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Artifice Page 83

501 Comments on Artifice Page 83

And thus, young Jeff claimed the power of the red word balloons for his own…

O.K. Exciting news! I know some of you have been interested in getting a printed copy of this comic in book form. Well, starting now, you can pre-order your very own printed copy of Artifice through my new Kickstarter campaign!

Artifice Graphic Novel Print Drive Kickstarter Project

On that page, you’ll be able to help make the printing of a trade-paperback of Artifice possible by becoming a backer of my Kickstarter project. And backers get special rewards like signed copies of the book, Artifice bookmarks, posters and more! SPECIAL BONUS: I made a video for the page, so if you go there now, you’ll get to see a very nervous Alex looking goofy in front of a video camera—and I’m sure you won’t want to miss that! 😉

Check it out!

Also, again and again, I’ve been told that Artifice is the “best kept secret in webcomics”. Getting the word out really is the hardest part. So, if you know anyone who might be interested in a copy of Artifice or this Kickstarter project—maybe even friends who don’t care for the webcomic format and only read books or a blogger you’re friends with who has readers who might like Artifice—you’d be doing me a huge favor if you would let them know about this project. If I don’t raise my project goal, then Kickstarter cancels the whole thing, so your help in getting the word out would go a long way towards making a print run of Artifice possible.

I also hear the Facebook, the Tumblers and the Twitters can be good for getting the word out, too, if any of y’all use one of those… 😀


Look at that! We’re now at $223 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Andrew R. & Mordecai L. (both making their 2nd donation to Artifice!) & Bernard S. (who makes their 4th donation and for the second week in a row!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Yi Bin L., Helen T. & Petar L. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time superfriend of Artifice Larisa V. for their super-generous $25 donation (their 9th super-generous donation to Artifice and the 2nd this week! Wow, thank you, Larisa!)

Thank you all so, so much! Your support, especially during these pages of high suspense, really helps me and is much appreciated!

And God, I love how Winona drew the action on this page. From Deacon’s arms “snapping out as if on springs” in Panel 2 and then in Panel 3 where we still see the guards falling because Deacon is just that fast all the way to the shadows on Maven’s outfit in the very last panel as she’s clutching her throat. I’ve known this was coming forever and it still makes me giddy to see her work!

So… did you like what Jeff had to say to Deacon? 😉

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 3/10 10:50 AM: Holy cow! I woke up this morning to find out not only did we hit the donation target for a bonus page while I slept, but y’all blew the target out of the water with extra donations! I thought maybe the Kickstarter campaign would distract from it, but wow, y’all ROCK! So, this means that in addition to the regular Saturday update, there will be a bonus page (page 84!) on Wednesday, March 14th! 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!
  • YYYYEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That Was Amazing! Good Job Alex, Wiona! This Is Definantly A Great Way To End The Suspense!

  • FUCK YEAH!  (excuse the profanity!)

    ::does a happy dance::

  • B_u_b


  • That second panel: “fuck these bitches” xD

    • ErykaSoleil

      I -tried- to warn them that they were standing too close . . .

    • LOL. Yes. That’s the look. 😀

  • I giggled and clapped ^.^

  • Chaucer59

    Yeehaw! Now THAT’s what I’ve been waiting to see. Sweet.

  • I may have cheered aloud when I saw this! I had a feeling that this would happen but I didn’t want to think too hard in case I was wrong.


  • Emanueru

    And so it happens!~<3

  • Epistasthai

    Hoo yeah!  Damn glad to see Jeff is still as feisty as ever! Wow, Deacon is just that fast! (and *finally* Maven gets what everyone has been wanting to do to her since, like, forever!)

    But they still have to get out of the building and have a ways to go.
    I’ve my fingers crossed to help them on their way….

    (oh pleeeeeeze let them have a happy ending.)

  • rayrayravona


  • HannahDJA


    • LukaTisus

      That was 100% a shot to take her larynx out so she can’t override that command!!  FUCKYES FKLFJSDJKLGJSDFSD *STOMPS AROUND JOYFULLY FOR A GOOD TWENTY MINUTES STRAIGHT!*

      • I’ve thought of the same thing too~ XD *stomps around joyfully with you* But the real ordeal starts from here~ He and Jeff had to go against the security of the entire building/complex just to escape… I hope these two will end up just fine and having their celebration in bed. XD

      • ErykaSoleil

        I thought he was hitting that pressure point under the jaw?

        • LukaTisus

          Could’ve been, but I’ve been hit in the throat there before and it’s bloody hard to breathe/talk. I think that was Deacon’s goal, ‘cuz he could’ve just as easily done worse to her lol

          • ErykaSoleil

            Either way, she certainly won’t be using any red word balloons for several minutes.

          • Heh.

          • Kel Z

            On top of it, he hit one of the first things they say to hit in self defense: airway. You can’t breathe all that well, you can’t do much o’ anything. :: cackle :: YAY!

      • Right on. I love hearing that. 😀

  • LeiseFlustern


  • Finally.

  • I have been waiting for this page for the whole comic. <3

  • You have no idea how big my grin/smile is right now~ 8D
    All hail Jeff and the power of the red balloon! XD
    And Deacon’s beating those goons up like a boss~
    Maven finally gets what she deserves!
    The action starts from here~

  • OH THANK YOU JESUS!! YAY! GO DEACON GO! Bitch got got right in the throat! She’s probably used to that though 😡 

    •  And ok, does anyone else now have the song “Rescue Me” going through their heads?

      “Come on baby, and rescue me…”

      • ErykaSoleil

        I do now . . . >_<

  • It had to happen to Nurse Ratched, now Maven has had it come to her as well 😀 Excellent!

  • LaSalvi

    OH MY GOD, YES!!

    This is the best plot twist ever !!

    Also, SHUT UP MAVEN 8D

  • YangYueLan

    YAY! You did it! Jeff is not dead! YAY!…crap…is this a joke page, please tell me its not, pleasepleaseplease. I will die if you say this is a joke page.

    • No joke, my friend. 🙂

      • YangYueLan

        Oh Thank god! *hugs to Alex and Winona* Also, Alex, your movie is really awesome and you are a lot less awkward then I was expecting. 

  • ErykaSoleil

    YES! -Does a happy dance.-

    O.k., so I’m sorry to see that Maven isn’t actually a super-spy, but this is still awesome. And it looks like Maven got a non-fatal hit, so maybe she can still be all adversarial over the following scene?


    And ouch, Poor Maven. (Though she kinda deserved it)

    Anyways I am loving all the details on this page.
    Seriously the shadows and all those angles are great.

    Can’t wait for next update!
    I hope Deacon and Jeff can escape this situation alive!

  • ErykaSoleil

    Oh, and Alex, you are totally adorable. You and Winona rock, and I am saving up money to put into the Kickstarter fund, starting 5 minutes ago. 🙂

    • Hehe. Thank you. I’m a very private person, actually and it was a trip to be in front of the camera. 🙂 (My day job is editing video so usually I’m behind the scenes…)

  • I don’t believe in the use of violence.
    Bitch had it coming. 

  • CookieMonsterer

    I waited through three updates…to this page, cause I didn’t want the suspense…The wait was worth it. 

    • Superjenny

      Then you were wiser, and greater, than I.  I salute you for your patience.

  • Oh man. That needed to happen. Big time. I was trying to figure out what could happen to save Jeff! I love this twist! Totally awesome and believable! <3 Love it! 

  • YES.

    Oh good christ I am so damn happy about this.  Jeff looks totally badass in that first panel, and Deacon!  Fffffff so FAST. <3

    Aaaaaaaaa this is amazing!

  • …something just occurred to me.  Would it be considered somewhat inappropriate to have popped a ladyboner over Deacon going kick-ass on people?

    If so, I am very very inappropriate.  VERY.

    • Superjenny

      We both are, my dear.  So very inappropriate.

  • melinda stumpf

    God Alex good manipulating everyone in believing the he was going to kill Jeff but saved him instead. I tip my hat off to you :3

    • Thank you! I so didn’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone. But I’ve been looking forward to posting this page for the longest time! 😀

  • *CUE MUSIC* 


    • ErykaSoleil

      You people need to stop getting annoyingly catchy songs stuck in my head. :p

  • ::explodes::
    um… er….. ummmm… Alex? Winona?
    ::wipes eyes::
    No really… thank you

    • Kel Z

      LOL ok, now I *know* you’re Anne from Arrows on AOL because I swear you “sound” the same as you did 16 years ago! :: grin :: 

      • Oh goodness– yuppers, that’s me!!! wow… um, 16 years ago? lords I’m old LOL; poke me on facebook so I can say hi all proper-like LOL

        • Kel Z

          Ack, since my post somehow went to the wrong place. 🙂 Here it is again.

          Request sent! I was back in high school then. You guys on there were always really good to me at a time that I really needed it. I still keep in touch with a number of people from back then on FB and twitter (as do you, it looks like we’re one degree of separation here, which makes it that much more funny to run into you here). Was KealaSkye back in the day. Good times! 

    • You’re very welcome, Anne. It really is our pleasure. 😀

  • Superjenny

    Bitch got silenced but good.

    Meh, I feel no pity.

    And it’s good to see they had a plan from the get-go!  Hooray for foresight!  XD

    ~sniffle~  So very happy…

    • Superjenny

      ROFL  I just noticed the look on Jeff’s face in panel 2…  XD  HAHAHA  He looks so… like he shit himself.

  • My my. Alex, you devil. And Winona illustrated this very well.

    I’m still afraid of where this is going, but …

    Fingers crossed. Revenge is sweet.

  • Kel Z

    Alex and Winona, you just made my WEEK. I mean, seriously MADE MY FREAKING WEEK.

    Jeff’s yelling face is epic! Deacon’s “bitch, please” face is epic! Maven’s “I’m so screwed!” face is epic!

    After all Maven’s talking about keeping things brief, she sure wasted time getting out her “good lord”. 😉

    Totally, TOTALLY, worth the reveal on this one. 😀 Nicely done!

    (also, I loved the Kickstarter video, and there’s a couple of things you said in there that reminds me that I really need to finish revisions on my novel, so you’ve inspired me on top of it!)

    • Your comment put a big grin on my face for lots of reasons: I love thinking that our work gives a little cheer for our readers in their lives; “bitch, please” is an awesome and funny way to sum up Deacon’s expression in Panel 2; I really appreciate the props and it always makes me happy to hear that our work has inspired another creator. Thank you!

  • It is now 2:00 A.M. where I live. We have a guest over, her small dog, and several sleeping birds.

    Guess who just shouted “AWESOME” very, very loudly thanks to this page.


    • I love hearing stories like this. It is so gratifying it is to hear that a reader responded like that. 😀 Thank you!

  • AnyOtaku

    I knew it!!!!! God I’s so happy right now!!! Best thing to do on a saturday morning. And moreo er, this page tells me a happy endibg is coming ( and don’t tell me NO!)
    Amazing work
    P.S: I never knew that Jeff could make such a badass face…

  • Really, now I’ve gotten the fact that I may have woken up a lot of the household because of you off my chest, I need to give you props for being a fun action comic writer and illustration team. 

    I get my little highs not from sex content. Indeed, I do get them from quirky characters, and any and all of their crazy. As for action media, I get it from good old baddie fighting where it counts!  Yeah!

  • Ayella


  • I was NOT expecting that! My jaw freakin’ hit the floor! XD

  • ALL OF MY LOVE! I was wondering how they were going to get out of this and was expecting the worst. This pleases me to no end.

  • Eriennexton

    NEXT PAGE THEY WILL BURST THROUGH THE ROOF AND BECOME SUPERHEROES!!!!!I CALLED IT! *DANCES* I CALLED IT! I CALLED IT! CODEWORD—SUPERHEROES!!!!!(I think Jeff has laser eyes. Personally. He seems like a laser-eye sort of guy.)

    • LOL.

      There might be laser eyes…

    • Andr913


      I’ll settle for cake.

  • Shinashi

    Deacon: Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t let you finish. You were saying?


  • YES!!  OH FUCK YES!!

  • Ayella

    I am so happy to finally be able to preorder your book! Alex, Winona, you are stars!

  • The little “omg i knew what i was saying and i still was not expecting that” look on Jeff’s face cracked me up SO hard. 

    Aaaand the Kickstarter  ends on my birfday, so how could i not help. <3

    But Maven! My beautiful Slytherin ice queen. ;___; I'm pretty sure he just broke her hyoid – not fatal in itself, but i hope she doesn't choke on the swelling

    • ErykaSoleil

      Are you sure it’s not fatal by itself? In forensics, a broken hyoid is one of the signs someone was strangled to death.

      •  Yeah, but it’s not a cause of death in and of itself; just a sign that someone’s airway was squeezed.  Technically, you can just throttle someone hard enough to break it, but not hang on for the 3-5 minutes it would take for them to actually suffocate.  You’ll also occasionally see a hyoid break in accidental injury, like say someone hitting their throat on a steering wheel.

        In this case, i would be concerned that the single strike would cause enough trauma to the surrounding tissue (from both the break and the bruising) for the airway to swell shut on its own.  Ohnoez.  ;__; 

        • I absolute love that we have such smart readers. If I could like this ten times I would. So awesome. 😀

        • ErykaSoleil

          Ahhh, o.k. Thank you for that explanation. My reading and classes on medical stuffs have always been geared toward forensic investigation more than healing, so I probably think a lot of things are much more fatal than they really are. XD

    • Hehe. Thank you so much for backing the project (and so generously—you rock!). Very happy pre-Birthday wishes! 😀

  • Yes X3 I’m pleased

  • Thank God the people who predicted this were right. Although in retrospect, if Deacon knew his own override code (and could theoretically have taught it to his “partner in crime” Jeff), it was pretty stupid of Maven & Co. not to take the precaution of reprogramming him with a new one, since he’d already killed an entire team that he was supposed to be cooperating with and otherwise spectacularly defied his original mission parameters.  

  • Pronombre

    I Shouted so loud! this is so EPIC! And epic isnt enough to describe it!
    Oh bloody hell! I love this!
    Jeff face! the action in this page! OH GOSH!
    I CAN’T wait to read the next page! this SO AWESOME! SO FREAKING AWESOME!

    ALEX, WINONA, I love both of you! you make a super awesome team♥♥♥

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it!

      (And I love hearing stories of readers shouting once they see this page. We worked really hard on it and it’s so gratifying to hear we got that kind of reaction. :D)

  • yay! i’m so excited! i wasn’t necessarily expecting that, i kind of thought that Deacon was just going to have a tragic end…now i’m wondering how they are going to escape the clutches of the corporation…

  • Dovienya

    Oh, hell to the yes! This is fantastic. Panels one and two absolutely made my day (particularly Deacon’s face in panel two).

    I just found Artifice a bit less than two weeks ago, but I think it’s safe to say that this sci-fi junkie has found a new source of crack. Winona and Alex, you are beyond amazing.

    • Thank you, Dovienya! I hope I can continue to be your “dealer” for quite some time… 😉

  • And… I just came in my pants.

    Looks like the fan predictions were right (and AWESOMELY so!). Also, I agree, the action shots on this page were spectacular. I can’t wait to see what comes next, especially since this looks like it’s going to be a happy ending. See y’all on Wednesday!(hopefully)

    • Hehe. Glad you found the new update… satisfying. 😉

      See you Wednesday!

  • Viscoe

    I’m willing to bet they didn’t plan this.

    I’m willing to bet Jeff DID know some company secrets… and it was the master override codes for the robots.

    • ErykaSoleil

      That is brilliant! I hadn’t even thought of that possibility.

  • Aikka

    As many here expected xD I’m happy it went that way ^_^

    No matter if the ending will be happy or not [but of course it IS important! >.<]
    i like that they try, lately we started to be a little mistrustful about Deacon here… o..o

    Poor Maven… Almost everyone here is so happy what happened to her. 😛
    Including me . -_-

    Sorry for a late comment, was looking at that kickstarter thing o..o

    *still need to check how it works but for sure will try to join*

    • ErykaSoleil

      I’ve contributed to Kickstarter before; it’s pretty simple, but sooooo easy to find cool stuff that will make you go broke, haha.

      • Aikka

        Me never but you made me scared to register haha xD

        • KBatty

           It’s a breeze, especially if you have an amazon account already. Used it for the first time today—one of the easiest donation venues I’ve ever used online.

          • Aikka

            I don’t.

            And it  seems it will actually cause much problems for me but well… will see *sigh* ;-;

          • KBatty

             Lamesauce. =[

  • First response? “HA!” *smug sense of satisfaction over Mavens face* Pure awesome as usual!

  • Sofie Pettersson


  • KBatty

     Looking forward to my hard copy. =)

    • Thank you so much, KBatty. It’s great to hear from you and I really appreciate you backing the Kickstarter project. I hope you’re doing great! 😀

      • KBatty

         Yeah, just been a busy bee lately. I’ve been reading in silence. -snicker-

  • This page…. Just….


  • yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay XD
    go DEACON go!

  • OMG! I knew they had a plan!

  • mikakitten


    • mikakitten


      • awesomemvs

         I know right?!!?!! Made my morning! I didn’t want to check this page because I thought he’d be all dead and stuff but BAM! WOW!

  • Maven got punched in the throat….

    I’m just so fucking happy about that. 

    •  I jumped for joy, not even kidding, so glad to see her punched in the throat after all the shit she’s put Deacon through.

  • SigmundReimann

    Although it is easy to first assume that this is something they both agreed on, the need for Jeff to shout “Rescue me” does lead me to believe that Deacon is doing so because he has been ordered to by the override code. If that’s the case it may still have been Deacon’s intention to kill Jeff. Only time will tell. Too much time…

  • Go Deacon!!!!

    Deacon must have known that something like this would have happened in order for him to give Jeff the override code. 

  • Did not see that coming.
    I am not religious, but I thought we’d see a test like the one where God asks Abraham to kill his own son and then right as Abraham is about to slit his sons throat, God says, “LOL, just kidding. I just wanted to see if you’d listen to me.” Something like, that but in the Artifice world…   

  • awesomemvs

    Look at that kick in the third panel–Deacon is a bad enough dude to rescue the president~!

    • KBatty

       And you wouldn’t even have to buy him a burger.

      • This sounds like a fun reference. Share? 🙂

        • KBatty



  • AJTheShifter

    GOD DAMN IT JEFF AND DEACON!!!!!!! First off.  *ANIME CHIBI HAND FAN SMACK FROM HELL!* Don’t you EVER do that to me again! *Continues assault* Almost gave me a heart attack with what was happening to you two.  SECOND! HOW DARE YOU RUIN MY THEORIES!  They were good, delicious and HORRIBLE…and I didn’t want a single one of them to come true. Third.  Congratulations ^_^ *stops assault* @_@

  • AJTheShifter

    No, you are assuming that during the sessions with Maven he was telling the COMPLETE truth.  I had a small voice telling me that he might have planned this where Jeff knew the codes just in case it came down to this. 

  • Hmmm… Is Jeff ordering Deacon do save him? Isn’t Deacon supposed to save Jeff out of the goodness of his mechanic heart? Complicated, complicated this story is… but still wonderful. I sound like Yoda O_o

    • JenniferHume

      Deacon can’t disobey orders, so instead he gave Jeff an over-ride command. Out of the goodness of his heart. 😀

      • So would then the point of wanting to kill Jeff to prove he’s a good soldier be a part of Deacon’s plan to be allowed to see Jeff because otherwise they wouldn’t have allowed that and Deacon wouldn’t have been in the position to rescue Jeff? It sure makes sense, but I hope Alex will surprise us (pleasantly). It’s no fun reading if you know the whys and hows 🙂

  • Kayla


  • Whoa. I think Maven’s toast. Deacon didn’t punch her, guys. Look again. Stiff fingers, straight into her throat, all the way up to the second knuckle. Ouch.

    Also, F*CK YEAH, Jeff~!

  • I actually feel bad for Maven of all the people. .o. we spent actual time with her and got to know her as a person. she wasn’t all bad.

  • omg! YES! yeeeessssss……… <3

  • JLJones

    *happily throws money in your direction, Alex*

    I haven’t commented on Artifice in so long, but I am SO GLAD I decided to stop being lazy and just sign into my Disqus already…I totally knew this was coming.  I SO did!  But in a different way, really… I was completely thinking (hoping!) Deacon would be all “Trololololo *ass kicking!*”.  But, I suppose the little beggar really WAS serious about being there of his own free will D:  Which means he needs punishment.  Punishment!

    In light of this new information, I get the feeling this story is NOT going to end well D:  Especially considering Jeff has all those nifty codes, and HE knows Deacon was just gonna skip on over, press a button, then skip away.  I don’t know about anyone else, or Jeff for that matter I guess, but I know I’D mete out some satisfactory retribution for this!  

    Though, I really do hope Jeff takes betrayal a lot better than I do 😛  I still love Deacon, so I’m hoping for a happy ending… but I really don’t see that happening anymore.  Which just reaffirms my love for this comic! <3Good luck getting the rest of your backers, Alex =)  I'm going to be waiting impatiently for my book in the mail XD

    • I’m not so sure about Deacon being as mindless as just skipping over and pressing the button though. I mean he wanted to make it absolutely clear to Jeff that he was not under his own will and the Jeff would need to take control in order to free them. Which is actually kind of romantic in my mind because that means that Deacon trusted Jeff to save them both by using those magic words.

      • JLJones

        Actually, I was referring to his dialogue on page 81, third panel ( ) in which he states, very clearly, that he is in fact there willingly – perhaps even eagerly.  Romantic notions are lovely, but as I’ve said, I really don’t see much chance for a happy ending here anymore.

        Sure, Deacon could get both Jeff and himself out alive, they could go on the run and be fugitives, BUT… What chance does Deacon have of regaining Jeff’s trust?  What can he do to stop Jeff from just code-word commanding him to jump out a ship’s airlock and get sucked into a Sun’s gravitational pull?  ESPECIALLY since Deacon has made it so clear that in order to save his own skin, he’d willingly kill the man he said he loves.

        Of course, this could all just be a big clever ruse cooked up by the both of them, and as I’ve said, I’m HOPING for a happy ending.  But I won’t be all broken up and having a tantrum if I don’t get that happy ending.  In fact, I’d be more satisfied if the ending was bittersweet or tragic =)  But that’s probably because I’ve had my fair share of Happy Sunshine Land, and a persona can only stomach so much.

        • I’m kind of hoping they had discussed this and Deacon is actually letting Jeff know that he’s “there of his own free will” to get Jeff out, not to kill him.

          • JLJones

            Yeah, like I said, that could totally be what’s happening.  Alex is a clever enough writer to use misdirection and play with the words so we THINK we know wtf is happening.  That’s what makes this story so great – you’re caught in the twists and turns just like every character in it =)

          • Thank you very much for backing the Kickstarter project, JLJones. And to you all for such intelligent discussion about Deacon’s motives. 😀

          • JLJones

            Well, I thought I recalled promising money in some form, ages ago, back when you first started the donations bar =)  I’m a keeps-her-promises type of girl!  Besides, you and Winona are absolute gems to your fans and readers… it’s the least I can do to say thank you!

            I still say your goal was too modest, though 😛  That donation bar is definitely NOT taking baby steps, here!

          • You’re very welcome.  

            And hehe, I am so grateful by the response so far to the Kickstarter project! Our readers are giants! (And not to worry, if we hit the goal early, I have some special bonuses in mind for higher targets that I think y’all will really like…)

          • JLJones

            If I could fidget with joyful glee WITHOUT all my muscles in my lower body locking up, I so would right now 😀

        • Sorry!! I wrote that sentence wrong (and probably remembered the scene wrong as well), lol. Blame it on a fully not awake mind. Anyway I completely agree that I don’t think this is going to end well and I don’t know how I would feel about it ending all happy “lala” either. I think more of what I meant is that Deacon and Jeff prepared for this and I don’t think that Jeff would get mad at Deacon because he’d understand that he’s programmed to follow orders. But I really hope that Jeff doesn’t kill him. I would be devastated… and then probably comatose. 

          • JLJones

            lol no worries – I wrote my comment while in full peak of my wonderful, Doctor prescribed muscle relaxers.  Damn you, pinched nerve, DAMN YOUS! *shakes fist*

            I really, REALLY hope Deacon and Jeff had this all sorted before the retrieval team got there =(  If not?  Well.. it’s really gonna rock my opinion boat for ALL the characters!  But that’s a fun time, too, so I’m quite torn =)

          • Ugh I know, right? I hope they worked it out too, why else would Jeff know Deacon’s codes? This comic impacts my emotions on an unnatural level. 

  • Wowza, some one swallowed their esophagus (possibly). BUT YAY 😀 Now I can die happy. Thank you! 

  • 8D!!!! Woohoo! I was being very pessimistic, I must admit. I did not see this coming and I am soooooooooooooo happy!!!

  • YES.

  • Good thing it was “Rescue Me” and not “Kill every mothaphucka you put your eyes on”. Jeff is a sensible person.

    I’m totally claiming this page as my birthday gift (which was yesterday). It’s mine and I like it very very much. My preeeccciioooouuus <3

    (Buut I feel bad for Maven D: I mean I really like her)

    • Happy Birthday, Alis! (And yes, I understand about Maven. I too like her.)

  • I KNEW IT!


  • I knew it!!!! Jeff & Deacon so totally rock!!! And such great news about the possibility of getting a print of Artifice…well right now my finances aren’t so great but since it goes until beginning of april I’ll definitely give money for a signed copy!!!! Artifice rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • timeaesnyx


  • KimiKiyaLee

    Yes! Love it! So happy about this page!

  • KimiKiyaLee

    Yes! This page is completely epic! Love it! Totally made my day ^^

  • Joey Shell

    FUCK YEA!!! FUUUCCCKK YEAAAAA!!!! And I love how blank and quick he is to pop the bitches larynx. “NO voice for you”. I knew something was coming, but did NOT see this coming. Well done man, well done.

  • ARGH! This is my favorite page of all! The first panel made my heart pound so hard!! Gah, exciting!!

  • Alex House



    At first when I read this I was wondering how the hell Jeff got Deacon’s override codes, and what this would mean for them as a couple with Jeff being able to just order Deacon around whenever he wanted. But then I read a few of the comments and realised, it must have been *Deacon* who gave him the codes in case something like this ever happened… which is an amazing gesture of trust and love. And foresight. xD

    But was Deacon’s behaviour up to this point all an act, knowing that Jeff would be able to forcibly stop him? We shall see :3

  • fujoshifanatic

    *takes deep breath, opens eyes* 0-0  😀  Yes!! This is fantastic! I was so wanting this  to happen! Between the badass look on Deacon’s face and Jeff’s “holy shit!” expression, panel two is just all kinds of awesome! But I must say, the most gratifying sight hands down is seeing Maven get punched in the throat like she deserves! They still have some obstacles to overcome, but there’s now hope!

    And I am sooo glad you have the Kickstart project up for the print edition of Artifice! Trust that I’ll become a backer the first chance I get. (I MUST have those prints! 8-P)

    Thank you and Winona for all your hard work in sharing this experience with us; you have truly created something special, and we are the better for it. 🙂

    • You are so welcome, fujoshifanatic. Thank you so much for the props, the offer to back the Kickstarter campaign and for your continued support throughout this comic. With awesome readers like yourself, it is Winona and I who receive a truly special experience through this comic. 🙂

  • Bailey Carswell

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YES! I was a little scared to check all week because I thought THIS IS THE END THERE’S NO POSSIBLE WAY and I was already getting my heartbroken commentary ready but IMAGINE MY SURPRISE *clap clap clap clap clap clap clap*

  • Panel 2: Like a boss.

  • Yukiness


    *dances in front of computer, knocking things over*

    It’s like the superbowl in my house right now I’m so fucking excited!

    And a kickstarter! Thank god I just got money. I’m gonna try and help out but that’s no gurentee since I have textbooks to buy for school. I’m so proud of you two, Alex and Winona.

    *continues to dance around her house*

    • Dancing around the house? Really? Yay! That’s awesome. Thank you so much for your kind words—and the dancing! 😀

      • Yukiness

        Yeah my little sis walked while I was dancing (to the song linked above) and she was like,”What the hell is going on? Did you just get a high score again?” To which I loudly exclaimed, “Someone got punched in the throat!!”

        Now my sis is an Artiface reader (with careful editing cuz she’s 12)

        • LOL. That’s hysterical.

          (And yes, 12? Very careful editing, I’d think. As I say on the Kickstarter page, while Artifice isn’t “adult content”, my personal belief is that there are things in here not appropriate for children. But I trust you know what’s best for her.)


    • This totally made my week by the way! :3

  • YEESSS. this was the best plot twist ever, JEFF IS SUCH A BAMF. 

  • Throat punches for bitches

  • Yukiness

    Maven:cough…gag…*twitches violently*

  • On a  side note, I bet you could get a lot of interest if you advertised at if you haven’t already.

    • Thank you for the suggestion, Mary. I looked on the site, but they don’t seem to be hooked up with Project Wonderful (which is the ad network I use) and I actually didn’t see any ads. Do you know where I could find them?

      • She has a forum 
        You might try sending Lady Breeden an email.  She’s a big fan of boy on boy and pretty art.  You may even be able to talk to her at conventions, she has a list of the ones she’s going to.

        Speaking of…. You guys ought to go to cons so we can buy your stuff and t-shirts, and generally try to kidnap you and make your our closet-bed slaves 😀

        • Thank you for that. I’m a bit swamped at the moment with Kickstarter and prepping the new comic to launch, but I’ll definitely look into that!

          And yes! Cons! Definitely! I went to my first Con in December (BENT-CON 2011) and had a great time. But learned it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to have a booth unless you have books to sell, so I probably won’t be tabling any cons before Artifice is printed. But now Artifice will be printed! WOO HOO! So, that day will come soon. 😀

          Thank you for the good suggestions and support!

  • ithilloke





  • Jenn Lantrip

    Long time reader, first time poster. I just had to comment to say


    This better not be some drugged-up fever dream of Jeff’s. 😉

    I am a broke college student but I’ll definitely spread the word about your Kickstarter, and try to support it if I can. As easily as you get bonus pages I’m sure you’ll reach your goal in no time. 🙂

    Also I guess since I’m here I should say that the art and writing is great, A+, lovely work. I have lamented in the past that most “yaoi” comics have the worst plots and the sex almost never makes up for it. It’s so nice to see a story with compelling characters drawn in a pleasing way with just a little titillation thrown in.

    Oh God I just had to scroll back up for that throat jab.

    • Thank you, Jenn! I appreciate all the kind words about the art and story. (And I promise, this isn’t a fever dream of Jeff’s.) And thank you very much for offering to spread the word about the Kickstarter project!

      • Jenn Lantrip

        I did it! Just as promised 😉 Thanks for liking the post on Tumblr haha! I was surprised to see your name there. Looks like you’re already over halfway to your goal. Pretty awesome! I didn’t have any doubt.

  • God!!!YES!!! It was about time!!!

  • I was almost certain that Jeff knew an override code – you telegraphed it fairly well but not too obviously – but I didn’t want to spoil it for the people wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth so exquisitely. Well-played, sir.

    • Thank you. I was hoping to find the right balance between making sure it was supported in the text and not making it blindingly obvious. I was nervous about whether I’d succeed, so I’m glad that you feel it worked. (And as I’m a fan of your comic, I’m especially flattered. 🙂 )

  • Vanessa Trepanier

    Take THAT Maven!!! I’m so happy <3 

  • Tanko

    I’m scared of Jeff now! In a good way!

  • littlartistan


  • Yes! I hope that woman can never speak again! >:)

  • Lawrence A

    Oh dammit, I was really hoping this scene would’ve ended in a far more depressing fashion.
    But no, of course, love had to conquer all and overcome all obstacles and all that nonsense… I’m going back to the grumpy old man club *grumblegrumble*

    • Don’t worry, good sir, the story may end on a depressing note yet. 

      They still have to escape the entire corporation.

  • Peter Splunter

    I doubt Jeff knows that code by guessing, and he can’t have gotten it from Maven & the corporation – they’d want to avoid exactly the current scenario. The only other source is Deacon himself, who gave it to him in case the shit would hit the fan.
    In that (to me the only likely) case, his statement to Jeff of being there by his own free will can be interpreted totally different – he KNOWS Jeff will have to use the code to save himself and gives a clear signal that he’s there voluntarily and chose to be Jeff’s instrument by his own free will. In other words, he lets Jeff know not to back off from using the code. Also note how he prevents Maven from being able to counter-command him 😛
    That way, it’s about the opposite of Deacon saving his own skin. He effectively states he’s ready to sacrifice his own skin to save Jeff. And here’s something which really awes me about the current twist of the plot and makes me wonder if it’s intended like that by Alex: it’s not just about his body – the body is the most obvious but possibly a minor issue – he also states he’s ready to sacrifice free will and autonomy. Thinking of Jeff who wondered earlier if an android can love like a human: being ready to sacrifice ones own body is a sign of awesome love, but Deacon being ready to sacrifice his own free will and essence too, knowing he is likely to die during the rescue process without being ‘released’, would be the ultimate declaration/prove of love then. A choice a human could never make, carrying his Android love in a way even beyond that of a human and making it superior to that, if you think about it.
    Mr. Alex, this page is definitely my favourite, story-wise. I’m still not completely sure what you’re doing and what’s going on in that kitchen of yours, but it sure smells like you’re baking some awesome multilayered cake about free will, chivalric love and playing with the structural difference between human&android. Which goes way beyond a mere “they lived happily ever after with Jeff using the override code and Deacon non-stop banging Jeff until his uranium power source ran out”, even if that would give Winona some massively interesting stuff to work with, given the half-life of Uranium is 4.4 billion years. Civilizations rise and fall, the human race vanishes and he ends up in a lifeless universe with him grinding his hips against the dust which was once Jeff. It’s romantic, in a certain way, and carries its own message about android love being eternal. I’d prefer that other idea, the multilayer cake, any day though 🙂

    •  Holy crap…I could never live up to the awesomeness of this reply. You are very intelligent. Loved reading your interpretation of this page and the relationship between Deacon and Jeff.

    • SigmundReimann

      On speculation of this comment, current events do lend themselves well to this idea. Stating that Deacon’s love may transcend that of a human, if Deacon truly was offering himself to be used and turned into a tool, and Jeff knew the consequences of his actions, then this theory on their love has already been demonstrated. Where Deacon is willing to sacrifice the essence of himself to save Jeff, Jeff is willing to go along with the sacrifice to save himself. So who’s love would be considered stronger? Undoubtedly Deacons.

    • I would very much like to reply in depth to this. And my hands are tied right now by not wanting to give any spoilers, no matter how small. But in a few pages, I very much want to say a few words about your thoughtful comment here, Peter. 🙂

  • C K


    I know I usually try to leave a, uh, slightly more thoughtful comment to each comic, but this week my reaction is mainly just FUCK YES GO GO GO GO

    I’m curious to see if this was planned ahead of time or if Jeff is just a very smart dude (God I love Jeff so much) but either way HELL YEAH KICK SOME ASS DEACON WOO ill be quiet now

    • Erica

      i freaked out more than you XDDDDD i don’t likeposting such fangirly comments,  but this… how can i be calm?! lol this deserves a major fuck yeah moment. lol

  • Erica



    THIS. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE JUST MADE MY DAY!! omg. OMG… OMG OMG OMG OMG YES! JEFF YOU’RE A FRUCKIN BOSS!!! omg. OMGGGG >:D ok… im feeling super hot from excitement right now. 

    ok.. phew… breathe… breathe… OMG! XDD OMG!!! *reads for the umpteenth time* OMGGGG ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    SERIOUS LOVE FOR THIS PAGE!!! i had to take my jacket off. too much excitement in one go. XD my head is actually spinning. lol i shot up from my chair so fast when i saw Jeff’s face. god… ok… ok… im calm… calm… clma…clam…. yes… i am a clam. > _< lol

    ok… fairly long freak out. phew!!! my heart is just pounding. XD

    yes. i love you Alex. i love you Winona. so much love. seriously. this made me more excited than n e of the actual romantic parts. XDDDD

    • LOL! I love that you did all that and that you shared it here—that’s awesome! You’ve got me grinning from ear to ear.  Thank you!

  • Erica

    now if only save me also meant save his hair. jk jk jk XDD he’s still lookin good indeed. lol

    Does Deacon have to choke a bitch?
    Yes… yes he does!
    Seriously, words can’t express my love for what just happened right here 🙂

    •  I am SO on board with this! I just love that Maven got her “just desserts!”

  • Fulgin

    *checks his seat belt*  I don’t think the ride’s over yet.  And Alex probably has a few more curves to throw our way….

    Best of luck on the Kickstarter.  I’ll have to see what I can do there.

  • Wait a minute, so he and four other guys destroyed an entire colony but the doc’ thought it would be okay to only have three armed guards to prevent him from doing anything?

  • Mark Locy

    Huzzah! Called it! Sorry Alex.

    Also, I don’t think it makes sense for Deacon to know his own command codes. Essentially for just this reason, and I doubt the corporation is that naive, especially if they employ someone of Maven’s intelligence.

    However, Jeff and Deacon had PLENTY of time to hack his systems and determine the command codes. Since Deacon was probably coded to not hack himself; it follows that Jeff is not just a pretty hat rack, i.e. man’s got some skillz.

    • protip protip

      He is a prototype, and they obviously didn’t expect him to be able to
      “creatively interpret” orders as he does, nor did they expect his emotional subroutines to have such a powerful overriding effect on his cognition. He very well could have either ALLOWED Jeff to hack him, or possibly he was aware of what his codes were and gave them directly to Jeff. Engineers and designers tend to overlook small things in the production of a prototype, particularly when in previous models, the issue never even came up.

    • Nothing to be sorry about, Mark. We have a super smart readership with weeks to think/crowdsource about the possibilities. If no one called it, I’d be afraid it wasn’t supported in the text of the story! 😀

      And I like your speculation.

  • Lithekitty

    Aaaaw, he told Jeff his override code. Now that’s love!

  • xLizardx

    Well, I was about 90% certain this was going to happen, and 100% hopeful it would. However, having read the comments [and a surprising number seem surprised O.o] it seems that there is another possibility which has not occurred to anyone else. What if the information the colonists stole [which they were slaughtered for in the first place] actually contained information pertaining to android command codes? And Jeff lied when he said they’d shared nothing with him, or else he discovered the information later. If the information itself wasn’t known in fullness or detail by everyone, but was instead saved somewhere [which makes more sense when you think about it] then he could have later found it, or stolen it, which would explain why he didn’t use it against Deacon when Deacon first attacked him [and also why the colonists didn’t use the info against Deacon and the other android soldiers]. 

    I think I prefer Mark Locy’s hacking theory though, because that means that Jeff and Deacon planned this, [or formulated a contingency plan] and are definitely working together, and, y’know, love overcomes all and that. Even if they don’t get to ride off into the sunset with one another, it means neither betrayed the other…

    My next concern, of course, is whether the programming is irreversible, and what that would mean for their relationship, even if they did escape. Can you truly have a functional relationship where one person has absolute power over the other? But then, arguably, Deacon had absolute control over Jeff, initially… well, I suppose not quite to the same extent, but near enough. Hmmmmm. Either way – well, any way in which the comic progresses – it’s sure to be fascinating and entertaining reading! [And i suspect extremely though provoking too.] I do still want a happy ending for them though… dammit. I wouldn’t be surprised if they emerge victorious, but bittersweet.

  • Saberri

    WORD, JEFF! GET YOUR MAN! . .  android man… dude… man.

    Yeah. Do that.

  • OH MY GOD!  I did not expect that!  I’m so happy! *squee!* *giggles* *happy dance*

    Please please please tell me there was some sort of plan in that.  That Decon isn’t going to escape with Jeff and be like, “I’ll kill you now.” or it gets all awkward or something. 

    I hope Dr. Maven is okay.  She looks just winded but… (I like that Doctor Woman.  Can’t kill her!  My crush! *dies*)






      I am so happy right now that you could not imagine…

      • Hehe. And I love you both. 😀 Glad you liked the update! 😀

  • YAYYYYY!!! *does happy dance in the middle of workspace!*

  • protip protip

    WOOT! I called it. Deacon DID give Jeff his overrides. All that manipulation of Maven to get him in the same room as Jeff. I’m a little surprised the didn’t reset his override codes. But, I suppose they probably thought whatever anti-defection measures they had were sufficient. Except as we all know, Deacon has a tendency to “creatively interpret” orders.

    It also feels damn good seeing Maven get that throat crushed, with all the cruel and manipulative BS that she spews out from it.

  • i’m happy Maven got hit in the throat. Shuts her up.

  • He barked that order like a true military man…..even tho Deacon had to go overboard (there was no other way) I’m glad that Jeff is safe now. 

  • Yay you just made my day!!!!!!

    PS, greatest web comic EVER
    PPS : The noises of triumph I just made were not human.


  • Syanana

    AWWW YEEEAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dex X.


  • Flo_over

    YES!  Throat punch!  Satisfyingly ass-kicky.

  • Hyperminimalism

    Maven had it coming.  I’d sock her under the chin even without being commanded!

  • Cydalima

    Well, I DO like what Jeff had to say to Deacon. Yep. And you guys are just amazing. That’s it.

  • YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Oh man, I’m so happy right now!! (Panel 3 is SO the ‘THIS IS SPARTA!’ kick. XD Love it!)

  • LadyMarmite

    I love how in the first panel Jeff is all pissed and determined and then in the second panel his face is just like “oh SHIT this is intense”

  • I have been dedicatedly following this comic, just on my iPhone. And I can’t comment on my iPhone. But I made a point to come home and log on and comment for a reason. 

    I checked my email at work, and I was opening the new Artifice page as some customers approached me. Of course, I didn’t see them because I was all “YAY NEW ARTIFICE PAGE! 😀

    • Hehe. That’s an AWESOME story, Thomas! I love it! ROFL. 😀

  • And Deacon still has the control not to kill Maven as he plainly has done with the guards and simply sock her in the throat; no more commands from her!
    Big, beaming face of happy yey! ^_^

  • peanut5507

    And thus, the sound of a thousand fangirl/boy squeals filled the room.

    And what a couple badasses! I knew Deacon would never hurt Jeff!

    ALSO. I was doing a little bit of stalking through previous messages the other day and I found a post where Alex had said something along the lines of “Jeff would never lie down and die”. Made me giggle in anticipation, but I didn’t want to bring it back up. Preserve the suspense, y’know? 😉

  • Oh shit, I forgot that Jeff heard the guy when he activated Deacon’s safety codes!  Way to go Jeff!  And hell yeah, Deacon~!

  • And so Deacon reveals his secret identity as Bruce Lee and proceeds to mess people up. I spent a few minutes just staring at the last few panels. They’re practically cathartic. I wonder how much damage he did to her? Deacon is strong enough to rip a person’s arm off after all.

    PS: The first time I skip camp in months, I miss out all all the awesome! *grumbles*

    • “Cathartic”. That’s awesome. Certainly something I would like our comic to be for readers. 🙂


    I think I almost screamed aloud with triumph at seeing this. Oh, wait, I think I did, my brother is now peeking into my room with his “what-in-the-world-is-wrong-with-you” face.

    Oh well, doesn’t matter, Deacon totally owned Maven and those soldiers like a boss. Will now proceed with victory dance. Also, I always had faith in him, even though those last few pages did have me worried <3

    One more thing before I shut up – haha, look, Jeff used a red-ringed speech bubble. Forceful Jeff is awesome. Kay done, I'm gonna have a happy smile on my face for the rest of the day 😀

    • Jenny Blue

      Ditto with this whole post! love it!

    • Hehe. You yelled loud enough to get the brother to peek in? That’s awesome! You’ve got me grinning now. 😀

  • qui-gon-robot

    Lol’d at the wrist flick thing XD

    And even though it’s in self defence, I can not stomach seeing a robot killing humans. *is secretly a Del Spooner clone*

  • Jenny Blue

    “Deacon… Love of mine… OVERRIDE DELTA SEVEN EPSILON NINER! RESCUE ME!”  awesome ass-kicking commences, and maven gets owned! WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sigh*
     I love this comic. It’s the epitome of epic… *does dorky happy dance*

    • “The epitome of epic” ::blush::: Thank you.  It makes me really happy that you’re enjoying it. 🙂

      • Jenny Blue

        awww you’re welcome…. and thank you soooooo much for writing this comic! I can’t wait to see what happens next!!!! But still… I don’t want it to end 🙁 Jeff’s alive though so yay!!!!!!!!! love triumphs over evil!!! at least so far… O.o (totally unrelated spiel… did you know that ‘yay’ is not in the dictionary? at least my spell check doesn’t recognize it.)

        • Hehe. I didn’t know that. 🙂

          And I don’t want it to end, either. You all are so awesome—this is a really special community. Hopefully, you’ll think about sticking around for the next webcomic!

          • Jenny Blue

            O.O There’s gonna be another one? Really? What’s it about? ooh another one… Can’t wait!!!!! ^_^ yay!      

          • A teen superhero team, believe it or not. It starts off a lot lighter than Artifice did—and with a bit more yaoi—but this is still me, so it eventually goes to some dark places. I’ll be launching it very soon……

          • SigmundReimann

            Can’t wait to see it! Still working on my comic drawing skills so I can do one of your story’s proud one day.

  • Vinctia Valentine


    Oh God, I’ve waited for that to happen. Revenge is sweet. And this made my day in so many ways 😀

  • psiquest

    Finally… I can unclutch my pearls.

  • xeternalvirtue

    Oh god, Alex, you’re amazing. I absolutely love what you’ve done here with this comic. I really like the whole take on what you’ve done with making a character that just happens to be gay, while simultaneous tackling some really interesting sci-fi issues and elements. And not forgetting Winona too! It’s inspiring to see such an awesome story married with great artwork that really captures the expressions and emotions of the characters and the scenes too. This has to be one of my favourite comics ever, like you say in the video, it has a little bit of everything.

    And this page man… this page…
    It’s currently 5 to midnight where I live and my mum shouted at me for waking her up with my, what can only be described as, whoop of joy. And there may just be tears in my eyes, this made me that happy.

    • A whoop of joy that woke up your Mum when you saw the page? That’s awesome! 😀 Thank you very much for sharing that—and for those really kind things you said. You’ve got me grinning here. 😀

  • Falconfly

    Okay…Marven dying was fucking hilarious!

    •  Maybe…. just maybe… she’s just badly injured. I still can’t make up my mind if I like her or not xD

    this page gives me so many feelings! well, they all gave me feelings, but this one made me make /noises/


  • Is it wrong that I let out such an evil laugh xD

    • Kiwi Kujikawa

      It would be wrong if you didn’t.

  • Is it bad I love Deacon’s expression in the second panel? all I can think of is him saying is “Fuk da police”

    • Heh. 🙂 I love the names y’all are giving for Deacon’s expression in the 2nd panel. 😀

  • This is the best shit ever! *Does crazy victory dance*
    Alex, I love you! You (and Winona of course) have completely and totally made my day, my week, my year, whatever! So clever – they knew, they had known all along, they had thought of it all in advance – stupid Maven, how could you not entertain the possibility? Although few of us did, I reckon. Well, at least I didn’t. :p
    You have officially returned my faith in humanity (androidinity whatever thingie)
    Best best ever! Words fail me…

    • Yay! Love back, December! I’m really glad you liked the update! 😀

  • Kind of scary though how he kills/neutralises her (although looks more like a kill to me but again I’m not an expert) – completely without emotion. Just like turning off the light.

  • YES
    goddamnit YES.

  • maiumaora





  • This comic makes me so fucking happy.

    • And that makes me very happy to hear, Lauren. 🙂

  • RivreX

    Ya!!! Omg yes!!! I’m sorry but your command has been overridden! Suck it bitches! Ahahah oh geez that made my day! They totally had this planned out. GG!

  • Nooo! Mavin! Especially since I’ve decided that Jeff is definitely evil. Deacon has been reprogrammed. Maybe he isn’t really even capable of emotion at all, it’s just all been a tremendous bluff by Evil!Jeff.

  • I squealed so hard I nearly came off the bed, I’m so happy!

  • Roseland

    Wow. All these comments calling Maven a bitch and cheering the violence against her are making me sick. She was just doing her job – and Deacon did kill people. Maven talked to him and gave him a chance when she did not have to. Of course, we all were secretly hoping that Deacon and Jeff would be together in the end, but she trusted him. You don’t have to like Maven, but the bloodthirsty cheering of brutality against the comic’s only speaking female character, one who is moreover powerful and smart, is upsetting.

    • “She was just doing her job”

      So are the guards, who haven’t been psychologically torturing one of the main characters for fifty pages, and they are dying a lot more graphically.

    •      Listen to yourself Roseland.  “Just doing her job”.  I am horrified.  The worst atrocities in human history have been perpetrated by individuals who were “just doing their job”.  “Just doing her job” is one of the ugliest phrases I have ever heard.
           Maven being female:       I also certainly don’t appreciate your sexism.  Maven may be powerful and smart, but she is also the main villain in this story.  Maven being male or female is incidental, she is archetypal.  Most readers want to see the villain get whats coming to them.  That is what happens in all fairy tales – this one happens to be queer science fiction, but all the way through it has followed a basic fairy tale formula.  I feel you should keep your juvenile gender politics to yourself, lest you embarrass yourself (and all good feminists) even further. Considering the violence:     The piece started with a bang of intense violence, I believe it’s part of the genre.  Did you think it was going to end with sweet little ponies and flowers?  Have you ever cracked a history book?  Are you aware of basic human nature?  We all will do whatever we have to do to protect whats most important to us.  If you wouldn’t kill to protect your love from imminent death by a corrupt and craven government you don’t deserve to be called human, and you don’t deserve to love.  

      • All righty. While this is actually a discussion that I think is very good for us to have, I’d like to take a moment to request that we keep an eye on the way we’re talking about it and to each other. Buckle your seatbelts: this is important, so I’m going to dive into TL;DR territory.

        First of all, let me just say, I think both of you (Roseland and Jeff) have valid, important issues that you’ve raised. That’s not an attempt to say “it’s all relative, thank you for sharing”. No, reading both your posts, I find there is much that I have thought about myself and that resonates with me. 

        Here are my thoughts:

        Maven is (as far as we know) the villain of this story. The genre and style of the story is itself is violent and dark. As this is a story with action-adventure-thriller components, killing to protect your loved one from outside forces is part of the genre—in my opinion, it doesn’t necessarily make the protagonists brutal or “monsters” (although it can). If Dr. Clarice Maven had been Dr. Charles Maven, I wouldn’t hesitate to have Deacon use physical force to stop him in a script I wrote.  Yes, Maven is the only female character in Artifice—but as far as I’m consciously aware and to the best of my abilities, there is nothing in the text of the story that would impart an underlying message that women in particular deserve to be the victims of violence. I could of course be deluding myself—I’ll leave it to other to point out my blind spots. (That would be part of the civil discussion we might have about this issue.)

        That said, Maven is the only female character in my story. She is a strong, intelligent, fearless woman and people like that have historically and to this day been the recipient of scorn, discrimination and worse. When I wrote this scene, did I question for some time whether Deacon should use physical force on this character? Hell, yes, I did. And it wasn’t until I reflected on how casually I had him dispatch the guards above that I gave myself permission to continue. The only thing that made me hesitate was the fact that she was a woman. So, in that sense, my initial instincts are definitely in line with the gender politics you’re referencing (and that I’m not actually sure that Roseland shares.)

        More to the point of Roseland’s comment, while I am quite happy to hear folks cheer Deacon’s victory here over his oppressors, including Maven, the use of the b-word in the comments here (and really wherever folks seem to discuss Maven) has given me real pause. Maybe if it was Dr. Charles Maven, everyone would be calling him a “dick” or some other gender-based epithet. Maybe. But I’m honestly not sure about that. 

        Because I’m not sure, I haven’t weighed in on it. The use of the b-word in this context could actually have nothing to do with misogyny. Would we have the same feelings of animosity towards Dr. Charles Maven as we would to Dr. Clarice Maven? I prefer to give my smart, thoughtful readers the benefit of the doubt but it is absolutely a completely valid and intelligent question for Roseland to raise and would be a great thing to have a civil discussion about.

        But here’s the thing. To do so means to wade into issues that are heavily charged—for people who would fall on either side of this issue. And that means that if we are to engage with each other on this issue—and actually have that civil discussion—we must be especially careful that when we challenge each others views, we do so with a tone of respect and make it very clear that it is the point of view or logic we question, not the commenter’s character, motives, education level, etc.

        So, I’m asking that before anyone hits that Post button in the comments section of this site, that you carefully read your comment to make sure that your comment is free from ad hominem or personally derisive rhetoric. If it’s not, then as my comment policy states, I will moderate, delete, crush and melt any and all comments in a thread at my sole discretion. I’ve never had to do that—and in fact I often brag about how awesome you all are at having civil discussions about charged issues—but if it meant protecting the tone of this community I would.

        It’s certainly understandable that spirits are high around this page. (Delightful to me, in fact.) And, as a gay man speaking for myself, there is little I find more hurtful than it being suggested, even indirectly, that I’m a misogynist/racist, etc. (Questioning my writing, as I said, is fair game.) Jeff, I briefly looked over your Facebook page— it seems that you yourself are a passionate fighter against sexism and misogyny. So, I have sympathy for the emotions that I think could have been brought up by Roseland’s comment here. But I think if you re-read your comment, you’ll find things in there, both in terms of tone and rhetoric, that fall well outside of my comment policy and the valid points you raised. If you agree with me, maybe you’d like to take a moment and let Roseland know that you said things that, upon reflection, you don’t think are really fair or true and that you sincerely regret not using a much more respectful tone in challenging her point of view. As someone who cares about all my readers feelings, both Roseland’s and yours, I would certainly personally appreciate that.

        But either way, I’m asking everyone who comments on this site to treat each other with a tone of respect, especially when you disagree and especially when emotions run high. The quality of the comment section has been something that has been a source of great pleasure and pride for me. I’m not kidding when I say I think we have some of the smartest, most thoughtful readers in webcomics. Let’s please make very sure our tone with each other reflects that. 🙂

        • Jasmine_Howards

          Have to say I LOVE this webcomic. I’m a bit of a feminist myself (not the women are better ones that give us a bad name, but a true, woman are just as good as men type, thank you very much) and I still absolutely hate Maven. I can see the whole she was just doing her job argument, but something tells me that she was planning on having deacon destroyed no matter what his answers were and the fact that, rather then actually trying to help deacon and see how salvagable he was, she tortured him the entire time, really turns me against her…. maybe it doesn’t help that past experiences have turned me against therapists in general *shudder*.
          as for whether I’d react the same if she were a man, yes. I would react exactly the same, though I actually might have been a little more impressed. again, I think women and men are equal, but that is also balancing out the fact that men are better at some things and women are better at other things. Women just happen to have malipulative on thier side. It’s just a fact that while men are better at the physical, women are better at manipulating emotion and we battle eachother on a psychological level more often then a physical one (which is how we develop our ability to manipulate people). so if it were a man I might have had a lot more respect for his usage of psychological terror. but since that is not the fact I can’t help but see that she could have done much better. I’ve seen girls fight eachother using much worse then what she did, and that was just in middle school. then again it is a woman’s psychological torture being written by a man (no offence at all to you alex. you are doing a fantastic job and I love your work)
          and lastly, I agree with you. the swearing should be brought down to a minimum. we are all very intelligent people and I think we can hold a discussion/state our opinions without being vulgar

        • “the point of view or logic we question, not the commenter’s character, motives, education level, etc.”     I would respectfully submit that logic and point of view are always informed by character, motive, education level and myriad other circumstances.  I will gladly allow that it is not considered polite behavior to raise that point in public, and for that I will apologize.  I also apologize for letting the air out of tires attached to cars with republican bumper stickers. 

          • Jeff, logic and point of view may indeed be informed by a lot of things. Things like character, motives, education level, etc. are nearly impossible, though, to accurately determine from one paragraph that a stranger wrote on the Internet. And, in my opinion, a respectful tone in a discussion is about a lot more than merely being considered polite. In my experience, it’s often the whole ballgame in both learning something new and being able to persuade others to change their views. It keeps the discussion from descending into Godwin territory. Not to mention the fact that life is hard enough without using hurtful rhetoric with one another.

            If you do not see any reason to apologize to Roseland for what you said, so be it. But this is my house. We discuss all kinds of provocative views here. We disagree about a lot of things. But this isn’t the place to let the air out of people’s tires or question their intelligence or gender politics. I have let you know what my comment policy is. If you are honestly confused or have a sincere question about what the limits are about that policy, please ask me and I’ll answer it. 

            As I said, I think you raised valid and interesting points in your response. If you can follow both the spirit and the letter of my comment policy, your presence here is more than welcome—it would be, in fact, appreciated. 

            I trust that’s not too much to ask.

          • ErykaSoleil

            “Godwin territory” was a new one on me, so thank you for helping me learn something new, Alex (and thank you Google and Wikipedia).

        • Erica

          I personally feel that the decision you reached for what would happen to Maven on this page was not bad. I’m glad you didn’t hesitate to give her the exact treatment as any man would towards another man. That clearly demonstrates Deacon as a… android/cyborg… [i still don’t know the complete difference but im fine with that XP] I mean what and/cyb hesitates to hurt a person just because they’re a certain sex? If they’re the target they’re the target. Maven just so happens to be a threat to Jeff, therefore made into a target. People have to deal with it. I’m very glad that you went with the decision. 

      • ErykaSoleil

        In addition to the wonderful response Alex has already given below, I would say that the personal attacks you’re making against Rosalind are overshadowing your logical points.

        Also, to play Devil’s advocate: In a similar situation, maybe the love of your life wouldn’t -want- you to kill to protect them. There are people who feel that way, just as there are people who would refuse the offer of a defibrillator if CPR failed, or who would not sacrifice their own life to save any number of innocent people. To say a person is undeserving of love (or undeserving to be called human) for their particular beliefs on such a subject (arguably, on any subject) is a cruel thing to say, although it may well be a good example of the “human nature” you cited.

    • ErykaSoleil

      I don’t think “just doing your job” is a valid defense for doing something you know is wrong, and neither did the war crimes trials that followed WWII (and set the precedent for how such crimes have been handled since then). It can also easily be argued that Maven was taking a lot of non-professional enjoyment in “just doing her job”. She didn’t seem the slightest bit upset when she informed Deacon that he was going to be scrapped. That could have been a ruse to push him towards killing Jeff, it could have been that she merely views him as a chunk of metal, or it could have been that she’s a sadistic person. I suspect that may not become totally clear until the resolution of the story.

      As a woman who has definitely had to deal with my share of prejudice (for several reasons) and sexism, it has really pleased me to see a female character in a sci-fi story who is not simply present to show some T&A. Maven is smart and dresses conservatively, and she is confident and powerful; however, I think I would have been disappointed if Deacon had spared her, especially after how many male guards and soldiers he has taken out. For him to show her any mercy simply because she is female would, in my opinion, be just as bad as if she were the only one singled out for violence. Either way, it would still be special treatment based on physical sex.

      It is very true that Deacon has killed numerous people since the beginning of the story, but I suspect that nobody in the Artifice world is completely free of blood on their hands. I prefer peaceful resolutions when they are possible, but I am also well aware of the fact that sometimes, words alone will not solve a problem. If you come up into my face yelling and screaming, I will try to resolve it without physical violence. If you come at me with a lead pipe raised above your head, I will do my absolute best to break your bones into as many pieces as I can manage.

      I would like to think that the people who have been cheering Maven’s takedown, and those calling for it all along, are doing so simply because she is an adversary to the two main characters. I sincerely hope that they would feel the same way about a male antagonist, and would cheer just as loudly.

    • Erica

      she may have been doing her job, but just because she is doesn’t not make her a bitch O.o ah ha ha From what I understand she’s only been acting the way she’s been because she’s trying to make Deacon see exactly what he did was wrong. He did do things wrong. He basically went against what he was created for. I applaud him for that. I applaud the creator of those… Deaconoids…lol. That man created a very impressive model who can think for himself… that is until someone starts yellin commands left and right. >_> but n e way he did do wrong and Maven was just trying to make him see that. So she was doing her job and it required being a bitch. Sometimes jobs require that. Being a bitch, dick, asshole, douche, whatever it may be. So in response to what Alex said about it possibly being Charles Maven, then yes i believe that others will be calling him a dick, douche, asshole, etc. etc. I don’t think the matter of which sex is playing which part that’s the main issue. I’m pretty sure that if anyone were to go up against the two main couple in the story, shit will be thrown at them. lol so whether it’s Clarice, Charles, random guy in the hospital, whatever those people will get a bashing if they go against Jeff and Deacon.

  • Love of mine… Kick their asses!”
    My lord, that was… good.
    stupid woman. 

  • kittengrl39

    I am happily comparing and contrasting Deacon’s pose in panel 2 with the one in the banner.

    • Heh. Hadn’t noticed that. That’s awesome. 🙂

  • Collapsed trachea? 

  • Xena blood-to-the-brain block? 

  • SH_Marr

    Giving Jeff his command codes: Best decision Deacon ever made.

  • Araceli Rodriguez


  • N_Dravarol

    As a gay man, I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable with the direction the story was going for a while now – because for a very long time, most stories (books, movies, tv) involving gay men ended with one or both being killed, and one or both being monsters, evil, etc.  Anyone who didn’t grow up with that, the way gay men and lesbians my age did, may dismiss it, but it really is a very negative trigger that brings up really strong feelings.

    So, on the one hand, maybe Deacon and Jeff will escape, but on the other – more killing by gay males.  At this point, it seems to be a lose/lose situation, and the story seems caught in the ‘gays as bad guys/gays as victims’ path.  None of the newly deceased have really been set up as deserving of death – so this really isn’t following the standard model for het romance ‘lovers vs the bad guy’s fiction either.

    I had hoped that the kill switch was a test that Deacon would pass by failing – unable to actually kill Jeff, he’d prove that he’d met and exceeded his design, and both would survive.

    • I’ve noticed such in a log gay/lesbian films where everything ends in some sort of crushing disappointment. Never seems to be a happy ending in those films I HOPE  it doesn’t turn out like that. We’ll just have to see, no need speculating so early.

    • elijah elquest

      I see where your coming from, and iv’e noticed it a little in the media. but I also grew up watching stargate and the sci-fy channel, and this makes to be a very familiar sort of story but with gay men instead on the rugged hero and his character foil heroin.

    • SigmundReimann

      In soaps, the car is a gay man’s greatest enemy. They all seem to die in car accidents right after they find happiness. 

      I do like characters of questionable morality so I don’t mind the whole ‘the two of us against the world’ over ‘the two of us for justice’, but I do understand how the constant portrayals of gay men in such a way can lead to conscious or subconscious ridicule, simply because they aren’t portrayed very often at all.

  • eleutherios


  • L. Josephine Bach


  • One thing I like about this is the craftiness of Jeff, however it is hard to actually determine if there are any heroes in this story. Deacon is more of an anti-hero, and acts on his impulses. However Maven was just doing what she was “programmed” to do as well. Morality is very clouded in light of the deaths used to achieve some form of happiness.

  • Krondor2000

    Okay.  Now how on earth are they gonna get out of there?!?  Maven was going to override the override commands when Deacon stopped her.  What’s to stop anyone else from doing it remotely?????  This is not over by a long shot!!!  On a side note, I have to hunt around for some extra cash for the Kickstarter project!!  And Alex, you did not warned me about spoiling my mystery of the massacre colony!!!

  • thisboybroken

    I knew it, YAY!!!!

  • I’ve been thinking about what Maven was going to say. I really wonder what the word “H-” is meant to be. I think it is “He”. Perhaps, if I’m right, we are in for yet another twist? I wonder if she knows some things about Jeff that we and Deacon don’t know.

    I’ve been wondering about that colony, and the fact that Jeff was different in many ways from the other colonists. I have some vague, unsettling ideas. Frankly, I can see this story heading in some interesting, if unpleasant directions. But I will keep coming back. Great story.

    And I think Deacon only broke her voicebox so she can’t speak any command codes.

    • WolfClaw9

      I actually think she was about to say “Deacon, Hold!” like she did on page 68.
      She was a little too late, though!  fufufu…  Good work, Deacon!

    • The H was going to be for “Hold”. It’s a command of Deacons.

      • ErykaSoleil

        I had assumed she was starting to say “Hold” as well, but Boweneer makes a good point: we don’t know for certain what she was going to say. It does give me something else to think about until the next update, for sure.

  • Haha! I was woooondering how you were going to get out of this. I seriously couldn’t think of anyway to save Jeff that would be well-written and not contrived – but this right there. Brilliant! I’m very impressed, and I’m so happy! Jeff’s my favourite character, so I’m really glad he didn’t just get offed like that. <3

  • elijah elquest

    for lack of a more elegant term 


  • Jenny Blue


  • CottonCory

    Oh my gosh, that took me by surprise! But so cool! Tehehe. I’m impressed and excited. ♥


  • Now that’s what I’m TALKIN’ ABOUT.

  • RustyBurrell

    YES!!!!! That bitch finally got hit in the throat!!!


  • I love the second panel for Jeff’s face! He’s all like, “Whoa, that worked!”

  • Williro

    I screamed! This made me so happy inside! They had a plan, they had a plan, hallelujah they had a plan!! And Deacon did manage to prove that he can follow orders… so… mission accomplished!

  • Witchcrest

    Lol override codes are a bitch dear doctor. Poetic justice for her to get punched in the throat. Lol xD


  • I love her face when he started beat the @!^# out of the guards. I am happy now. i was all sad thinking he was going to die.

  • Kel Z

    Now that I’ve had some sleep and have recovered from my video game binge last night (where, oddly enough, I found myself giving romantic advice to what could easily be termed an android, oh hah), I’ve got some more thoughts. 

    Jeff hearing the code from the captain makes the most sense. I’m not sure there’s a point to giving an android an override/command code if they actively know and can reiterate it.

    However, if this were the case, Deacon wouldn’t know for sure that Jeff had the override code, meaning that this was Jeff’s plan independent of Deacon’s, which leaves an uncomfortable possibility that Deacon’s plan was still to kill Jeff. 

    Will we get to find out what Maven was really going for, though? What the panel of people behind the glass was about? What’s going to happen to them? I hope someone can either run fast and brought spare underwear, or that they all have their affairs in order. :: snicker ::

    • Cristina Cornejo

      I thought the same thing. That Jeff heard the code from the captain and was smart enough to remember it. Or he knew it from before, or he and Deacon worked together to hack his own codes. 

    • jmo

      The problem with that theory is that page says “immobilization codes”.  Which would mean they codes specially meant to immobilize him, not to control him or override his orders.

      • ErykaSoleil


      • Kel Z

        Good point! Thanks for pointing that out!

        My concern still is that there’s not a lot of point to an android having their own codes, but then again, maybe it’s a matter of that they do but they’re commanded to not disclose them… and Deacon’s programming in regards to some things has broken down, although it seems a little hard to really see where it has and hasn’t.

  • ThimbleFool



  • This update made me scream. Brilliant twist.

  • I would like to offer those worried about the people cheering for “the comic’s only speaking female character” being attacked my perspective on the matter.
    I’m cheering for this page at the same time I’m sad for those guards families, and Maven’s girlfriend Cherl. You can cheer while thinking it over (and enjoying shipping in my case here), ya know.
    I am a feminist and a masculist. I think of any violence, even against fictional characters, as negative. However, here is why I can cheer: The way it turns out, all of Deacon’s violence is because of what he is, not his feelings towards women. Deacon killed many people, but it was his creators at fault. Maven is very much at fault for playing with his emotions after she knew what happens when a killbot wants to protect his only love.
    If she really was a good doctor she would have 1) had Deacon scrapped 2) allowed Deacon to be with Jeff, and then work together with both of them to reprogram Deacon.
    If the second option saw success, this could move them towards future goals of the androids working as help for mentally and physically ill people.

  • crimsonkiss22

    I wonder if Deacon would have gone through with it though. Or if this was his plan all along. Not sure how he’d know that Jeff would know how to command him, but, well, I prefer to think that Deacon didn’t have the heart to kill Jeff.

    Let me have my delusions, okay? ;w;

  • b3nc0

    Glee :°D:°D:°D

    Well, kinda: one shouldn’t be thrilled when violence occurs -_-
    except the violence toward our /good/ doctor >’D

  • AllyssaC


    Tears of joy now

  • Tavi_the_Witch

    I really wish my ass weren’t so poor 🙁 I’d love to donate to that Kickstart thing… oh well!

    AND OMG THERE’S GONNA BE A PAGE OUT ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!*unable to express the emotions she is feeling, she blows up*

  • I knew it lol

    But I wanna know how Deacon told him his override codes. I know this had to have been planned. But when, back on the colony? Must have been.

  • leorising

    Ah! Well then. That caught my attention.


  • First time I’m commenting, and I have nothing good to offer except choked cries of excitement, dismay, delight, anger, anticipation and all the feelings ever made. ALL OF THE FEELINGS.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Welcome to the comment section. 🙂

    • Welcome, Marie. 🙂

  • Awesome page as always…  and Wow, your kickstarter is almost at goal already!  I wish i wasn’t unemployed right now… I would so totally donate a ton!  I did mention you to the guys at, a gay blog.  Maybe they’ll say something about you’re work on there… 🙂

    • Thanks for the mention, bobbyjoeguy! And I’m sorry to hear you’re unemployed right now. I hope that turns around soon for you! 🙂

  • EPIC! No other word could describe the awesomeness of this page!!! 😀 😀 😀

  • AWESOME! This is so awesome!

  • I love Deacon’s face in the second panel. xD

  • Excuse me while I asdgjkljsdafkjhas;dklfshdkg

  • Yes, yes and yes. Listening to dubstep as I was checking up on my webcomics just made this update that much more epic to read. Awesome art, awesome dialogue, and I must say that it’s every bit the “Deacon” Ex Machina I was hoping for. 🙂

  • OMFGYES!!!!

  • Alas poor Maven, As a strong female character I respected you, feared you, even got a little enamored for you… but you were a villain and though I feel a little bad for the families of the people Deacon just killed… you all were guilty of the murder of several thousand colonists so I’ll just pour my self a glass of Chardonnay and do a little celebratory happy dance.

  • JM

    a thousand times YES!!!!!!!!
    I never hated Maven, I thought she was great but am happy she can’t speak for a little while. 

    YESSSSSSS override code!!!

  • eleutherios

     Deacon’s expression in panel 2 is all like, “Bitches, step aside.”

    • AllyssaC

      OMG, this is what i trying to think of, perfect!

  • Winterlove

    Fuck yes!!!!

  • Silentwisher

    FINALLY FUCK YA :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG 

  • Pronombre

    Oh my gosh! Alex Congratulations!♥
    You reached the goal in 48 hours or less! omg that is so wonderful! 
    It makes me feel so happy to know that. This is a wonderful project and I’m so  glad to know that it will be printed, you and Winona deserve this so much♥
    Congrats and keep your awesome job!♥

    • Thank you, Pronombre! I’m bowled over (yet again!) by our readers amazing generosity.  And being able to bring this book to print is SUPER exciting for me! I’m looking forward to getting it out to our readers—and frankly, being able to hold Winona’s awesome art and the complete story in my own two hands. 😉

      Thank you so much for the props and encouragement! I hope I’ll be able to to continue to provide you with stories you’ll enjoy! 😀

  • VenitianFlower

    I don’t know if Alex said something that messed with Deacon’s wires/brain functions that made him do that, or if Deacon is really doing that out of his own free will to save Alex. 

    • ErykaSoleil

      You mean Jeff?

  • Congratulations! It’s so awesome you have so much support! You and Winona are amazing and it’s a pleasure to put money into some thing worth while. <3 

    • Thank you—both for your generous backing of the Kickstarter project and the props! Both are very much appreciated. 😀

  • lol this is so satisfying XD 

  • I’ve been reading this since very early on and these last few pages have left me feeling quite a bit of dread, at least until this happened. But the one thing that strikes me as odd; wouldn’t the overide have some kind of protection stopping Deacon just telling Jeff? My thought is that the colonists had the overide codes all along, and that was why they were killed, to stop them turning an entire army of supersoldiers against their makers. That means Deacon was gambling (or had carefully calculated the chances) of Jeff having lied about knowing nothing. I could just be overthinking it though.

    • ErykaSoleil

      If you’re overthinking, you’re certainly not alone.

  • This.
    I was not expecting this.
    Holy shit!

  • Lorescien

    This page just made me wish you could have seen the level of happy on my face SKYROCKET. Jeff’s a smart dude, and knowing how well he and Deacon ‘got along’ *wink wink*, it wouldn’t surprise me that Deacon told Jeff about his override codes for in case something like this ever happened. Also, I bet that the only thing going through Maven’s head is something akin to: ‘NKDO&*TIJHO&VJbk,vjAKl/;yt8YPIV’

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for the epic page! 😀

    • Hehe. I’m really glad this new page made you happy, Lorescien. I’ve been wanting to share it forever and the reaction has been very… gratifying. Thank you very much for the props!

  • Ryn

    I’ll just blame the fact that i’m late to the party on my sinus congestion. I love nature ,but my immune system don’t.

    And: OMG, Yess! Kick human ass Deacon! *puts away frying pan* Guess I’m not going to need to whack him on the head after all.  very cool with the broken neck in panel 2. I’ve knocked myself in the throat once and tell ya, huuuuurts. So Maven’s crushed windpipe, major pain. *evil grin*

    • Superjenny

      Yeah, I know, what a disappointment…  ~snickers behind hand~

  • did anyone else hear the mortal combat battle music in their head  when read this page?


    • Superjenny

      I do now…  XD

    • sami_makin

      Nah, Pokemon battle music.

  • I believe the people who were Jeff’s that were slaughtered may have been the one’s who made Deacon and his kind. Either that or Deacon told Jeff an override code to save him and kill people around Jeff. I’ve been following this since a couple months ago and i have to say i like this web comic. It’s the best one i have read by far with a science fiction twist. L-O-V-E IT! Lol keep up the good work!

    • The “best one with a science-fiction twist”, James? Really? ::blush:: Thank you! I’m really glad you’re liking Artifice! 😀

  • ErykaSoleil

    Wow, congrats to Alex and Winona on getting the Kickstarter funding so fast! And thanks to everybody who beat me to donating. :p

    Alex, will we still be able to drop money into Kickstarter through April, even though it’s already met its goal?

  • good god, I feel like an absolute moron for not seeing this one coming. Alex, you practically GAVE the answer to us!!! UGH, man I’m slipping. Of course Deacon would know his own codes, and of course he would be able to teach them to Jeff.


  • Fabiana Nonato

    I was afraid of what Deacon might do… And this really surprises me.
    And when i read the page, I was like:
    Or something like that.

  • coyoteconscious


  • GashlycrumbTiny


  • Onto Genesis

    I have been wondering for awhile what is Jeff’s specialty, and had suspected that it’s programming (he seems like a computer type), and that he had managed to overwrite Deacon’s codes. And obviously the two plotted together to escape, knowing that as long as they could be in the same room… well played, my dears.  Kick ass indeed!  (Although I did get worried for awhile that maybe my hopeful suspicions were wrong, and Deacon was going to kill-bot Jeff!) 

    • No, I don’t think he had overwritten Deacon’s codes. Otherwise their original escape wouldn’t have been halted so easily. It’s pretty clear that Deacon had simply given Jeff his own override codes, and that’s something Maven hadn’t anticipated. Since Deacon is fast, he now has stopped her from even issuing another override code (since she won’t be able to speak).

  • dereule101

    Wow – Deacon gave Jeff complete power over him to prove to Jeff that he loves him.

  • Oh thank God. Did he just sever her vocal cords? PLEASE tell me he severed her vocal cords. Or at least paralyzed them? That would make my DAY. 

    Wonderfully done as always~ thank you. I was so hoping for something like this to happen. <3


    • Or, you know, crushing her windpipe would be awesome too xD

      Oh goodness I’m so mean to Maven…

  • ErykaSoleil

    Is anybody else having the sound not work on the Kickstarter link? It worked fine for me the yesterday, but today it hasn’t worked any of the times I’ve tried to view it.

    • Hmm. It’s been working for me. Are you still having trouble?

      • ErykaSoleil

        It’s working today, thank you, Alex. My internet started getting really laggy and wonky later on in the evening, so it may have just been a taste of things to come. :/ Or it could have been my computer telling me to get off my butt and do some housework. :p

  • Myrtu

    It makes me so extraordinarily happy to see this. And while I like Maven, I will not be sad to see her go. A punch to that area can kill someone, so I won’t be shocked if Maven keels over right there.
    I was hoping for something to happen! I just never saw THAT coming.
    And the fans certainly love Artifice! Congrats on reaching the kickstarter pledge so quickly. So excited about it, and I definitely plan to back you in this endeavor. Congrats and good luck~

    • Thank you, Myrtu! I’m so incredibly grateful to our readers. It’s really exciting for me too. 😀

  • Feverfew_M

    Yay! Go Deacon, rescue Jeff! o/

    Awesome page! Gosh, I’d really hoped they would come up with something like this. They had enough time on DV4 to figure something out after all.
    Now, will they make it out of corporation territory? The complex seems to be vast…
    I’m still biting my nails here.

  • Adnoxaei

    I wish I knew where I will be living in October, so I could donate $25 and get the book and a signature…maybe I can find a friend to get the shipment…hmmm…

    • I actually won’t be sending out the Kickstarter survey to get mailing addresses until right before I ship just for that reason. 

      When you pledge, Amazon doesn’t give me your mailing address, just your email address so I can ask you for your mailing address when the time comes. Thus, so long as you keep your email address current on Kickstarter, you’ll be golden. 🙂

      • Adnoxaei

        Perfect!!! 🙂 Thank you for the information.

  • Gabriel Grey

    Well that is what we all were longing to see. 

    EDIT: I just wanted to be a good guy and donate to your kickstarter project just to find that it already hit the goal. Probably donating anyways.

    • Hehe. It’s been what I’ve been longing to show you. 🙂

      (And thanks for the offer to back the project! If you think you might want to have Artifice in book form, I’m going to be sending the books out to Kickstarter backers before I make any available on my Web site.)

  • I’m so excited! That was AWESOME!! 😀

  • Eat that biatch

  • Yesss! I didn’t know Deacon had an override code. Very clever, Jeff. :3

  • Wow! Congrats on your kickstarter campaign! You deserve it! I’m very happy to say I just contributed too. I love this story so much, I have to add it to my library!

    I like what you and Winona done with this page. I didn’t really expect Jeff to know an override code and the fall of Maven is well done. She just loses her grip of control and bam! Down for the count. 
    Keep going! You’re doing something great here. 

    • Thank you, Brian, for the props and the backing of the Kickstarter project! I’m so looking forward to sending out REAL BOOKS OF ARTIFICE to readers! It’s very exciting! Thank you again! 😀

  • Sir Alex of Woolfson, for writing this superfudgecoatedscrewyoumavenyoutotallydeservedthatyoubitch-ness, you good man are the embodiment of badassery!

  • YES!!!!!  YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!  *dances around madly*  Alex, you are FULL of win!  YAAAAAAY!!!!

  • Ambler

    I never thought I’d be so happy to see someone’s windpipe crushed…

  • By accident, digging through an old music HD, i came across the perfect theme song for Maven.  Can’t believe it took me this long to make the connection.

     The Stranglers – Ice Queen

    I was never sure of the accurate score
    When i sat in for a hand with the Ice Queen
    She didn’t play fair
    I was beyond care
    The stakes were getting high…


  • Ding dong. The wicked bitch is dead.

    (I hope). 

  • I’ve just watched your video for kickstarter and I have to say I agree with you. I’ve always longed for Hollywood and America in general to get over the “gay” hump (no pun intended), especially for Sci-fi and Fantasy. That’s why I’m so damn happy that you’ve gotten as much recognition as you have and that Artifice is so popular because it means there’s actually hope for the future. That maybe if I ever get my fantasy book written, that does have gay main characters, that people both straight and gay will read it and enjoy it. Keep kicking ass with this comic and take down the world one webcomic page at a time!

  • Holy how did I NOT know about this comic before? I have so many that I read. Now I have another Saturday Update to look for


    God that was absolutely satisfying!!

    • Now I have this song stuck in my head. Thank you sir or miss, you have given this page a theme song. 

  • metisofarabia


  • I shouted, “YES!!” on the top of my lungs when I read this page, and that’s better than my reaction earlier in the day when I got accepted to college.

    Artifice FTW!!! 😀

    • wasEnkidu

       Who needs college when you have a rampaging gay killbot saving his boyfriend’s life?

  • Sam King

    Atta boy Jeff you smart smart boy!!! If she doesn’t die can I use my flaming chainsaw of doom and finished the job? hmm? please?

  • Clockworkkefferson

    After a long week of moving, I'm so happy to see this<3
    Thank the lord~

  • eclipsexgarra26

    YES YES YES YES! I was so hoping that woman would die a painful death and she did!

    •  Not necessarily. He may have just hit her larynx enough to shut her up for a while.

  • Yaminox

    maybe that’s the knowledge the colonists had that made them targets? maybe?

  • Sam

    I found this comic about 24 hours ago and I’ve spent at least 12 of the past 24 hours (when I haven’t been working on finals… whoops) reading and rereading the comic and the comments everyone has posted about it.

    I never thought I’d be into yaoi, but if other yaoi is as intellectually and aesthetically stimulating as this, I’m sold 😀

    I can’t articulate how utterly amazed I am by the emotional and intellectual depth of this comic.  I wish I’d found it sooner, but I’m so happy I had the luck to find it at all.  When my next paycheck comes in I’ll be treating myself (and Alex and Winona!) to a Kickstart donation.

    Now for a brief but nigh uncontrollable fangirl rant… Deacon.  So much adorableness, so much badassery, so much beautiful, beautiful love for Jeff.  So much.

    I’m so excited to begin following this comic, and I’m honored to be in the presence of this fanbase and this writer 🙂

  • I’ve just now(!) got around to reading this update and I think I’ve read it 8 or 9 times now!!! OMG OMG OMG!!!!! I did not see that coming, and if I wasn’t at work I would be squeeing so loud. But I am, so I’m not (except in my mind). This is exactly what I wanted to happen (without knowing it)!! Thank you for this page! 🙂

  • Regardless of whether or not Deacon told Jeff his overrides, I’m pretty sure that’s one command he is more than HAPPY to follow.

  • Well, this proves Deacon right.  He IS a very good soldier.  Good enough to have planned for all contingencies and made sure Jeff knew the command override.

    • Gabriel Grey

      Saying the truth with that. What more prove could Maven wish for?

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I love This comic and now that Jeff and Deacon are back together… EVEN BETTER! I don’t find Maven sexist at all. She’s an AMAZING character! Evil, and manipulative and ENJOYS  it! She’s extremely fun to hate. 

  • So beautiful, so pure, their love… is all as boundless as the sea.

  • strangeangel24601

    Huh. All this time I had managed to convince myself that Maven was secretly working on Jeff and Deacon’s behalf. Looks like I was wrong. Although I do find it interesting that Deacon appears to have been very careful to deliver a non-fatal blow… I mean, if he was going to kill her, why go not just kick her through a wall instead of striking precisely at a small spot on the throat?
    Also, while I’m not necessarily anticipating a happy ending (our heroes are still deep in enemy territory, after all), I personally find it very gratifying that Jeff got a chance to fight back. Even if he doesn’t make it out alive, I can take comfort in the fact that at least he’s not just going to be slaughtered like a helpless animal.

    • He didn’t kill the guards either.

  • wasEnkidu

    XD Looks like SOMEONE taught Jeff the override codes! Now who could have POSSIBLY done that, hmmm? ;D
    Hitting Maven like that made me HURT. But it’s better to incapacitate her than kill her I guess. Still OUCH. But since she knows his codes too he has to shut her up some way.
    In other news, I was expecting something more heartfelt than this. Goes to show you, never cut Jeff’s hair you’ll just make him more badass. XD

    • strangeangel24601

      Oh crap! They tried to remove the source of his power, but it only made him stronger!

  • *looks around* Am I seriously the first one here? *sets up camp* I am NOT missing out this time!

    • ErykaSoleil

      Yep. I’ll be touch and go tonight, because both my toddler and my 5-month old are sick and generally unhappy with life. 🙁

      But! I brought you these! -Plops down a tupperware container full of homemade egg rolls.- I’m pretty tired of winter, but it’s certainly gotten me to do a lot of cooking/baking. 🙂

      • I am here!  I bequeath unto everyone nutella spread, soda, and multigrain Wheat Thins.  Why the Wheat Thins?  They are freaking TASTY, that’s why 🙂  

        (seriously; otherwise I wouldn’t have boxes of the things in my cupboards)

        • *Rummages around* *pulls out a can of grape soda and a handful of wheat thins* Thanks. I like wheat thins too. But my roommate ate the last of mine :(. But I’ll settle on virtual ones for now.

      • Aw, that sucks. Hope they feel better. And yum! I love egg rolls.

      • Aww. Best wishes to all of you.

        Spring has just come in where I live! I hope it gets to you soon. 🙂

    • Fulgin

       *sets down a tablet running a video of a crackling fire* Horribly busy week for me, no can go camping.  Will be here in spirit.

      • ErykaSoleil

        You trust us with your tablet? That’s really sweet. 🙂 We can’t roast marshmallows or anything with it, but we’ll keep it safe.

      • Oh man, that’s two down! What is this madness?!

    •  Are you kidding? I’ve been here since yesterday.

      • Whoa. That’s some dedication. *offers some banana bread* Well now that other people are here, you can replenish your supplies.

        • Ah ha ha. I’ve been here every day since Saturday. Oh, boy! Banana bread! All I’ve had today was breakfast. 🙂

          ETA: Oh, how greedy of me. I should share something, too. Here’s some eggplant and tofu for everyone! I like that all of the spread is vegetarian this time around.

    • *sings*
      Allll byyy myyselllf!
      Don’t wanna be
      allll byyy myyselllf

  • KrisYWC

    OMG Every Artifice fan should watch this video! 

    • ErykaSoleil

      Oh, wow. That was AMAZING. If they make it into a game, I will absolutely buy it.

      Thank you so much for sharing that!

    • Oh wow! I couldn’t help picturing Deacon. I got so scared when they started disassembling her.
      Good find, Kristin.


    • I wish I was able to like the link one thousand times! 

    • Adnoxaei

      That was beautifully done. I loved that when I watched it first time. I like science fiction with androids that become so complex that they essentially become people and they hit the emotional part of that very well. I think Artifice hits it from a different angle. I kind of wish Artifice could be done with that level of detail as a little movie 🙂 that thought makes me want to fire up 3ds max 😛

  • Okay, I haven’t been commenting for a while, not because I’m not in LOVE with this comic but because I always come to the party late and there are upwards of two hundred comments sharing my sentiment by the time I get around to reading a page, but I don’t even care this time:  HELL YES.
    That’s what you get for assuming Jeff is harmless!
    Also, while I respect that a lot of people like her, here’s a sentiment I’ve felt but have been holding off voicing since she showed up with her smug smirk in that crime against fashion lavender getup: fuck you Maven, and your little dog too.

    Okay I’m done.  Wow, lot of profanity there, huh?  Sorry ’bout that!  (Not really.)

    • Kristin Wilcox


  • While I am waiting patiently for the lovely aftermath of this, doesn’t anyone else think that maybe if Jeff learned the override codes from Deacon, couldn’t he have overriden the immobilization codes on page 64? I just thought that was odd when I saw this comic. Can’t wait to see page 84! 😀

    • Judging by the last panel, Jeff was a little busy being unconscious.

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    Man, at first glance I thought Deacon’s finger went into the Evil One’s throat but that’s definitely a fist.  Can we get a sequel that consists of nothing but death scenes for Maven?

    • Mary Short


      • Kristin Wilcox

        thirded fouthed fithed and sixthed

  • DON’T KILL MAVEN! She’s a bitch but I’ll miss her 🙁

  • chakra1

    Anybody else hear this song start up when they read Jeff’s words?

    • Yes! Lmao. I mentioned it a few days ago…we may be the only ones apparently rofl

  • grumpycakes

    This means that Deacon, of his own free will, told Jeff his codes.  I can’t even ;m;  GUH.  PUNCHED RIGHT IN THE EMOTIONS.

  • Victoria Ham



  • Choke on it, Doctor. >o<


  • this is probably my favorite page…

  • SolrSurfr3

    Whoa, wait–what?! What just happened!? I have no idea what’s going on! I’m pretty sure it’s good, though!

  • narutowhife

    Mind BLOWN

  • yeauhhhh 

  • iamjustherek

    And much ass was kicked that day~ I <3 this comic!!!


  • THAT! That right there was badass! I did not see that coming and I loved it!

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Woo! Bye bitch! Jeff has the powah!

  • Oh, thank fsck for that 🙂

  • Ree


  • Kickstarter… And now I must save $30. MAKE IT SO, NUMBER ONE!!

    On a little more serious note: Jeff just took a level in badass for me. I mean, seriously. Crazy prepared or he is much more in-the-know than he’s ever let on? I’m banking on the former, given the possibility that Deacon and he made a plan in the very real event that everybody’s favorite redhead would be put to death, and he’d need Deacon’s help to survive.

  • Yeaaaah! Finally! You got what you deserved despicable bitch!

  • Stahli

    and thus, young Jeff claimed the power of the red word balloons for his own…oh I love your sense of humor. XD

  • awwwwww yeaaaaaaaah :3

  • Ms.Brown

    NICE! I actually did not see that coming – this page was an awesome surprise. BEATTHATDOCTOR DOWN!!

  • Stranger

    Jabbed in the throat, close enough.

  • Lilly Zhang


  • Amy

    *enter CSI opening song* YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!!! xD

  • random


  • Noriam Gutierrez


  • VermillionQueen

    oh geezuz! i just punched the air in glee! take that bitch!!!


  • Ashley Winter

    omg just reading this for the first time my heart was racing I really thought he was gonna kill jeff and was getting ready to start crying T_T

  • Beatrice.


  • Someone important


  • Kabbalist

    Mr. Woolfson, you are goooood. I literally fist-pumped and shouted “YES!” when I read the first two panels of this page. Even when I’m deeply into what I’m reading, it’s rare for it to get that kind of spontaneous and uncontrolled reaction. I also have to say that shutting Dr. Maven up is probably the wisest thing Deacon could have done. After the armed guards, she was the biggest threat on scene. No more command codes for you, Dr. Maven!

  • The Venetian Harper

    I thought they might’ve spent some time figuring out how to get out of this situation! There’s no way Deacon wouldn’t have forseen what would happen once found out. Since someone has control of his codes, he’ll need to give Jeff some control as well…(btw, absolutely love this comic. Found this out after stumbling across Young Protectors)

  • Justin White