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Artifice Page 56

117 Comments on Artifice Page 56

You probably saw Deacon’s declaration coming before Jeff did. In Jeff’s defense, though, outside of his Mom, this is the first time someone’s ever said this to him. And really, who could question those pretty Panel 8 eyes?

We have new Fan Art by ~MrFluffysnout! It’s Jeff, naked and “Posing For The Artist” (click ~MrFluffysnout’s name on the Fan Art page to see the uncensored version.) Thanks, ~MrFluffysnout!


The twelfth in a row! An even dozen of reader awesomeness! Wow!

And the awesomeness continues because the donation bar has gone from $0 to $179 in just the last few days!

Special thanks to long-time supporters gordon g. (donating for the second week in a row!), Virginia H. (donating for the second time in a row!) & Micheal B. (who has now donated for the 14th week in a row! Unstoppably awesome!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow to new supporters Katrina O., Peter R., Tavares J., Craig R. (whom I met at Bent-Con—hi, Craig!) and Ida I. for their generous donations over the past few days.

Big hugs go out to long-time friend of Artifice, Tajuana M., for their super-generous $25 donation!

And OMG, thank-you-oh-so-much android strength hugs go out to Artifice super-heroes Bert M. and Andrew T. They both donated $50 on the same day (Holy cow!) and this makes the second hugely generous donation from Andrew in two weeks! You guys are rock stars!

I’m truly bowled over and humbled by your generosity. Thank you all very, very much!

I had a really great time over the weekend at BENT-CON where I got to meet some of my awesome readers like thisboybroken (Hi, Mark!). This being my first Con, there was a lot for me to learn, but the staff at BENT-CON and other creators really looked out for me, making what would have been hard work, very easy.

They’re going to be having BENT-CON again next year on Dec. 7, 8 & 9 and I’ll definitely be going, so be sure to save the date! (And if you’re interested in seeing pictures of the event, you can find a whole bunch on BENT-CON’s Facebook page!)

And… I’m happy to say that our next update on this Saturday the 10th is a special one. It’s a page I’ve been wanting to share with you for some time. Tell your friends and make sure you check it out—I think you’ll like it. 😀

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! 12/8/11 9:30 PM: Thanks to your generous donations, we’ve hit the donation target yet again! So, in addition to the regular update this Saturday (page 57!), we’ll have a bonus update on Wednesday, 12/14! Awesome! Hope to see you there! 😀

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!

  • AnyOtaku

    Yes!!!!!! At last we have a confession from both of them! Awwww so cute and adorable… Now you can’t deny that there is going to be a kiss REALLY SOON, right? Because I need it!
    Thanks both of you for making this coming, you’re the reason why I have woken up in a holiday day.

    • You’re very welcome, AnyOtaku. Glad you found us worth getting out of bed on your holiday for. 🙂

      And a kiss? Soon? Anything possible. 😉

  • How can such a heartfelt declaration be so beautiful and so sad at the same time?! Can you feel the subtext there…? ‘I love you… but I have to kill you.’ Poor, poor man. Both of them.

  • crimsonkiss22


    I sound like Maven now. But really, this is tough. For both of them. It’s difficult enough being in a relationship, normally. Let’s not get into the facts of being in a relationship with an android who, as far as you know, plans on killing you. 

    I feel a little worse for Deacon. The very idea of love is so alien to him, he looks so uncomfortable. Kind of proud of him too. *w* And, oh ho, I will be here, sir. With popcorn. Ready for another awesome page.

    • Hehe. Thank you. I think you’ll like the next page….

      And yes, even though this is a very sweet moment, they are indeed in a tough spot. But I share your feelings of pride in Deacon. 🙂

  • krissdevalnor

    🙂 great page. for me it went a little too fast from  “let’s try it out”, but I’m still going to kill you to this loveydovey scenes. I’m a big fan though.

    • Very glad you liked the page. 

      And I hear you that it’s feeling too fast. Considering their histories and how entwined their lives are on Da Vinci Four, a month felt like the right amount of time to me for how long it would take for their feelings to grow to this level once they had started being intimate. But I hear that that felt rushed to you. And I promise I’ll try harder to make things more realistic on the next one. 🙂

      • krissdevalnor

        No no. The first part feels very realistic. The development until they have sex for the first time. It’s just that I’d like to see more of the time from the first time they have sex ’til this deep conversation 🙂

        • Ah. now I understand.  I think others might like that too. Maybe when the main story is finished, I could come up with a scene like that as an extra. If Winona had the time to draw it. 🙂

          • krissdevalnor

            That would be wonderful!!! 😀 you could make it as a bonus chapter with donations liek the Wednesday pages. When the story is done I’m always hungry for more becaus eI know it’s finished 🙂

  • Aikka

    o..o my comment today is a little late, but i simply didn’t know what to comment “XD

    Also was a little late for the update too… *hides*

    So, as always i will just make some meaningless comment just to show i’m still here and in love with your comic…. “XD

    Love the page,  can’t wait for more, and Jeff looks so cute here [ok, he always does xD and Winona you know i love your art right? *-*]

    It also a little scares me, i mean…  hm..  how to sum it up. I’ll try…

    If i were making that story there would be some similarities between what you do and i would do. When i read the pages i have that feeling of hm.. a little that i know/recognize it, -probably from some of my own stories i made up ages ago- but more with like someone was just fulfilling my wishes XD 
    Can’t wait ^^ but you don’ need to specially ask us to see any of the pages – i read every of them as soon as i can anyway “XD and i’m sure many do the same xP

    Btw. Are you on any of the photos from BENT-CON by any chance?
    that would be the main reason to look at them ]:>

    [EDIT: found you! ^^]

    • Hehe. Fulfilling my readers wishes is my greatest desire. I’m glad that I’m making that happen in some way for you. 🙂 Thank you as always for your kind words. They really are a great morale booster.

      And yes, there are pictures of me there. Some less scary than others. 😉

      • Aikka

        I don’t recall any scary photos there ^-^

  • System S

    Ach. And now I have to wait until Saturday. Despair! Good thing I have some highly addicting gamestuffs to distract me.

  • The shading on Deacon’s pectorals in panel 5 is impeccable!! (See what I did there?) But no, really, it’s pretty cool to get that level of detail without having to add any extra lines. And Jeff’s grin, while admittedly pretty goofy, is absolutely adorable! I can’t wait for the next update – you’ve got me excited!

    • Yay! Glad to hear it!

      (And I *love* Winona’s shading in Panel 5.)

  • llbutters

    Favourite. Page. <333

    • Really? That’s awesome! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the next one.. 😉

  • Oh sweet god this is becoming to sweet and cute and romantic for words C8 ~faints~

  • Yukiness

    As a whole, this page is great, but I am so caught up in Deacon’s elbow right now. To see the “bone” and “muscles” look how thyey are supposed to look when an arm is positioned that way gives me an artistic boner. Joints are my enemies (exspecially wrists), and that elbow is so beautifully rendered. You both have a fan for life now.

    • Fan for life? That’s awesome! 🙂

      And now that I’m looking at it closely, that elbow is quite nice, huh?

      • Yukiness

        Seeing as human anatomy is an evil thing (at times), yes.

  • fujoshifanatic

    The first and last panels: that face! Those eyes! Winona, you are so awesome; I too have an artistic boner and I can’t draw for crap! And Alex, you are so good at throwing people for a loop! I didn’t think Deacon would tell Jeff how he felt at this point, but it fits in with his “expressing as he works it out in his head” nature. I totally buy it, and I hope Jeff does too.

    And the way he grabs his arm, as if to protect himself from from coming undone by his feelings, is just the perfect touch. Poor boys; they could both use a hug right now. As well as a special something that I waaant to happen on the next page!

    Ugh, the wait for Saturday will be painful!

    I’m so glad that BENT-CON went so well! From the pictures it looks like it was a blast! Thanks for the heads up on the dates for next year; I will definitely make plans to attend! 😀

    • Thank you, fujoshifanatic! I’m delighted that there are both surprises here and that you are still finding everything plausible. That’s a big compliment for a writer!

      Both boys could definitely use hugs. Definitely.

      And I hope I get to see you next year at BENT-CON! That would be awesome!

  • Mandy Aspen

    As I watch this progress, I can’t help but feel more and more worried for Jeff in the ‘present’ as Dr Maven is speaking with Deacon! At least we know that Deacon didn’t kill him though! I do love these two as a couple though, Jeff’s goofy smile and Deacon’s constant shifts between confidence and absolute terror are adorable! Winona, there are just not enough words to describe how cute you make these guys! And Alex, the dialogue is simply adorable between these two :3 Even if it has a nasty subtext lingering beneath it! Wonderful work as always guys, I can’t wait to see the next one!

    • Deacon kinda has a goofy smiles too, if you recall when Maven revealed Jeff was alive he had kind of a goofy smile of relief. It was adorable.

    • Aw, thank you for such kind words, Mandy. They’ve put a big smile on my face.

      Yes, there is a dark subtext here, but for the moment, our heroes can be happy. And that’s always fun for me to write. 🙂

  • Erica


    D’AWWWWWWW OMGGGGGG <33 Deaconnnn you've grown into a man!! XD DEACON IS SO CUTE :333
    and Jeffs super adorable oh face got me. XDD awwww once again my heart lept. lol I definitely can't wait for saturday! OMG SATURDAY, BE HEREEEE ivuenmiworjm8ftnuri!

    If YOU'RE excited to show us teh update on saturday, omg… think of how every reader is screaming at the computer screen [like what i did just now] right now! XD

    mgfoi4u398t5u3gjoierkswue why can't you just update it tomorrow?! lol DARNNN

    • LOL. I’m glad you’re looking forward to Saturday. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww *warm fuzzies*

  • Reign

    I knew he was in love with Jeff and I beleive that he does!!! This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Glad you had a great time at Bent Con and one day I shall get to meet you. Special thanks to all that donate you guys are so awesome!! I can’t wait till Saturday since you say it’s a special page!!

  • Elizabeth

    That last panel. Just oh my gog his face is so beautiful. 😮

    • Agreed. Winona knocked that one out of the park. 😀

  • Ryn

    angsty and mushy, :D.

    there’s gunna be a big wet smooch in the next page. I’m certainly anticipating the look on Maven’s face when she shows up again, heh.

    • It will be priceless, to say the least.

      • Ryn

        oh yeah, love it when she goes off her rocker. Maven’s just one of those people i like to rile just for the fun of it.

        Roy, i just want to piss off. repeatedly. with relish.

  • Mary Kelleher

    Awww you gave me adorableness for my birfday!  I love the art, especially the ‘we haven’t gotten dressed after sex yet’ part.

    • Happy birthday, Mary! I’m glad you liked our gift!  (I’ve always thought that adorableness goes with everything…) 😀

  • Daaaaaaaaaaaw, they’re so cuuuuuuuuuute!  As usual.  XD

  • leorising

    Holy moley! I was not expecting a confession of lurrrrrve. Fantastic! *swoons*

    • Hehe. Glad you like!

      (And BTW, I thought your comment to that guy on the plane who wanted the other passenger to smile was really well written and thoughtful. It should be required reading in schools.)

      • leorising

        Wow, you saw that? The Intarwebs sure are a small place, sometimes.

        (To be very clear, the essay I linked to was NOT mine. Glad you liked the comment, and glad I sounded coherent. I don’t always.)

        Speaking of which, gosh, I wish I could leave you more detailed feedback. The problem is, each page just blows me away, and I’m left  sitting here going, “Ub-buh. Uh. Wow.” Good thing you’ve got more intelligent fans to take up the slack! 😀

        • Yes, I really did like your comment there—and I really appreciate your comments here. Thank you for the props! 🙂

  • thisboybroken

    Okay who could resist Deacon in panel 3??? I am even more in love with him now, if that is even possible lol.  All I have to say is WOW!!! and Jeff in that last panel is so adorable! Great job. (and hi Alex, again great to have met you) You two have out done yourselves here yet again. Now I cannot wait until Saturday!

    • Great to have met you too, Mark. Glad you like the new update! (And I’m still working on getting you an ASO model of your own… You want him to look just like Deacon, right? With the Extra Vulnerability module?)

  • Dex X.


  • Jennifer Closen

    Aw, hell…  X3  ~dies from adorableness~

  • Darby Roorda

    ……What do I have to do to get a smokin’ hot guy like that to fall in love with me? I’ll do it. I swear I will.

    Awesome page. The facial expressions are always so perfect, and the dialogue is at the perfect pace. Sometimes I feel like a broken record, complimenting this whole comic. But, you know, it does deserve it.

    • The compliments are actually a huge morale booster, Darby, especially when you’re specific like you are. Putting out a webcomic like this is a lot of hard work and there are times where I can feel a little, well, let’s just say low energy… Reading kind words from awesome readers like yourself really helps to pick me back up. So don’t ever feel like you’re being a broken record or anything. Your kind words make a big difference for us.

      And as far as I’m concerned, someone awesome like you deserves to have a 100 Deacons falling all over themselves for you. 😀

      • Darby Roorda

        My word! Then I’ll have to make sure to let you know everything that I appreciate/love about this comic more often! I understand how doing a long project can sometimes drag you down, but hey, look at all the fans you guys have gotten over it! Way to be consistently awesome!

        And jeez, I have kind words? I’m sitting here grinning in front of my computer all because of how you think I’m awesome like that. Now I really wish I could give you a hug!

  • ithilloke

    Wow, the eyes in the first and last panels…*sigh*

  • shinashiasusual

    Wow, Deacon looks so serious, and Jeff so surprised!

    Well, I was just in an internet fight with a guy who says that love is a random concept used to explain what happens when the chemicals in your brain say “Stay with this person forever and ever”. Though I don’t agree, if we were to go by this, Deacon feelings can be explained with chemicals and electric impulses, and wouldn’t be any different from a human falling in love. XD

    • Deacon would like the way you’re thinking about this. 🙂

  • Andrew Thibeault

    Ooo, I got mentioned! Huzzah!

    I love your comic, and I really love how you put out bonus pages for donations. It’s genius, actually!

    • Andrew! You! Thank you so much again for such a super-generous donation! It was a huge morale booster when I saw it. There might even have been some dancing. As my pal, Jaysen Headley would say, manly dancing. 🙂

      And the donation bar was actually a reader suggestion. One I’m very grateful for. 😀

      • Andrew Thibeault

        I’m just grateful for your awesome comic. I can’t *wait* to see where it goes.

        Keep up the awesome job!

        • Thank you, Andrew. That’s great to hear. And I’ll do my best! 😀

  • Oh isn’t Jeff just so perfect and precious and delicious-looking? And Deacon too – ah! his torment in the 5th panel makes all his muscles so clear and taught and shiny. The dialogue between them is perfect too.

    • Thank you, icraveyaoi! It’s always nice to hear props about the dialogue.  And yes, Winona sure draws ’em pretty, huh? 🙂

  • i just b’awwwed all over this. and Jeff faces are the best faces. i mean look at it! 

  • Michael Chapman

    I love Deacon’s serious face in the first panel.


    That is what this page did to me. <3

  • CommodoreZelda

    Deacon… is so… PERFECT! <3

  • Maybe a kiss? since they haven’t really kissed in front of us :3 I’ll be wating for the new page!

  • Fabiana Nonato

    Can we see a Kiss? please?
    Really, Deacon it’s  adorable. I’m having a fangirl attack, y’know?

  • Oh my, that chiseled serious face in panel 1. *swoons*

  • Nico Martinez

    IThe first panel with serious concerned Deacon is very cool. Loving the series, and it was great to meet you at Bent Con

    • It was great to meet you too, Nico! I hope you had a good rest of your weekend. Glad you’re liking the webcomic!

  • Silentwisher

    love it 

  • erica pool

    i love the artwork but i just don’t understand why they are falling in love. they’ve barely talked. it’s like a twilight book up in here.

    • elijah elquest

      they have known each other for 68 days, that’s more than 2 months of 24 hour a day contact or presence. 

      • elijah elquest

        (quite a while)
        that’s like more than 4 months of normal person dating. 
        i think its enough time.

    • Haven’t they been hooking up for awhile though? I thought after it went to the scene with him and the psychiatrist, he said it wasn’t the only time they had sex, then it switched back and said something like “day 68” or something. It would’ve been nice to see some cute stuff in between that time frame though.

    • I hear you, Erica. Even though the romance is very important in Artifice, fundamentally I see this as Deacon’s story with the romance being just one part of that, thus a lot of what happens in the development of Jeff and Deacon’s relationship occurs “off-screen.” It was my hope that with the developing ease in the way they were talking to each other after each of the time jumps—with more humor and increasing intimacy in both topics and tone—that it would be clear and plausible that their relationship was developing naturally during those weeks when we weren’t actually seeing them. If I were successful in this, the shifts in their relationship would not feel too abrupt, despite the compressed storytelling.

      But that’s a difficult feat to pull off and I hear it didn’t work for you. I will certainly try harder to make the development of my character’s affections more believable in my future comics. I too sometimes found the main relationship in Twilight to be a bit facile. And I try to strive for more realism than that. 

      I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the art, however. Winona’s work is very special, huh? 🙂

  • “Aw, hell…”
    I’m trying to imagine what kind of accent Jeff would have. 🙂

    • also Deacon has like a “superman” face in the first panel. love ittt <3

      • Hehe. I’ve also thought he looked a bit like Superman, myself! 😀


  • Colleen Boye

    Love Jeff’s sheepish smile in the last panel.  The facial expressions in this comic communicate so much.

  • Greetings from the floor.  I’ve passed out from squeeing too hard, but never fear, I shall recover!  The sweetness of this page was so sweet I think I need a few fillings, and you know what?  That’s FINE!  I love how the sweetness is tempered with a bit of darkness.  As someone mentioned before, Deacon is ordered to kill everyone on DV4, so I’m admittedly a bit concerned for where they’ll be going in the future, but seeing two sweethearts like them getting along so famously warms the tiny flame of the romantic in me.  

    Epically awesome as always, Alex and Winona.  This page gave me the energy to get through my workday!  Looking forward to Saturday’s mystery page 🙂

    • Thank you, Summer. I’m glad you’re enjoying the balance of sweet and dark. Even in the darkness, there can be special moments of happiness. And I’m a big romantic myself. 😀

      Glad to hear the page gave you a little extra pep! 

      • LOL.  Funny thing is, Alex…I’m NOT a big romantic.  I believe in romance, truly, but when it comes right down to it, romance to me is someone fighting at someone else’s side, wading through blood and guts together to stay alive, to stay beside the other.  Beautiful declarations, well…I like them!  I don’t know a person who doesn’t, but I’m more of an “actions > words” girl.

        • I agree. Actions > words for me too. But that those actions matter so deeply to me is one of the things that makes me a romantic. 🙂

          • I can agree with that 🙂

  • ServantShinigami


  • Ayella

    Doki doki!!!!!!

  • KYAHHHHHHH -Liliana fangirls, shrieks- 
    Isn’t he an absolute doll! I love it so much <3 And how appropriate ^^! Given that I am doing my take-home final for LGBT studies!

    • Thank you, Liliana. Good luck on your take-home! 🙂

  • elijah elquest
    • elijah elquest

      oh the ;link doesnt work. ignore me, sorry.

      • Aikka

        ‘saw’ became part of the link.
        if you delete it it works.

  • xenie

    Question:  At this point in the comic – how long have the boys been alone together?  It doesn’t seem like that much time, but I am horrible with timetables. lol . Thanks!

    • They’ve been alone together for 65 days at this point.

  • Aw this just made my day! I’ve been in serious pain for the past months and every Artifice page makes me forget how much it hurts for just a few minutes and I love it. Thank you. 🙂

    • I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve been in pain, Cathcer, but I’m glad that Artifice is giving you some relief. You’re of course very welcome. Your kind words always make my day. 🙂

      I hope you feel better soon!

  • MM

    I just discovered this webcomic…And it’s the most beautiful thing ever. How could I have just found this now? How could I have successfully deprived myself from this beautifully amazing comic? KSDGHS. The art, the idea, the characters..they’re all stunningly brilliant! And let’s not forget the cute, the action, the sexiness, and the funny! This comic is practically everything I’ve dreamed for in a yaoi comic. 

    • Wow. Thank you, Ezio! ::blush:: I’m really glad you’re connecting so much with Artifice!  I’m trying to make the kind of comic I’ve always wanted to read—I’m really glad to hear that you’ve been looking for something like this too. 😀

    • Aikka

      “This comic is practically everything I’ve dreamed for in a yaoi comic.”

  • The artwork and themes approach the quality of the graphic novel version of Tanith Lee’s ‘The Silver Metal Lover’.

  • Aw man. A normal relationship with parents above your head is already complicated enough. But with Maven?! Hahaha. That’s just plain suicide. Lol, I’m kidding of course. Love is beautiful.

  • Caroline Hugh

    isn’t it funny that i wonder where you’re located/what time zone you’re in so that i can view the latest comic strip a minute after you post it? 0:)

  • HannahDJA

    I hope it’s not odd that I’m slightly scared for the update for tomorrow. Like honestly, even though Alex said that it’s supposed to be really special, a writers version of special might be a readers version of surprise, shock and awe and horror. xDD Nevertheless, I really am excited. Just… scared and anxious at the same time. xD

    • Yes, it is true that we writers sometimes have a different idea of what’s “special” vs. what’s a happy result for the characters. And I’ll always do my best to keep my writing honest, even if it means that characters I like sometimes suffer. But in this case, I don’t think you’ll feel like I pulled the rug out from under you. Hopefully, you’ll feel quite the opposite. 😉

  • I forgot to do this as soon as I got home, but I am now camping, and watching Torchwood.  Apparently my cable company decided to give me BBC America.  I approve heartily.

  • I really really hope we get some lip action. 

  • Saamie

    Are we camping yet? It’s the tenth here but I always get confused with the time differences, plus I haven’t been home the past couple of weekends when its been updated anyways……
    Maybe I’ll just hang around anyway and, I mean who doesnt like to just sit and look at Jeff and Decon? ;P

  • Poor Sexy vulnerable Deacon.  I just want to snuggle the shit out of him.  HOW CAN ONE SO MUSCLE-Y PULL OF THAT LOOK!  Its heartbreaking in a ‘melt my heart’ kind of way.

  • LevixEren

    Deacon is just too adorable..