Skip to content

Artifice Page 50

296 Comments on Artifice Page 50

Oh, Maven. I heart you…

But perhaps some of my gentle readers feel differently. Hehe. 😉 I’ve actually been loving reading all the different reactions to Dr. Maven in the comments. Some folks get a kick out of her (like myself, but why else would I write that kind of character?). Some folks out-and-out hate her. There’s been a very interesting back and forth about whether she is an “incompetent therapist” because of her treatment of Deacon or whether she is in fact quite competently serving her “true” client, the Corporation. It’s this kind of geeky discussion that is so gratifying for both the writer and fellow genre geek in me to read and I love you all for taking the time to put that kind of thought into the characters and having such interesting things to say.

And… you might get a chance to say some of it in person to me, because I’m going to have a table at BENT-CON on the weekend of December 3rd & 4th in Los Angeles! And at this table, I’m going to be selling our first ever Artifice prints—including some “canon” art that’s too steamy for this mainstream ad-friendly webcomic! (And if there is interest, I will also make these prints available for sale online once I get back.)

This is the first time I’m ever setting up a table at a con (or doing anything even remotely like this), so if you’re going to be in LA that weekend, please stop by and say hello. I’d love to see some friendly faces! 😀

Finally, we have new Fan Art from Suf, a nice doodle of our heroes in a thoughtful moment. Thanks, Suf!


In fact, it’s the ninth bonus page in a row. And now thanks to your awesome donations, in addition to our regular Saturday update, I’ll be posting up our tenth bonus page in a row next Wednesday, November 23rd!

Special thanks to long-time supporters Lucy S., Mark H., Erin H., Megan W., Zoellen F., Tanya A. & Carly S. (both donating for the 2nd week in a row!), Ariel S. (donating for the sixth week in a row!) & Micheal B. (who has now donated for an amazing 11 weeks in a row!!!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow to new supporters Brooke W., Eleanor R., Meg S., Bre’Anna M., Shan S., Jerimi P., Diane G. and Alan R. for their generous donations over the last few days.

Big hugs to long-time friends Larisa V. (who made their second $25 donation in two weeks!) & Jennifer B. (who made their third jumbo-sized donation in two weeks!) and also to new friends Michael M., Ilana L. and Dario P. for their super-generous $25 donations!

I’m sending out android-strength hugs and leaping cheers to Simon B. for making two $25 donations in one week and to Geordie B. for their $50 donation! Wow, you two!

A big high-five to Kimberly S. for putting us over the top for next week’s page!

And finally, an OMG, jaw-dropped, head-on-floor deeply grateful bow to Ethan R. for their stunning $100 donation! That you would do that… I was gobsmacked when I saw that notification pop up in my email—and I don’t even know what that word means! Thank you so, so much, Ethan!

And thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who’ve donated. That you would think Artifice worth supporting in this way not only helps make these pages possible in a very real way, it is incredibly humbling, encouraging and inspiring all at the same time. It just makes Winona and I want to try that much harder to live up to your amazing generosity and kindness. So again, thank you so, so much!

And… now we’re back on Da Vinci Four! With Jeff and Deacon! In bed!

Did you miss these two? 🙂

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!
  • Aikka



    Ok. a proper comment wil be later… XD


    I needed that new page.

    I am currently really stressed about something and now i smile. (even if it’s just a little)

    Thanks Alex and Winona ^^ *hugs both*

    love that fanart sketch btw.
    Was staring at it while waiting for new page.

    • Really glad we could give you a smile when you’re feeling stressed, Aikka. I too had an intense, stressful day, but reading these comments is making me grin in the biggest way. 😀

      • Aikka


        I have a stressful few days ahead of me ;-;
        I’m just great at complicating my own life
        (don’ worry i won’t bore you with my problems here XD)
        But, can i get a hug from you now too? *-*

        And i’m glad our comments work that way ^–^

        I reallly like artifice, but right after that i like the comments and people here. 🙂

        • You can definitely get a hug. Hugs! 😀

          • Aikka

            Thank you! *-*

            *is hugged xD*

  • I have to wonder, why do they actually bother getting out of the bed between the nights? They look so happy together :))))))))))))

    • Aikka

      Maybe just to charge Deacon xD
      We wouldn’t want him to run out of energy while he’s with Jeff right? XD

      • A very valid point indeed :)))))
        But now that you mention the practicalities, I have a perhaps silly question of what they use for lube in settings such as these. I don’t suppose Jeff kept himself stocked just in case something came his way.

        • You’re assuming they’re having penetrative sex.  If they aren’t, lube isn’t as big a necessity.

          • Judging by the way they are lying on this page, I think that’s a very valid possibility. Especially since they both speak about feeling good, so it wasn’t just Jeff getting a b-j and Deacon then moving up for a cuddle.

          • Could be mutual hand jobs.  Or frotting.  Or intercrural.  A variety of things. 

            Also, there is something very oddly amusing at talking so bluntly about potential sexual practices at 1 in the morning (my time)…

          • I believe it could be anything and that also they would have tried everything they could think of. For one thing, they’re so strongly attracted to each other, wouldn’t they want to explore a maximum number of possibilities? For another, having such relations is a great risk, so I’d expect that since they’ve decided to take it, they may as well maximise the returns, so to say 🙂

        • The colony would have had all kinds of supplies for over 400 people, I’m sure they were able to find something. 😉

  • melinda stumpf

    I can’t wait until my birthday next week its going to be amazing hoping for something steamy on the 23rd 😀

  • And it actually pains me to see Jeff so relaxed with Deacon now, hugging him, so intimate and so comfortable with that – because we know things are going to get crappy afterwards. Not through Deacon being mean to Jeff, but crappy nonetheless. And I must wonder yet again what befell Jeff and where he’s at during this conversation. I hope they’re not debriefing him horribly…

  • eleutherios

     Wild Maven used THERAPY!



    • Artimis_Night

      This made my morning.

  • What I wonder is what happens AFTER the good doctor is done with Deacon. I mean how for along is the comic?

    • Hmmmm, I would expect this whole backstory exposition is just the introduction. Because indeed there’s the question of what happens to Deacon personally and what Deacon does about that, and also what happens to Jeff, to say the least. Not to mention all the bigger possibilities, like their actions somehow having effect on the Corporation as a whole, etc.
      Personally, I do very much hope for this comic to never end :)))))))

      • Aikka

        As far i i would love Artifice to never end, it’s planned as XXX pages right? ;-;

        and what happens next… is one of my biggest fears about this comic *sigh*

        • While it’s not a state secret, I am trying to keep the actual page count of Artifice unspoken for now. Why? Well, it’s just a total personal taste thing I’m projecting onto my readers. 

          If I’m watching an hour-long action show on TV and reach a moment of tension, how I feel about the stakes of the new problem raised will be influenced by my knowledge of how many minutes into the show I am. If we’re at the halfway point, I know the writer could have a lot of twists and turns yet to come. But if there’s only ten minutes left, I know it’s got to be resolved quickly. So I try to avoid paying attention to how much time has passed when I watch a show, just to avoid that effect. The characters don’t know that all the threads need to be tied up in mere minutes, so I don’t want to either. 🙂

          Your mileage about this issue may vary, of course. It’s possible that’s I could have mentioned in certain places how long the actual comic is. It is, of course, completely written out and it does have a definite end. But for the sake of other readers who are like me, I’d prefer that information to be treated as a “spoiler” and left out of the comments. Just a request from your fellow geek, Alex. 🙂

          • Aikka

            Well, if i knew you don’t want it to be said i wouldn’t, but, it was you who said it first  “xD

            It’s not like i know anything you want to hide from us o-o””

            The same with answer to some other comment here, which i did not reply, yet i think i know the answer o..o

          • Yep, I might have goofed and spilled the beans someplace. And I wasn’t expecting you to know this strange quirk of mine about not wanting that to be published here. 😀

            If you know the spot in the comments where I let that slip, please let me know. I’ll delete that.

          • Aikka

            Well, it wasn’t a comment.

            Changing something so old now would be weird and maybe unfair, that’s info only stalkerish people like me will find ^^”

          • I prefer the term “ultra cool, beloved, long-time Artifice supporter”, but fair enough. 🙂

          • Aikka

            thank you… XD
            i think o-o’

            and i still think i am just stalkerish… XD When i discovered artifice i just had to look for everything i could find about it “XD

          • I’m almost positive the page count is hiding around somewhere.  I could have sworn I’ve seen it.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in comic comments, but somewhere in with the preliminary sketches or about inking and coloring and stuff…

          • Aikka

            You are right.
            Yet we shouldn’t talk about it here, right? XD

            i mean. if anyone need that info, just ask me in private or sth.
            I won’t link it here XD

          • Archidel

            While I did already sort of expect this story to be fully formulated and to have a definite ending (somehow you just don’t seem like the kind of writer who would write something without having an idea of its end-point), I would like to add that I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if the completed story of ‘Artifice’ is followed up by… more Artifice!

            Sequels are totally hip, you know? 😛

  • And of course the usual expression of awe regarding the art :))))))) I love Maven’s look before she asks the classic question. Sarcasm, heh. In a way she’s a mean meanie, but on the other hand, why shouldn’t she be? We readers may love Deacon and Jeff, but she has no reason to. To her Deacon is a traitor-soldier, who killed people as part of his treason. Plus, she must see Deacon as stubborn and maybe not very clever, given his replies, which is not likely to make her like him any the better. It’s interesting how you can really empathise with both of them here.

  • ooo-hoo-hoo! The sockon the drawer xD

  • AND I love Deacon’s face in panel 4. It just reads, why you heartless fleshy abomination! 

  • fujoshifanatic

    Oh my goodness! I leave town for a week and I come back to all this yummy goodness! I totally looove Maven’s expression in panel 3 when she asks Deacon that (normally) “sympathetic” question! Way to try and discombobulate the android, Maven! Much as I love the interaction between Maven and Deacon, I am so glad we’re back to Deacon and Jeff!

    And what a nice place to come back to! I love how you and Winona depict the, er, energetic sex they just had through the way the clothes are strewn about the floor. I can just imagine the chain of events that lead to their placement about the room. *drool*

    I know you are trying to keep it classy in terms of the smutty stuff for the sake of focusing on how the story unfolds, but can we at least see these two kiss, especially since they have already done the deed? Or is this a some sort of personality quirk on the part of Jeff, Deacon, or both? Is this some kind of line neither will cross because of their human/android relationship? Or is Deacon not interested in finding out what kissing feels like in lieu of…other things?

    Inquiring (and horny!) minds want to know!

    P.S., I hope you are feeling better Alex; thank you for working through your discomfort to keep bringing this wonderful comic to us! I wish I had the funds to go to Bent-con since I couldn’t find you at Yaoi-con, but I will be the first in line to buy those special edition prints if you decide to sell them online! X-P

    • OOOOH! Oooooh! I second that. Bring on tha Kiss!!!

      • Thirded (since I am now experiencing Disqus’ comment dislocation)!

    • You have very good questions about the kiss. I will say showing two men kissing can be, in this author’s opinion, totally classy and it is definitely within Yaoi 911 style to show. Whether we will see these two kiss, well, as you suggested, there are a lot of factors behind the decision to kiss someone and you know how I am about spoilers…

      And thank you, I am totally feeling better now! 🙂 (If a bit stressed with holiday and con plans!) Thank you for also letting me know you might be interested in getting an Artifice print! 😀

      • Jennie Yates

        Alex: You have a point there with the whole kissing thing.  Honestly.. I almost see kissing as more of a “love” thing.  And that’s probably why I’m hoping for some…. because I’m a love girl… even in my yaoi… Where as “sexual relations” as Decon put it, has almost lost meaning in our society.  Just think about Pretty Woman.. a prostitute that won’t kiss her Johns.

  • Syreen

    LA is on the other side of the world, so I would be very interested in online sale. Please! *-*

  • Wowza!  I may not have been here for my traditional camping theme, but I came back at JUST the right time!

    After the tensions of the last page, I come to this one, admittedly a little afraid to see what would happen next…and Maven’s and Deacon’s faces promptly caused me to EXPLODE laughing.  Explode, I tell you!  Maven looks so beautifully snarky, and Deacon…wow.  Deacon has the BEST “WTF?!” face I have ever seen on ANYONE, human, drawing, android, cat, etc.  Just epically and utterly hilarious!  Also, the blush on Deacon’s face in panel one slays me.  He’s so damn cute in that frame.  I wish to give him human-strength hugs.  I’m still afraid he’d misinterpret the android-strength ones.

    I’m super happy we’re back on DaVinci4!  I am looking forward to what’s going to happen!  I love the clothing strewn around in such a haphazard manner.  Glad that they’re no longer so awkward around each other, in any sense.  Hee hee hee.

    I was wondering, though…does Jeff mean that Deacon is “such a master of understatement,” or that he is “soooo the master of understatement?”  Grammatically, what he’s saying up there doesn’t make sense.  Sorry for the grammar stickler question!

    As always, I’m glad this page has come out on the precisely perfect time to help me get through the rest of the week! I hope you are continuing to heal and are feeling better, Alex!

    • Yay! Glad to make you laugh! A little AlexHumor for you, though it sounds like Winona deserves the actual props for the laugh here. 😉

      In terms of the grammar of Jeff’s dialogue, that’s definitely how I hear him saying that line, even if it’s not technically correct. But if other readers find it confusing, I might have to change it…

      I’m really glad you liked the new page. And yes, while I should be in bed now, I’m definitely continuing to heal and feel better. Thank you for the well-wishing!

      • I figured Jeff’s wording had to be on purpose, since your grammar is always so spot-on, Alex.  I tend to forget that, while I’m a grammar friend (or, dare I say, maven :P), he’s a 19 year old guy who talks like a 19 year old.  Thanks for clearing that up.  It does sound super cute in my head 🙂

        You and I BOTH should be in bed.  I had to stay up after my late-night errand to catch this before I slept, since there was NO WAY I was going to sleep without seeing this first!

        • Yep, exactly—it would be unusual for Deacon and Maven to make a grammar mistake, but Jeff? Oh, yes. 🙂

          And hehe. Yes. We should both be in bed. But I’m so glad you stayed up to check the page out and share your thoughts!

          • Likewise 🙂  Good nighty!

  • Thirded! (in wrong spot, for some reason)

  • HAHA!!!! OH yes. What a wonderful question doctor. <3 I want her as my therapist. She can slap me around any day.

    • Hehe. Glad to hear it. I’ll check her schedule. 🙂

  • JM

    Hmm, so they’re cuddling now? Not that I’m not loving that last panel, but I would kind of like to see the transition between Jeff’s awkwardness/shyness to how cool they seem to be acting now. Anyways, time will tell. Two things I would love to see in this comic (and am waiting for with every page update) – 1) Kissing. Yup, I care more about that one moment than all the man-ass this comic has to offer. 2) Jeff being interviewed, like one panel, just thrown in there because I’m dying to know.
    Also, Maven rules. She clearly knows how to push Deacon’s buttons (pun intended) and is obviously way more concerned with satisfying the Corporation than she is about acting as a “true” therapist towards him. The way she yells at him and phrases her questions suggests that she doesn’t see him as a “patient” at all, but as a malfunctioned machine whose emotions and intelligence have way surpassed his original purpose.

    • Jennie Yates

      YES!!! I’ve been wanting a kiss too~!! That’s my favorite part!!!

  • Andrea Baker

    29 days of sex with Deacon (I did the math ;P), that beats the twelve days before Christmas hands down

  • Kayla

    Every night?  …. GET IT, DEACON. 😀

  • I love Dr. Maven. She terrifies me, I’m not gonna lie, but I do so love her.

    But why, pray tell, is there a SOCK on top of the bookcase? XDDD

    • Why, it’s there to feed our imaginations, of course! 😉

      • And it feeds WELL. That there is one big tastey meal our imaginations just had. <3

        • W Nelson

          Hehe I’m really glad people are noticing that <3

  • Every night? Holy cow… Well, I guess it’s not like they had a heck of a lot else to do… o_O
    On a slightly different note, I must say I love how Deacon is cuddling Jeff. Not only is it super hot, but usually it’s the “pretty, feminine, submissive” character we see in that position, and I was really looking forward to seeing you guys toss aside that particular stereotype. 🙂

    • YES! Subverting that stereotype was very important to me and I’m delighted you noticed. 😀

      (Not to mention that it’s my favorite way of being cuddled… ::TMI::)

      • Is amazing way of cuddling.  I’ve always been one for liking to be sometimes on top and sometimes on bottom when cuddling like that, joining in on the tmi train.  Both positions can be amazing, and don’t really require either personality (masculine or feminine) with position, beyond stereotype and possible fear of crushing one’s partner…

        • Makes me wish I had someone to cuddle with, it sure sounds nice…

  • KBatty

    It bothers me that Maven seems to be taking pleasure in wringing out answers. I feel like she hates the synthetics as much as Roy does, and that she derives pleasure from emotionally abusing them into her control. Yes, she’s a therapist, but she’s definitely not like any therapist I’ve ever heard about.

    Then again, this story is written and drawn to compel me to empathize with an artificial life form who happens to be a skilled killer, so it’s entirely possible my scale needs recalibrating.

    And Jeff, good for you!

  • Ashkie

    You tempt me with Bent-Con? A delicious gay porn comics convention (at least that’s how I will approach it) just 3 miles from my house?!? During finals?? Damn, Maven isn’t the only one playing head games. 

    •  So not fair!! 3 Miles!!! Lucky!

    • Do it! Do it! Come say hi! 😀

    • …I am SO JEALOUS of you right now.  I am also happy for you.  I’m going to have to live vicariously through you, so party-hardy!

  • I love panel four.

  • Aikka

    I LOVE MY SIS *____*

    [just to clarify:  an internet one]

    Alex, remember how i said i forc…asked my friend to draw artifice fanart? *-*

    She just gave it to me:
    Isn’t it cute? *-*

    I was really curious how it will look in her style which is, much different from the one used in artifice XD but as always i love it ;-;

    I’m trying to make her uploading this to DA so if she will then i will post a link to it too.
    If not then that’s the only one we have. *sigh*

    oh, and of course you can re-post it here 🙂

    • Aikka
      • W Nelson

        Eeee!  Awesome 😀

      • That IS awesome! And I’d love to post it up here! Could you please have her email me giving me permission to do that (and how she would like to be credited)?

        (Or if she’s too shy to email me, she can just include in her description “Hey Alex, it’s OK for you to post this on your webcomic fan art page!” on the dA page. I just like to always make very sure I’m following an artist’s true wishes!  (Even though, I know I can trust you! It’s just another weird Yaoi 911 policy thingy.) 😀 )

        • Aikka

          Yup, i could be angry for not trusting me Alex!!! 😛
          Nah, of course i understand. I just didn’t think about it, for me it was just a kind of obvious thing “XD

          I will tell her what you said, not sure which way she will choose, it’s late where she lives now so probably it will be done tomorrow XD

  • Yukiness

    Damn Maven, just…DAMN. You really are a true therapist. Only a shrink would do that; worry the hell out of you, make you sweat, then turn around and care.

    Reading the fact that Jeff went at it every night with this guy is astounding and I give him credit for his stamina. Even though he was the last living organism on Da Vinci 4 (assuming there was a decent stock of food supply left), my man would have to suppliment those carbs like crazy. I do love panel 4. It tells me that although Deacon is basically the hottest supercomputer on legs we have ever seen, he is still capable of being surprised. Human emotions and the way we process things are still new to him (in a sense). I don’t think Maven wouldn’t get that upset if she didn’t care somehow. Her anger stemmed a little more from, “Boy did this shit just get complicated, and helping you (and Jeff) out of this is not going to be easy at all,” than, “My job doesn’t pay me enough to hear about your amoral romps with that f*g.” I’m happy there is more to her than just the hulk faces we have been seeing.

    I swear, the more I read Jeff’s bubbles, the more I hear myself in a way. I tend to exaggerate everything and this was one of those moments when just saying, “Our moment of coitus was most satisfactory,” just doesn’t cut it. Jeff wins here. Also like that his personality didn’t change drastically after his first time (like many other yaoi I have seen). He is still his god-like wavey haired, witty ass self, just the way we like him.
    That, and the fact that Deacon’s sock somehow landed on top of the dresser just cracks me up everytime i see it.

    • Ryn

      yeah, but i don’t think helping Deacon or Jeff is her priority.

      • Yukiness

        After having reread it last night (terribly fast reader) I kinda get the silent feeling that she does. Sure, her rape face right about now is not helping her sell this, but her overall sympathy in the beginning despite the obvious direction it was going came off as very real.
        It may not be her top priority but shrinks are very sly people. You just never know with them.

    • Hehe, glad to hear you enjoyed the page and the dialogue. This scene between these two was another really fun one to write. 😀

  • Lottie_chan

    So, I haven’t commented since my first comment pages ago, but thank you so much for this page! T^T I just woke up at 5:30 to sign up for classes and only got into two out of five. I was freaking out and shit and then I was all, “ARTIFICE!!!!” Reading Deacon say that had sex every night and seen him all snoodled up with Jeff has made my day so much brighter. <3 Thank you~! 
    EDIT: Also, just looking at it again, I love how Deacon looks like his brain short circuited after being asked how all the sex made him feel. XD

    • Yay! Very glad our comic brightened your day when you were feeling low. That makes me very happy to hear. 😀

      (And yes, Deacon was indeed at a loss for words…. 😉 )

  • Ryn

    that look on Maven’s face in the third is devious. ^^ Deacon’s in the forth is something of an -oh shit!-.

    the state of their clothes is hilarious, my guess is they took their shoes off, deacon removed his jumpsuit, Got impatient with Jeff for having so many layers and helped him while throwing everything willynilly. 😀

    • Jackson Dean

      I love Maven’s face too ^^, and Jeff’s sense of humour <3

  • AmandaStock

    Only every *night*? Come on guys, be creative 😉

    • timeaesnyx

      “Once a king, always a king, but once a knights enough.” 😀

  • yellowrock

    Go on Deacon, tell us exactly how you feel, in detail please.  Don’t mind this voice recorder, it’s not important.

  • Erica

    … Well that was a stupid question that Maven asked. No Offense. XD I mean he says they did it every night… with a face that clearly shows the guilt of the pleasure…. and she’s gunna ask how that made him feel? Even with the emphasis on that, we know that she doesn’t mean if he feels love for the boy, it obviously means those “sexual relations”, as Deacon puts it. Silly Maven. XP
    N e way, yes, yes i did miss these two young [im going to assume both parties are fairly young] stunning chaps. my heart leapt at the sight of those two. lol what’s great is that i literally woke up ten minutes ago. i opened my eyes, turned around, and turned on my computer, just for this update. XD
    I can’t wait for Melinda’s and my amazing birthday gift November 23rd. We shall be waiting. >:]

    • Hehe. Glad I can offer you a little something on your birthday. I hope you’re going to have a great one! 😀

    • melinda stumpf

      going to wait until midnight when he post it on the 23 sad  thing is i have class on my birthday

      • Erica

        what’s hilarious is that Wednesday is working quite well for me. Both my classes are cancelled and i have NO work wednesday. 😀

        • melinda stumpf

          holy shit me to but im going to see hugo

  • Erica

    also, despite Maven’s angry look in the previous last panel, at least she’s not taking off her heel and beating Deacon with it like a mother would upon hearing how much they did it. XD She looks rather… proud that she got that answer out of him.
    And DAMMIT, i wanna be in Los Angeles and view the “canon” pictures. D: STEAMY CANON PICTURES. ; ^ ; [melinda and i should get one page free for our birthday… *cough cough.. COUGHHHHH*] lol jk jk :] gotta make them $$

    • She does look proud! <3

      Given, I guess it means they made a synthetic human (as opposed to just an AI) if he feels love and such, so she does have reason for pride in that area… Something lost (control), something gained~

  • Jennie Yates

    ….. interesting turn of questioning there.  I’m dying to know where this is going now… XD

    This is the page that I can’t stop reading… he he he.

    • Jennie Yates

      and I like the sock on top of the bookcase, Winona.

      • W Nelson

        Hehehe!  Glad you noticed XD

  • Spirited_Dreamer

    Oh Maven…I must wonder if you are as curious about the sexual relations between these two as the rest of us are! That look on your face is almost wicked 😀 I love Maven, my girl crush has intensified! And, LOOK! Deacon and Jeff back in bed and that look on Jeff’s face is just utter satisfaction!

  • So I was lying in bed, fighting myself to stay awake thinking, “I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to get up….” Then I shot up and said, “OMG NEW ARTIFICE.” I’m up and awake now. xD


  • “Which I suppose then begs the /obvious/ therapeutic question, how did /that/ make you feel.”  I died.  Right then and there.  I love this woman.  AND HER EXPRESSION AS SHE SAID IT! <3 <3 <3   She wants details, you knooooow she wants details.  God I love this woman! <3

    And then Jeff's line!  That pretty much killed me all over again XD  Remind me to use that next time after mind blowing sex.  They look so beautiful, so content and happy, together.  Also, love their clothes about on the floor.  Did you notice Jeff's socks (well, I'm assuming his anyways)?  Somehow, one ended up on the shelf.  I'm /dying/ to know how their stripping foreplay went to get that there.  If you excuse me, I'll be off imagining.

    Aaaaaand back to commenting, since some of us are unfortunate and far away and unable to make BENT-CON or others that  you are at, you should definitely make steamy prints available somewhere for us 😀  That or you should hit up a convention near me.  Because damn, we need to see all these canon-y acts.  Lives would be incomplete without.

    I keep re-reading this page.  Is so beautiful~ <3

    • Yay! I’m delighted you like the new page and that you enjoyed the dialogue. That’s one of my favorite Maven lines (which as someone pointed out, there are times when as a writer you can use a cliché to serve you.) And I had a lot of fun with the banter between Deacon and Jeff in this scene…

      And thank you for letting me know you’d be interested in me making the prints available here online. It will take some setting up, because I am officially done with print-on-demand services and would be sending them out myself, but if folks would like me to do it, I will make it happen when I return. 🙂

      • INTEREST HERE!  ::short girl jump-wave::

  • interesting smile, did he turn Maven in to a yaoi girl?

  • HannahDJA

    I got up for school, about to cry that I had to go, and then, as I was coming downstairs, ready to bawl (because, you know, I hate school), I remembered new Artifice and just died of happiness. *o*

    Maven still scares me, but I think we can all agree with Deanna when she says that Maven totally wants details. Hell, I want details! xDD

    And they look so cute! Just sitting there… in bed… naked… *half dies from blood loss* 

    Thank you for this glorious page! I have the strength to carry on to school now. xD

  • thisboybroken

    I so want a Deacon of my very own. Oh and thanks for the early b-day present. Tomorrow I will read it again on my actual b-day.

  • Lithekitty

    I love maven. I love this comic for 2 reasons and they both involve expressions. The first is Maven’s rape face there. (she’s totally enjoying this part of the discussion and we all know it.) And the second is Deacon’s dear in the headlights look right after. XD
    If I ever make it to a Yaoi-con in the future I wan’t to go as her. XD

  • CommodoreZelda

    As someone who loves psychology and hates people, I have to say: Maven is my hero. <3 Instead of being all comforting and crap like that, she gets to threaten Deacon into telling everything. And I'm sure she won't stop till she has ALL the details. <3

  • Every night? Damn, I want one! Also, yes Deacon, how does that make you -feeeeeeel-? I totally want steamy pages <3

  • Winterlove

    Awe, Deacon gets to snuggle!!
    And dang shes such a bitch…Poor Deacon T_T

    damn deacon you arrree a machine. a love machine. huhuhuuuu~

  • LOL “Angels descended, the earth moved.  You know, normal shit that happens when you get good lovin'”  XD

  • RustyBurrell

    How to word this…. I want… to cut her….. yea, I think that fits.

  • Russell Mitchell

    You should do a Dirty arch and show us what happened. Like what they did and positions they did

  • Ayella

    And if there is interest, I will also make these prints available for sale online once I get back.
    OF COURSE there is interest, you silly man. This comic is awesome and we’d be overjoyed to buy it in print.
    I speak in plural, not because I’m royalty, but because I know for a fact what is in the hearts of tons of your fans: Givus more!!! We love to spend money on the fruits of your beautiful brain.
    Proof of my bold statement? See donation bar above.

  • Darby Roorda

    “How did that make me feel? How did that make me FEEL?!?!? How do you THINK it made me feel? We had SEX every night! If it didn’t make me feel GOOD we wouldn ‘t have done it, you git!”

    But seriously, Maven is pretty cool, even if she is acting as mature as my therapist (and that’s not a compliment!).

  • Laymanterms303

    Yes Deacon, how DID that make you feel? Spare no details.

    Also the view through the window is amazing.

  • sbjenya

    I considered Maven as the latent fan of yaoi from the first page with her, when she heard from Deacon about Jeff for the first time, and till now my opinion has not changed. She very much pleasant to me, especially her attempt to prove Deacon and herself that he not only can feign human feelings and emotions, but also to feel them actually really. And she manage excellent with it. Anyway, her a mission is to understand the reasons of last Deacon`s act, so from her view at it depends his the future.

    I write the comment for the first time, but I watch a comics not the first week, the history has bewitched me =) As on the faces of heroes and in the slightest movements of their body (a raising of an eyebrow,  combine of hands in the lock) are reflected their emotions – are truly wonderful.

    Hello from Russia and thanks for your hard work, Alex & Winona.

  • danigirl921

    Every night? EVERY NIGHT? OMG, I DIED. Also, Maven. They did it every night and he’s blushing, do you really need to ask how it made him feel? 😛 Also, I love Jeff in that last panel. <3

    • Yes. Yes she did. Research purposes, you see…


      • danigirl921

        lulz Well, if it’s for research purposes, then yes, Deacon, tell us everything that you felt. No detail is too small. 


  • C. O.

    You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for Maven to say that iconic therapist line, lol.
    … Also, that manloving must have been INTENSE. I mean, “angels descending”? MEIN GOTT.

  • Eva

    When I read panel  3 I burst out laughing – that was exactly what I wanted her to say! and last panel’s priceless – all their clothes lying around seemed to show how fast they removed them. 😉

    • zk88

      Maven’s response in panel 3 really is perfect, sometimes the most trite, canned responses are the best.

  • Eva

    When I read panel 3 I burst out laughing – this is exactly what I wanted her to say! and got to love the last panel: all their clothes lying around clearly show how quickly they took them off. 😀

  • crimsonkiss22

    I kind of like that we skipped over so many days, and that we never have seen them, pardon the phrasing, bumping uglies. It leaves a lot to the imagination, which means that I am having some seriously kinky thoughts atm.

    Yes, I did miss them. I’m happy to see them so comfortable with one another. ^___^ And you know, if not for all the foreshadowing you did earlier to let us know that shit is going to, quite soon, hit the fan, I’d be ecstatic. 


    As always, the story is wonderful, the art is amazing, and you have managed to leave me anxious for more.

  • ErrorTime

    Deacon’s face in the fourth panel is priceless!~

  • Reign

    Maven is obviously a fangirl 🙂 I love her so much right now!! Last panel almost made me fall out of my chair. Wish I lived on the west coast so I could come meet you Alex but sadly I can’t…but hope too soon. Excited that you are selling prints and hope to see them in the store!! Can’t wait till Saturday now.

  • Syanana

    I knew she was a yaoi fangirl! Wooot! <3 Anyway, beautiful art as always and I love Jeff's statement. I'm gonna have to find an appropriate situation to use it irl though XD <3

  • Definitely sell those prints online! You’d make some serious money with them – if everyone is continuously donating, they’d certainly be willing to drop some extra dough for some hot and steamy pics! Especially since some people can’t make it to L.A. to see you at Bent-con. *poutyface*

  • leorising

    “I’m going to be selling our first ever Artifice prints—including some “canon” art that’s too steamy for this mainstream ad-friendly webcomic!”

    *stands up and waves arm frantically* Interest! Interest right over here! Oo, pick me, pick me! *faints*

    The only other thing I wanted to say was that I LOVE Deacon’s body language in the first panel SO DAMNED MUCH. Internal embarrassment cringe made manifest, coupled with the clutched arm protecting the, ahem, equipment in question. *sigh* Perfect.

    And I’m with the folks who think Maven is doing a great job for the corporation, and who despise her corporate racist (person-ist?) ass anyway. Stop treating Deacon like a thing, dammit! So there. Hmph. (That you’re getting such an emotional reaction from me is a testament to your great writing.)

    So much love for Artifice. I can’t afford another donation right now, so many many thanks to all those who keep making the bonus pages possible. Love you all!

  • SunsRequiem

    If I lived anywhere near LA, or the USA in fact, I would have come to say hi.
    Probably in a Maven cosplay. She’s THAT awesom. (Hope you don’t mind…)

    • W Nelson

      If you ever do Maven cosplay, you must share!!

  • krissdevalnor

    *siigh* THIS is what I have been waiting for – them together all loveydovey^^ Thank you so much for this page 🙂 Made my day

  • Dex X.

    lololol THE EARTH MOVED. ANGELS DESCENDED. “how did that make you feel” idk maven. maybe orgasmic. thats hopefully how sex made him feel. also her perv face. is…well…

  • Emily Hood

    “How does that make you feel?” I… I… I have nothing coherent to say right now. Maven’s face as she said that destroyed me. Is that a villain smirk I spy? GUH! She looks like she’s got a knife in someone’s side and is about to take delight in twisting it!
    This is no longer a crush, I am most certainly in Lesbians with Dr. Maven.

    • W Nelson

      Hahaha!  Is it springtime?  I can feel the Lesbians in the air!

    • David Boccabella

      Alternatively – what would you do if you found that your microwave has professed a fondness for another member of the household. Asking “How do you feel” is a way to understand is the respnse is rote or emotional.

  • JLJones

    Oh nooooo! D:  The sun is going down behind that window.. that means Deacon’s story is almost done!!!  *panic*

    I really, REALLY wish I was moving to the west coast instead of central states!  I’d totally hit your table up with enough money to buy a whole library of awesome pics.  I’d be the one standing off to the side, blushing and stammering and generally acting like a moron 😛

    • W Nelson

      That’s pretty normal convention behavior, you’ll have to do something more dramatic to distinguish yourself, hehe!

  • Chris Woodworth

    Oh my god, Maven’s “I want to see you squirm” face is the greatest thing.  I would go straight for her in an instant. XD

  • ViSovari

    Aaaaaand…BAM! A million fangirls/boys just got hit with the full “Bitch, I’m winning” smirk of Maven the Malevolent. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Deacon and am on the edge of me seat just like everyone else for the next page but Maven is a treasure trove of entertainment all on her own.

    That’s when you know you have a fantastic writer, the side characters have fan clubs. <3

    • I offer to captain the Maven ship! I’ve got an official “I love Maven” hat! (Well okay, that’s a flat-out lie. but I did draw fanart of her!)

  • Taliel

    Love it when Deacon blushes. Oh the things I would do to make him blush… 😉

  • F1ct1on

    OH MY HOW I DO LOVE MAVEN’S EVIL PERV FACE. <3333333333333  And blushy deacon. and the clothes in the last panel. Mostly the first two things. I CAN HAS BLUSHY DEACON MORE OFTEN PLEASE?

  • miniace7

    LA is so far away~ >, _ ,<

  • shinashiasusual

    I love Maven’s kind of angry/amused face and the obvious question. He did it every day after that- I’m sure it felt good. And I’m glad Jeff enjoyed it too~ c:

    • As I was thinking about this I started to wonder, ONLY every night? What else would they be doing BESIDES having “sexual relations”? There’s not much to do when you’re the only two people on a planet, I would imagine.
      I can barely find a way to keep myself occupied for a week!

      • omgitskmd

        He never said how many times every night… ;D

  • Erika Nelson-Grainger

    Maven is sooo sexy with her devious little smirk. I daresay she’s as tasty as Jeff and Deacon.

  • Silentwisher

    This is awesome

  • Sequinn

    So I just read the whole comic from the beginning again and I’m really starting to get concerned for Jeff’s welfare.  Let’s wrap this up Maven so Deacon can go rescue his man!

  • llbutters

    Maven, you sly, sly woman! >:D

  • That face… SHE’S A FUJOSHI!

  • “How did THAT make you feel?” Oh gawd Maven! I heart you! I heart you so hard and so much!! XD
    Deacon can’t even answer that question! He’s like “After she got on my case so much, now she’s messing with me?” Either that or he’s actually surprised that she’s finally shown her fangirl side. He probably thought she was going to deactivate him right then and there.
    “Whelp! He’s gay. nothing we can do here now. shut him down and get the ‘FAGGOT’ stamp. We’ll just have to start over from scratch.”

    Well I had a good run as the Jack of Comments I guess. Now it’s Summer’s turn. ;_;
    Alex= king
    Winona= Queen
    then I was the jack and we just go down the comment suite from there.

    And I found out how to revisit my old comments! 😀
    But not how to see any replies to them. DX

    • I haven’t caught up to you yet!  I am still the student, but YOU are the master 🙂

  • Maven: “And how did *THAT* make you feel?”
    Deacon: “LOLWHUT.”
    Maven: Problem?

  • Exile 755 is a Higglytown hero

    THERE IS INTEREST. THERE IS MUCH INTEREST. 8D Sell them online too! I will sell my organs for this.

    This page has so much love. Maven’s expression, that last panel… X3 Is that a sock on the dresser and in the corner? IT WAS SO AWESOME IT KNOCKED THEIR SOCKS ACROSS THE ROOM!

    • ^ this answers my question with a rainbow burst of awesome! XD

  • MegumiSagara

    xDDD a new fuyoshi :DDDD

  • I think Maven is getting off on this, man.  HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?  IN EXTREME DETAIL, PLEASE.

  • AnimeBlade

    I honestly can’t decide which panel I like more. We have the second panel with her semi-shocked expression, which then turns so wonderfully… evil. Gotta love the doctor.
    Course, then we have Deacon, who has been adorable the whole way through, and looks thoroughly shocked at her question. And not embarrased. 
    And then there’s Jeff… Earthquakes and angels, huh? And that was only GOOD? What in the world will happen if it’s amazing?

    Andand- what do you mean IF there’s interest?! You’re taunting us with a bone- throw it!

  • I love Dr. Maven’s ‘gotcha!’ face. I imagine she would inspire strong feelings, particularly among fangirls. 😉 I like uncompromising female characters, reading and writing them. 

    Although now I’m really having trouble getting a scenario out of my mind. ‘No, Deacon, I want you to demonstrate to me exactly what you did with this boy.’ 
    ‘B… but… you don’t have the right parts.’ 
    ‘Improvise. You’ve demonstrated extreme proficiency at it.’ 

    Is it perverse to read a yaoi comic and end up wanting to write het slash? 

    • W Nelson

      Hahaha!  Yes, that’s pretty weird.  But perverse is perfect 😀

      • Well, I wonder. If the last survivor had been a woman, would Deacon still have ended up having sex with her? 

        As much as I love yaoi; I think his sexual ambiguity is really exciting. 

    • timeaesnyx

      Perverse, maybe. Hilarious? Definitely.

  • Oh, I’d love if there was a print version of the webcomic with extra scenes… if you know what I mean. I’d buy a lot and spread the love here in Brazil.

    • “Spread the love” Yes, I myself would be spreading “the Love” too if the print version came with director’s commentary and deleted scenes!

      • And I as well here in my beautiful city 🙂

  • elijah elquest

    as an android he doesn’t appear to come equipped with underwear or socks.

    • Why would he need them? I understand probably needing to gird his loins, although it appears that he goes commando. ;P
      But he wouldn’t need socks unless he somehow is able to sweat. We wear socks the same reason we use pillow-cases: as a buffer between ourselves. Socks are easier to wash than boots if your feet have been sweating.

      Bringing me to a question I had. Jeff: How the HELL did your sock get on top of the bookshelf??

      • Krondor2000

        There is also another question.  Guys…how can you enjoy having sex while all those bodies are decomposing on the base!?!
        Sorry everyone for spoiling the mood!  ;-P

        • I’ve been wondering that too I imagine they disposed of them somehow…burning…burying…recycling them all in like a replicator…those that’s kinda squiky if they used replicators for food… maybe they configured some kinda vaporizer…

          • Soilent Green really IS made of people 😛

        • timeaesnyx

          Good question actually, thank you.

        • W Nelson

          That’s the kind of task that we are engineering Artificial People to perform–tedious physical labor, jobs that require limitless strength and stamina, dangerous work and conditions that could be hazardous to human health.  Our D-models can clean up biological debris quickly and efficiently with maximum care and attention to detail, to restore sanitary conditions in the kind of timeframe human teams just couldn’t handle.  Hours after a conflict of moderate size, the arena of battle can be completely cleansed of offending material.  It’s just one of the many ways we at Noneco are working to manufacture a brighter, safer, cleaner tomorrow.

      • elijah elquest

        i was thinking of the managing his human emulation (F’YANOWHADIMEAN)
        its just curious. i’m forever interested in seeing how alex and winnona classify their android.

        i wonder what their cooling system is.. 

  • ithilloke

    “Did you miss these two?” Are you kidding me? Anyway, I love Jeff’s reaction in the last panel. Brilliant!

  • Ah?! Shit… Now I need to try and talk someone into going to Bent with me X_X I gotta meet you! And see about some of your merch *winks*
    Pity… My girl won’t be able to come with me… Her mom keeps giving me friction… *since she still lives with her mom, her mom makes the rules… Lets see if this lasts another 6 months*

    Hope to see you, just need to get a ride and their ticket XD
    Love, Jade

  • elijah elquest

    aw they are already more than half way through their time alone together… :'(

    im so looking forward to deacon beating up some other deacons in jeff’s defense.

    • elijah elquest


  • I have a question for Winona.
    Do you ever have a page where you’re chugging along and you keep thinking to yourself “Oh man, I am NAILING this one! This is turning out GREAT! :D” ?
    I’ve got my rough sketch for fanart, and usually I don’t like the do the lineart via the computer, but I’ve got a can of white mountain dew, a picture for reference and colors, and I am just LOVING how this is turning out!
      On a related note, I’m looking forward to doing Jeff’s hair. I love doing hair in GIMP.

    • W Nelson

      Oh yeah.  Happens pretty often now; the first few were much rougher. But there are always ones where I just screw it up horrendously and then keep making it less and less crappy until it’s okay.  Sometimes Alex asks for things like making a character laugh sardonically at himself and God, and I end up just giving him some random attempt and we go back and forth adjusting the corners of a mouth and how wide open the eyes are, etc.  And other times he says to make them sexy.  And I’m all “Why Alex, I thought you’d never ask!”

  • mikakitten

    ~Awww!!! Love post smex cuddles 🙂 looks nice…Deacon cuddling up to Jeff after their smexual relations…shame we missed it!!! Hope we get more soon! 😀 x x x

  • Nikolicious

    Brokeback Moun- Laboratory. Is this real life?

  • Judging from the clothes layering, it looks like they both got their shoes off first, then Jeff’s shirt. But what I find interesting is that Deacon’s clothingsuit (Official term for them! I’m petitioning NoNeCo) Is BENEATH Jeff’s pants. So Deacon stripped first before getting Jeff’s pants off hm? >:D interesting.
    But we STILL have yet to see them kiss outside of fanart! DX

  • Carolyn Nelson

    It seems to me that the Doctor is looking for signs of emotional maturation, or an up grade in emotional intelligence. 
    This would either indicate leveling up in overall intelligence, which is a win in 
    robotic advancement, or  possibly dangerous destabilization in the artificial human.
    Tough questioning is a must in either scenario.
    How much am I bet that Ms. Doctor has that room on alert and that she is armed to the pearlies?

    • timeaesnyx

      sucker bet. And a well thought out analysis of maven.

  • Vanessa Trepanier

    Ahaha! Deacon was wearing tightie blackies! I’m amused, but sad we didn’t get to see what happened!

    • Krondor2000

      I think those belong to Jeff.  And I only see one on the floor.

      • Vanessa Trepanier

        Jeff had green boxers. Go back a few pages.

  • YES!!! Bonus page on my birthday! the cosmos must love me

  • Lorescien

    Oh, Dr. Maven, you just want to hear about their wild, awesome sex. It’s okay… we do too. Though I’m sure we’d much rather SEE it than hear about it. 😉

    Awesome work! Can’t wait for the next page. Still my favorite on the web! (Even better than Teahouse to me. :D)

  • Diseasedface

    I could never despise that woman! she is passionate and takes no bullshit from anyone! but i also think she is open minded and would understand if n ignore this mischievous behavior deacon has been up too 😀

    i also think its adorable and splendid they formed a relationship ! ^_^

    well done to the both of you!!! a subtle but pleasant lead up :D!

  • karmelion

    I’m particularily liking the sock on top of the bookshelf. Hee hee hee.

    I like Maven cause she’s not taking any guff from Deacon. After dealing with all her namby pamby human patients it must be nice to be able to get a straight answer out of one without sixty sessions of hand holding first.  You could argue that she doesn’t need to maintain that facade of aloof, unbiased professionalism because Deacon, as a non-human doesn’t seem to have any rights or access to redress. He is technically property. He certainly will feel emotions and learn from his experiences by compiling quantitative and qualitative data. But will he be emotionally damaged, or will his feelings be ‘hurt’ if Maven is a little rough with him? It seems as if this will simply be another social interaction in which he was treated as less than human; and as no one ever put him under the illusion that he WAS human, it follows that his emotional equilibrium should remain unchanged. Jeff seems to be the only one who see and treats Deacon in a manner that suggests equality. And, well, this relationship and all it’s facinating intricacies are why we read Artifice.

    That and the smexy, steamy, hot adroid action. Rrrawr.

    • Here here! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • lordofthegays

    HAHA I laughed at Maven’s naughty facial expression. Later she will use his stories to get off on? And I must say that the last scene is adorable, sexy and adorable.

  • Oh Winona! D: How the hell you manage to get out TWO pages a week lately that all feature MULTIPLE panels of Deacon is a mystery to me!
    My fanart is coming along, I got bodies, clothes, Jeff’s hair: all done! And I feel like a rock star. then…. DEACON’S HAIR. godamn buzzcut! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
    I’ve slowed to a painful millisecond crawl, and several times I’ve contemplated just printing what I have and doing the darn stuff BY HAND.

    • W Nelson

      I ink by hand, the hair’s much easier with a pen and paper 🙂

      • timeaesnyx

        Due warning, my mom is writing a comic book, so i will probably be passing on any tips you post here to her. 

  • Krondor2000

    As Ben Grimm would say, “Of all the revoltin’ developments!!”
    Poor Deacon!  He is just sitting there! That woman is evil!!  Can’t wait for Saturday!
    And by the way Alex, when you offer those juicy prints for sale online, make sure you have plenty!!  Since you always hit your 250 just about every week, I’m sure there are more than just a few people who are interested in them.  After all, some of us are just curious how well Deacon is built!!  🙂

  • I LOVE DR.MAVEN. She is just so awesome and is doing a fine job. I think her inner fangirl got the best of her because when I read that third panel I yelled, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH no she didn’t” That panel killed me XD. Great job as always.

  • As much as I adore this to pieces, I can’t help but notice one thing…

    They haven’t kissed yet. Well, ON THE PAGE they havent 😉

    This needs to happen! <3

  • Snarkyred

    30 days of lovin’.    XD!!

    • Snarkyred

      Oh wait, wait!!….

      “In just 30 days (30 nights), I can make you a ma-an-an-an-nnn!”

      • timeaesnyx

         Wait, where’s the sweet transvestite? And do we even know if DaVinci 4 is the neighborhood of Transylvania? Also, how did Riff and Magenta figure out how to use a microphone for interplanetary travel?

        • I don’t know, but if we can go there, prepare the transport beam!

  • Amerou

    Panels 3 & 4 –

    When will I learn not to be drinking anything when I pull up Artifice?

  • unrequited_pocky

    Welcome to the wonderful world of con tables! I’ve had a couple in artist alley at local conventions, and even sat in with some newly made friends before, and I love the atmosphere. 


  • SpiffyBanana

    oh god! i love the third panel! i’m a little on the fence about her, she’s an interesting character, and she’s doing her job, i just feel bad for Deacon XP

    and that last panel. mm.

  • Ellen Strub

    I’m not sure what I think about Maven… I have no idea what’s really going on in her head, though I’ve noticed she only gets angry when Deacon starts to dance around her questions. I think she just wants to hear the story. Like us, she’s impatient for the juicy details o_o

    • timeaesnyx

      I’m pleased that someone else noticed that. 🙂

  • “The angels descended…the earth moved” wonderful. I had a slight flashback to BladeRunner: The Final Cut. But this is so much better!

  • Carolina Alejos


    That’s all I had to say XD

  • Maven just wants her fancy tickled! Poor Deacon.

  • DoktorNauk

    She’s so scary!

  • Marbutt Face

    So, Maven has a rape face, too.

    • …. getting kinda tired of the “rape face” comments. And any and all rape comments in these things.

      Alex, is it possible to censor that word? Some of us here don’t like having our experience ruined, especially of such a wonderful comic. This kind of thing is the main reason (second one being the arguments that turn into personal attacks in comments) I leave comics completely. People can get peeved at me for being “so sensitive,” but I don’t give a crap. I’m sick and tired of being one of the many people who are triggered by the casual, slapstick use of the word “rape.” It’s NOT funny. It’s a horrible experience, and it’s an insult to Maven to even put her with it in the same sentence. I want to believe humanity is wonderful, but with crap like this, it’s VERY difficult.

      • HoneyThistle

        You know what?  Get over it.  I myself been through the awful misfortune of being raped, and I found the comment you’re responding to FUNNY.
        And it is not an insult to Maven; she works for the evil empire for Jeebussakes!  You know, the one that BUILDS thinking, feeling AIs and then sends them into volatile situations to fend for themselves as they can?
        Grow a thicker skin or STFU.  Either way, the comment was funny.  And relevant.

        • W Nelson

          I’m sorry you had to go through that…  But perhaps a more measured response could keep things from escalating here.  Different people have their different opinions.  Sometimes we should just let it go.

          • HoneyThistle

            I apologize if I gave the impression that I was trying to pick a fight; I wasn’t.
            A big part of why I enjoy this particular webcomic experience is scrolling through all the different kinds of comments people post.  The assertion that certain words or phrases should be censored, because one overly-sensitive reader finds that word or phrase offensive, is very offensive to ME.  And in case no one else spoke up to that effect, I wanted to make my feelings clear.  Again, I’m sorry if I worded my rebuttal too strongly, I’ll try to be more mindful of my tone in the future.

          • THANK YOU. I ended up leaving LiveJournal for good over being attacked for making a comment in similar taste and humor to Marbutt’s, because everyone acted like I was some sort of vile human being, how dare I say something like that on the internet! While I agree with Alex that feelings are valid, you can’t always expect people on the internet (or in real life either) to respect them, and to constantly get offended just seems exhausting to me. Like Winona said, you just have to let things go. Did I laugh out loud at that original ‘rape face’ comment? No, and I think I even rolled my eyes, because I do think it’s a tired, overused joke. But that’s the point– you process, you move on, you realize it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place.

      • Didn’t you consider that the same way people may leave comics because of one single word in the coments (which I personaly consider outrageous), others may leave it because of whiny people who get offended easily and have to make such a big deal over just one word?
        He/she was just trying to be funny; don’t like, don’t read.

      • W Nelson

        I personally hate when rape is used in entertainment, like in many movies and games and comics, and all too often a history of abuse is the *only* history male writers can come up with for female characters; it’s lazy and deplorable and our comics don’t do that.  A few commenters making jokes like this on a comic that has sexual themes?  I’m not as concerned.  People joke about dark things, it’s just a part of language and interaction, and when you’re reading comments on an erotic comic, it’s not outside the scope of what anyone might expect to find.  I’m surprised we don’t have more scary or creepy comments really–our readers are wonderful and quite civilized…  I hope a few comments from people unrelated to the production in any way don’t make you disown our work, that would seem terribly extreme.

      • OK, I have been swamped with work and today I’m on the road so I haven’t been able to be as present in the comments as I’d very much like to be (especially on a fun page like this one), but you deserve to have a direct answer from me about your concern.

        First, I personally empathize with you about certain words triggering a strong response. As you could probably tell by reading my work, rape and non-con isn’t something I find appealing as a theme as a creator or entertaining as a consumer. Cracks with the word “rape” in it involving my fictional characters or other non-real people don’t particularly upset me, but strongly misogynistic or racial slurs certainly could. So, are you being “too sensitive”?  Your feelings are your feelings. You have every right to them. Period.

        That said, my comment policy is meant to allow for civil discussion on all topics. Having a list of words that are out-of-bounds runs counter to that—and frankly, would be nigh impossible to come up with. There are lots of valid trigger words out there—for some the word “history” is hurtful because it can be interpreted as being “his story” and thus annihilating to women—what’s upsetting to some can be, as has been discussed here, upsetting to others to censor. That’s not to say that I won’t ever moderate a comment if it has upsetting words—I’m certainly not a fan of the “C” or “N” words—and I make no bones that I can and will moderate and delete any and all comments at my sole discretion.. But coming up with a specific list of forbidden words is not something that I’m going to do.

        One thing that is very clear to me, though, is that we all need to treat each other with respect here, especially if we disagree with them. Personal attacks on other commenters or Winona will get deleted by me and will most likely get the commenter banned. I’m dead serious about this.

        So far, the responses to this comment haven’t crossed that line, in my opinion. But with phrases like “Grow a thicker skin or STFU. ” and “whiny people” the responses are walking that line and so I’m wanting my word to be the last word on this particular thread:

        Char has asked me if I would amend my comment policy to include a specific word. I have chosen not to do that. But as “Word of God” in this little corner of the Internet, I consider Char’s feelings to be 100% valid. She wasn’t out of line to ask this of me. And I am now asking that that be the end of this.

        And… just as I was typing this response, I see that HoneyThistle has just replied to Winona that they plan to be “more mindful of my tone in the future” which just confirms to me that I’ll think we’re all on the same page here. There are a lot of things that makes this comment section particularly special—the intelligence, wit and enthusiasm of everyone commenting being top of the list. But there’s also an exceptional tone of respect here that I think everyone appreciates. I haven’t yet had to delete or ban a commenter and it’s my full belief that I never will have to. Why? Because you are all just that awesome.

        And that is what I’d like to be the final word on this topic. 🙂

        • This is one of the only two comics where I can and DO read the comments. And I do so constantly. The other comic is all-sex and totally off the wall and the comments there are goofy and irreverent, fitting with the light-heartedness of the comic itself and sometimes making me laugh more than the posted page itself did.

          Here, is the opposite end of that spectrum. I was talking to my boyfriend about it recently, how even the smallest things like “Does Deacon have full working human anatomy?” will start debates that touch themes of humanity and society and bring new insights to a discussion.
          Since I’m not currently in a philosophy course of any kind, I miss being able to hold such debates with others and LOVE that I consistently find that here. It’s the way forums were intended to act.

          I will agree with Char. C that the term Rapeface is irritating, especially as it is never used in the context of rape, so it seems completely meaningless. It’s a term that I tolerate as an internet annoyance because it’s not used as a slur, but I usually just roll my eyes and move past the comment.
          I understand the word button though. My buttons are “Dyke” and using the word “Gay” to mean terrible or something that is the last thing one would want. The second one especially. I can’t STAND people saying something is ‘gay’ when they mean that it is ‘a horrible piece of trash devoid of worth’. >.<

          So my sympathies Char. C
          And I agree with you Alex. One of the best things about this comic is how you've got such an excellent forum of readers.

      • mist42nz

        what about those of us who it wasn’t a “horrible experience”? who have suffered far worse from consensual (and even from committed regular partners)

  • Bahahaha. Oh, man. I think this is one of those moments where Maven really loves her job, and I feel sorry for Deacon. Is lying in his programming…? Seems like it isn’t, though he’s tried extremely hard to bend the truth in his favor up to this point, or just avoid answering altogether as in the previous page.

    Also, the framing of this comic continually impresses me, and the last panel of this page is great. Alex and Winona, do you both collaborate on the perspectives and angles, or does one of you decide that primarily?

    • W Nelson

      Alex gives instructions for how close a shot he wants and occasionally suggests an angle if he’s picturing something specific, but usually the actual camera angle is up to me.  We both consider his shot calls a suggestion more than a rule, if there’s something that I think will look better he always goes for it 🙂

    • He CAN lie! Totally. Maven has specifically said that she’s programmed him NOT to during this session.
      Damn that has to suck for Deacon. Anyone who has his master codes can turn him onto ‘truth serum mode’ for however long they like. Can you imagine if someone in authority could do that to YOU? Like your parents or your teachers when you were in high school?? D:

  • Aikka

    Alex: just wanted to inform you that my sis added a permission in description xP

    • Awesome. Thank you! I look forward to posting it up! 😀

  • Has anyone else noticed a lack of a second pair of underdrawers in that pile of discarded clothing?

    • David Boccabella

      In one of the previous pages it’s indicated that Deacon goes commando.

      • We have yet to see him salute though, which is mildly disappointing. But I don’t know that we will.  😛

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I absolutely LOVE what you are doing with this story. I love that these are characters first and homosexual second. That it really is a story about forbidden love, no different than Romeo and Juliet. 
    Please tell me you are going to print this into a graphic novel when you are done. I know several people who don’t read web comics who would love this. 

    I do like Dr. Maven actually. It’s obvious she’s doing her job and has her own way of doing it. What her true motivations are… well, I look forward to discovering that. 🙂

    • Thank you for your very kind words, Kat. They’ve put a big smile on my face. I’m glad you’re liking what we’re trying to do here (and are looking forward to finding out how the story unfolds!).

      And all the pages are print-ready. If there is interest, Artifice will definitely go to print. 😀

      • INTEREST! I have a HIGH level of interest right here! And I can find other posters who do too!

  • Maven…thank-you. I waited so long to hear that statement. Now to only get deacon to do the tony the tiger, frosted flakes slogan. XD

  • I want to be Dr. Maven when I grow up. She’s way too awesome! I think I’m a bit in love with her (me and 99% of the readers XD)

  • David Boccabella

    I know a few people are dissapointed in Dr Maven but I have been re-reading and thinking. Deacon is one of the newest advanced Artifices [pg9] – the previous ones were of much lesser intelligence. Also Artifices are not yet that common as the company has not yet started to crank them out.. [Pg3]. Maven is one of the first people to speak with Deacon to find out what happened. Far from Deacon being just a automation – he is intelligent, articulate, has feelings, and desires.  Is he sentient – definately, is he human or so similar as to muddy the legal waters – that is the question.
    Dr Maven might have to tell the corporation that their ethical treatment of making Deacon and others as slaves is wrong.
    Time and storyline will tell.

    • timeaesnyx

      If treated Deacon as a slave is unethical, then the company will have to discontinue making these models and any future improvements, because it wouldn’t be cost efficient, to say the least.

  • Jenny May

    There is a guy in my Japanese class on Wednesdays who looks just like Jeff, I can never wait to get home to read the bonus page, lol.

    I’ve always been undecided what I think about Maven. I do like her, but I prefer the interactions between Jeff and Deacon so I usually look forward to the story going back to them. I do like Deacon’s reactions when talking with Maven though.

  • Story time!
    I just got home from a two-week tour of France (I live in Ohio), and one of my many concerns was that I was going to be unable to read this webcomic whilst I was gone. So I’ve just been going back over everything I’ve missed, and I swear to bejeebus, the highlight of what I missed is this page. Maven’s face, Deacon’s face, the last panel… It all just radiates this wonderfulness that can’t be described with words. Thank you for making my return a happy one. 🙂

    • fujoshifanatic

      A two-week tour of France? My jealousy is only surpassed by the awesomeness of this page. Hope your trip was as wonderful as I imagine it would be.


      • We should all get together and pool our resources for a trip! You can get a discount with some tours if you have a large group.

        • I only remember how to say, “Where is the library?” and, “You fat female dog!” oh and “It is very cold!” Hmmmm nevermind I think I shall do fine! I have a way to gather more information, a canned insult, and a small talk convo starter! XD

    • Yay! What an awesome story. A two-week tour of France sounds awesome. I’m glad we could give you a treat to return home to. 😀

  • Man oh man, this is good stuff. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see anything, even though I started reading the comic knowing that it wasn’t going to be Starfighter. Still, this is so tastefully done, it drives me wild. If only there was a side comic that was megaslutty! XD

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    Nineteen days and he’s still thanking Jeff every night?  I guess the little dude turned out to be a natural…

    • timeaesnyx

      Presumably, this is the first time since Jeff is in a sense thanking Deacon as well. Unless the both, to use a wrong terminology, pussy whipped for each other.

      • SteveMcSheffrey

        I checked this morning and I believe sex commenced on Day 39.  BTW, I know it’s only one post-coital panel but I haven’t seen anything that indicates Deacon is close enough emotionally to Jeff to kill seven people over him.  There has to be something else that happens when that team arrives…

        • Or in between. It seems obvious that Deacon cares about Jeff now, the way he was twitching when Mavis first mentioned him.

  • sincostax

    Lol, Maven’s face when she asked how it felt XD
    Awwwww, I am really looking forward to every new update for this webcomic!
    Looking forward to seeing some more, Mr Woolfson <3

    • Thank you, sincostax! I’ve been loving reading all the responses in the comments on this page. Both Maven’s quip and Jeff’s response are classic examples of AlexHumor which Winona totally nailed with her art so I’ve been looking forward to sharing this page for a long time. I’ve been buried under work and travel over the past few days so I haven’t been able to comment as much as I’d very much like. But I really appreciate reading the kind words of readers like yourself. They’ve really buoyed up what has otherwise been a challenging few days. So, thank you!

  • Darby Roorda

    On another note, I just want to see Deacon and Jeff kissssssssssss. It’ll be beautiful.

    • ScreamingFurby

      That’s all I want too!

      • Omg same!

        • Does fan art count? I just need to color in what I’m doing and that could slightly sate some kiss enthusiasts, though I’m no Winona!

          • W Nelson

            Dooo eeet!!

  • HannahDJA

    On a different note: I noticed something really funny to me. I just subscribed, and I started reading “Tough.” And I noticed, since I’m such a big fan of Artifice, that on the first page, the shirtless guy in the poster holding the soccer ball behind Mike and Rob about to kiss, LOOKS JUST LIKE JEFF. BAHAHAHHAA.

    • W Nelson

      Heehee!  You found my little Easter Egg ^_^

  • mereyp1

    Holy Bejeezus, Deacon is ADORABLE. He blushes at all the right moments! I love love LOVE his expressions, and how he uses all those big words… 

  • RustyBurrell

    Deacon should give her a biiiig ‘hug’ >:)~

  • Maven, you devil!  <3  I love the eyebrow quirk, the unexpected question, and the almost smarmy grin…  

  • Michael Bowman

    ‘Angels descended… the Earth moved…’ ~nods head~ I can see it. Totally.

    Fantastic work, as always!

  • cjfrankie

    Jeff’s face is just pricelessly adoreable!!! Love it!

  • I just want to say I enjoy this story alot…

  • Two words: AFTER. GLOW.


    <333 Oh, I LOOOOOVE the facial expressions on this page. SOOO MUCH!

  • Oh no my heart! It is breaking! I can’t make it down for Bent! But now I know it is there and that is a biiig help! X3 I love Deacon’s expression as if he is suddenly sucked back into his memory files to relive that time with Jeffy! Too too adorable you guys!

    • Also congrats on this being the 50th page of Artifice! Yay! X3

      • Thank you! I guess that is a milestone, isn’t it? 😀

        • Yup! Looking forward to commenting on many more in the future!

  • Though I am pathetically behind on NaNo (haven’t hit the 20K barrier as of this post), I at least am stocked up with soda and other necessities for life, and am now camping!

  • Hmmm. I wonder how folks would feel about me posting up the next page a little bit early tonight…..

    • AWESOME.  That’s how 🙂  But why the thoughts of posting early?  

      • Just have everything buttoned up a bit early. 

        And I’m getting a little sleepy. 😀

        • If you have it ready, go for it!  I doubt anyone here is going to complain.  I hope your back isn’t paining you?

          • Nah. Just a long, intense week. 🙂 But thank you for asking.

            Oh, and the new page is up. 😉

          • I see that it is!  Pardon as I go fangirl all over it.  No fear; fangirl is hypo-allergenic 🙂

          • “Hypo-allergenic”. LOL

          • “Fangirl all over it” Ha! Reminds me of the time my family was staying at a hotel and my brother “claimed” one of the beds by rolling around and making “snow angels” on it… 😀

    • Trickums

      Yes please! 😀

  • I am in love with Maven :)) I love how twisted she is, and how she manipulates Deacon, reminds me of myself and my mom :))

    • Your mom must be one hell of a formidable woman!

      • You have no idea :)) People say I take a lot from her. I’m so tempted to show this comic to my mom and tell her

        “Mom…you’re Maven personified.”

        But that would probably get me grounded until I get married.

        • Or worse, she could like it too.  Not that this comic is a bad thing to like; far from!  It’s just that knowing one’s mom’s sexual preferences/enjoyments can be a little….::makes squicked out face::  I know my mom and I discussed things like that, but luckily those were edited.

          • My mom is very open to Homosexuality since there are a lot in our family, (I myself am a Bisexual) but I doubt she’d approve of my reading habits hahaha!

  • Saberri

    Maven’s creeping me out more than I think she should. She’s getting her daily dose of porn.

  • wow! I didn’t like Maven very much before (I am the eternal lover of the underdog and she seems to be kicking the dog- the killer android dog) because she’s mean, but i think that sneer in the third panel may have made me reconsider my opinion. That might be my favourite panel so far. okay wow 🙂
    (and she’s got grey eyes too, that’s a plus..)

  • I love Maven’s questions – relentless, but never unimportant – and Deacon’s face in the fourth panel reads quite clearly as ‘Are you serious? How do you think it made me -feel-?’

  • anonymouslizzy

    Shit. O_O Every night? Imagine all that butthurt for Jeff! 

  • Victoria Ham

    I do believe, Dear Doctor, if he did not like it, it wouldn’t be happening EVERY NIGHT!!

    How did this person get her medical degree if even I can see that and I haven’t finished college?

  • Wow, Deacon is the KING of understatements!

  • Ree

    a;sldfalksdflksdf so ADORABLE 😀

  • ah I see why she got so angry! She wanted all the sexy info and he did not want to give it! ;3

  • Oh my f…

  • Kabbalist

    Oh, Panel 3…I laughed out loud at the joke and expression. She knows exactly what she’s asking and the humorous dig she’s taking!

  • Anytime I hear that question it always makes me laugh and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just how overused and how inappropriately used it can be…I’m honestly not sure but I find it hilarious!

  • John

    I think the word she’s looking for is “tittilated”