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Artifice Page 85

224 Comments on Artifice Page 85

“Just a very good soldier… and one hell of a butler.”

OK! So, I officially launched the Artifice Graphic Novel Print Drive Kickstarter Project last Friday at 10:00 P.M. hoping for $7,000 to cover most of the printing costs. It been almost exactly one week and thanks to your super-generous support the backing is now over $16,000! WOO HOO! Thank you all so much!

So, this means not only will Artifice get printed, but that I can start to afford to do other things I always wanted to do, such commission Winona to create a special Artifice Happy Ending pin-up with Deacon and Jeff kissing in front of a beautiful sunset… and the smoking remains of the Noneco Corporate Campus. It’s something I will send out to ALL backers as a high-res desktop wallpaper they can use (and for those backing at a higher level, I’ll be able to send them a really nice 13″ x 19″ print of it!) And if things keep going like this, I might even be able to commission some additional short comics in the world of Artifice, including maybe even another scene of flashback romance between Jeff and Deacon on Da Vinci Four. It’s very exciting.

Now I’ve gotten a few questions about how Kickstarter works in the comments, so let me address those here. Yes, if you live outside the U.S. you can absolutely pre-order a copy of Artifice to be sent to you (you’ll just need to put in a little bit more to cover the extra shipping.) Yep, you should still pledge now even if you don’t know where you will live in October when the books ship (because I’ll ask everyone for their shipping address in an email survey right before I ship.) And yes! 🙂 even $5 helps me out a lot (and will make sure you get any extras I create, like the “Happy Ending” wallpaper and PDFs of any additional short Artifice comics I commission). And if you don’t have a credit card, yes the pre-paid ones work just fine (just be sure it’s charged up with at least $3 more than you pledge so the “automatic hold” credit card companies use doesn’t mess things up.)

And as I mentioned might happen last time, all the $30 pledge level books (which will be signed by BOTH me and Winona) are now “sold out”. But not to worry—there are still plenty of books signed by both of us at slightly higher pledge levels (and at those levels you get other extras like cool Artifice bookmarks and art posters and such.) And if don’t need both our signatures, you can get a book sent to you with just my signature at the $25 level. 🙂 So, if you think you might want to have one of these books when they are printed, please

Pre-order a printed copy of Artifice through my Kickstarter project

In other news, I launched my new webcomic on Wednesday! Woo hoo! It’s a multi-chapter superhero yaoi comic called The Young Protectors: “Engaging The Enemy” with art by DC/Marvel penciler Adam DeKraker and 2011 Harvey Award Nominee colorist Veronica Gandini. I still need to make adjustments to the About/FAQ and other pages on this site to take into account the new comic (right now they only mention Artifice) but there are three pages of The Young Protectors already up and Page 4 will be posted this Monday. If you haven’t yet, please

Check out The Young Protectors

and let me know what you think! 😀

In still more news, we have some truly delectable new Fan Art by BayouKun! It’s a sexy, shirtless Deacon and you simply must go see it because it’s awesome.

Finally, even with all the focus on the Kickstarter campaign, I’m excited (and amazed) to say that we are now at $199 towards the next bonus page! Y’all are UNSTOPPABLE! 😀

Special thanks, a warm welcome and a grateful bow go out to new supporters Robin K., John S. & amanda l. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of Artifice Larry B. (who has just made their second super-generous donation of $25!) and Larisa V. (who has just made their eleventh super-generous $25 donation—and their fourth (!!) such donation in two weeks! You are a rock star, Larisa!)

And finally, very grateful, android-strength hugs go out to longtime Artifice superfriend Safiya M. who, with their amazingly generous $50 donation, makes their third amazingly generous donation to this comic!

Thank you all so, so much—for the Kickstarter backing, the bonus page donations and also for the very kind words you’ve written both on the pages of this comic and the pages of The Young Protectors! Between managing and promoting a Kickstarter campaign, prepping three pages a week, responding to comments and emails, taking interviews (!) and working with artists on future pages, I’ll admit—my brain is feeling a bit like mush. (God help me when I’m working 10 hour days on the day-job next week!) But through it all, your generosity and kindness makes it totally worth it.

You are awesome and wonderful and I am so very grateful to all of you. 😀

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 3/18 12:25 PM: Good news! At 5:41 AM this morning, we hit the bonus page donation target! That means that in addition to the regular Saturday update, there will be a bonus update this Wednesday, 3/21—Page 86! Thank you all so much! 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!
  • darbanville


  • Yep! A great Jeff soldier through and through!

  • Kel Z

    … I am so “awwwww!” right now. Does that mean I’m “in awwww”?

  • YAY!!!! Such a sweet moment. 

    Just noticed Jeff has stitches in his eyebrow. Nice touch. It really adds to the effect of how bad he was roughed up. Scum!, how dare you hurt Jeff. Anyway Thank you so much for this page. It’s about time they have a moment together.

    Now they just have to get out of the building…Deacon, I hope you’ve got some ideas.



  • ErykaSoleil

    I love the random x-ray in the back, haha. 🙂

  • Aww! Deacon’s a soldier of love!

    And what’s up with the X-ray in the second panel? DID they do experiments on Jeff? Or were they just checking him out after he was captured? *is worried*

    And yay Young Protectors! I’m gonna go check it out right now.

    EDIT: Okay I know we all love Deacon again, but everyone needs to check out page three of Young Protectors. You won’t regret it.

    • Glad you liked what you saw, Alex. 😉

      • Indeed I did! Nice, um, “belt buckle”. I hope you know that fanon dictates his name is Silver Fox.

        • I’ve noticed that. 😀 Any resemblance to Anderson Cooper is purely coincidental, I can assure you…

    • Jenny Blue

      I already checked it. I didn’t regret it. ;D He’s sexy and he knows it! and also more about this page, Awwwwww!!!! <3 <3 <3!!!

      • I gather your reaction is “aww”? Lol just guessing.

        • Jenny Blue

           O.O *Le’gasp!* Who told you?  Was it NoNeCo!?!?! Those jerks!!! *shakes fist at NoNeCo* I’ll get you my pretty, and your little psychiatrist too!! *cackles maniacally* …sorry, I got a wee bit carried away just then. ;D

    • ErykaSoleil

      A) I hate you for getting yet -another- cheesy song stuck in my head. Seriously, I feel ridiculous when I catch myself singing something like “Soldier of Love” and dancing along with it while I’m washing dishes. :p

      B) I’m glad somebody else noticed–and is wondering about–the x-ray. 🙂

      C) Agree on the Young Protectors comment. Also, did you notice what movie they show playing? Heehee.

      • A) I actually didn’t know that Soldier of Love was a song. I tried YouTubing but there are like five versions of it. The More You Know…

        B) Yeah, especially right after we were talking about Bones. Funny coincidence, that.

        C) Yes! I hoping that means Alex is going to make a sequel to Artifice. Artifice 2: Artifice Ever After.

  • Jenny Blue

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 this has to be THE sweetest page so far! I love it! The tenderness in their eyes! Their loving caresses! The caring words! EEEK! <3  Winona's use of lighting is Awesome, as per usual. and it's just. so. darn. adorable!!!!!! <3 XD

    • Jenny Blue

      oh! -_- I forgot ’cause of the awww! power of this page but, Congrats on all the donations Alex! I’m too poor to donate, -_- but I might try in the future. I really want to try to donate before the kickstarter deadline so I can get some goodies, 😉

      • Thank you, Jenny! I’ve been so touched and overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. (And I totally understand about being poor. That’s been me at lots of points in my life.)

  • I’m a backer, and I’m glad too! I went I bought a special internet capable card just so I could donate. I believe in you, Alex, and I want to make sure that you have the money to go on and do everything you want to!

    I’ll be sad to see this comic finish, and thought I will read the future comics, I doubt they will be as special to me as this one is. I am proud to say that I will continue to be an avid reader of yours, not just for the comics, but just to make sure that you’re living the dream that I soon wish to have as well!

    • Oh, wow, Darby—thank you for going to that kind of effort to back the project. That’s amazing. I’m very, very flattered.

      I’m also very glad to hear you’ll be sticking around. And may you be “living the dream” very soon. 🙂

  • George Moore

    Wow, I actually thought of the “one hell of a butler” thing when I read that panel. Tsk, tsk, tsk… 🙂

  • Superjenny

    ~flail~  AKBEDBDFSKLXVPUSDRKDSF!!!  ~squee~  He’s becoming more human all the time.  He even knows how to lie…

    • LeiseFlustern

      They’re more like Half Truths… not really lies.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Where did he lie? Maybe I’m just too tired (which is entirely possible), but I don’t see it. 🙁

      • Superjenny

        “I can be the one to kill Jeff.”  LIES!!!

  • Awwwwww!!! Cute moment!

  • RE: Butler comment–I love you even more for that reference. <3

    God.  They are bruised, bloodied, shaved, wearing terribly ill-fitting clothing, and have just killed a roomful of people, and they're still the cutest thing EVER. 8D

  •  Fantastic. It’s been too many pages since we saw something tender like this.

    By far my favourite touch on this page: the subtle flush to Jeff’s cheeks in panels 4 and 5. Simply awesome.

  • RustyBurrell

    Love how he sticks to that ‘I’m a good soldier’ thing 🙂

    Also, didn’t really pay it much attention before but daaaaamn, they beat the PISS outta poor Jeff! He looks like Rihanna!

  • AnyOtaku

    Awwwwwww they look so lovely together! God I’m so glad that all that Deacon said was just a plan. But I’m kind of scared… Because it won’t be really long now until artifice ends up, i’ll sure miss having a reason to wake up early =D But no more “goodbyes” they will cone with the final page.

    “Just a very good soldier… and one hell of a butler.”never though you would come with a sentece of kurojitsushi! Both of you are awesome!

    • Hehe. I just started watching the anime on Netflix a couple months ago and found it very compelling… because of the butler. And it wasn’t until I was halfway through that I realized why. He’s very much like Deacon in his way! My kinda fictional guy. 😉

      And I certainly very much hope it won’t be goodbyes with the last page of Artifice. But instead “Until we meet again”. 🙂

  • Aikka

    Awww <3

    such a sweet page, really ;-;

    i could just stare at it and stare…

    but then i read the description and looked at that new fanart…
     *________* and i love it <3

    And then i checked email and noticed new wallpaper from tough….

    what am i supposed to stare at now? i'm lost ;—;
    too much awesomeness for one morning…. ;-;

    • Hehe. I’m very glad to have helped to create that problem for you. 😉

      • Aikka

        Haha, if only all problems were like that… o..o”

        though it’s solved as i will set the wallpaper on my laptop, while t at hese 2 i will stare here, so i can stare at all 3 at 2 screens ;>

        • tom1988

          That was the first thing I thought when I saw this page. This page = wallpaper.

          • Aikka

            I am actually talking about a different wallpaper here, but, in general, there were many pages of Artifice i would love to use as wallpapers but it was always hard to match them to a screen ;-;

  • This page is just so so GORGEOUS and sweet and the look in their eyes!! Ya’ll made me squeel like a complete idiot again! I was one of your first backers and I’m so happy I decided to splurge for both your siggies!  

    • Aw, thank you, Jamie—for being one of the first backers and for the kind words! I’m really glad you like the new page! 😀

  • tom1988

    Does the Happy Ending include a sunset on a beach with Maven in a bikini, a glass of chardonnay in one hand, playfully throwing a beach ball at the boys with her other hand and laughing? (That was actually my Happy Ending…)

    • Tom! Welcome back! (And when it comes to Maven? I wouldn’t rule out any future possibilities….)

      • tom1988

        Thanks! And wow, really?! I already absolutely loved this “locked in/the tables are turned” situation since the last page.

        “future possiblities,” re:Maven make me even more excited 😀

        • ErykaSoleil

          Tom! You’re alive! I was beginning to really worry about you.

      • ErykaSoleil

        I would really like to see that backstory on Maven you’d mentioned a few pages back. 🙂

      • ithilloke


    • Aikka

      Someone should draw it <3 XD

  • God, That’s sweet.

  • Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!^^ and knowing Maven sees it all while choking makes it even better.

  • My heart has melted and lies now happily on the floor. ♥ Awww!

  • Epistasthai

    oh man, I just wanted to melt when I saw Deacon’s eyes in the second panel. (I’m so used to reading manga that this was the first panel I looked at, then I remembered I’m reading Artifice and so have to start on the other side, haha). But that was such a lovely first glimpse at this page…
    It’s so sweet how he treats Jeff. And it’s so sweet what Jeff says to Deacon. Awwwww…
    (but they still haveta get outta there…) 
    Thank you so much for writing such a thought-provoking piece. (and for letting them have some happy moments). Artifice has rapidly become one of my favourite pieces, and it’s something I keep re-reading, because I find something different to notice/think about every time I read it. Thank you !

    I’m too poor to do much at Kickstarter, but I can manage a tiny little. And it’s so fab that you’re giving us a chance to help!

    • You’re very welcome, Epistasthai! It’s very flattering to hear you say that “Artifice has rapidly become one of my favourite pieces” and that you’re finding new things with each read. 😀

      And please believe me that your support really helps me and is very much appreciated!

  • James Jennings


  • samae

    Sebastin quote of course,  Who are you? “Im just one hell of a butler” XDXD

  • I’m just here crying because this is so mushy and heartwarming

  • mikakitten

    Awwwwww!!! <3 So happy they're together again…. I love panel five!! <3 Kiss and run!! Run away! Escape!! Live happily ever after!! Mmmmmmmmnnnnnn!!! <3 Love!!! :3 

  • nurg

    Ah ha ha, Alex, you Kuroshitsuji fan, you!

    I’m so loving the turns this has taken. I’m just hoping that lovely shared smile isn’t a harbinger to Jeff getting shot in the back in the next sequence. (Someone tell me I’m just a paranoid trope-seer and that they’re getting their happy ending for sure…)

    • cjfrankie

      Okay now I’m scared… Why did you have to say that!!!
      That scenario hadn’t occured to me. Now I’m going to be worried and jittery until the next page is posted.
      *curled up in a corner in desperate need of a hug*

      • nurg

        I SUCK I SUCK. I never NEVER said it, let’s all agree I never even said it! 🙂  *hugs*

  • “One hell of a butler” hahahaha Kuroshitsuji reference ftw Alex! Adorable page is very adorable *A*

  • Still here.  Still loving this.  And you.  WHOO!

  • So much I want to say!!  (Like, “Kiss! Kiss!! You’ve just been reunited!!!”) 
    What strikes me most is actually what Jeff said in the previous page.  That’s it – Deacon can no longer obey anyone else’s commands except for Jeff’s.  And Deacon *must* have granted that power to Jeff by telling him how to program him.  What greater, more meaningful gift and demonstration of love could Deacon have given Jeff?  And for Jeff to have accepted it!  *That’s* commitment, people. 
    (And of course, *love* the Kuroshitsuji reference, Alex.)

  • C K

    I choked on my soda bread from laughter at “…and one *hell* of a butler.” Excellent reference.

    So, I’m incredibly happy this is working out so that those two might have a standing chance of getting out of there and being happy.  Though I share Deacon’s concern that Jeff looks *brutal*, but I still hold out hope.

    Though, guys, Horror Movie 101: don’t turn your back to the monster when you know it’s there!  Maven is right in the corner!  Keep an eye out!

    Oh man, and I really hope you’re able to do some of those extras, including the extra comics.  I love this series so much and will be sad to see it end!

  • leorising

    Well, my goodness! The last two pages were certainly fulfilling, and this one is just adorable. I went back a couple of pages, though, just so I could see Maven say, “*hkk*” again, it felt so good.

    I’d love to see more of Deacon and Jeff together, but I know you’re bringing this to a close. I guess I’ll just have to look forward to any extras you decide to bring out.


    • leorising

       …Also enjoyed the “hell of a butler” comment. Tee hee.

  • LOVE the last panel, so beautiful!

  • I really, really hope that, somehow, a few DC/Marvel writers/producers take notice of how popular this webcomic is, and how much money it has raised. We could really do with some more mainstream LGBTQ-centric comics, and if the success of Artifice doesn’t testify to this, I don’t know what will.

  • Guest

    All together now; Ready?  YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!  XD

  • Fitsofrage

    I cracked up at the second panel. I immediately thought of Kuroshitsuji there, as it’s one of my favorite anime series. Then you made the very good butler joke and I almost ROFL I’m glad to see another Kuroshitsuji fan. They do slightly resemble Ciel & Sebastian in a way, the premise i mean. I adored it.

  • I love that last panel. Beautiful. Makes all the weeks of panels in Maven’s office worth it for me.

  • KBatty

    Alex, you seem somewhat surprised lately by how well your Kickstarter has done, but I’m not. I don’t know if you realize this, but you’ve got a formula that balances your (and the audience’s) fondness of tropes/anti-tropes, combined with an Alan Moore-ish method of making your comic a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end instead of a never-ending soap opera. When those factors are tied in with your own originality, it works excellently (obviously). =]

  • callmelivy

    “and one hell of a butler.” YES. Kuroshitsuji is my absolute favorite. You get a million brownie points in my book for that. <3

  • Deacon’s face on the second panel. OMG WHAT IS LIFE. I want him in my pants now :c LUCKY JEFF

  • Sam

    I’m going to explode from all the d’awwwww X)  And I will be the happiest exploded bits and pieces ever.

    …Okay, ew.  Sorry for that image.

    And Deacon.  That smirk.  Those eyes.  He kills me.  I was itching for a page like this after all the action and tension – I kept rereading Wednesday’s page and yelling in my head, “Look how hurt Jeff is!  Kiss him and make him better!  You’re safe for at least a few minutes!  You were just inches away from losing him forever!  Don’t you want to just HOLD him?” Finally seeing all the affection in this page made it all the more gratifying 🙂  But that was your intention, wasn’t it, you tease?

    Also, Jeff gets a gun?  Woot!  Deacon can’t have ALL the fun.  I’ll be excited to see Jeff kick some ass, too 😀

  • SigmundReimann

    I just read this story through from beginning to end and I feel the need to say that, despite complaints people have made, the pacing works perfectly as a straight read through. As soon as I get a few more funds I’ll be placing and order via kickstarter and I can’t thank you enough for this comic! It is exactly what I have been looking for through years of trawling through gay romance comics. You deserve all the praise and generosity you have received and I am overjoyed that you have more projects planned for the future!

    On a side note, I also wonder what is happening with My Brother’s Keeper. We haven’t had an update on that for a while.

    • Thank you, SigmundReimann! I’m glad to hear that the pacing is working for you as a straight read-through. Ultimately, that will be how most folks engage with Artifice from now on, so thank you for letting me know. 😀 (And I’m also very glad to hear that you like what I’m trying to do here!)

      As for the third chapter of Tough, no news I’m afraid. The art is still stalled. But it will be finished! And I promise to make a lot of noise about it when it is!

      • SigmundReimann

        I’m not a patient guy but I understand when patience is necessary. I know it will be worth it.

  • Cristina Cornejo

    Oh, Jeff has the sexy cut lip <3 (I just hope nothing happens to him in the next page, because if movies have taught me anything, is that after the happy reunion something bad always happens ;3;)

  • Awwwwwww 😀 😀 😀  I overloaded from squee last night at this page so couldn’t review properly, so I will now.  This page was SO ADORABLE.  I am very happy the boys are together again!

    Also, Alex, didn’t know you were a Black Butler fan!

    • I actually just watched the anime for the first time a month ago. When I started lettering this page, I couldn’t help hearing Sebastian’s voice… 😀

  • This just made my spring break a whole lot better then it was 30 seconds ago 🙂

  • Alex, congratulations are in order on getting the kickstarter money in record time! :)!
    I’m so glad Deacon and Jeff had a plan to override all the previous orders, made my day.

  •  I love you guys.  This page is amazing.  (And somewhere, off in the background, the good doctor is watching, hoping and praying that much as she probably now hates Decon that he and Jeff kiss and get it on in front of her, lol)

  • Yukiness

    My week was a piece of shit (friday was preticularly aweful) but this is endearing enough to mend my angry fujoshi heart for the next week. I do love panel 4 and 5. Deacon has that puppy dog face that says, “but, mi amore, you have a boo-boo on your face.” Happy to see that in the midst of everything there can be a very endearing moment between them.

  • Dovienya

    Excuse me for a moment…


    Okay. Regularly scheduled programming may now recommence.

  • I am reminded of a song I heard (actually danced to )back in the early ’90’s ….can’t remember who sings it “What Is Love”…the lyrics fit this situation quite well.

    • cjfrankie

      I like that song too and it really fits. I think it’s by someone called Hadley or Hadaway… something like that.
      Actually, I should say I “liked” that song. My work decided it would be a good idea to play it every hour on the hour… for two months.
      *starts twitching*

  • snager

    *mouth stuck open* 
    also, I have been reading this since, like, page two. it’s been really exciting watching all this happen. orz sorry i never said anything.

    • It’s great to hear from such a long-time reader. Thank you! 😀

      • snager

        :Vc i also used to talk to you on twitter, some. but when i saw the comic getting really popular, i just decided you’d be up to your earlobes in conversation and backed off. in other breaking news: this is my siggy.

        From: Disqus
        Sent: Monday, March 19, 2012 11:59 AM
        Subject: [yaoi911webcomics] Re: Artifice Page 85

        Disqus generic email template

        Alex Woolfson wrote, in response to snager:
        It’s great to hear from such a long-time reader. Thank you! 😀
        Link to comment

  • Sebastian vs. Deacon…

    Who would win?

  • Comment edited by author who is working through some things, okay?

    ETA: This comment didn’t clearly state that I was not talking about the comic Artifice. I was talking about a quote Alex made. I like Artifice, and I get OCD and annoyed when somebody relates something I like to something I dislike. Not that that’s an excuse. (Author smooshes own face.)

  • Also, since I’m already being a bitch:

    Jeff listing negative names associated with homosexuality: A trend to do so is used all too frequently in gay literature for my tastes.
    “Patterns of hair” line: Too awkward. Even for a robot that is too awkward.
    “The end of the world” line: This is a robot that is smarter than thinking the world does not only revolve around him, but is actually the world itself, right?
    The dialogue in the first two panels of page 78 was unnecessary.
    The dialogue in the first two panels of this page actually feel a little forced and unrealistic.

    I’ve not actually said anything about what’s bugged me in this series until now. However, if I had been commenting from the time I started reading I would have said these things with each related page. 

    Everything Else I have to say is only positive. I’d love to follow this up with a list of things I thought were awesome when I’m feeling less annoyed and bitchy.

    • Sam

      I could be wrong, Kristi, but I think Alex wouldn’t mind if you commented on what bugs you more often.  It’s helpful for writers to hear about what in their writing might not be working for readers, sometimes even more helpful than hearing about what is working.  That’s how it’s been in my experience writing, anyway 🙂

      I’m really intrigued by your comment about Jeff listing derogatory terms for homosexuality, as I haven’t read a lot of fiction dealing with homosexuality (sad face).  I interpreted Jeff’s listing of these terms to be a purely defensive move – sort of a “I’ve heard it all so whatever you have to throw at me isn’t going to phase me” type of thing.  From what Alex has implied through the comic and said directly about Jeff’s past, he certainly has heard it all and faced a lot of hatred, so much that he expects it from pretty much everyone.  But again, I haven’t read enough to know whether this really is an overused trope, as I think you’re saying.

      I actually loved Deacon’s interest in Jeff’s body hair.  It certainly didn’t look as though Deacon had anything to compare it to, either from his own body or the bodies of others.  It was definitely awkward, but I didn’t find it too awkward.  Deacon might be an artificial person with a ridiculous amount of knowledge programmed into him, but he is still a person, still human (and in my opinion, he is most human when he is with Jeff – that’s something I love about their relationship).  He’s subject to the same nervousness and anxiety over trying something new as any of us are, and just knowing about talking seductively or “dirty” doesn’t mean you can do it.  I wasn’t surprised at all Deacon ended up taking more of an awkward, detached, scientific, or impersonal route to initiating sex with Jeff.

      As for the end of the world bit, I just saw that as Deacon’s humanity shining through 🙂  Haven’t we all acted as though the world revolves around us at some point in our adult lives?  And Deacon did concede “or my world, at least” on the very next page.

      In the end I see where your grievances come from.  I just see things differently, I guess.  And I’m very glad that for you the positive things outweigh the negative things (that’s what I’m assuming, anyway, since you’re still reading). 🙂

      • Oh, yes. They certainly outweigh the negative aspects. Thank you for not being annoyed with my observations. I hope I actually felt bitchier than I sounded. Something very scary has happened to a young family member of mine, and I’ve been filled with a lot of negative energy in general.

        I saw all those other possibilities, but when those possibilities feel more defensive than natural and obvious, the writing becomes clunky. Fan theories often times explore possibilities that excuse bad writing or writing that is missing details.  

        Derogatory terms listing: It is a defense. It’s used all the time in gay fiction, but I’ve never heard of a gay person using it in real life. It sounds too scripted too me for that reason.

        Jeff’s body and hair comment response: Most people would be a little turned off by the comment’s robotic nature, even with a long dry spell. However there was no clear reaction from Jeff that suggested it was awkward and robotic.

        Humanity shining through: That seemed to be the intention, but with the readers knowing how smart Deacon supposedly is, that line is a really heavy handed way to communicate his humanity.

        • Sam

          Being worried about a family member certainly throws a funk over your whole life, doesn’t it? 🙁  I hope that situation turns out okay.

          I can understand how the relating one thing to another thing could annoy you, haha.  I’m an English major, and for a paper a friend of mine compared Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy to the Chorus in Shakespeare’s Henry V.  Her comparison was accurate, but my reaction was still something like -______-

          That being said, most readers seemed to enjoy the reference. I’m pretty new to yaoi (this is my first yaoi ever, and I just started reading last Monday), so I didn’t get the reference, but I don’t think sneaking in the reference hurt things too much, and certainly not in the long run 🙂

  • Erica

    D’AWW last panel had me blushing :33


    It’s depressing this is coming to an end ; ^ ; NO ENDINGG!! 2 we need a 2 indeed! just as Yound Protectors said!! :O… or is that your way of telling readers that there is a chance of a 2nd? > -> 😀

    • No plans for an Artifice 2 right now, but I’d love to do it. 🙂

      • Erica

        yessssss, we’ll all be behind you on that idea!!! 😀 😀 i wonder what it’d be about though!! :O excitingg.

  • Alright Kristi. Now I will examine your comments as you just examined the story. If you feel that such scrutiny, applied in public, is rude or petty, than you will have at least understood some part of what I am showing you.

    “A trend to do so is used all too frequently in gay literature for my tastes.” you meant that to do so (list negative names for homosexuality) is trendy, right? Or perhaps even, Is done all too frequently? Right?

    A small review of what I have just inferred:

    [MODERATED for various “you” statements and inferences about the original commenter]

    For example, is it possible to do something and not actually do it? No. Everything that is done is actually done. So why say actually? You say actually as if you are disagreeing with some counter argument, as if you feel threatened, so I must ask why?

    [MODERATED for various “you” statements and inferences about the original commenter]

    The former convinces your “opponent”, the later only convinces yourself.

    Especially given that your unnecessary usage of the word “actually” follows soon after you say “The dialogue in the first two panels of page 78 was unnecessary.”

    Okay wow, I’m just starting here and I’ve already wasted too much time being actually not a bitch.

    • Howdy Fthesquares and welcome! 🙂

      I very much appreciate you stepping up to defend the choices I made in this comic, but the civilized tone that we have in this comment section is something that’s very, very dear to my heart and thus I have a very strong comment policy. It’s 100% OK to disagree with any IDEAS or LOGIC that another commenter expressed (and we do that all the time here), but any comments that are personal attacks will be moderated and if there are repeat offenses, the user will be banned. Obviously that’s the last thing I’d want to do, particularly to someone speaking up for me! 🙂 But as I said, the tone of this comments section is very special to me and, in some ways, a bit unique on the Interwebs.

      Is there a way you could respond to the originally commenter in a respectful tone that keeps it just about the ideas they offered? (So no “only a stupid person would think that” or “that idea is stupid!”, but rather “Here is why I think what you said isn’t true…”)


    • I was still thinking over my thoughts while writing, the text came out in a conversational tone, and this is why I used the word “actually”. I didn’t edit, so it didn’t get edited out. The “actually” was just my own reaction to my own thoughts of “it’s cute, I’d like to think there’s nothing wrong with it, but I just can’t help but be bothered”.

  • SavvyFox

    All I got to say is sometimes love is cheesy, that’s where the idea of ‘cheese’ came from. I’m not going to say that I’ve had (or am having) that kind of relationship, but I can say that it wouldn’t be a bad thing. And in this situation of a rebel and a damsel, sorry Jeff, the lines they are using are completely valid in my opinion. And in any case aren’t we all here to be entertained by Alex and the brilliant mind? 

      So, to sum things up: Love is cheesy, we make puns, we laugh, we kiss. More specifically, more adolescent homosexuals are scrutinized than accepted, which is certainly a travesty. So while I think that all opinions are valid in their own way, I just thought that I’d have one of my own and give another side, that at the time of the post maybe was not thought about.

    I think this comic is great, the art is probably one of the best out there; and I do hope that in the future those of us who read this comic can come to the understanding that we all have different opinions and sometimes the negative ones are needed for perspective.

    (Wow, I didn’t mean for the comment to be so long, sorry all)

    • If your comment is directed at me, I don’t know what this has to do with homosexuals being treated badly. I would have had the same comments on the writing if the leads were a man and a woman.

      Deacon’s concern over Jeff is very natural. Here’s the thing: I may be nitpicking, but when I hear people saying, “you’re so smart tehehe” and all that lovely couples stuff (which I think is adorable), they’re sitting at the park and having icecream. Here they’re in the belly of the beast.

      ETA: Oh, were you referencing the comment I made before I adressed Artifice? I was mentioning just what he quoted in the comments below the page.

      I had the stupid little fit I get when somebody speaks well of something I have issues with. It’s really sad and OCD that I get uncomfortable so easily with fictional media, but I wasn’t adressing anything from Artifice.

      • SavvyFox

        Oh, don’t worry, I thought your opinion was completely valid anyway, but it’s goo to know exactly what you were talking about, it seems that I was mistaken and I apologise for it. But I don’t change what I typed before because I still believe all those things. I hope you don’t think I was being mean, I wasn’t trying to hurt any feelings or step on toes.

        • It didn’t sound like it at all. You sounded very nice in your comment.

  • Ryn

    Muuush! I think I may have just been given cavities.

    don’t worry Deacon, you can doctor his owies later. but I must say, Jeff’s in better shape than i’d thought.

    • I miss his hair…

      • Ryn

         better his hair than broken bones and possible missing digits. which i anticipated so i was pleasantly surprised , even as I was shocked by the missing hair.

  • Winterlove

    Awe fricking yay TwT

  • Araceli Rodriguez

    *dies of diabetes*
    too sweet. something horrible’s about to happen. i can feel it. 

    • Sal

      No no! don’t jinx us OoO

      • Araceli Rodriguez

        jajajajajajaj…. you know its true! 

  • Lulz, black butler reference.  XD

  • This just made me smile. 🙂

  • coyoteconscious

    D-awwwww! So precious and adorable.

    (Ignore the bodies, it’s cute, honest)

    I love this comic, sooooo much.

  • right now I feel a great need to draw Deacon and Sebastian with each others outfits

    • Jenny Blue


      • Sebastian, from Kuroshitsuji, because of this: 
        “Just a very good soldier… and one hell of a butler.”      ‘One hell of a butler’ is a quote that Sebastian always uses

        • Jenny Blue

           ah, thanks for the explanation, I knew the quote sounded familiar, but I haven’t watched or read it in a while so I forgot alllll about it. (-_- that’s pretty sad…) anyways! sounds awesome (now that I know what you’re talking about) let me know if you do!

  • I am a casual reader of BL manga.  This and TJ and Amal are my first gay comics.  I just want to say that both the writing and artwork on this comic takes my breath away; I read the whole thing a couple nights ago all at once and just couldn’t sleep.  I was that happy and moved.  

    I love the intertwining of science fiction and romance here.  I love that it’s titled ARTIFICE and that it basically asks the question, not “Can a robot fall in love?” but more “What does it mean to be human?” and “What is a person?”

    Gosh, so brilliant.  And sweet Jeff … becoming one of my all-time favorite characters.

    I miss his funny hair 🙁

    • Jenny Blue

      I miss jeff’s hair too.. :'(

      • Buzz cut Jeff is just not the same 🙁  I bet his smile is still goofy though :))))

        • Jenny Blue

           😀 yeah.

    • DemureDesire

       YES!  You just hit it — one of the main reasons that I love this comic, aside from the artwork and the brilliant writing and suspense-building.

      ” I love that it’s titled ARTIFICE and that it basically asks the
      question, not “Can a robot fall in love?” but more “What does it mean to
      be human?” and “What is a person?” ”

      My all time favorite author is Philip K. Dick and these are exactly the questions that he asked in a lot of his books and short stories.

      • WOW, so I’m not the only one?!  I also get a very Dickian feel from this amazing comic!

        • DemureDesire

           Yay!  Another PKD fan!  (I actually had a guy tell me one time that female PKD fans are rare, although he couldn’t explain why.)

    • Thank you, Bridget, for all those very kind words. (And that you like those deeper questions! Much fun to explore…) Welcome! 😀

  • Lorescien

    Goodness, they’re so damn fluffy and adorable together. :3 I LOVE ALL OF THIS!!! It always makes me happy to see an update!

  • I hope you accept my apologies, Mr. Alex Woolfson. I said some things with harsh, clumsy words that I, myself, should have more closely edited. You’re amazingly nice and I didn’t intend to speak against you personally, even if it may have accidentally come across that way. I have since edited the comment I felt shouldn’t have been posted.

    That you take the time to read and respond to comments in itself should give you a free pass to never have to deal with anything stupid I ever say. I rarely join fandoms because I often get too critical and offend someone, but I risked it here since Artifice is a reallly fun fandom.


    • Hey Kristi! No need to apologize. I took your comment to be about the choices I made while writing Artifice and did not see them as personal attacks. (I also appreciate you editing the other comment you made that might have been a bit inflammatory for other readers. As I mentioned elsewhere, the tone of this comments section is something very precious to me and is something that, I think, helps to contribute to Artifice being a fun fandom. We all say things that come off the wrong way from time to time, but what ultimately matters is taking responsibility for what we say and the impact it might have on others, which is what you did. Thank you. 🙂 ) 

      I was sorry to hear that you’re having some difficult times in your family life right now. 🙁 I can only hope that things improve soon, as least as much as they can. You’ll be in my thoughts.

      May this week be a better one for you. 🙂

      • Thank you very much. It makes me feel better that you understood I have nothing against you.

        Things have been looking up to a certain degree. I’ll keep enjoying your comics, and make the effort to stay positive while commenting from now on.

  • Hey everyone! I’m going to be missing the next few camp sessions. My brother’s flying in from Afghanistan today! *is excited* He’s staying for a few weeks and I need my sleep so we can hang out (the Army turned him into an early bird). I’ll still be popping in from time to time, but no more all nighters for now. So think of me when you eat your baked goods by the fire!

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      I’d like to thank your brother for his service! I hope you guys have fun while he’s stateside again 🙂

    • Well, you will definitely be missed, Alex, but I’m very happy for your reason! I hope you guys have lots of fun together! (And yes, please thank your brother for his service from all of us here!)

    • ErykaSoleil

      Awwww. Alex S, I shall miss you at the campouts. But I totally appreciate your reason, trust me. May your brother have a safe and fun trip.

  • Aikka

    That Kuroshitsuji reference stuck in my head giving me weird ideas, so i gave up and made this doodle:


    • Fulgin

       This is great!

      • Aikka

        Thank you! ^^

    • Sam

      Suuuuuuit *___*

    • I love it, Aikka! (Especially Maven—tee hee.) Awesome!

      • Aikka

        Hehe, thank you! ^_^

  • Annie Watkins

    This probably a weird question, but why did they cut Jeff’s hair?

    • They either implanted something in his skull or were jealous. Those are my theories.

      • Becky

        Lol. I just assumed it had to do with him being in a hospital-type situation. Sometimes you get your head shaved if you’re banged up in the head area.  But now I’m worried about microchips!  Aaagh!

    • For the same reason they beat the hell out of him. They were interrogating him.

      Dehumanizing is a part of “enhanced interrogation tactics”

  • “Just a very good soldier… and one hell of a butler.”
    I saw what you did there. (slants eyes) Lol, Black Butler reference. XD

    Anyways, it’s a load off that Deacon didn’t have to kill Jeff after all. Keep up the great work! 😀

  • RivreX

    Hehehe, that’s so sweet 

  • Dex X.

    So freakin cute my teeth hurt


  • sada sullivan

    That Black Butler reference hnnngg~ Deacon and Jeff are so adorable asdfsda. My ovaries!  Oh gods…

  • omg he has a cut on his lip…i think cain has seen him 

    • xLizardx

      Cue crossover art! 😀

  • Myrtu

    What if I only want Winona’s? Why would I ever want yours?
    Pssh, I’m kidding, of course! I would love to have your signature, as well as Winona’s~ I’m in great awe of both of you! Wonderful story and art! I really hope to be able to help out in the Kickstarter pledge (although you don’t seem to need it ;3 ) soon, but if not, I really want to buy this comic. It’ll be worth it.
    About the page…. nothing I can really say! Love it, as usual. Seems like they’re leaning in for a kiss 😮 I miss the hair :<

  • Adnoxaei

    Soooooo Maven is still gurgling in complete panic in the corner of the room? I approve lol

    •  killing her off at this point would be a waste. gasping for air she’s no threat.

      • darbanville

        Besides he won’t listen to any commands but Jeff’s anyway so she’s not even really a worry.

  • mikakitten


    • Becky

      Mostly ESCAPE!!!!  (And then kiss.)  Priorities, boys!  😀

      • mikakitten

        Hahaha always time for a quick kiss 😉 smooch, hold hands, run!! GET OUTTA THERE!! <3 Poor Jeff's hair…I think I miss it…

  • Joseph Gentile

    That’s the hardest I’ve D’AWWWed before. Ever.

  • Ding-dong THE WITCH IS DEAD~

    That’s all I could think when Deacon punched Maven in the neck…xD

  • Oh mai gawd~<3 Gosh, but I love this couple. Srsly, this isn't the only yaoi webcomic I follow, but DeaconxJeff has to be one of my top fav couples. That last panel, just hnnng <3

    Also, loving that Black Butler ref you got there. ;3 Deacon would really make one hell of a butler, but I laugh to imagine Jeff as Ciel xDD

    • darbanville

      Should I check out Black Butler? Is it awesome?

      • ErykaSoleil

        From what I understand, the Japanese title for the series is “Kuroshitsuji”. I never really paid much attention to it, but now that I’ve been hearing about it on here, it’s been bumped up several notches on my “Stuff to Read/Watch” list. I suspect my mother probably already knows about it, considering that she can give the current gaggle of teenybopper anime fangirls a run for their money on general knowledge. 🙂 And apparently there’s even a musical? 

        • You should watch it too! 😀 Yup, there are one or two extra OVAs – one was “Ciel in Wonderland” or some such thing, if I remember correctly. Those extras were hilarious, but you should watch the rest of it too, or you might not get the character personalities shown in the extras ^^

      • I think you should, I really liked it 😀 It’s got a really interesting plotline and the story has some humor sprinkled in there at certain points. It’s fun to watch, and yes, it is awesome xD

  • Becky

    This is the part in the movie where I start flapping my hands at the screen and shouting “GO GO GO GO GO gogogogogo GET OUT OF THERE YOU MORONS!!”, frantic that my favorite boys will spend too long making gooey eyes at each other to FRICKIN’ ESCAPE.

    (If I am worried about them, Alex and Winona are doing their jobs right. 🙂 )

    • ErykaSoleil

      Hahaha. Glad I’m not the only one who does that. 🙂

  • RyoKokoro

    I miss Jeff’s haaaaair! T____T

  • ErykaSoleil

    Not really camping, yet, but I figured I’d show up and survey the grounds. 🙂

    • dezree

      Oh I’ve had my eye on a spot over by the trees for a day or so now 😀

    • Fulgin

      * Spreads out his sleeping bag*  Been rearranging furniture and rerouting cables all day back home…gonna have to sleep out here tonight.

  • :stalks for next page:
    This is amazing 😀

    • dezree

      Isn’t it just! 😀

  • SigmundReimann

    Gah, I find camping to be quite impossible on my end. I did until 5am at one point and still no page. At least I know it’ll be up for when I get up in the morning.

    • ErykaSoleil

      We’ll try to leave some cookies for you. 🙂

  • All right! I get a bonus page for my birthday!

    • ErykaSoleil

      Happy birthday! 🙂

  • I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been following this comic for most of this year, if I remember correctly.  This is the first bit of Yaoi literature I’ve ever read. It’s AMAZING.  This story is riveting, it’s passionate, it’s provocative, and it’s insightful.  I would love to buy a printed copy of this as soon as possible.

    • Sam

      It’s my first bit, too 🙂  And let me tell you, it’s been quite the gateway drug, haha.  Check out the Kickstarter campaign to get your printed copy!  You can find the link on the right just below the comic… or just right here 😀 

    • I do have to note, if this is your first yaoi comic this sets the bar WAY high….most unfortunatly do not have plot….or compelling characters….or amazing art….or….well this sets the bar high XD

      • ErykaSoleil

        ^ This.

  • Baking brownies for my fellow campers. Who wants some? 😀

    • ErykaSoleil

      Meeee! 🙂

      And are you vegan, or lacto-ovo vegetarian? I need to know what I’m pulling out/cooking for the campout tonight. I have veggie sausages and Boca burgers at the moment.

      • I will totally eat a brownie or five 🙂  I have steak fries for everyone!  I have a rather unfortunate potato addiction.  I could literally eat them until I explode.

        • potato ! Its sooo good ! but the best its a poutine. Who want a poutine 😀

          • ErykaSoleil

            I’ll try it. 🙂

            I had to look that up, then remembered that I have heard it referenced once or twice. I’m guessing you’re Canadian?

          • Your right ! I’m from Québec.

        • W Nelson

          That happened to my first pet, a goldfish…  My older brother thought he looked hungry and knew he ate flakes, so he dumped a whole box of instant mashed potatoes int the tank.  The fish ate until he exploded, and the water turned into runny mashed potatoes.

          • Kel Z

            … that is so sad. And the mental image is really creeping me out.

        • Kel Z

          Potatoes have potassium, which is something I am usually low on. Therefore, I HAVE to eat them, or else I could have to go to the hospital with low potassium! Yeah, that’s it. It’s a medical thing. I have a doctor’s note for more potatoes.

      • Saberri

        Veg*n s’mores!

      • Oh my gosh. I wish I got here in time to say veggie sausages, but my Internet was down for three hours! There’s this brand that no longer exists that made the best fakefurters (my name for them, no theirs hehe) and I miss ’em.

    • Kel Z

      Campin’ ahoy! Except I have to go to bed so I can get to work and get kicked around by the guy down the hall in the morning. Man I need to eat some of this fine junk food here so I can survive, teehee!

  • Guest

    not a big fan of the brutal killing…bt being put in a situation like that i would kill too…
    oh my god…the story gave me goosebumps…stilll get it with a wide smile just
     thinking of it…eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

  • darbanville

    I’m so happy and ready for every new page but I really don’t want to see it end ! lol 

  • W Nelson

    Hello, campers!  High fives for you all!!

    • Kel Z

      WE BROUGHT SNACKS! … I hope!

  • OK. Just took the page out of the oven and I’m now letting it cool. Should be up in a five minutes or so…

    • darbanville

      Yay. Thanks 🙂

      • OK. Posted up the fan art. Clicked “Publish” on the new page. Should pop up in just a minute….

        • Kel Z

          :: runs to look ::

  • Kel Z

    Ok well I brought snacks. Chocolate, hot chocolate, cake, and erm… well anything else you guys want to keep you guys happy. Because then we’re happy. 😀

  • wasEnkidu

    D’aaawww! The last panel where they’re giving each other those lovey-dovey eyes is just too much!
    On a totally non Artifice-related note, I just got a ton of Magic cards for the first time and the pride of my collection is this little common-level card that I can’t use called Torch Fiend. Know why? Take a guess who the artist for it is. 😀
    I literally freaked out, causing cards to scatter EVERYWHERE. XD My sister and her fiance now think I have serious problems.

    • Hehe. Yes, Winona does create art for MTG cards. Awesome art, actually. 🙂

      How did you figure out it was hers?

  • Chasemycat

    I just started this comic and i cant get over how fast i have gotten hooked :’D
    BA Characters, writing with both a punch and flow, and amazingly detailed/beautiful artwork!!! Its like a dream come true :)))

    Also, i like the black butler reference ;D

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    *Snrk* I don’t know if Sebastion would appreciate the comparison….

    • Lindsey Amethyst Hampton

      He would be absolutely offended. He’s taken MILLENIA to be as evil as he is. AND he had to put up with Ciel Phantomhive. XD

  • Ree

    “Just a very good soldier… and one hell of a butler.” That’s it. You’ve cemented it – I will never stop loving you. Bless you and your creative genius.

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    *dies* :3

    • TruthStings

      *dies too*

  • Bromance?


  • DAWWW! Heart Squish!!!

  • Quilava10552

    That POV hand-on-face!

  • Morgan

    Did you honestly just make a Black Butler reference? xD I love you so much Cx

  • Justin White