages, but looking forward to them throughout the week and anticipating them too. I can has more sexy future men? :3

  • never2late4music

    Get better soon! My mom has some horrible back problems – I could suggest some great chiropractors if you were in the AZ area.

  • metisofarabia

    So glad you’re feeling better!

  • OK, the last panel is definitely the part where “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye starts playing in the background.

  • Emily Hood

    Sick with the flu and still camping, why do I do this to myself!? Why must this comic be so addictive!?

    • Maybe the hot lovin’ possibly to be seen will help cure your fever.

      • Odd, I always thought that that was what CAUSED the fever.

        • Sweating helps get rid of fevers 🙂

  • I really shouldn’t be camping. I have school in about 5 hours.
    But it’ll be SO worth it ~<3

  • SholtoMaru

    Alex, all joking aside, if you’re too injured to post for a few days, I think everyone is gonna be okay with that, rather than having you strain your back to push a page out. D: I’m totes super worried right now!

    On the other hand, though, if you’ve got a nice Vico-numb going on, go ahead and post away! 😀 

    So I’m worried, but eager…conflicting feelings…

    • I think Jeff feels the same way…

      • SholtoMaru

        xD I think you’re right. Worried, but eager, is definitely what’s going on here.

    • Jennifer Closen

      “…if you’re too injured to post for a few days, I think everyone is gonna be okay with that, rather than having you strain your back to push a page out.”You made it sound like he’s taking a crap.  Sorry, I had to share…

  • “Oh, Deacon, who could resist your sweet, gentle killer-android smile?”

    Certainly not I!  *Swoon*  So naturally, who can expect Jeff too!  At this point hisattempts to resist Deacon are along the lines of, “Oh stop… don’t…. oh…. no…. don’t stop!”  =D

  • See, THIS is where I fully expected to cut to Maven spitting out her tea in surprise and dropping her tablet.

  • anonymouslizzy

    Awww. So self conscious. XD

  • AllyssaC

    Having sex must be the best way to make friends!
    – Deacon’s Thoughts

  • TravelerOfWebcomics

    How ever so tacit of you, Deacon!

  • love Deacons face in the last panel x3

  • brianna simpson

    wait there anatomically correct. why? it seems like an unnecessary function for a soldier android to have i mean why make them that way its a waste of material and its a complex system of machinery and hydraulics for somthing im sure they dont often use.