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Artifice Page 76

130 Comments on Artifice Page 76

So nice to see these two finally bonding! 🙂

And look,


And on Sunday, we yet again hit the donation target! That means that in addition to our regular Saturday update, there will be an additional bonus page next week, on Wednesday, February 22nd!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporter Brian d. (who has now made his lucky 13th donation to Artifice! Thank you so much, Brian!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Victor R. & Christian W. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of Artifice Christina C. for their super-generous $25 donation!

And finally, I’m sending out an extra-big, android-strength hug to Artifice superfriend Bryanna G. who follows up their amazingly generous donation last week with an amazingly generous $75 donation this week which put us over the top! Wow, thank you, Bryanna! 😀

And thank you all so much. Your continued support is such a huge morale booster for Winona and me. You really do rock!

All righty then! Hide your wife, hide your husband, hide your kids—but be sure to tell your friends! Maven’s session is now at an end. And that means, this Saturday, you will see Jeff again!

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!
  • Grrr… What do I believe? Too many possibilities! They’re both so vague and noncommittal.
    *EPIPHANY* This comic needs thought bubbles!

    • ErykaSoleil

      Ehhhhhh. I kind of like being left to wonder and come up with wild, left-field theories on what they’re thinking, myself.

      • Me too, but that went south as soon as I became unsure whether or not Deacon will actually kill Jeff. Why must I become emotionally invested in these characters?

        • ErykaSoleil

          Because they’re really well written and drawn, silly. 🙂

  • Erica

    YAY JEFF JEFF JEFF!!! 😀 😀 😀

    mann, even though Deacon and Maven seem to be getting along… i just sense serious danger > _< AGH!! the suspense. XD

  • I’m now having a hard time believing Deacon had good intentions… *sobs loudly* Somebody hold me. :'(

    • Aww! *Hugs Noah* If Deacon turns out to be a self-serving jerk at the expense of Jeff, you can always fix it with one word: “Fanfic”.

  • Hyperminimalism

    I don’t know.  Maven’s turn around was a complete 180 here and I suspect something fishy coming from both their ends.  She’s quite obviously keen to something and Deacon has already proved he can disobey the reason he was constructed.  What’s to say he won’t do it again?

  • So confused! Surely Decon is lieing to save Jeff? SURELY? Right? Please tell me I am right. ;.;

    • B_u_b

      yes you are right (I hope :D)

      • Subhadra Erika

        My current thought is that this will turn to a Romeo and Juliet thing….rather…perhaps a more appropriate reference is Of Mice and Men. Anyway, Deacon kills Jeff and himself while being like FUCK Y’ALL, you can’t take this away from me. 

  • B_u_b

    Let see how Deacon will do with ’emotional control’ when he sees Jeff again. But be warned, love is not so easy to be controlled 😀

  • Haha damn Mavis I love you youre such a bitch 🙂 And Deacon is so cute <3

  • melinda stumpf

    He looks like a little kid with that smile in the 6 panel

    • Yukiness

      Deacon:Do I get candy now? *puppyface*
      Maven: Yes, you may have your man-candy back
      Deacon: 😀

  • You’re gonna need a whole lotta lube ’cause those two are intent on screwing each other hard!

  • ErykaSoleil

    Gawd, Winona’s artwork is -amazing-. I think that every time I check in, but I truly love the subtlety of Maven’s expression in that last panel. I read through the page thinking, “She looks so gentle all of a sudden . . . She can’t -possibly- fall for–waaaait. What is that look on Maven’s face in that last panel? -Gasp!- SHE KNOWS SOMETHING. RUN DEACON, RUN! RUUUUUUUUN! AAAAGH!” (Enter yet another weird look from my dog.)

    And just for fun: I know at least a few other people have noticed Maven’s eyes and outfit match–I would love to see Maven pop up next time with a totally different suit and eye color match. Teal, maybe?

    • I also love what Winona did with that last panel. Totally nailed that very subtle expression. 🙂

  • Kayla

    I don’t know if Deacon is playing Maven or if Maven is playing Deacon or what. Maybe Jeff is playing EVERYONE.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Maven: “And what if I told that Jeff is a ‘playa’?”
      Deacon: -Goes into killbot android rage.-

  • Damn woman, what are you up to!?
    (aside from getting into the D-suit, but let’s not blame her for that, people!)

    • tom1988

      I can’t blame him for getting into her either, if that’s actually what’s happening.

  • tom1988

    When can I take my wife, my husband and my kids out of hiding?

  • Yukiness

    There is something terribly foreboding about this page. It’s so cheerful that it frightens me. I’m all for seeing Jeff again but this growing anxiety in my stomach tells me we might be having a CLAMP moment on our hands. Putting that aside, I wonder how tall Maven is. From the last few pages, she came across as a much taller woman to me (and not due to the fact that most of those panels were upward angle views). Seeing Deacon compared to her is like looking at my sister(5’1″) and my brother in law(6’5″). That being said, it’s great how you portrayed her dominant personality despite the fact that Deacon could sneeze and knock her across the room from the force. The casual, rest assuring touches from Maven’s end is a nice addition as well.

    The more I read this, the more human it becomes.

    • There’s been something terribly foreboding about the last like TEN pages. I think I’m developing a love-hate relationship with this comic – it’s forcing me to experience a rollercoaster of emotions that I do not want, but I absolutely cannot stop myself. Everything about Deacon’s behavior and demeanor here is frighteningly dissonant. It’s not that we can’t understand what’s going on in his head because he’s NOT human; in fact, it’s the exact opposite – it’s difficult to understand what he’s thinking precisely because he IS so human. It’s become absolutely impossible to predict what Deacon is actually planning to do, or what he will do, or what Maven and the others will do, and that is some *incredible* suspenseful storytelling.

      • Yukiness

        In absolute agreeance with you wohdin. although the tension has been mounting for the past ten pages or so, this page in preticular feels like the eerie calm before the massive HOLYSHITWHATJUSTOMGWHY?! type of storm. There is also the promise that Jeff will finally be seen. However, who knows what type of condition we may discover him in. Saying he’s alive is a pretty general discription. Seeing as he managed to survive a colony that was marked for extermination doesn’t really bode well for his treatment. Sure, they’ll want to test him to see how someone so normal could alter the actions of their android models so as well as the origins to the fabulousness of his hair, but such information may or may not come without some harm to his person.

  • Deacon got terribly scared of being deactivated, it’s only natural (heh) he’s prepared to do anything to avoid it. Maybe he really wants to kill Jeff to save himself. However, when he actually sees Jeff, he won’t be able to go through with it because he loves Jeff. Well, something like that. Or I’ll be sending Alex an angry, heartbroken email xD

  • Hoooooshiiiiiiiiii–!  I wonder what’s happened to Jeff since we last heard from him?  I wonder what Maven’s up to?  I wonder what DEACON’S up to.  Ahhh!

  • AJTheShifter

    Oh!  This will be most pleasing if my theories are wrong.  Should he not obtain the codes and be fooled into thinking he has and kills Jeff anyway.  Should he not kill himself before Jeff.  Should Jeff not be involved in the experiment.  However, in all of this, a new theory arises.  Should Deacon attempt to kill Jeff and an “accident” occurs and Jeff is able to escape, making it so that Deacon has to “hunt” him down.  I wonder.  *wide grin*  

    • ErykaSoleil

      Haha! I can just see Maven having to speak with Deacon again after an “accident”.

      Maven: “How did you -miss-?”
      Deacon (with puppy face): “I’m only human, Dr. Maven . . .”
      Maven: “You took out a -wall-, D3763!”

      We could even see the red word balloons again. 🙂

  • Momo Javrotsky

    I am beyond terrified of what’s going to go down on these next pages

  • My skin is crawling. They are being entirely too civil to each other.

  • YangYueLan

    Yay! Jeff! wait, shit, I will be with out internet this weekend. Damn it.

    • Oh no! Quick what’s your address? I’ll mail you some of mine!

    • ErykaSoleil

      It’s o.k. Alex and Winona will still be here for you on Monday. 🙂 Just remember to breathe, slow and deep . . . 

  • Chrome_chan

    I don’t like that look.

  • This story is so well thought out! * Sitting on edge of seat * !
    The ambiguities are well played. They are both playing each other to the max.. it’s almost ‘too sweet’ – eating the honey, and then getting attacked by the hive!  — Can’t wait to see how this plays out… 

  • I like how Winona has Deacon’s eyes looking ‘soulless’ – y’know, by not putting in the irises and stuff. 

    Still, I maintain my earlier opinion. -stubborn- 

    • tom1988

      Yeah I love that too. The soulless eyes look is classic.

      I’m not sure I remember your earlier opinion. Are you like me, part of TeamMaven aka Maven’s Angels?

      • *wonders if Maven’s Angels do a sexy pose before they fight someone*

        • Ryn

           i’m seeing people in blond wigs doing the “Charley’s Angels” pose.

        • ErykaSoleil

          Ooooo, I’ll do it with you, Alex! As long as you don’t mind me wearing actual clothes, because it’s still kind of cold here in Alaska.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Do you mean pupils? I noticed that too.

  • I like how back at Da Vinci, we were all like “OMG Deacon’s just getting a handle on emotions! SO ADORABLE! He may love Jeff! Squee!”

    Now we’re like “OMG Deacon was just getting a handle on emotions; what if they weren’t that strong. SHIT! He may actually kill Jeff! NOOOOO!”

    • Ryn

       i’ve been wondering if what he’s feeling is possession and not love. like a child that gets angry when someone else breaks their toy but while they get upset when they break it, it’s not the end of the world.

  • I’m looking forward to when Deacon puts his hand through her chest and squeezing her heart and she dies with lots and lots of blood. Sweet revenge… Never liked Maven much. I don’t like it when they’re more of a bitch than I am…

    • ErykaSoleil

      I hope he doesn’t do that to her. For one, I really like her as an antagonist. Second, it would remind me too much of Clive Barker’s films. (Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy Barker’s films. I’m just tired of seeing the heart-ripped-out-of-the-chest thing.)

      • eleutherios

        He should send her a Lament Configuration as a birthday gift!

  • Feverfew_M

    Oh, what a lovely world, where the  willingness to commit homicide is considered recovery. *shudders*
    I like Deacon’s almost flirtatious behaviour here. He has Maven wrapped around his finger at last – or has he? Can’t wait to find out.

  • Man, he’s like a jungle gym!

  • Ryn

    you have reduced me to hiding in my shirt when reading this. the tension…! God, i hope Deacon has a good plan. ya know, i’ve found reading drama to be easier than seeing it.

    and interesting how she emphasizes “everyone’s”. really? even Jeff’s? Good lord, what *have* they been doing to him…

  • ithilloke

    Was that almost a come-on, Deacon?? O_o

    • qui-gon-robot

      Oh LOL I seriously ship Maven/Deacon/Jeff  ( ._.’)

      • Now that would be some interesting fan art… 😉

        •  That would be *scary* fan art.

          • qui-gon-robot

            And it already exists hur hur

          • ErykaSoleil

            I wanna seeeee . . . -Starts surfing through fan art.-

          • qui-gon-robot

            *must…post… A.S.A.P while..still…relevant…*

          • Do it! 😀

        • qui-gon-robot

          I might actually go there…»:)

  • Brian Findlay

    Does Maven finally get to go home and have the rest of that pasta and a glass of wine? ^^

    • I’ll Word of God this and say “yes”. At least to the wine… 😉

  • qui-gon-robot

    Somehow I can totally picture Deacon killing Jeff, living in denial, then one day snapping and going “I LOVE BIG BROTHER” (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ ┻━┻
    and becoming an hero.

    • OMG
      Suddenly it will turn out that Jeff is really a secret agent of the corporation and brainwashes Deacon into becoming an emotionless machine and knows all his secrets so he can manipulate him.

  • Oh god oh god oh god oh god I CAN’T TELL WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN.

    Therefore this comic is total addictive crack to me. <3

  • This story is so nerve racking. All the characters are so good (I mean not in a moral/ethical sense, that remains to be seen, just they are good characters) and I don’t know who to side with! Maybe during his time in prison Deacon figured out why they were supposed to kill all the colonists. Maybe Jeff is a secret evil mastermind.

  • everyone but Jeff and whatever colony gets in the path of this corporation that is…

  • Falconfly

    Still rooting for the totalitarian bitch.

  • eleutherios

    Ach, gang awa’ fra’ him, ye murrain plashed berrizene!

    • ErykaSoleil

      Only word I didn’t quite get there was that last one.

      • eleutherios

        I’m not sure what it means either.

        • ErykaSoleil


  • Jefffffff. Please be okay ;_;

  • NH

    Hi Alex,

    I love your comic. I just watched a short that really reminded me of Artifice!

    “A stunning short film released on YouTube tells the story of a robot
    warrior who is mid-battle when memories of a past life as a human come
    crashing through his consciousness.”

    You should check it out! 🙂


    • ErykaSoleil

      That short film is AMAZING. Liked and Fb shared! Thanks for posting that link!

      • NH

         You’re welcome! 🙂

    • Yes, I have seen that! (It was linked to on Reddit and then someone compared it to Artifice in the comments.) And yes, there are some real similarities there! (Not to mention the fact that it’s very well done, IMHO. 🙂 )

  • C K


    I have missed him so much and have been very concerned for him…and I still think that when we do see him, it’ll look like he’s been hit by a train.

    That said, I love Maven’s expressions…part curious, part suspicious, and a tad bit sadistic.  Deacon’s kind-of dorky smile in Panel 4 is also cute, but only because I still think he’s leading her on.

    Oh mannn, I’m so excited to see where this goes next.

    • Little Miss Perspicacious

      Oh, I hope he doesn’t look train-hit! A while back Maven made some comment about him being interrogated not in the same fashion…
      So excited to see Jeffy-Poo!

  • samae

    Is it possible that this is what the shebitch has been aiming towards, a valid reason to keep deacon active?  Maybe the she bitch isnt such a shebitch? Also, shes using his name again.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Well, she did say on Page 10 that it’s her job to figure out what went wrong with Deacon, and weather or not he can be salvaged.

  • Bloodygirl

    wuehfouewhrfehwreufhiw e D:< BITCH BITCH BITCH man if i was in this position i wouldn't care jack shit about myself if i truely loved someone i would be like yeeeeah :T. Can i at least see him one last time? But knowing Deacon he probably have some awesome plan.

  • Myrtu

    So excited!

    And Maven certainly changed her attitude! I wonder… she must a lot friendlier outside of these sessions, when her goal isn’t to find out what’s wrong with Deacon at all costs. Maybe she would be a really cool person to hang out with :>

    • Maven is great at parties.

      • ErykaSoleil

        That mental image made me laugh out loud. 🙂

  • Araceli Rodriguez

    his smile is scaring me….

  • fujoshifanatic

    Oh my goodness, I feel like I’m on a literary roller coaster ride with this story! They’ve reached an “agreement” that could’ve only been drafted in Hell, and in panel two, Deacon is trying to sweeten the prospect of working together through some of the most soulless “flirting” I have ever seen! (nice touch with the lack of pupils, Winona!).

    At this point, I’m almost afraid for Jeff to come back! Poor boy, even after all the trauma he’s been through, he has no idea he’s about to be the pawn in this terrible (but thrilling!) chess game Maven and Deacon are playing.

  • Oh my God.  His smile. *dies*  Great smile, but save that smile for Jeff, Decon!  Uuuuugh!  >.<  I love Dr. Maven in this page.  But that being best for *everyone* kinda means it's best for Jeff to die, doesn't it?  I'm starting to get really terrified.  Like murder suicide territory terrified.  Or just murder.  But like no turning back or twisting the plot terrified. 

    Keep up the good work you two!  Great job on building up to this suspense and anguish and augh!, Alex.  And a-fucking-mazing facial expressions on this and the past few pages, Winona.  You guys truly rock. <3

    • Thank you, Nan (Deanna)! I’m glad you’re enjoying all the suspense! 😀

  • EXCELLENT page! 😀

    heh Love the weird flirting going on between them.

    As one of the other comments say about the missing pupils – couldn’t agree more 🙂 it’s a great touch, making him seem like his attitude is nothing but a mask. (Ir eally hope I am reading this the right, or else Deacon might be evil >.<)

    Thank you thank you so much for this comic^^ Looking forward to 'see' Jeff again^^


    • You’re very welcome, Christina! Thank you so much for your kind words!

      (And you’ll get to see Jeff in less than 5 hours…….)

  • Don’t trust her Deacon!!!

    • Karolyn Ellis

      I agree, she has me wondering what she’s cooking up in the big blonde head of hers. Before she seemed more like a ravenous harpy intent on eating Deacon’s still pulsing Core Processor from a silver platter than the recently contrived understanding sentimentalist standing before him. She’s playing him right now just as surely as he’s trying to play her.

  • tom1988

    Anyone else who has anything that’s nasty to say about Maven will soon find themselves choking to death on their own bile after a session with The Angels.


    • ErykaSoleil

      Wasn’t it established that she doesn’t see humans, though? (Sorry, tom1988 . . .)

      • tom1988

        So that’s what it’s come to eh? I’m gonna need to resort to drastic measures just to see her….

        What if I stand outside her door and sing her these songs from my heart:

        • ErykaSoleil

          Haha! I have a feeling you’d be fun to hang out with, tom. 🙂 Maybe if you got a cybernetic implant of some sort, that would bump you into her specialty?

          • tom1988

            Thanks, likewise 😉

            As for the “upgrade”, yeah I considered that but I think I’ll see how much she likes Frank Black first. He’s one of my favorite artists.

  • Nobumatsuku Team

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like Maven’s looking quite eager to work with Deacon some more… maybe teach him how to love “the right way”? >.> <.<

  • And then a house fell out of the sky and crushed her flat.

    • Honestly, though, I love the Maven character. As antagonists go, she certainly keeps you guessing as to her motives. I’m still wondering just how many people she could be manipulating, and whether a tiny bit of that might actually be for a good reason.

      Also: first comic in years to have me actually commenting on the characters in terms of real people! Way to write and draw!

  • AllyssaC

    Eat her face. Quick

  • B_u_b

    Let the camping begin 😀

    • ErykaSoleil

      Yeah, I have no idea what time zone they’re in, so I decided I’d start checking now. (I started twitching about two hours ago and finally couldn’t stand it any longer.)

  • ErykaSoleil

    Do you guys realize how hard it is to do a jigsaw puzzle with my kid, when I want to check for the Artifice update continuously? XD

  • And we are CAMPING!

    • Also, this page is both creepy in the sense that it looks almost as if the two of them are flirting, and epic in the sense that, well, it’s epic anyway!  I’m looking forward to midnight!

  • Riiight. 

  • samae

    CAMPCAMPCAMPCAMP   Who wants marshmellows?? :3

    • ErykaSoleil

      Ooo! Yes, please.

      • samae

        *hands marshmellow* tis be my first campout, must make friends!

        • ErykaSoleil

          Yay! I can make baked potatoes and hot chocolate, too. 🙂

          • qui-gon-robot

            What time is it where you live?

          • samae

            like 2:40

          • All right. Page is baking in the oven. Up in 11 minutes… 🙂

          • samae

            YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY…cant wait to see what flavor its gonna be this time 😛

          • qui-gon-robot

            Nice 🙂

    • Momo_Shikiro

      Are the marshmallows rarity flavored or s’mores flavored -3- lolz XD
      CAMP CAMP CAMP (first camping) CAMPCAMPCAMP!

      • samae

        Deacon flavored

        • Momo_Shikiro

          Best. Flavor. Ever.

  • ErykaSoleil

    Suspense is seriously stressing me!

  • Momo_Shikiro

    Holding breath for page!

    • B_u_b

      refresh refresh refresh!!

  • DanitheET

     Ok, my first reaction to panel 5 was: “Holy F***! Height difference!” so, how tall are these two anyway?

  • I’m thinking it’s like this: Maven suspects that Deacon’s about-face is calculated BS and he’ll try to find a way to override the command-codes to save Jeff and ultimately flip her the artificial bird,  so she’ll have countermeasures in place to stop or put him in a situation where he’ll be forced to go through with his “original” plan: killing Jeffmeister. BUT perhaps Deacon is similarly aware of Maven not buying his act for one space-second and will HIMSELF set up countermeasures and fail-safes to beat HER countermeasures. In the immortal words of Willy Wonka: The suspense is terrible. I hope it’ll last.

  • Marshall Alexander

    Thought she was gonna proposition sex the entire time. smh my dirty mind