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Artifice Page 86

178 Comments on Artifice Page 86

Special hat-tip to my very good friend Bill here: he reminded me while I wrote the script of the over-used (and implausible) trope of the android “calculating the odds” on the fly to the millionth decimal place. 🙂


We have new Fan Art by long-time friend of Artifice, Aikka. She riffed off my Black Butler quip from last time and reimagined the Artifice characters as characters from Kuroshitsuji. You totally need to check it out. (Maven is my favorite.)

We’re now at page 4 of my next webcomic, the superhero yaoi The Young Protectors. Please be sure to check that out too! (Commenters seem to think there’s something sexy about the close encounter on this new page. Are they right? You make the call!)

There’s still 18 days left in the Artifice Graphic Novel Print Drive campaign. And at $19,283 we’re super close to the next “bonus goal” target (at $20,000) where I release a video of my “bloopers” from making the Kickstarter video. (A blooper video my friends say shows “the real Alex”. Hmmmmmm.) Also, I’ve added a couple new rewards that make all four of the art prints available. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of the printed book yet and would like to get the art prints (or just laugh along with me during my bloopers), now would be a great time to pledge to the Kickstarter project.



And we’re now $45 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Mordecai L. (who makes their 3rd donation to Artifice!) & Bernard S. (who makes their fifth donation to Artifice!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Nina D. & Molly G. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friends of Artifice Natalia S. & Heidi C. and also to long-time friend of Artifice Tanya A. (who makes their tenth super-generous donation!) for their super generous $25 donations!

Thank you all so much! 😀

So, we’re coming into the finish line here. Just a couple more pages. (Gosh!) As always, I really appreciate all your kind words and thoughtful insight in the comments. I’ve been buried under work for the past couple weeks and it’s always a huge bright spot to check in here to see what you have to say. I love y’all. Very much. 😀


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!
  • RustyBurrell

    Good to see some laughter after all the tension 😀

  • Cydalima

    OMG. They’re perfect. I don’t want this to finish ): 

  • Hyperminimalism

    Glad to see both Jeff and Deacon have been holding strong through this messed up situation, and that they can still joke around. And are you serious–there are really only a few more pages left to go? Wow, either this went by extremely fast or it just might not be enough! I’ll keep my judgements until after the conclusion.

  • I’m still so sad about Jeff’s hair being cut off :C

    Oh well, at least he’s still alive.

  • They.  Are.  So.  CUTE!


  • Epistasthai

    I just love Jeff’s shocked face in the second panel, and Deacon’s “ha ha, got you!” face in the last panel. And then comes Jeff’s face in the third panel when it occurs to him that Deacon just might be joking – it’s just perfect! I have waded through countless films/books where the scientist/android/vulcan/smart-ass IT-guy quotes the odds. It’s so refreshing (and hilarious) to see someone (Jeff in this case) pick it out as a joke. I laughed so much I almost choked on my dinner when I read today’s page. It’s nice to see them being themselves and having some fun. I’m imagining Maven as she is watching this, and wondering what she is thinking when she sees Deacon’s face when he looks at Jeff and jokes around with him. Humour is said to be one of the most complicated language-games amongst sentient beings. Thank you so much for such an interesting and thought-provoking read!

    • Hehe. You’re very welcome! Yep, when my pal pointed out that trope to me, I saw an opportunity to subvert it—and create a nice, affectionate, humorous beat with our heroes for our ending and for Deacon as a person. Glad to hear it got a laugh out of you (and also glad you didn’t actually choke! 😀 )

  • ErykaSoleil

    Jeff’s face in the third panel made me laugh out loud. And I really think the next page should start with Jeff’s hand hurting from punching an android in the arm. XD

    Here’s my nit-pick question: I had a math teacher in middle school who would literally twitch if we used “and” to stand in for anything other than the decimal point in a number. Was that a personal preference, or is that an accepted math standard? If it’s standard practice, shouldn’t Deacon have said the odds are “one million, seven hundred thirty-two thousand, four hundred thirteen, to one”? This is really just me being curious–even if my teacher was spot on, I can think of a good number of reasons why Deacon might say things with less than perfect grammar.

    Alex and Winona: Love this page. You guys brighten my day. 🙂

    • Guest

      I can’t speak for english, but in some romance languages like portuguese you can’t just not use it, due to the way the numbers are said. In portuguese there is always an “e” between the hundreds and the tens, and between the tens and the units.

      • ErykaSoleil

        Yeah, English is wonky. :p I’m pretty sure Spanish and a few other languages do the same thing that you described with Portuguese, and I know that language is much more flexible than mathematics. I was just really curious, because that teacher had made a big deal out of that particular issue. I also know that sometimes the teacher is wrong, and can influence a whole group of people to think just as incorrectly as they do.

    • Lance Gilroy

      it is correct mathematical convention not to use the word “and” except for representing a decimal place ( one million, five hundred forty two thousand, one hundred fourteen, and eight hundred one one thousandths), though people will generally get your meaning

      • ErykaSoleil

        Thank you for the input. So now I have to ask: Is it something that’s actually addressed in math circles, or is it just one of those things everybody involved just kind of knows?

    • I’m glad you brought up this “nit-pick” question. You see, my choice of words there was actually a last-minute decision. In the script I wrote:

      B) DEACON: OH. 1,732,413 TO ONE.

      So when I got to the lettering of the page this week, I realized that not only was it not awesome to mix numbers and words but that I really should use words for the whole thing. And so without thinking much about it, I wrote what you see above because it sounded “natural” for him to say it like that in my head. And there are still reasons it might be the right choice (Deacon might be wanting that number to sound as big as possible so he’s using the “and’s” to draw it out.) But Deacon, in general, uses perfect grammar unless he’s going for an effect and so it’s important that I as the writer know what the actual correct form is so I can decide if it is a deliberate choice.

      Looks like I have some research to do online when I get back from work tonight…

      Glad to hear the update brightened your day! 🙂

      • ErykaSoleil

        If you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’m curious to know what you find. 🙂

        As I said, I was just wondering what the general “rule” is for speaking numbers. I do editing work for a friend of mine, but I haven’t had to deal with the issue of big numbers being written out with words. I also accept that grammar is fluid, and that even the “official” sources can’t agree on whether or not to use an Oxford comma, or whether it “Jones’ car” or “Jones’s car”.

        In addition, I’m interested to know whether Deacon was speaking that way as a result of his programming (either intentional or accidental), if it was a deliberate choice on his part to sound more “natural”, or whether he might have simply picked it up from his human interactions as being the more “normal” way to speak. I bring up that last point because I’ve had a few conversations with various writer and English Major friends of mine, in which we’ve commented on how we each sound very different in speech than we do on paper, because we know that “proper” grammar doesn’t necessarily sound “natural”–if we always spoke how we wrote, we’d get lots of odd looks, and a lot more people would think we were pretentious and “overeducated”.

        (And as a final note: I am never so self-conscious of how I type, as when I’m addressing the issue of grammar . . . )

    • I always thought it was an English English and American English difference, cause in England we all say the “and”s, but I’ve never heard a North American do that.

      Clearly English English is proper English ;V

      • ErykaSoleil

        After living in a few different states, and knowing people from all over the country, I’ve heard all sorts of creative placements for “and” when spewing large numbers. :p

        Between the words we’ve stolen from other languages, our mutilation of said stolen words, and dialects that can vary by city (and sometimes within a city), it’s really amazing we can still manage to communicate at all without charades. And then, on top of -that-, factor in people coming here from other countries . . . Oi. I love English, but sometimes it makes my head spin. 🙂

  • geneticsgirl

    I love Deacon’s face and posture in the last panel. He always seems to be the dominant type but in this scene he submits to Jeff, at least in body language. This is really endearing. love it, as usual. alex & winona, you two are total awesomeness.

    • BrookRat

      Very much agreed, the dynamic here is just great. ^^
      (I can’t be the only one who noted that Jeff’s effectively made himself the ultimate commander of Deacon.)

    • Thank you, geneticsgirl! (And that inversion of the power dynamic was something I wanted to show here. Not because Jeff has Deacon’s codes, but because as their love grew, who was “dominant” at any particular time became a lot more fluid.)

  • DEACON! Shame on you! You should know that it is proper gun usage to have your finger off of the trigger UNTIL you’re aiming at something you want to shoot. That’s dangerous!

    Joking aside, I’m going to be so sad when this is finishedddddddddd. We’re back to the joking, loving relationship that they had before and I’m going to miss it when it’s gone…well, at least I’ll have my copy of it when it’s finally printed.

    • Syreen

       Maybe he’s aiming it at Maven (just for fun)… oh, I liked that shedevil.

    • Haha haaa. I noticed the gun, too. He should know better, being the super smart android soldier he is! XD

  • I watched the Kickstarter video. Couldn’t stop giggling, you sound so American!

    Aw I love the masculinity in this page! I’m glad that even though Jeff is gay that doesn’t mean he is not a man.

    • Ayella

      Erm… Why the ‘even though’? What does being gay have to do with being a man? (Last time I checked it even helped being gay a little…)

      • HA!

      • ErykaSoleil

        I suspect cathcer was saying that it’s refreshing to see gay men who are more traditionally masculine, as opposed to the stereotype of the super-effeminate gay man who couldn’t handle a gun if his wardrobe depended on it.

    • Hehe. American, huh? How did you expect me to sound? 😀

      • ErykaSoleil

        Like a Viking Warrior. 😉

  • AnyOtaku

    I’m so in love with this page! I really enjoy seeing them like this =D oh and I should write a reaally long coment because each panel it’s perfect, both picture and dialogue.
    My favourite’s are the second panel, because of Jeff’s scared face which is extremely adorable, oh an WTH! All imof then are awesome! But the past one is obviously the best hehe even though they could die (of course they won’t) they are still brave and happy because at least they have each other.

  • AeeDee

    Ahhhh, this is adorable. I adore them. <3

  • Aw, the last panel is so adorable :3

  • Okaaayy.
    This is actually my favorite page out of the entire comic. That’s saying a lot!
    To put my statement into perspective, here’s what I’ve loved about this comic:

    First off, there was Deacon’s content expression after choking a big mouthed guard. Then later, there was the wonderful nerve of him to joke about it to Maven.

    The sort of antagonist Maven is. She’s good at her job on the technical level (she is clearly sensitive to certain delicate issues on page 27), but she appears to be only interested in being a therapist for her own intellectual curiosity, or for corporal reasons.
    She makes some stupid mistakes (not having Deacon scrapped)
    that I can only imagine her making to look good to the higher ups.

    If her actions really are just FOR SCIENCE!, I can imagine she’d be the sort of teacher who hates children, but would control them with an iron fist, and want them to never behave badly or cry over who got which cupcake.

    If one is to reread the first session with Maven, there’s a lot to notice. Deacon, like any good liar, combines reality (his retelling of his mission) with good acting (“The corporation thinks I’m crazy.”).

    The back and forth between Jeff and Deacon early on is so great. My favorite snippets were, in “greatest hits” style:

    “Jeff. Now, that’s a /niice/ name.”

    “I’ll bet you’ll find my table manners a riot.”

    “If you weren’t planning on killing me, I’d give you a big old kiss!”

    “All right, fine— [you have] a REALLY nice body. You can tell your designers they did a great job.”

    “I just remember the sex.”

    The artwork, of course, is lovely. 🙂 I very much appreciate how Winona does not hesitate to make characters expressions look goofy with emotion, and that violence has lasting consequences/is generally yucky. I also love how realistic Deacon’s irises are. I have green eyes, and they change to muted colors in bad lighting just like his do!

    One more thing I’m a bit displeased with to balance out the positives…


    • Lance Gilroy

      “cry over who got which cupcake” – especially the Duracell flavored ones

    • ErykaSoleil

      We should find out when her birthday was, so every year we can say, “-Sniffle!- Today would have been Cherl’s 47th birthday! -Wail!-” 😀

      • ErykaSoleil

        Oh, and purple roses. And arm bands. 😉

      • “Why have you been taken from us, Cherl?! WHHHYYYYYYYY?!?!”

        Then we’d all tell stories about the good times together. “She always seemed so silent, but I could feel the warmth of her heart through the glass…”

    • I loved reading your “Greatest Hits”. That was awesome. Thank you. 🙂

      Oh, and Cheryl is too important for the Corporation to let die.

      • ErykaSoleil

        Did you hear that, Kristi? THERE IS HOPE FOR CHERL!

  • Yukiness

    I got diabetus reading this page just now. Will return later to give a more suitible comment. Back to bed for it is 5am in New York City and I have camped long enough

  • melinda stumpf

    Deacon you only did that to see Jeff reaction would be

  • Men stay kids forever. 😀 And we are glad about that. I totally love this page! And, by the way, the fan-art is hilarious. Maven being Grell is awesome. (When you think about her in that perspective, it would be as if she wanted Deacon to go berserk again… Blood!)

    • Aikka

      Thank you! ^_^

      First hm… connection between Maven and Grell i made in my mind was simply… ‘color’ -> Grell obsessed with red, Maven always wearing everything in one color 😛

      • 🙂 You’re very welcome! The connection between Grell and Maven is such a great idea! I’ve never thought about that.

  • BrookRat

    This is my favorite page out of the whole fucking comic. 😀 I think we all needed a breather of a laugh at this point. XD

    Edit: Also they are adorable. <3 Deacon going from trollface in the next-to-last panel to a big KID in the last (and all the rest of their faces) is priceless. /edit

  • First off…You’re the only comic I’m reading right now that actually updates on time so thanks for that. And second this page is ADORABLE!! I love it lol.

  • Aikka

    So cute *-* I simply love that page “XD

    we see them again together like that, and it makes our hearts melt…

    but what will happend with them now ;-;

  • I’m so happy I found this comic through Y!Gallery, I’m definitely preordering a book as soon as funds are available. I have to add it to my collection and you’ll be the only American comic up there…among my manga. Also I want to thank you whole heartedly for updating on time, instead of feeding us excuses as to why you can’t like most web comics do. 

  • My face reading this page: O_O  >3>  XD  Deacon is such a troll!  I wonder how long he was waiting with that number, because I would have had to think that one up in advance to not fuck it up.  XD

    ALSO!  I am a Kuro fan, so Kuroartifice TOTALLY makes sense to mae, and cracks me up.  Maven rocks.

  • C K

    And then Jeff’s punch caused Deacon to accidentally squeeze the trigger, sending a bullet right into Maven.  And thus was her sad ending.

    (Seriously, the comic is so cute, though.  Though Jeff and Deacon are failing at proper gun etiquette, which seems unwise.  Also: don’t forget about Maven, you two!!  She’s right there!  THIS IS THE PART OF THE HORROR MOVIE WHERE SHE REGAINS HER STRENGTH!)

    • krissdevalnor

      I thought the same O.o cute – but very dangerous behavior with a gun

      • ErykaSoleil

        Well, Deacon has super control over every muscle-euivalent in his body, and Jeff may just not know how to use a gun properly.

  • Oh god. These two…they’re so cute xD

  • Sam

    What did I say about exploding from d’aww this past Saturday?  THIS IS NOT HELPING AUGH.  

    But seriously.  They’re so wonderful.  I said it in reply to Kristi this weekend, but I absolutely LOVE that, even though Deacon is an “artificial person,” the most humanizing factor in his life is Jeff.  Or loving Jeff 🙂

    AUGH.  Still not helping.

  • krissdevalnor

    Lol not thoughtful inside comments from me. Just: Awwwwwwwwwwwww^^ ths page makes me so happy. Jeff’s scared face s adorable! and that Deacon shows sense of humor must be weird for Maven to see (if she hasn’t died yet)

  • Hahahaha I love these two sooooo much! Great job toall of you guys! <3

  • I love the fact that they could still manage to make a tight situation into a comedic one. XD  I just loooooooooooooove these two~

    PLEASE PLEEEAAASE let them make it out alive! ;A;

  • CK

    Brilliant 😀

  • Carol F Metzger

    I absolutely love the last panel. Like little boys on a playground. They are SO happy to be together again.

    • Subhadra Erika

      =D =D =D =D

  • HoneyThistle

    Deacon’s troll-face had me in STITCHES!  XD

  • xLizardx

    Deacon, no! There’s no excuse to go imitating C3PO, just because you’re technically an android. 😛

    Truthfully though… nice Star Wars reference, whether it was intentional or otherwise. 😀 [For those of you that live under very large rocks, the line to which I refer is: “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3720 to 1!”]

  • aww. they’re so cute together!

  • Tristan MacAvery

    Okay, if there was ANY doubt before about them being gay (and totally into each other), said doubt has been dispelled. Only couples can really do this! ~_^

  • Deacon’s face in panel 4 makes me laugh 😀

    Noooo I never want Artifice to enddd 🙁

  • Yay! I got a hat tip!

  • Araceli Rodriguez

    and i thought they could not get cuter. wow, how wrong was i? look at their cuteness! this page is flawless! their faces are so expressive! and i think that last panel is my favorite of all Artifice story so far. i mean, look at dem arm muscles!!! and those smiles! too cute. 

  • Is the doctor still alive and watching this?  If she is, I wonder what’s going through her head as she watches Deacon make a totally ironic joke and then goof around with his human lover, and what repercussions that might have for the entirety of his ‘race’.


  • That’s beyond adorable!


  • Ahhh omg Deacon you jerk!

    But it’s great to see the two finally smiling again and interacting with one another. Aw, they’re so cute even at crazy times like this.

    I cannot wait until next update! I’m sad that this comic is about to end, but I’m glad you guys were able to finish it. x]

  • Ayella

    Hmmm. A standalone funny page. I love it! I could do with 1,732,431 more of these. Please keep them coming! These guys could feature in the new and improved Questionable Content: no indie shit or Starbucks jokes, all the adroid fun and romance, plus real sexyness and real sci-fi as a bonus.

    I’m only at strip 953 of CQ, so please, please no spoilers 😉

    I luuuuve D and J goofing about, but did anyone else notice how matter of factly Jeff checks his gun? What was that he actually did on Da Vinci Four? Or has Deacon been instructing him in more than just his command codes?

    • ErykaSoleil

      I noticed how Jeff knows what to do, as well. But then he goes and punches Deacon in the last panel while still holding his gun, which really isn’t very safe. So maybe he knows how to shoot and aim and care for the gun, but doesn’t have a lot of practical field experience?

      • Ayella

        @ErykaSoleil:disqus Sound reasoning! Though it still leaves me wondering where and when he learned how to handle a weapon.

  • strangeangel24601

    The fact that I can read the expressions so clearly on a smartphone is truly a testament to Winona’s skill. I can practically hear Deacon thinking, “Seriously, you actually fell for it?” and “Ha! You have no IDEA how long I’ve been waiting to say that!” in panels two and four, respectively.
    Also, I know several others have already pointed this out, but I have to agree with them: Deacon really should be more careful with that gun! Seriously, how is Maven supposed to make a good hostage if he accidentally kills her?

    • ErykaSoleil

      But Deacon is also an android, and not only has incredible control over every fiber of his being, but can also consciously track 50 billion things in his head at once.

    • W Nelson


  • Ryn

    jeff punches: like butterflies sneezing on him.

    And of course Maven’s crumpled on the floor through all this. God, it feels good to see her knocked down a few pegs!

  • I LOVE Deacon’s face in the last panel! Android Troll Powers activate!

  • mikakitten

    HAHAHA!!! Awww!! I LOVE Deacon’s smile, especially in the last panel. SOOOO Cheeky!!  I love it when he grins too! What a face!! LOVE IT!! Poor Jeff with his freak out face!! D:> heheh I’m glad Deacon has a sense of humour. Makes me giggle! Such a jerk! :3

  • mikakitten

    Will miss this series so much when it ends :'(  …kinda excited for super hero comic…but would have really liked to see more of how they got together after the first time of sex…did they kiss?…how they got closer…their first kiss….how they prepared for the iminant rescue teams arrival…how Jeff coped under whilst Deacon was with Maven…So much left unanswered!!

  • Deacon trolled Jeff.
    I love it.

  • Did an android….. just….. troll? GENIUS!!!


  • Serena Rose

    Cutest. Trollface. Ever. 

  • Dex X.


  • Lusidicious Milk

    it’s like their high off eachothers company.

  • Ho mah gawd

    Never mind what I said on the last page. These two are THE best yaoi couple ever. <3 I just love how they can joke around in a situation like this xD 

    Also, someone needs to take this page and put ragefaces where they should be – Deacon's troll face in panel 4 and his LOL face in panel 5, etc. DO EET.

  • RivreX

    Oh my god this is the best web comic I’ve ever read! The dynamic between these two is just darling and sweet and just plain awesome! I love them!

  • BEST PAGE EVER!!! Too cute! 

  • Fabiana Nonato

    The best page ever. 

  • DracoAlexandria

    I tensed and accidentally crushed my water bottle when I saw this page. That’s how cute it was. Then sort of had a moment of *verbal keyboard smash*

    …Can these pages become a regular thing please? :DDD

  • Jasmine_Howards

    I had about the same reaction as jeff did ^^;

  • Someone is channeling Data from Star Trek Next Generation….and it isn’t Jeff …Nice touch!

  • fujoshifanatic

    Woot! I come back from a relaxing getaway to two pages of Artifice (two of the most adorable pages in the comic, I might add!), plus references to Kuroshitsuji (one of my favorite animes!), plus I was finally able to become a backer to the Kickstarter project (those prints are mine!)! Life is good. And Alex and Winona are great! :-3

    • Thank you  for the props and the backing, fujoshifanatic! Good to see you again! 😀

  • Oh my god he JOKED. <3  That just made me squeal.  Also, their expressions.  Winona why are you so GOOD.

    • W Nelson

      I do it for you 😀

  • ::looks from side to side, takes a deep breath::

    “Me and you/And you and me/No matter how they toss the dice/It’s meant to be/The only one for me is you/And you for me/So happy together….”

    No one smack me!  I’m now waiting with baited breath to see if Deacon can not only troll Jeff, but rick-roll him too!  Oh man, this page made me guffaw 🙂

    • ErykaSoleil

      Iiiiii . . . won’t smack you for that song getting stuck in my head, because it pops up on its own often enough. Except I always think of this version:

      • I love that version now 😀  That was hilarious and adorable!

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      Am I the only one who’s more familiar with the Simple Plan cover of this song?

      • Probably 😛

      • I’m familiar with the Turtles original… Try Deep Fix ’16 Year Old Doom’

  • Becky

    Guys, seriously! Stop being adorable (Oh My God, the Adorable on this page… <3 ), and GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!!

    Also, I am sad that this is almost over.  🙁  Can't wait to have the book, and read it over and over!

  • Chaucer59

    So through all J and D’s cutesy banter, Maven is still lying in the corner, choking on her own bloody post-nasal-drip? Are the three guards dead? Granted, she’s a leaden-hearted, narcissistic company toad, and the guards were likely no better, but I just can’t see charming, lovable Jeff being comfortable with such playfulness in the presence of all that pain and possible death.

    • I dunno… I think I’d find it really really hard to give a tinker’s damn about the guards who may or may not have watched while I was tortured, the woman who decided that not only should I be killed by my boyfriend, but that I should be awake to know it was being done because it was a test to prove he was no longer a deviant… or for that matter, to give a real damn about the people who might have been amongst the people who decided to have my homeworld invaded and everyone killed. ::shrug:: Add in that there is a good shot that Jeff is still lightly drugged with whatever they were using on him, and the huge terror that he is STILL close to death, albeit death along with the person he loves at his side, and I think I *can* see Jeff needing a few seconds of humor to try and get rid of some of the terror he must have felt strapped down to a hospital bed waiting to die.

      Mind you, this is speaking from my own way of feeling, so other’s mileage might vary ;D

      • Kel Z

        Pretty much, that about sums it up. 🙂

      • good points 🙂

    • SH_Marr

      It’s possible that it’s some sort of release, I guess. Like people who laugh hysterically when danger is passed?

      • Kel Z

        You see this a lot in EMS as an example; it’s easy to go crazy when you’re seeing a lot of screwed up stuff, and sometimes you just have to laugh or crack a joke because it keeps you sane. I imagine they’re more caught up in each other than everything else around them, and I can’t say that I blame them! 😀

    • Cue up Deep Fix ‘Rolling in the Ruins’, find the album New Word’s Fair on… When the world’s ending, ‘Just smile and make it tender, make it kind, and make it slow…’

  • *sobs* These two are so cute and perfect.

  •  lol “you are such a jerk!” its cute to see Deacon smile goofy.

  • Hrilmitzh

    I giggled at this, since it was adorable, then it occurred to me that they’re currently surrounded by dead bodies… then I giggled again ’cause it was still adorable.

  • Kel Z

    Wow, only couple of more pages left! It’s a good thing you’ve started us another comic that is already shaping up fabulously, otherwise we’d revolt! (kidding!)

    I, too, really enjoyed this page; my best friend and I had a chuckle because this seemed like the sort of thing our characters would pull on each other. 😉 I’m loving that there’s a moment to break that tension, to let not only them but the reader back into them being exactly where they should be: with each other. After so much tension and buildup, it’s very satisfying to see what we were cheering for all along happen, which is these two back together being themselves. 😀

    Jeff’s expression of “wait, what?!?” in the second panel is classic! <3

    It's been a great ride to get here and I'm thrilled that I found Artifice and your site, Alex! :: salute :: And it has been a pleasure to see what Winona has done with the art, I will be keeping an eye on her projects as well.

    • Thank you, Kel! The ride has definitely been a lot more fun for me with you along. Thank you for the kind words! 🙂

  • I honest to goodness can’t stop coming back to this page for Deacon’s expression in the final panel! It reminds me of another very good expression.  Winona, you did wonders there!

    • Ambler

      He be trolololololin’

    • W Nelson

      Haha, that video is one of my favorite things on the internet ever!  I’m glad I could invoke a little of that Russian magic here 😀

  • Ambler

    Hm, Jeff’s got a bit of a ‘tude. Just punched his robot lover. Still managed to make it an adorable moment though. Hhhhhh…

  • Feverfew_M

    I laughed so hard! 😀
    But Jeff’s question is actually a good one. Will they make it?

  • Yukiness

    Alright, comment attempt take two

    I have to give it to Deacon for cracking a joke and breaking two cliches at once: the ability to compute rediculous odds and statistics on a tangent as well as the inability for robots to get/crack humor. Other than Futurama’s bender, I can hardly think of any robot who can actually wise crack so naturally the way Deacon did just now.

    Winona just shines on this page. So beautiful.

    • He’s not a ‘robot’, he’s a HOmolog Replacement Army Recruit. He’s a re-inforced skeleton with boosted musculature and a combat tuned brain and senses grown in a tank. HORARs were invented to minimise the killing of full people on the side putting them in their armies.

  • I think it says a lot about their relationship that they can be playful in this sort of situation

  • Jeff’s expression in the second panel is PRICELESS!  Winona, you’re amazing.  Like best thing ever right there.  And the third panel expression!  😀   And then he got a red speech bubble again too!

    For a minute there, I was totally believing Decon’s odds as fact and not made up.  Had Jeff not realized it was made up, I’d have bought it hook, line, and sinker ^^’

    • W Nelson

      XD Glad you like Jeff’s “Yeesh!” face!

  • I just wanted to comment to thank the creators of this comic for their work. I wasn’t able to contribute during the comic but saw the Kickstarter print book program as a great way to get a copy to donate to the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives here in Chicago. And keep the PDF for myself, yay!  I’m the Head librarian there so I’m always looking for queer works and since one of my loves is comics I’m trying to expand our collection in that format. This series will be a great addition to the library.  And I hope it encourages more writing in this vein.       

    •  Oh, in case folks don’t know, this is Gerber/Hart

      • Guest

        Chicago represent yay!! A great library!

    • You’re very welcome! And thank you, Stephanie! That’s awesome that you would get a copy for the Gerber/Hart Library and I definitely appreciate it! (Working to get Artifice in libraries will be one of my goals next year.)

      And I too hope that there will be “more writing in this vein”! 😀

  • grumpycakes

     As an avid lover of Spock and his ability to spout statistics such as the fake one on the page above, I LOVE THIS PAGE.

    • YangYueLan

      yesssssss! An ST:TOS reference that did not come from me!

  • *pops in* A few more pages? Oh no!

    I’m loving the expressions here. You’d think Jeff would be more nervous though. Maybe he’s putting all his faith in Deacon. *pops back out*

    • ErykaSoleil

      A lot of people laugh or smile when something makes them uncomfortable. Or maybe he’s enjoying the thrill of an adrenaline rush.

  • Deacon’s trollface is lovely.

  • Dear god… why? Why must they be adorable? 

  • Lorescien

    SO EFFING CUTE. I think my teeth rotted from the sweetness… and I’m lovin’ every second of it! 😀 I had been waiting for them to be adorable again, lol. <3

  • Phobs

     HEY SO
    And not doing sex.

    still love this page anyway <3

    • Becky


  • Deacon’s face is what is cracking me up over here.

  • Malin Skutnabba

     I love Deacon’s face in the last panel!

  • These people must be masochists, messing with a HORAR, they made those with the battle-sense, awareness, and reflexes of the ultimate soldier. It’s like ordinary human versus Mandalorian… Anyone with real brains would have already shipped the pair off as a couple of colonists and let them have their fun out on the frontier.

  • Guest

    give ’em sentience and they yank yer chain… <3

  • ErykaSoleil


    Am I the first one checking in on the campgrounds today?

    • Fulgin

       *passes out popcorn balls* I understand that this campground might be closing soon…but there’s plenty of room over at The Young Protectors.

      • ErykaSoleil

        The Young Protectors looks good so far, but I can’t camp multiple sites for the next few weeks–too busy. :p

        Thank you for the nummy popcorn balls. 🙂

        • YangYueLan

          *dies laughing at the image of ‘popcorn balls’* I know what they are, I just have a dirty mind.

          • ErykaSoleil

            -Innocently.- What, you don’t like popcorn balls with your hot dogs?

  • Little Miss Perspicacious

    Something about the battered and bloodied human punching a robot just made me super happy.

    • ErykaSoleil

      I love your user name; but I admit that I’ve had to look it up every time I see you on here, because I keep forgetting what it means. :p (I finally bookmarked it just now under “Cool Words/Phrases”.)

  • rayrayravona

    here to camp for the first time!

  • Camping!  By the next time I camp, I will have a new computer 🙂  ::passes out chocolates::

    • rayrayravona


    • Kel Z

      Ooooh! Whatchu getting? 😀

  • *___* I love this <3

  • Karolyn Ellis

    that last panel is so cute!

  • Campity camp camp!

  • They’re so adorably playful! Gah!! <3

  • wasEnkidu

    ^_^ It’s nice to see them interacting like real people after so much drama! 

  • This is my favorite page ever, I think.

  • SolrSurfr3

    XD Okay, this is officially my favorite page thus far.

  • Blooper on this, adding the word and when referring to a numerical number means you are adding decimal points. One million, seven hundred thirty-two thousand four hundred thirteen to one; is how it should be written because well 1,732,413 is better than 1,000,700.32,000.400.13 which is how it translated when you write it out.

    • Good eyes, Dee! You’ll find that this has been much discussed below (in a thread started by ErykaSoleil). 🙂 It turns out that the use of “and” in spoken numbers seems to vary by region—some with a hard and fast rule for a decimal place like you listed and others requiring the “and”. It’s something I’ve considered changing, but without a definitive source, I’ve been hesitant to and have stuck with what sounded natural to me. (Which can be dangerous, as my father is Canadian. For example, I still say “either” as “EYE-THUR” instead of “EE-THUR”, something that provoked my sophomore English teacher to no end! 😀 )

      But I’m realizing now that I could probably rely on the Chicago Manual of Style to give me my “authoritative” answer to this. When I get a moment, I’ll take a peek at that. Thanks for putting it back on my radar!

      • Checked in with the Chicago Manual of Style. The way I have it seems valid for U.S. speech. But I’ll think about changing it to numbers for the book, just so folks don’t get hung up on it….

  • I love their faces in the last panel. 

  • Ree

    they are SO

  • The last two panels made this joke extra special for me. XD

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    Sssooo happeh. c:

  • TruthStings



  • Someone important

    aww that’s so adorbs

  • Justin White

    life when it sprouts you can’t control it