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Artifice Page 71

90 Comments on Artifice Page 71

A powerful argument, Deacon. Ethos, logos, pathos… Will it save your life?

We have new Fan Art from Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz. It’s a very sweet moment with our two heroes—one to warm your heart on this cold night. Do check it out. 🙂

And something else you should absolutely check out is Humon’s webcomic Niels & Gang. It takes a little while to really get cooking (its setup definitely gave me pause)—and you should definitely read the artist’s notes under each page to fully enjoy the story—but now I’m totally hooked. It’s a rare webcomic that I just can’t stop reading, but I blasted through the last year’s worth of pages in one go. And despite how it begins, it actually has become a very sweet love story. Highest recommendation. Read it now.

And look, we’ve now raised $120 towards the next bonus page! 😀

Special thanks to long-time supporters Christina H. as well as to Brian d. (who has donated for the eighth time in a row!) for their generous donations over the last few days!

And big hugs to long-time friend of Artifice Robert B. and also to new friend of Artifice Johnathon H. for their super-generous $25 donations!

Thank you all so much for your support!

So… as some of you have pointed out, Maven has taken a few steps back into the room. What do you think? Has Deacon succeeded? Will Maven relent?

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!
  • YAYYYY <3 First to comment ^0^/ Awwwwwwwww T^T… Poor Deacon! I still don't like the lady. 

  • krissdevalnor

    Deacon is just too cute^^ *fangirl scream*

    I think Maven will listen, but won’t be convinced :S

    Excellent shading in the last panel btw! looks very realistic  (trying to learn it myself)

  • melinda stumpf

    someone needs to give deacon a hug

    • Imagine Maven hugging him.

      • melinda stumpf

        how about jeff

        • 😀 That would be awesome, of course. But because you said ‘someone’, I immediatly thought of Maven. Yeah. I’m strange.

  • Beautiful pages, Alex & Winona! That last panel was just so heart-rending and poignant!  The only way he’d be a tool in my book is if one of those decisions he would change was to not be with Jeff.   Also, I hope he realizes that it is the choices we make that leads us to who and what we become as we grow.  I think that meeting Jeff is one of those crossroads that will determine whether he stays “just a machine” or becomes a “man,” in the truest sense of the word.
    Geez, Alex, its 3:31am here and you have me pondering all these complex, emotional ideas of humanity and sentience in robotic individuals!

    • Thank you, Jamie! (And it one of the greatest compliments to hear that we got you pondering some of these deeper issues. 🙂 )

  • Deacon sure knows how to play with one’s emotions. x’D
    But when he says he would make many different choices, does that mean he wouldn’t allow himself to love Jeff, anymore? Or does he only say that to convince Maven? Ahh, I wish I knew how Jeff is doing…

  • Araceli Rodriguez

    oh, ka! that last panel is tearing my heart to shreds. i love it. 

  • tom1988

    Can you tell Maven to stop being so hot?

  • cyancat

    Fabulous!!! Guilt trip that woman Deacon!!!!!!!

    Happy to be here as soon as its posted 😀

  • Ambler

    This the-rapist lady does nothing but piss me off, lol. Though, I imagine that’s the whole reason of her existence…

    • Andr913

      How is Maven a rapi-oooooohhhhh.

  • Aikka

    Deacon on the last panel… ;-;

    though i start to be worried
    What different choices Deacon? hmm? >.<

    As always can't wait for more o..o
    [and sorry for a late comment "XD]

  • mwxl

    The one thing I really can’t figure out is why Maven likes the colour purple so much. Maybe she likes the book? Although I think that era of history is far behind them now. I mean, she has purple nails and purple earrings! From her personality…I would definitely not have guessed purple her favourite colour.

  • Maven continues to amuse me with her genre-savviness, so I just know she’s not gonna let him get away with this tactic, either.  It’s a good one, on his part, just the very WRONG target of Maven.  :3  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Yukiness

    You should also check out Humon’s Scandinavia and the World comic while your at it Alex. But Niels is awesome too. Agent 300 is my favorite though. He’s too hilarious.

    • Hehe. I myself am a big fan of 250. And Duncan. 🙂

      • Yukiness

        250 is sweet but Duncan has his cute moments. Drunk duncan is awesome though

  • Yukiness

    As for the page today, I must say that Deacon is fighting very well with his words. I wonder what Maven’s gonna do next.

  • fujoshifanatic

    Deacon in the last panel, awww! Despite Maven’s iron lady stance, Deacon is already halfway to changing her mind — if she was so dead set on her decision, this conversation wouldn’t have gotten this far. 🙂 You can even see it in panel five; her face isn’t nearly as hard there as in panels one and two. Keep talking Deacon, she will relent, though it may take a while!

  • Oohoohoo, emotional manipulation on a psychiatrist?  Risky move, Deacon… but let’s see how it works!

    God I love this comic.

  • I keep thinking (and I’m sure others in comments I haven’t read have said as much) that this is at least partly another technique Maven is using to draw out what she really wants to hear from Deacon. I’m hoping so, since it gives Deacon better odds of survival as well as a better chance to be with Jeff again. Jeff! *cries with worry* I still don’t think she’s very professional as a therapist…at least not a regular one. As a corporate therapist meant to work with androids and stuff it seems like she knows what she’s doing. Yikes!

    • Geoffrey Brown

      Maven’s been tasked with salvaging the situation however she can. While he went against the directives (they’re wondering how the hell he managed that and how to alter the wording they use for directives) he at the same time killed (almost) an entire TRAINED squad of soldiers (as opposed to untrained to partially-trained colonists) so his combat skills are clearly worth keeping here.

      At the same time, the ‘heartless’ group she work for wants to make sure this ‘therapist’ (someone commonly known for just caring TOO MUCH) won’t take his side and assist him in this situation. Undoubtedly they hired her to be the cold bitch she is while AT THE SAME TIME getting the job done (in this case by threatening and bluffing quite skillfully until he gives her what she wants). If she DOES care, she probably can’t show it because everything is being recorded.

      Personally I think she really is a bitch. She knows they programmed him to be massively intelligent and only controllable via control code and she can’t trust anything he says. Part of what she’s doing is acting the part to maintain her control of the situation but also she’s good at the act because she really just feels that way. She can’t allow him to be killed, though, because she’s a therapist FOR MACHINE PEOPLE (in the eyes of her superiors) so if she doesn’t succeed at her very first session and has him discontinued why the hell should they keep paying her? They can end him just as easily as she can.

      How much of that does he understand though? And just how much acting is HE doing, how much calculated response? I’m just loving this whole situation between them and can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Reign

    Last panel broke my heart poor Deacon 🙁 I agree with everyone I think Maven is just testing him. I really want him and Jeff to be reunited! I just wonder where Jeff has been all this time and if he’s ok?

  • Ayella

    It wasn’t murder. It was Jeff-defence!!!!

    (Thanks for the Niels tip. My Saturday is gone, but I’ve gained another wonderful addiction.)

  • Kenne Stuart

    All these updates are great! I just can’t get enough!!

    But right now I’ve just been keeping my fingers crossed that the Doc will relent! The suspense is killing me! D:

    • Thank you, Kenne! Glad you’re enjoying the updates.

      And you’ll find out if Deacon is successful very soon… 😉

  • I’m glad I stumbled on your webcomic somehow.

    Fantastic storyline. I’m completely hooked. I’m desperate for Deacon to survive.

    I’m wondering if somehow he is engaging in enough mental wordplay to “rewire” himself mentally to get around any/all of his command codes? Just enough at least to incapacitate Maven?

    • Thank you, boweneer. I’m really glad you found us too—and that you’re enjoying Artifice!

      And I like the way you’re thinking about what Deacon is doing. 🙂

  • metisofarabia

    Of course it’ll save Deacon’s life… he still has to save Jeff…right? Right?!

  • No, Maven’s the tool, the bitch.

  • Kel Z

    I lost some Saturday with the Niels tip, too. Darn you! :: shakes fist :: I <3 250.

    And that bit of fanart cracked me up!

    I really am looking forward to Maven's reaction on this one. Her next decision feels like it's going to have to be big. Is she going to walk out and get on with the original plan? Will she see this as challenge? Will her icy little heart melt a little? (ok, we already know the answer to that is probably 'no' hey, I can put it out there, right?)

  • C K

    I think I may have made this comparison before, but Deacon and Maven’s interactions almost remind me of a mother and her kid.  Deacon is like a son trying to worm his way out of getting grounded by working his mom’s guilt (“*sniff* I didn’t think you’d get so mad at your own kid *sniff* *sniff*).

    Of course, the stakes are much, much higher here, and I have to give credit to Deacon for being able to think what angle to work her on so quickly (though that might be those “minds of a thousand generals” that was put in his brain).  So far it’s working enough that she’s still paying attention — and there is enough logic in his statement that I could see her considering to at *least* test him further before scrapping him.

    That said, I am still anxious as can be, because Maven is a cold lady.  But I don’t think she’s totally unswayable.  But I’m still waiting on the next comic eagerly to see what happens next.

  • ok if she doesn’t soften at that she’s got no soul.

  • Dex X.

    i’m honestly just expecting her to shrug and say “yep. that’s about right” and leave. -____-

  • eleutherios

     Of course you are, darling.  That’s why you need to rip her demonic face off and start wearing it as a mask.

  • Thank you so much for sharing my art!  Thank you even more for making a wonderful series and turning me into a shameless addict.

    *Biting my fingernails nervously until the next update.*

    • You’re very welcome, on both accounts, Vas! Thank you so much for the fun fan art! 😀

  • daarkling

    This is so exciting – I read the whole comic twice today, first to devour the story and then to appreciate the beautiful artwork.  I’m really interested to see what Maven will do.  Part of me almost hopes that she’ll stay guarded against Deacon’s persuasion and he’ll have to make a dramatic escape/Jeff rescue, since so far she’s seemed pretty savvy to Deacon’s rhetorical tactics.  But then again, maybe she’ll relent and we’ll see a more sympathetic side of her.  

    I don’t think Maven’s a total bitch or anything.  I actually still really like her character, although she does seem to get a lot of satisfaction out of wielding power over Deacon and that’s not exactly reassuring.  (Neither are the frequent ominous from-below angles, haha!) But so far I think she’s doing her job – I can understand the reasoning behind her decision even if it sucks bad for Deacon.  I’m so curious as to how he’ll get out of this!

    I wonder if we’ll get to see what’s happening to Jeff before Deacon gets to him…when Maven said he wasn’t being interviewed “exactly” like Deacon my mind of course immediately jumped to all kinds of unpleasant places, e.g. torture.  Yikes…can’t wait for  the update! 

    • You read it twice in a row in one day, daarkling? What an awesome compliment. 🙂 Thank you for the kind words… and the thoughtful reactions!

  • Maven’s like:  “Actually, yes, I do see you as a tool.  I have one of you waiting at home to help me relax.”

    • Andr913

      Considering she looked really interested in the sex details on the earlier pages, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Especially if he looked exactly like Deacon.

      …I hope you meant relax in that sense. Otherwise, it’ll be slightly awkward.

  • Deacon has a big point in panel 3. He’s being condemned for something he was built to do. Wow, sounds like humans made him! -_-

  • Clockworkkefferson

    LOL I’m very skeptical of Deacon. xD;;;
    But I don’t want him to die-!

  • poor Deacon 🙁

  • oscar4life

    2nd panel = My nightmares for the next week

  • JessH911

    Hey Alex, I literally just found your comic today, and devoured every strip, every amazing panel and honestly think you and Winona make an amazing team. The artwork is beautiful, and the plot is enthralling. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Deacon, but I can’t help but wonder what’s happened to Jeff (My absolute favourite character, sooo cute!) So to help you squeeze out another strip, I leave you with my kindest and most sincere thanks for creating an amazing, addicting comic, and a small donation towards a bonus comic.

    • Thank you, JessH911, for the kind words and the support! I’m delighted you found us and that you’re enjoying the comic. (And I promise, we haven’t forgotten about Jeff. Glad you find him cute! :D)

  • JessH911


  • kilpikonnat

    I should do homework but I´d rather reread this again and again

    • Hehe. Glad to be your distraction of choice… 😉

  • HoneyThistle

    Good work Deacon!  You’ve lulled her into a false sense of security, she’s standing WAY to close to you, now quickly!  Grab her by the throat and crush her vocal chords before she can use your master codes!  Make a break for it!  Find Jeff and get the hell out of there!!  Start a new life in some remote star system no one will ever be able to track you to…!

    Sigh…girl can dream, can’t she?

  • Myrtu

    Nice going Deacon, with that last part. Is Maven so heartless that she won’t fall for it? We’ll find out Wednesday, I guess! I really like where this is going, can’t wait to see more. I also really like how Maven looks so intimidating towering over Deacon and the reader. IT’S AWESOME.
    On another note, I like Niels & Gang. I’m not sure I like humon’s style of ending each comic like a funny one-shot, but I’m glad you like it too <3

  • Fabiana Nonato

    I just want to hug Deacon! 

  • Viscoe

    So I just reread the whole comic (which I’ve been following since day 1, and this is my first comment) because I’ve got nothin’ to do really, and I noticed a discrepancy.

    In earlier pages, the number of retrieval operatives killed was seven. Now it’s eight, on this page. Was this an oversight or did someone die in the hospital due to injuries or…?

    That said, I’d also like to drop the (common) insight that the story and artwork are equally beautiful and moving. I love how Winona captures all the odd facial expressions perfectly, like frontal screaming shots and the like.

    • Good catch! In the original script it was eight operatives that were killed, but after receiving Winona’s art for the scene where Deacon attacks them, I amended that to seven. I thought I had changed that everywhere it was mentioned, but I guess not—so thank you for bringing it to my attention! Fixed! 😀

      (And thank you very much for your kind words!)

  • …I remember making a comment about Maven potentially not having a soul if she didn’t respond to the genuine pleas Deacon made.  I repeat them here.  If Maven doesn’t respond to his pleas in THIS page, she might not have a soul.

    The art is stunning!  I can’t wait to see where this goes!

  • Changed my mind. Now I think Deacon is secretly evil.

  • qui-gon-robot

    At first Deacon’s behavior seemed kinda unheroic to me, but then were reminded how young he is emotionally…Damn it Maven! Go easy on Deacon, he’s too young to die Q_Q
    Also, fan art!

  • Wait, he said her too, does that mean, someone also sees him as only a toll?  I hope not Jeff!

  • he’s gotta point Mavie-hun he was built to kill. though is he really expecting mercy and justice from people that built him and his brothers to kill a bunch of colonists? 

  • Zareh Bayat

    Atta boy Deacon, throw in the guilt trip!

  • Sammi Demaris

    I want to hug him so much. ;u;

  • Lol I have a feeling she won’t deal with the guilt trip.

  • Love the second panel. I think Deacon’s face would look a lot more natural if you drew his tongue.

    • … Does he have a tongue?  If you hardly see it in a normal human, and he didn’t need it, would they bother?  Well, he would need it for blowjobs.

      Wait, no saliva.  Owch.  Poor Jeff…

      • Well, a tongue’s the reason most mouths look dark red when you look into them, as opposed to black, like Deacon’s.

        Oh, that’s right. Ow. Another good reason to have a tongue.

  • Last night, I dreamt Maven was hugging me.

    AAAAAAH!!! What are you doing to my brain, Alex and Winona!?! 😀

  • Erica

    man i never have time to really appreciate reading this n e more. i actually forget what day it is and then by the next day im like, OMG THERE WAS AN UPDATE ON ARTIFICE!! *clack clack clack click click click read read read close close close* lol I’ve been so caught up in my school and creating things to sell at a convention. I feel like drawing up a new Artifice picture too. I must squeeze it into my to do list!! lol
    n e way Deacon poses a good argument. He was indeed built to kill and indeedly acted in the only way he knew how. He felt the need to protect and he did just what he was created to do, but just as a [reasonable] human does they learn from it…. maybe. lol
    I have this feeling that Maven turned back and would be like “Duh, You are a tool. You’re a tool to kill, idiot.” lol

    • Good to hear from you, Erica. 🙂 I hope you’re at least having some fun with school and your projects.  (And yes, it’d be awesome if you drew some more fan art!)

  • Lorescien


    On anther note: I love this comic! It always makes me super happy to see an update. 🙂

    • Hehe. Thank you, Lorescien! It makes me happy to hear we make you happy. 😀

  • IF IT DOESN’T SAVE HIS LIFE, then this would be a short comic…

  • AkatsukiNekoJr

    This is why I always wait for a comic to be done or almost completed; I can’t STAND the anxiety of waiting for the next page. It’s no fair I wanna see more now. TT3TT

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying Artifice, AkatsukiNekoJr. More will be up in less than two hours… 😉

      • AkatsukiNekoJr

        Ooh thank you thank you~ I believe I shall be linking your site to help spread your comic and get you the moneys~

  • I seem to be making a habit of this, but yet again thinking of posting early… 🙂

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      Okay, now I’m camping. 😀

  • SolrSurfr3

    Deacon uses Guilt Trip!
    It’s (hopefully) super-effective!

  • flclinutri

    I would like to point out (as I’m re-reading the comic) that apparently Maven doesn’t consider the colonists people but only the 7 men Deacon killed from the corporation and their families. I knew I never liked her, it just reiterated it.

  • NerdyGuy97

    I hate this fucking cunt so much..