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Artifice Page 88

516 Comments on Artifice Page 88


OK, before we get into the usual general notes, let me just direct new readers to two very important things:

– If you’ve enjoyed this webcomic, there’s now a beautiful print version and you can buy a your own signed, jumbo-sized Artifice book from me directly at my store or order a copy right now at!

– And if you’ve enjoyed this webcomic, I’ve got another one! It’s a multi-chapter superhero story called The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy. Please check it out! We’ve developed a wonderful community on this site and I’d love to have you join us there!

OK. That said, moving on! I wanted to answer a few questions here that I anticipate some of you might have. Let’s get started!

Is this some kind of cliffhanger ending?

It’s certainly not intended to be. 🙂 When I wrote the script, I got to this point and was faced with the question of whether to write another scene after this one. But when I thought about what it would be—Deacon kicking ass with lots of violence and smarts leading to them getting out of the Noneco Campus to share yet another kiss with Jeff at the end—it just felt like more of the same. We’ve established that Deacon can kick serious ass and also that Deacon is smarter than Noneco anticipated. Perhaps I was wrong about this, but I felt tension could be achieved only if I created some new jeopardy for our heroes which would mean essentially beginning Artifice 2. Something that definitely has an appeal to me, but not exactly any more of an “ending”.

The arc I set out to achieve between protagonist and antagonist—Deacon and Maven—has been resolved. Deacon won. The “artifice” of the title has revealed itself. Artifice was always intended to be a shorter story and a single arc. And that arc has reached its conclusion. Kick the door down and exit stage right!

So, do they get out alive?

Yes. Word of God, they escape from the Noneco campus. There might be fun details to explore later, like how Deacon would get his hands on a ship. But in my opinion, those are just details. Fun for geeky guys like myself, but we know Deacon is the kind of guy who would have already figured it out. Deacon and Jeff had weeks to plan their escape and Deacon’s a very good solider. 😉

Could Deacon really defeat all the security of Noneco’s main campus?

A whole army of Roys and Bobs? Yes. Absolutely.

How do you feel now about the choice to end it here?

The main arc is fully resolved and this scene has reached its natural conclusion so I still feel this is a fine place to end the story. But if I had to write it all over again—especially incorporating what I’ve now learned about writing for webcomics—I’d include a happy ending denouement. We’ve formed quite a community here and I think after our journey, it would be nice to see a scene of our heroes happy and together and well clear of Noneco, if not forever, then at least for a time. I would have written a coda. So, I’m excited that the Kickstarter campaign will help me afford to do that. (And that it has also made it possible for me to commission a canon “Happy Ending” pin-up.)

And for The Young Protectors, I am incorporating what I’ve learned here and I am telling a much longer story, so there will definitely be a much fuller resolution. I’m looking forward to that.

Does Maven die?

Maven is too cool to die.

Can I get a printed copy of Artifice?

(EDIT: YES, YOU CAN! You can get one here.)

Not yet, but soon! I had a very successful Kickstarter project to raise money for printing Artifice, so there will definitely be a trade paperback! Once printing is complete, I’ll need to ship out books to Kickstarter backers first (and then probably take a little break—I’ll be sending out 850 books!), but once that is done, I’ll be making the books available for sale here on this site. Look for them at the end of this year/early 2013. 🙂

Will there be an Artifice 2?

Boy, I’d love there to be! I even have a fairly good idea what story I’d want to tell. Maven would be in it, of course. There would be some fun exploration of what a human/android relationship would really be like. And it would be about Deacon trying to free himself and Jeff from Noneco’s attentions for all time.

But no script has been written. Winona, as you can imagine, is a very busy, very in-demand artist so she might not be available and I really wouldn’t want to do it without her. As for me? This year will be spent getting Artifice printed and fulfilling Kickstarter backer rewards (and putting out The Young Protectors, of course). But next year… well, we’ll see what Winona and I are up to then. 🙂

(A request, though: if you’d like to see Artifice 2, by all means let me know. 🙂 But please don’t ask “When will Artifice 2 come out?” When a reader asks me a question, I feel compelled to answer it and the answer will be the same every time. “There are currently no plans to make Artifice 2 but when there are, I promise I’ll make tons of noise about it! 😀 “)

What’s next for you two?

For me, it’s The Young Protectors, a multi-chapter superhero webcomic. For Winona, well, she’s working and drawing a comic of her own! Cassiopeia (which you must check out).

All right! So hopefully that answers some of your questions! Let’s jump onto the standard Artifice notes—one last time!

First off, we have awesome new Fan Art by Mitchell R. and Lance! Mitchell has created some beautiful close up portraits of Deacon and Jeff while Lance stuns us again with gorgeous 3D art entitled “Moral of the Story”. You absolutely should check them out!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Alicia H., Nina D. & Thomas M. (all three making their 2nd donation to Artifice) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Samantha S., Neil M., James N. & Beth K. for their generous donations over the last week!

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

And extra huge hugs go out to new superfriend of Artifice Jennifer M. for their amazingly generous $50 donation!

And finally, very warm, grateful, heartfelt, humbled, android-strength hugs go out to all of you. I started this webcomic as an experiment a year ago, not really expecting to get much of a response. And through it I’ve met the most wonderful, thoughtful, brilliant, kind and all-around most awesome readers in the world. There is a certain satisfaction as a writer in getting a chance to share a story that matters to you, but what has meant the most to me has been the honor of sharing it with you. Winona and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better community to share our work with. And it’s very much my hope that you will stick with both of us as we move on to what’s next.

You are what has really made this journey awesome. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. You really do rock. 🙂


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!
  • Hyperminimalism

    I agree with you Alex on the ending here.  It’s an ingenious way to stray from the norm.  You tend to see a lot of the happy ending play out, but if it was super important or if things weren’t going to end on a bright note, then I would expect there to be an actual ending after this page.  It just makes sense that you can pretty much imagine for yourself what is going to happen and I like it better that way.  I appreciate your decision and congratulate you for taking the risk because not a -whole- lot of people do. 

    In any case, I am TOTALLY purchasing a copy of this and I look forward to having it in print.  I also want to thank you and Winona for sharing this awesome comic with us and I will be keeping up with your new one as well!

    • You’re very welcome, Hyperminimalism. I’m glad that the ending works for you. (And enjoyed reading your reasons why.)  And very glad you’ll be sticking with me for The Young Protectors. 🙂 

      I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments and I can’t wait to get you the book! 

  • Alex? Winona?
    From the bottom of my heart, thanks.
    Now… about Artifice 2…
    ::imp grin::

  • eleutherios

    Eighty-eight.  An auspicious number on which to end.

  • Thank you so much for this awesome, awesome comic. It is by far my fav! 
    Want Artifice 2 pleeeeeeeeeeeease!! <3 

    • You’re very welcome, contagiousoup. Very glad to hear that Artifice is a fave! 😀

  • imageist


  • Melissa Nolan

    Thank you for all of your hard work creating this. It really means a lot, and I love the world you’ve created inside your writing, and Winona’s beautiful artwork.

    Also, I’m really excited about The Young Protectors! I’ve had a love for superheroes since I was a little kid, and the idea of the comic makes me giddily happy ^_^

    • You’re very welcome, Melissa! The hard work is more than worth it when it’s for awesome readers like yourself. 🙂 Thank you very much for the props!

      And I’m glad to hear you like the superheroes and that you’ll be sticking around for The Young Protectors! That’s awesome!

  • Becky

    Let the ass-kickings commence.  🙂

    Also!  Artifice 2!!!!!!  (Y’know.  When you and Miss Wynona have the time.  ;D )

    • ErykaSoleil

      So you’re in Alaska too, eh? 🙂 How many feet of snow did your neck of the woods get?

      • Becky

        I dunno, lots and many.  More today, just for April Fool’s.  Let the slush-fest commence!  🙂

  • This has been such an amazing ride! The art and the story were both so beautifully handled! I would love to see Artifice 2, so I fully hope you and Winona are able to create it together. I’ve backed the Kickstarter project too, I cannot wait to see this in print! Off to enjoy myself now with The Young Protectors. After all, have to have something to fill the gap until we convince you that Artifice 2 must be reality. ;D

    • Thank you, Samantha—for all the kind words and the Kickstarter backing! Both are very much appreciated. (And I can’t wait to ship that book off to you!)

      I hope you continue to enjoy what I’m doing over at The Young Protectors!

  • And they lived badass ever after…

    I’m already nostalgic. *sighs* ONTO YOUNG PROTECTERS!

    • I’ll make a more cohesive comment after I get some sleep.

  • melinda stumpf

    Alex why the cliffhanger 

    • Alex talks about it in his description thing under the comic.

      • melinda stumpf

        I was saying it in a sad way because its over and I did read it

  • fujoshifanatic

    *Wipes tears from eyes* Well! Awesome page, awesome web comic, awesome experience! What a ride this has been! I’m glad you chose to end it in this place, Alex; it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a good story where I was given the opportunity to use my imagination as to how the heroes earn their happy ending, and I for one am very satisfied.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and for providing such a kickass, entertaining, and wonderful place for this community to come together in appreciation for you, Winona, and each other.

    You are a brilliant writer, and even better, a fantastic storyteller, both through the comic and the generous way you shared with us in your notes and your comments.  You went out of your way to make us feel special and honored for visiting the world of Artifice, and sharing in the experience of your creation, and for that I will always be grateful.

    While I’m so very sad to see Artifice end, I’m glad that Deacon and Jeff (and yes, even Maven!) made it through the story, and hopefully I will get to see them again. *picks up camping gear to shuffle over to Young Protectors campground*

    • Thank you, fujoshifanatic, for your as-always very thoughtful and very kind words. I’ve loved reading your comments on Artifice and I’m delighted that you’ll be joining me over at The Young Protectors. 🙂 

      It makes me very happy to hear that I made you feel special for visiting our little world here and it’s very much my hope that I can continue to do so on the next one.

  • Araceli Rodriguez

    i’ll just cry myself to sleep, i guess. Artifice 2 would be awesome. this ending… i don’t even know. i like it, but at the same time, no more fabulous hair. ever. but Young Protectors! i have so many feelings

    and this is another case of Araceli crying over fictional characters.

  • I actually think this is a very fitting end. Not every story has its neat, packaged Happy-Ever-After and I never assumed these two would.

    Thank you Alex, for bringing these two wonderful, extraordinary, beautiful men in my life. Into all of our lives. I know I’ll be reading this comic over and over again and reading anything that you do.

    I am sad that it has ended but I’m so very very glad that I read this and got so attached to all the characters.

    • You’re very welcome, Cathcer! I find it tremendously flattering that you would think Artifice is worthy of multiple re-reads and I’m delighted to hear that you’ll be sticking with me for the next one. Thank you for letting me know that you found the ending fitting—that makes me happy to hear too.

      Thank you so much for coming along for the ride! 😀

  • Aikka

    I was expecting you will make it that way, i mean, what can they do in ONE page.

    I’m glad you answered the question if they will get out alive, if not i would start to wonder too much of what happened, while now i only need to think about the happy endig ones :>

    But… what will i do now ;_;

    For such a long time i was waiting for every single page of Artifice, wondering what will happen, waiting for some nice moments between Deacon and Jeff and looking at Winona’s awesome art *-*

    and now it’s over…

    I know we have The Young Protectors and i am reading it but… well Artifice is just special to me.

    The same as all the people i met here 🙂 Even if lately i did not talk in the comments as much as before (i even no longer am in the Top Commenters *sigh*), i always read all of them and even if you may not know me or not know me much i feel attached to all of the commenters here o..o is that weird? I think i finally need to start commenting under TYP to not lose all contact with all the awesome people here o..o

    Anyway , as i think my comment stops to make any sense, maybe i will just say:

    Thank you for Artifice 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, Aikka. Thank you so much for your great comments and your friendship on this new journey for me. 🙂

      And Artifice is special. The Young Protectors isn’t meant to replace it in people’s hearts—it’s its own journey and one that I’m sure will take a number of pages before folks fully invest in it (just like it took many pages before most reader were sold on Artifice). But I am delighted to hear that you’ll be with me for the new comic—even if it will be a different experience. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

      • Aikka

        Awwww, you made me blush, i did not expect such a sweet reply ^-^
        You’re very welcome Alex 🙂 *hugs*

        I don’t remember which page exactly it was, but i started to read artifice somewhere in the middle of it so reading what was available back then was enough to fall in love with it 🙂 

        As for TYP, it will take more pages to define how much i will like it etc.
        But as i said before, for sure i will read it and let you know what i think about it when i will think it’s the right moment 🙂
        [and my friend is already obsessed with one of the characters… “XD]

  • Of course I want to see Artifice 2! 😀

  • Ditzite

    A satisfactory end to a tale of much asskickery and love!

  • An important message to all Noneco employees

    It is the responsibility of Noneco to admit to its failures and respond accordingly.

    Noneco is allowing three days time for employees to be with their families to mourn for the deceased.

    In the wake of the destruction android model D3763 has wreaked, many new safety procedures have been developed. Once we return to headquarters the retraining of all workers will begin immediately.


    Cherl Franken

  • ErykaSoleil

    Alex, you made me tear up with your commentary. I honestly felt a little let down by this final page, until I read your “word of God” that they do get a happy ending–now I’m o.k. with it. You and Winona have helped me get through some very stressful times over this past year, as has the wonderful community that has grown up around Artifice.

    And Winona, I have really enjoyed being introduced to your artwork here, and I really like what you have on Casseopeia so far. Is it wrong that I imagine Cass sounding like GLaDOS?

    • W Nelson

      You can imagine her sounding however you like!  GLaDOS is awesome, and definitely an inspiration.  I imagine Cass having a bit more human-sounding a voice, though not by a lot 🙂

    • Hi ErykaSoleil! You’ve been a very special part of this community and so I’m delighted to hear that we’ve been able to help you some tough times. I’m hoping that this year is a much happier and easier one for you and that you’ll stick with me for The Young Protectors. 🙂


  • ErykaSoleil

    Oh, and Alex? I would be very much interested in an Artifice 2, as well. Or whatever name you’d care to give a future story about Deacon and Jeff. 🙂

    And about that backstory on Dr. Maven . . . 😉

  • I personally love the ending because I really like my stories short and sweet. However, I’d read the heck out of an Artifice 2 if it happened.

    Things I’d personally like to see:

    What you said about technical stuff (Any and all technical stuff. I want to see things more from the company’s side, as well.) and the duo escaping Noneco’s sights for good. That’d be fun.

    An android/android relationship. Just because hardly anybody writes robot/robot relationships except Futurama. ;-D

    • ErykaSoleil

      Hmmmm . . . Kristi, would you mind if I borrowed your android/android idea?

    • Glad to hear you like the ending, Kristi! And thanks for the suggestions!

  • AeeDee

    I love the ending as well. It’s a tiiiiny bit of a cliffhanger, but only in that we don’t know the fine details of their escape. But you’re absolutely right – we’ve seen what Deacon is capable of, and we know that he and Jeff will do anything to save the other, so the logical conclusion is a pretty positive one. Hmm, considering that our story has been about Deacon learning to give his all for another person, we do have that feeling that, no matter what, they’ll get through it together. 🙂

    I would be incredibly interested in a sequel, if you write one. But if not, thank you for sharing this story with us, and for giving us the opportunity to own it, through Kickstarter. 🙂

    PS: Also, I love Jeff’s pose on this page. It really drives the message home; that they’re both willing to fight for each other. Jeff knows Deacon’s a killer android, but he’s not the anxious, rattled guy he was when they first met. Jeff is determined now, and he’s brave. He’s considerably braver than he’s ever been, and he’s armed and ready to go do some damage. I like this change in him; it shows the positive, supportive effect that Deacon’s had on his outlook.

    • You’re very welcome, AeeDee! It’s been our pleasure to have the opportunity to tell this kind of story and I can’t wait to get a copy of the book into your hands. 😀

      And you’re right: while this has been predominantly Deacon’s story, Jeff grew as well through the connection. It always makes me smile when readers notice that. 😀

  • …I have tears in my eyes, I’m not even kidding.

    I don’t see it as a cliffhanger at all. It’s a perfect ending. 

    Thank you for giving us a wonderful webcomic, Mr. Woolfson. Thank you so much.

    I look forward to your other works in the future. (For now I will support your other comic :D)

    • You’re very welcome, TatatRoses. I’m delighted to hear that you liked the ending and that you’ll be sticking with me for The Young Protectors. Thank you for the kind words!

  • Gabriel Grey

    I’d like to congratulate you for this ending. As a reader of this comic, I’d like it to go on and on forever, but as the storywriter I am, I know what a good ending is worth. You managed to finish this at the point of highest triumph.

    • Thank you, Gabriel! I, too, want the stories of characters I’m enjoying to never end, but like you I’ve found that ending at a good place is far better than dragging things out and ending with a whimper. I hope you’ll stick with me for The Young Protectors!

  • Syreen

    Thank you for this awesome comic! 🙂

    “Maven is too cool to die.” I love you, Alex 😀

    • Hehe. Glad you liked that. 😉

      And you’re very welcome! It really was our pleasure!

  • This is such a perfect ending! Congratulations, guys. 😀 This webcomic rocks. Also, I’d love to see Artifice 2! I’ll never get enough of those heroes. And I’m actually glad Maven doesn’t die.
    … I’m sorry, I’m way too impressed to write a thoughtful comment, right now. But thank you so much for all the hard work!

    • You’re very welcome, Dauwdrupje! I’m delighted that you liked the ending and also that you’d like to see more.

      I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Williro

    Love it, love everything about it! 

    I’m really going to miss checking this every week, but you can guarantee I’ll be tuning into The Young Protectors!

    And also Artifice 2. Yes. Yes. Please. If you could pull it off, yes please.

    • Yay! Glad you liked the update—and very glad you’ll be sticking with me for the next one! 😀

  • SilvenHorror

     I’ve been reading Artifice for a really long time, but somehow I’ve never commented, despite all my flailing and the multitude of emotion it’s made me experience – maybe I was feeling a bit shy? idek ^^; – but now I absolutely have to, in order to thank both Alex and Winona for one of the best BL comics I’ve had the privilege to read! (and I’m one picky reader, let me tell you). Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. <3 And, of course, to say that Artifice 2 would make me very, very happy!

    • You’re very welcome, SilvenSorrow. (And “one of the best BL comics I’ve had the privilege to read”? Wow. That’s very flattering!) Thank you for taking the time to comment and for the very kind words. I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • I would love to see an Artifice 2! In fact, I wouldn’t just love to see it, I’d put my hard earned money down on it. Though right now it’s so tight, I want to put money down on the kickster project so bad. *sigh*

    • Aw, thank you, Jennifer! That’s very flattering that you’d want to back the Kickstarter Project even though money is tight. But please, take care of yourself! I will be making these books available to general readers sometime in 2013. 🙂

  • Just to let you know. I am all for a Artifice 2. I am on the news letter list so I well be looking for Artifice announcements.

  • Ayella

    I certainly have a love-hate relationship with this ending. As an ending, it’s perfect. For *being* an ending, it sucks. I’m sitting here, tears streaming down my face, staring at it, while I actually need to clean my dirty house because in a couple of hours I have a visitor. There: now it is my wallpaper. I don’t want to part from Artifice! It has been my favourite webcomic for months now, since I discovered it.

    Hugs for both of you, Alex and Winona. For making this story for us readers. For creating such in-depth, fun to look at/read, characters. For sharing their love and fears and hope and despair and in the end triumph.

    And, oh yes please. Please. Artifice 2, would be awesome!

    • Thank you, Ayella. It makes me so happy to hear that we made such a connection with you through this comic. Your favorite webcomic? Tears because it’s ending? That’s awesome. 🙂 (Well, maybe making you cry isn’t awesome, but you understand! 😀 )

      You’ve been a very special presence here in the comments and I’m sending you my biggest hugs back. Thank you so much for coming along on this journey with me. (And I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!)

  • RustyBurrell

     This has been the best comic I’ve happened upon to date. Sad to see it end, but it seems right. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Thank you, RustyBurrell! I’m so glad you decided to take this ride with us. And “best comic I’ve happened upon to date”? That’s awesome. Thank you. 🙂

      Hope to see you for the next one!

  • Midwestmutt

    A quick congratulation before I head to work. A most satisfying end to the comic. I’d feared that Jeff or both would die in a blaze of glory making a gay cliche out of it all.(think Front Runner) Hoping for an Artifice 2 at some future date.

    • Thank you, Midwestmutt! I’m very glad to hear you found the end satisfying. 🙂

      • Midwestmutt

        I may be a late arrival but you have gained another loyal fan. I have my pledge in for the print version and will be checking out your other works with interest.   A final kudos to you and Ms. Nelson for Artifice. It was outstanding!

        • Well, thank you again. For the kind words and the Kickstarter backing!

          I very much look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

  •  Thanks for such a great story! The ending really does feel right. 🙂

    Artifice 2, please!

    • You’re very welcome, Nikki! Glad the ending felt right to you! 😀

  • nurg

    That. Was. PERFECT.

    Seriously, I love happy endings, and I also love “you can figure out for yourself how it went from here” endings that you’re allowed to assume are happy, especially when there are a lot of odds against our heroes as there are here. It’s so great I don’t even feel the need for an Artifice 2, though I am delighted that you anticipated reader questions, put answers out there for us immediately, are considering a denouement extra, and have Word Of God-ed us that you did intend for our boys to make it out alive and well! (And Maven. I completely agree she’s too steel-clad to die over a crushed voicebox. I even think her reaction, after she gets healed and rants for a while and gets over everything, will be an odd glee over Deacon’s ingenuity. It fits the love/hate thing I think she has for AIs in general. Seeing her in a denouement would please me lots.)

    It may feel odd to have a fan say that they don’t really want an Artifice 2, but it just speaks to the power of your storytelling, that you encapsulated this tale perfectly to the point where I don’t really want Deacon and Jeff to have more adventures–I just want them to have run off to Tahiti planet and be sucking down umbrella drinks for the rest of their happy lives. They’ve earned it! Though I do think you’ve created a helluva world here, and if you want to explore other characters/situations in it, or if you do return to these characters after all, you can bet I’d be all over it.

    Am looking forward to the graphic novel, your other projects, and am sharing your delight at the success of Artifice. Congratulations on everything, and thank you!

    • Wow, thank you, nurg! You’ve got me grinning and blushing here. I’m glad you feel the story was satisfying enough not to need more. That’s a big compliment. 

      Thank you for such a great comment. I’m glad you’ll be sticking with me for future projects. I look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • April Fools?  I really want more.  🙁

  •  Loved the whole thing! I really hope you decide to do a sequel, but good luck to both of you with your other endeavours either way. 🙂

  • Yukiness

    Thus the best part of my year has come to a climactic end, and thus is begins once more; of the the Young Protectors!!!!

    • “Best part of the year”? That’s awesome, Yukiness! You’ve been such a wonderful presence in the comments here and I look forward to seeing you over at  The Young Protectors!

  • samae

    This. I love this! All of it. I already have young protectors bookmarked!

  • Saberri

    Thank you two so much. ;-; This was an amazing journey and I’m glad I stayed for the whole ride.

    Just a random question… Does um… Deacon have… >_> “little men?”
    Semen? How do I ask this question without sounding like a weirdo?

    • You’re very welcome, Saberri!

      And, for covert mission purposes, Deacon would certainly have a fluid that could pass for semen under some scrutiny. Whether he would be capable of fathering a child would be something you’d need to talk to his developers about. 🙂

  • I haven’t commented nearly as much as I should have, especially considering how long I’ve been reading, but I love Artifice! and I’m oh so glad I decided to click on your banner on another website.

    And I just want to tell you that this is a very good ending. There was a story I was reading once, published online, and the author didn’t let it end, it just kept going and going, adding more characters and drama, it wouldn’t stop and devolved into something I just couldn’t be interested in anymore, call it emotional fatigue. So I’m always pleased when I see someone knowing when to stop and ending it well. And that’s what you’ve done here. But I’m also very thankful that you’ve answered a few question. I don’t need to see how they escape, but knowing that they do is great. 😀 I can totally see this fading to black, with awesome music and credits starting to scroll. ^_^

    Anyway, look forward to more Young Protectors!

    • Hey, C.A.R.! I’m so glad you clicked on that banner too. Thank you so much for the kind words!

      And I’m glad to hear you liked the way I ended this. Like you, I’ve also been frustrated when a story gets dragged out beyond its prime just because it’s successful or because, as seems often the case, the writer hadn’t thought of an ending in the first place.  It’s something that I try very hard to avoid in my work and I’m glad that it worked for you here.

      I looking forward to seeing you at The Young Protectors!

  • Rissicat

    Alex and Winona – Thank you so much for a wonderful story, and for allowing us to watch the magic unfold (at twice the anticipated speed!). You’ve brightened all of our Wednesdays and weekends with your magic.

    Thank you also for this wonderful, thoughtful community that made Artifice be the first thing I did each weekend. I like starting my Saturdays with coffee and a smile.

    Much love to you all. See you on the next ride. <3

    • Hey Rissicat!  You’re very much welcome! Your presence here has certainly brightened my Wednesdays and weekends. 😀

      Much love back. I’m looking forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • I loved this comic. I am incredibly sad to see it has ended. D:

    • I’m glad to hear you loved Artifice, Elizabeth. I hope you’ll stick around to check out The Young Protectors. 🙂

  • lilith8

    Such a great webcomic.  When I have a little spare cash, I’ll be sending in my payment for an order of the hard copy 🙂

  • KBatty

    I think this story has come to a perfect conclusion. We’re a smart audience—we don’t need it spelled out. It’s been a great story start-to-finish.

    Further to that: as much as I loved Artifice, I don’t think it needs a sequel. Only make one if you’ve got more story to tell. Cranking out another story purely to sate your fans would probably leave everyone involved a little disappointed.

    Bravo to both author and artist. I’m so glad I got to come along for the ride.

    • I’m so glad you did, too, KBatty. 🙂 You’ve been so awesome to get to know in the comments here and your thoughtful words (and fun fan art!) have added a lot to the experience of publishing this comic for me.

      I’m glad to see you over at The Young Protectors.

      • KBatty

         Well, your work had an impressive impact on me, and clearly on many others. The least I can do is explore your latest creative venture and see what it has to offer.

  • I started reading about a month ago..
    Just in time for it to end :`(

    • peanut5507

      I’ve only been reading for about two months, so I know your pain. I was surprised to hear this community had been here for a year and I’d never heard of it!

      • Yes. Getting the word out is the hardest part for me. Glad you found us, though! 😀

    • I started about two and half. I know your pain. I know….. 

  • AnyOtaku

    I was kind of expecting this, but I guess that is a great ending and well, we all know that at the end they escape and live happily forever so I guess it’s a nice one.
    It’s been an honor to read Artifice and see both Alex and Winona awesome work! But anyways, I’m going to miss Artifice really much… Now i’ll read Young Protectors, but even tough it will sure be cool, I’ll miss those wednesday and saturdays when I woke up to read it =D
    I’m really glad too that it has so many fans because this gives me hope that the world is changing, at least a bit. Seeing that people can start accepting stories with gays and liking them! Oh oh and I hope that someday this (or at least the principal topic) gets to the cinema hehe
    I’ll really miss Deacon and Jeff too… Compared to most of the yaoi I read, their relationship is like perfect, they are perfect for each other, two sould alone in a big world!
    Artifice, you’ll always be in my heart!

    • Thank you, AnyOtaku. You’ll always be in my heart, actually. I’ve really appreciated your participation in the comments here and the thoughtful point of view you’ve added to the discussions. 🙂

      I appreciate the very kind words and, like you, the response to this comic gives me hope as well. And while I know The Young Protectors will never replace Artifice in your heart, I hope that you come to looking forward to its updates as well. 😀

      Thank you again!

  • j chan

    “But in my opinion, those are just details. Fun for geeky guys like myself, but we know Deacon is the kind of guy who would have already figured it out.”

    But we’re all geeky, too!

    I DO want a second Artifice.  I admit I was disappointed to come to this page and just see this.  I feel like I waited all week for nothing (and this was the week from hell for me, too).  I know you’d make them have a happy ending (a full, happy ending), but I am a writer as well — all I picture is the numerous things that can/will go wrong as soon as they leave that door.  90% of my mind’s stories don’t have them leaving alive. 🙁

    So yes.  I quite demand another Artifice. 😉 If only so my brain will stop all it’s craziness.

  • prostock1

    Going out in a blaze of glory! How fitting!! 

  • I find this ending fitting. I agree with you – as a fan, I would love to see more of Deacon and Jeff (coughmoarsmexcough) but as I (fic)writer I agree with you – this ending is exactly what the story asked for.

    Thank you Alex and Winona for sharing it with us. It was an amazing journey with you guys. I’m a bit sad that it ended but I’m also happy that I read it from the beginning until now.

    And… The Young Protector, my heart is already yours <3

    Ps: MavenisaliveYES!

    • Hey Alis~~!  You’re very welcome. As someone who’s really enjoyed your comments, I very glad you stayed with us for the entire journey. 🙂

      I’m also glad to hear that the ending worked for you—and that I’ll be seeing you over at The Young Protectors! That’s awesome! 😀

  • Jim

    Thankyou.  A perfect scene to end on.  You did good.

    • You’re very welcome, Jim. I’m glad you liked it! 😀

  • YangYueLan

    *cries* such a nice ending!

  • Subhadra Erika

    This is a great ending for BOOK format, where the time between the last page and this one is a moment. It is clear that the last page is the real ending, and this is just a wrap up.

    In webcomic form, however, this was a disappointing ending. The last scene did not give any REAL clues that it was the very final end. That, and I thought I had read you say somewhere (in a blurb written before Artifice began, or at the beginning of it) that the story was 91 pages, so I was still anticipating slightly more. But to reiterate, waiting a week and finding this was a little disappointing.

    However, I also think it could have been fixed merely by knowing that this would be the last page. If you had said last week “ONE MORE PAGE, YA’LL” that would have made the anticipation build, and to find a full-page kick-ass android and lover about to go conquer the world ….this page would have had the response it rightly deserves. In book format, you can tell you are nearing the end because there are no more pages in your right hand. Not so with webcomics, so the anticipation has to be built in another way.

    Don’t worry, give it a few days and I’ll reread the whole thing and end up loving this ending HUGELY. It is a great page to end with, knowing it is the end.

    <3 Thanks Alex, for your amazing work. And thank you for making realistic relationships between gay characters. Now if only I could find more kick-ass lesbians on the web….

    • peanut5507

      Just so you know, he did actually say that this would be the last page. 🙂 it actually created a lot of suspense for me, and I couldn’t imagine any better way for him to end it. I understand your disappointment, but Alex did explain his reasoning for ending it the way he did. And you never know, it seems like everyone is asking for Artifice 2, so we might even get to see a little more at some later date!

    • You’re very welcome, Subhadra! I’m very glad you enjoyed Artifice. As peanut5507 pointed out, I tried my best over the last several pages to warn people that the end was near, but I understand that not everyone reads all my notes all the way through. I hope on that second read you find this ending more satisfying.

      And kick-ass lesbians on the web… That would be awesome. If you find that, please let me know! 😀 

  • Carol Metzger

    If and when you do Artifice 2, I’d like to see Maven sadder but wiser, grow up a little, maybe turn all that brilliant power to good instead of evil.

  • Subhadra Erika

    Also, bring out some Artifice 2. kthnx

  • I wish there was more, I look forward to hopefully another round in the future of Artiface2 hopefully Maven will be in it, I really enjoyed her. 

  • nooooooooooooo!! it can’t end!! i wanna kno what will happen next *sniff sniff* 😀 but excellent story. i absolutely loved it from beginning to end and sometime in the near future i’d love to see a second installment of Artifice. 

  • Please, please, please make Artifice 2. The epic love (and kicking of ass) must continue! 

  • peanut5507

    That moment where you didn’t really realize how much you loved a comic until it ended.

    Also, I don’t typically like ambiguous endings, but… Even before I read your note, somehow I knew that things would end well for these two. I’m glad you decided to end it the way you did.

    Congratulations, Alex and Winona!

    • Thank you, peanut5507! I’m glad you found us! 😀

  • Brittany Brain

    :’D *claps*
    My Saturdays are gonna be a little bit empty now.

    • Thank you, Brittany! I hope that The Young Protectors will be able to fill that Saturday void a little. Next page will be up this Saturday. 🙂

  • Geoffrey Brown

    For some reason I really want to see over future Artifice pages how Jeff’s hair continues to grow out over the course of events. I suppose it probably has something to do with how I’m growing mine out. No matter. This ending is an excellent combination of ‘this part is done’ and ‘their story is not over yet’. I agree with the ‘more of the same’ concept with further pages showing the rest of their escape; the actual act of leaving the complex isn’t enough to look forward to to justify it actually being the end when the strength of their relationship and how it would overcome has been the underlying question all along.

    • Thank you, Geoffrey. I’m glad the ending worked for you. (And good luck with growing out your hair! :D)

  • Kayleigh Harter

    I’d love to see more, but I think this is the perfect ending for this part of the story. Well done!

  • xenie

    Love it! 

  • Cora Armen

    I would definitely love to see Artifice 2 at some point in the future. At first, I must admit that the ‘The end!’ comment made me think it was a joke, but from a writer’s perspective, I can see why you ended it here. That said, there could be more amazing adventures without too much strain searching for a new plot. I think so, anyway!

    Thank you for writing and creating this. (I recently had to write a (short!) graphic novel script for a class, and hoo boy, I had underestimated the kind of special effort that goes into it.) And the art is so gorgeous, too! I love me some science fiction and the world you built was engaging and wonderful from the get-go, and the characters even more so! Maven holds a special place in my heart as the classiest bitch I’ve seen in quite some time. (And I greatly desire a fictional hug from the boys. They’re just too awesome for words to properly convey.)

    Thank you, again! I’ll be happily following you into your other comicky goodness.

    • You’re very welcome, Cora! 

      And I’m glad to hear you’re trying your own hand at writing comic scripts. Yep, they are their own art form. But I have to tell you, very few things equal the pleasure you feel when an artist sends you art based on your pages. Tons of fun. 😀

      I’m very glad you’ll be joining me over at The Young Protectors!

  • Sam

    I positively RUE the fact that I found Artifice only two weeks ago and wasn’t along for the complete ride.  But I’m so glad I found it 🙂

    This has been an absolutely amazing story with amazing artwork and to reiterate what everyone else has probably already said, we’ll take whatever other Artifice tidbits we can get – the bonus comic, the bonus romantic scene, and definitely an Artifice 2 🙂

    And it looks like we’ll be definitely be getting the bonus comic!  Woot!

    • Thank you so much, Sam. I’m so glad you found us too! (And yes, there will be a  bonus Artifice comic sent out to backers! Very excited about that…)

      Of course, The Young Protectors is just starting and I really hope to see you over there! 😀

  • Andrea Baker

    Just reread the entire comic and I just was left with one emotion; badass.

  • KariRedlock

    hnnnng i would love to see an Artifice 2! I got really attached to these characters, and i always look forward to reading about them on (most) wednesdays and saturdays.

    I really loved this story <3 thank you for entertaining me for all these months!

    • You’re very welcome, KariRedlock! It was very much our pleasure. 😀

      I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Omg, this is awesome! Sure I’d have loved to see them kicking tail, but I think this is a good place to end. Especially after assuring us that they have their happy ending.
     As I wanted to say before but never could get logged in, I love the fact that Deacon and Jeff bring out the best in each other.
    Bring on Artifice 2 please, Alex!

    • Hey, Jamie! Thank you—glad to hear you liked the ending! 

      And also that you liked that Jeff and Deacon bring out the best in each other. For me, that’s one of the most romantic things in the world… 😀

  • I feel so empty now that its over 🙁

    Why are all my favorite web comics coming to an end?? Whyyy!!?

    Seriously though- amazing story. And I am very proud of both of you coming this far 😀

  • Kickass final scene!  You bust that door down, Deacon!  Bust it down like the metaphor to understanding it is!

    • Thank you, Summer—for the props on this scene and for being such a wonderful, thoughtful participant in our community here. I’m so glad to see you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

  • Honestly, I like this as an ending.  Deacon is a soldier, so having them settled down to live out their lives in peace would seem fake, to me.  But having them heading off into the unknown wilds of corporate security, guns in hand?  Awesome!

    Also, if and when Artifice 2 ever happens, I’ll be right here eagerly waiting for each update.

    • Thank you, Matt! I’m really glad to hear the ending worked for you. 😀

      I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • This is PERFECT. I have always wondered why some authors over-do things because you’re right, it really would be more of the same. Sure it might be exciting to read a good action scene, but our minds can think of that perfectly. Especially because it would be very complex and complicated, and if it comes off too simple then it would not be as exciting. I think this is the best way. All I needed was your word that they escape–and I got it!

    Thank you so, SO much. You surpassed my expectations. I know that might not mean much to pass some stranger’s expectations, but I’m happy! It’s no secret I have a HUGE andorid love, ever since I was a young teen. This was perfectly done. I would love to see something later perhaps, with the clashes and cons of dating an android! 🙂 

    • You’re very welcome, Sephi, and of course your opinion means a lot to me. 🙂 I’m really glad that the ending worked so well for you. 

      And I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  •  thank you sooo much for this series! i love jeff and deacon! (though i have to say i screamed when i saw that Jeff’s hair was shaved off.) i would love for there to be a second Artifice!!! and i am glad you ended it when you did, the last scene was perfect in its “open to imagination”ness.

    • You’re very welcome, Lyn! I’m really glad you liked Jeff & Deacon and the ending. (And hehe, sorry to make you scream with the hair. It was meant to be an impactful moment… 😉 )

      I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • I feel fortunate that I found Artifice near the beginning of the journey. Not that finding it later would mean I’d have loved it less, but there’s something about being along for the ride that is an irreplaceable experience. Of course, that just makes it harder to let go when you reach the end. I am not disappointed in the ending (especially with the Happy Ending Guarantee!) I just hate saying goodbye to characters I’ve come to love. I hope that at some point in the future we’ll get to see more of this world and Deacon and Jeff. Any Artifice 2 project can only benefit from what you’ll learn as a storyteller between now and then. I’m definitely going to stick around to see how Young Protectors develops. Thanks so much for sharing this experience with all of us!

    • You’re very welcome, Elle. Thank you for letting me know you’ve enjoyed the ride! 🙂

  • krissdevalnor

    Excellent ending! yeah it was a bit disappointing at first – not to be able to see what happens next, but you are right. It would be too similar to the previous scenes. 

    And I am able to afford the print version + shipping to Denmark 😀 yeah!!! 

    • Thank you, krissdevalnor! I’ve very much enjoyed your comments here and am glad you ultimately liked the ending. I’m excited to ship that book off to you! 😀

      • krissdevalnor


  • I am so sad that it ended, but it was sooooooo good!!!!! I would love for there to be an Artifice 2 or some kind of sequel, and I would follow it all the way, from beginning to end! It’s such a beautiful story!

  • Mark Locy

    Thanks for the awesome time! I would really love to see Artifice 2.

    • You’re very welcome, Mark! Thank you for coming along for the ride. I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • /long comment alert I apologize in advance 
    YES. Badass ending achieved. Heck, it would’ve been wrong if they *didn’t* exit like a boss. And Maven watching them escape just makes it perfect. I have to admit, she’s got nice shoes lol. I like how this isn’t really a cliffhanger, in fact, it’s a fitting ending to this comic. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    In any case, I’m sad to see this go. ;u; It’s such a wonderful comic, great job Alex and Winona! I want to bother you two about Artifice 2, but I know you two are pretty busy people. Still, if you eventually get the time, I think a sequel to this epicness would be nice ;3

    Also, I think I might make an attempt at fanart. Be warned, it won’t be very good because I’m not very good OTL but I’ll try!

    Good luck with your future projects, you two! Winona, I’ve already seen the first part of your new comic and it’s awesome so far, and Alex, The Young Protectors has a great start 🙂 All of the love to you two <3

    /kay done I'm sorry for teh page stretcher I usually don't write such long commets y'know

    • Aikka

      Don’t forget to show us all the fanart when you make it :>

    • Thank you, A. V. M. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and for all the kind words! I’m sending you much love back—and I’m very much looking forward to seeing that fan art! 😀

  • I’d love there to be an Artifice Two C: I love Jeff and Deacon too much X’D

  • Exile 755 is a Higglytown hero

    If you make an Artifice II at any point in this lifetime (or the next thousand), I will love you forever and ever and ever and good fortune will shower upon you for the rest of your days! SO MOTE IT FRIGGIN’ BE. 😉

  • Aaaaaaaaaaa <3  God, this has been the greatest ride.  I have had so much fun watching this story expand, and I love watching Jeff and Deacon finally come full circle. Thank you so much, Alex and Winona, for getting this out to all of us here.  I can't wait to see what Artifice 2 has in store, so make sure to keep Deacon and Jeff in your heads!  Thanks for making me smile, and laugh, and bite my nails, and go 'd'awww!'

    • You’re very welcome, Meghan! I’ve so enjoyed seeing your comments here and it makes me happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed the ride we tried to offer. 😀 

      I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

  • privjetcomrade

    PLEASE make an Artifice II!!!!! This is how I figured you were going to end it when you said only one more page to go, but I cannot believe it is over!!! So sad…

  • I have

    no words :’)

  • DayiaKnyte

    “Deacon kicking ass with lots of violence and smarts leading to them getting out of the Noneco Campus to share yet another kiss with Jeff at the end—it just felt like more of the same.”

    This is why the writing god’s created the “Epilogue”.
    I ran across this comic on Page 3 and have been on this ride for the past year. It has been a great one! But like all great trips it has come to an end much to quickly.I wish you luck in your future endeavors … because let’s face it … success for you means more good reading for us!

    • Thank you, DayiaKnyte. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the ride!

  • Love this last page!  Fantastic!  I really am going to miss Artifice, and ABSOLUTELY stand behind any possibility of an Artifice 2.

    • Thank you, kitwrites! I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

      • Already happily following The Young Protectors.  Definite fan of your work.  =]

  • SH_Marr

    I absolutely want to see a sequel. You’re right, watching them escape would be really dull, but I’ld like to see them together living on the outside.
    Also, I’m a total dork about these things and would like to see ore exploration of the world than what we’ve gotten so far. Not that you skimped on it, but it would be nice.

  • This very much reminds me of the final scene of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (Redford/Newman, 1969). I like it!

    • Thank you, Mark! I actually hoped that this scene would feel a bit more positive than Butch and Sundance—I don’t think we’re supposed to think those guys got out of it alive—but I’m flattered by the comparison. 😀

  • OroroNebbia

    Gosh~ I read all the comic in one go a few days ago and I just need  to be part of this awesome site~ I love everything here, and this page is absolutely beautiful~ 


    • Thank you, OroroNebbia! I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors—that’s just starting. Kisses back! 😀

  • Sequinn

    Dear Alex and Winona,

    I just wanted to say thanks for posting such a fantastic web-comic. 

    On the first page you said that Artifice “looks to combine thought-provoking action-adventure with romance between guys and is intended for both women and men to enjoy” which you absolutely achieved…and then some.  And it is a credit to you both that you attracted such a varied, intelligent and polite audience.  Reading the comments has been as fun and thought-provoking as reading the comic!

    I read a comment on the Teahouse forum which said that Teahouse, Starfighter and Artifice were the holy trinity of online Yaoi – and you can’t get much better than that.

    BTW I love the ending!

    • You’re very welcome, Sequinn. I’m glad you feel we achieved what I set out for. And yes—the community here has made this journey so special! Such awesome, intelligent, thought-provoking and respectful readers! 

      Glad also that you liked the ending (and am flattered you would put me in such esteemed company as Teahouse and Starfighter 😀 ). 

      Thank you so much for your presence here. I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • crimsonkiss22

    Thank you, thank you for making this webcomic. It was a great journey, and I’m extremely satisfied. 🙂 I understand why you ended it here, and I have to agree with you. Carrying on past this point in the same arc would be a same song, different verse. Deacon kicked some butt, Jeff probably helped, and I’m sure they had that kiss.

    And they made it out alive, so yay. 😀 I’ll keep my eye out for updates about an Artifice 2 (hurhur) and I’ll definitely be checking out your other webcomic. 🙂 Good luck  to you and Winona on all your projects, and thanks again for inviting me along on this little journey.

    • You’re very welcome, crimsonkiss22! I’ve very much enjoyed your participation here in the comments section and I’m delighted to hear I’ll be seeing you over at The Young Protectors! Thank you for joining us on this journey!

  • Erica

    *hugs for Alex and Winona*

    thank you for such a lovely webcomic :3 my most favorite one i’ve found online!!! Now to read The Young Protectors!! *adjusts thick rimmed glasses* hehee

    • Your “most favorite one i’ve found online!!!” ::blush:: That’s awesome! Thank you! I’ve really enjoyed seeing you here in the comments and I’m delighted that you’ll be joining me over at The Young Protectors!

      Hugs back!

    FEELS GOOD. Feels good, man.
     Thanks for all your hard work, guys <3

    • You’re very welcome, Kristen. Thank you for coming along for the ride. Hope to see you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

  • I just want to give everyone who worked on this and supported it a big hug. I had so much fun reading it, and the comments as well.

    • Thank you! Big hugs back, Marie! Hope to see you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

  • Cydalima

    I’m going to miss this comic, but I want you to know that I love it and love this last page. Thank you, Alex and Winona, four your work, it was awesome! Thank you!!

    • You’re very welcome, Cydalima! Thank you for the kind words here and before in the comments. They always made me smile. 🙂

      I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • mullent169

    This was just such a great story. Whoever made this thank you so much for making this. Made me feel so much. To be frankly honest, I just clicked on this link from a yaoi site and thought it may be a good thing to wank to. But I was so wrong. This was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. You portrayed a story for just that. You even blocked out genitalia because it was just completely unnecessary. You made the right decision I believe. Once again great job, can’t wait to read more of your stories. >:D 

    • You’re very welcome, mullent169. While having things to wank to are fun, I’m glad we were able to surprise you and that you liked what we were trying to do here.  Thank you for the kind words and I look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Kuraen

    I always thought sex was a good way to end things…. XP

    But it’s true, with Deacon pretty much unstoppable it seems like there’s not much more to build on. It’s just sad because we don’t want it to end. 🙂

  • llbutters

    Standing ovation. Take a bow, Alex and Winona.

    • Thank you, llbutters. I’ve enjoyed your presence here in the comments and I’m very glad you like the ending. Hope to see you over at The Young Protectors! 😀

  • Alor_Laneau

    Maven’s just lying there with like a collapsed throat.

  • Argh! Damn it’s the end already! I woke up this morning expecting more Artifice goodness, wondered why there were no panels in the latest update, and the words ‘THE END’ completely blindsided me!

    Honestly, I was expecting something else; I don’t know, maybe a mobilization of Noneco and its affiliates to subdue the rogue android after Jeff and Deacon got out (after all, if they’re a mega-corporation of sorts they should have extensive pull on the general public). That would certainly up the ante a bit, give a little action to continue this fantastic story–fugitives being hunted by the long-reaching arm of the Corporation. :/

    But, after further reflection I suppose this is a good way as any to end this particular story arc (and a particularly delicious cliffhanger should there be an Artifice II in the wings). It’s been such a long and fulfilling journey, but then the sadness that such a great webcomic has ended is there too. I swear I’ve never felt this way for a webcomic, I should blame Alex and Winona for making me feel this way XD

    But kidding aside, terrific job to the two of you! Since this has stopped, I’m shifting my eyes to The Young Protectors with the same expectations I have come to feel for Artifice. Like a previous commenter said, I wish for more success to both Alex and Winona, since more success to the two of you means more delicious reading for us.

    A victorious fist-up for the both of you!

    • Thank you, Templar! I’m glad Artifice was able to make you feel something special. That makes me happy to hear.

      Also very happy that you’ll be sticking with me for The Young Protectors! Fist bump, my friend! 😀

  • devils.jester

    I would LOVE to see an Artifice 2.  I have enjoyed the ride through Artifice tremendously and I congratulate you on a job well-done!

    • Thank you, devils.jester! Very glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the ride! 😀 (And I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!)

  • I would LOVE to see an Artifice 2 and I PRAY we make the goal of getting that extra. I’ve already given all the money I can afford to the project. I really, really hope it happens….

  • That is a pretty epic final page. I have to say, I’ve been SO happy that Artifice has a happy ending — there’s nothing worse (for me, anyway) than falling in love with a story and then having it end with a major character dying or something. I’m so sentimental, I know, haha.

    I will definitely come up with a donation for the Kickstarter page. (And of *course* I’d be on board for an Artifice 2.)

    I’m really enjoying The Young Protectors so far — and I’ll be sure to head over to Cassiopeia. Thank you both again for this marvelous thing!

    • “Epic final page”? Thank you, Reve! I’m really glad you liked the ending!

      Thank you very much for the Kickstarter backing—and I’m really glad I’ll be seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Ryn

    Jeff has gone John McClane on us. 😀

    I like this ending, it leaves you feeling pretty good with a sense of hope for the future. unlike the movie ending for “The Mist” which made you want the world to end. I’m kinda glad Maven didn’t kick the bucket, i wanted to see her get knocked down a few pegs, which certainly happened. ^____^

    I certainly look forward to a day when Artifice 2 graces the web.

    • Thank you, Ryn. I’ve very much enjoyed your presence in the comments section and I’m glad you stayed with us for the whole ride. 😀

      Hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Fare thee well, Artifice, I loved you well.

    • Thank you, DivaLady! Your participation in the comments has been really delightful and I’m glad you enjoyed Artifice. I hope to keep seeing you for The Young Protectors!

  • gumboluvr

    This was a wonderful story and I’m glad you shared it.  I would love for there to be an Artifice 2 and hope to one day see that.  Thank you again for writing and commissioning the webcomic for this awesome tale.

    • You’re very welcome, gumboluvr. It really was my pleasure. 😀

  • This story was more than perfect. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me blush, it made me cry. I can’t describe how perfect it was. It was perfectly created and I thank you so much for sharing this. Oh, and Jeff does have an adorable goofy smile.

    • “More than perfect”? ::blush:: Thank you, Amanda! I really appreciate the kind words and hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors.

      (And yes, Jeff does indeed have an adorably goofy smile. 😉 )

  • Phoenix_xxx

    Your experiment was most definitely a success. Thank you for everything.  

    • I’m glad you think so. And you’re very welcome. 🙂 I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • rayrayravona

    This was beautiful. Even though I was late to come across it, I enjoyed every minute of this story. 🙂

    • Yay! Thank you! I’m very glad you found us. And I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors (which is just beginning)!

  • Ok reasonably good end! I loved your comic. 🙂

    • Thank you, Elikal! I’m glad you found the ending “reasonably good” and that you loved Artifice. Hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Please don’t let this end… I’ve been with you guys from the beginning, and I can’t imagine life without new pages of Artifice… I LOVE DEACON AND JEFF SO MUCH!! I’LL MISS YOU, BOYS!! :((((

  • Sasha0908

    Ive never commented, but I would be quite interested in Artifice 2 and so would a friend of mine!

  • schmzowow

    Ugh this is fantastic, all open ended and full of possibilities. You’re wonderful Alex, and Winona is pitch perfect. I’d like to give you both a virtual high five.

    • Thank you! And high five back! I’m glad you liked the ending and I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Sigh….4/1 anyone?   Lots of comics “end” today.

  • Kel Z

    I’ve had a pretty crazy weekend, but now I’ve got a few minutes to come post.

    Personally, I love the ending. They had a happy, satisfying reunion. And now, they’re about to (literally and figuratively) open a door out into the world. It’s a new day. It’s hope, it’s adventure. It’s absolutely perfect and totally awesome. It ends just where it should – this story is finished, but outside that door, another can begin. I’d been worried about ending it with just the one page remaining, but it worked out well.

    I’ve loved this comic from start to finish, and I am going to go settle in over at The Young Protectors and enjoy the new adventure!

    Thanks to Alex, Winona, and all the fabulous people who comment here – this is such an awesome community. 😀

    • Thank you, Kel! I’ve so enjoyed your presence here and all your thoughtful comments—this one included! I’m delighted to hear that you’ve enjoyed Artifice from start to finish and even more delighted to hear you’ll be joining me for the next one.

      Big hugs! 😀

  • Seth Rose

    I love Deacons expression on this page- somehow it looks like his expression is saying ‘yay playtime’ and he’s having far too much fun kicking down that door. Plus he’s got his boyfriend back!

  • Epistasthai

    This has got to be one of *the* most satisfying endings! (Since you’ve already said they manage to escape, it solves the worry about what’s behind that door Deacon is kicking open). Thank you so much for writing such a really interesting story. It sorta stays with one. The other day I was in the grocery store, and I found myself imagining Deacon and Jeff (albeit much older) browsing through the vegetable aisle, looking over the sales and discussing what to make for dinner. (Maybe they’re having a dinner party!) I really liked how in Artifice you focused on their relationship instead of focusing on whether or not an artificial construct has feelings. And I imagine them enjoying the little things together throughout the years to come. I like a story that makes me imagine. Wow! Thank you so much Alex and Winona! And Oh Yes! I’d love to see Artifice 2!!

    It has been such a pleasure to read all the personal accounts of coming out. It speaks to how comfortable you’ve made people feel here.

    • Thank you, Epistasthai! I’m so glad you found the ending satisfying. 😀 

      And it’s very gratifying to hear that you’re thinking about Jeff and Deacon even when you’re not reading the comic—music to a writer’s ears. 😉 (And it also makes me very happy to hear that you think I make folks feel comfortable here. That’s important to me.)

      You’re very welcome for the story. I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Eriennexton

    That awkward moment when you check back for a new page on a comic that’s just ended and wouldn’t have updated today anyway.

    • Eriennexton

      Also. Jeff needs shoes. Man’s gonna be cutting his feet up on broken glass and shit. >( 

      • yeah i thought he would have taken a few seconds to steal shoes from the dead guys a few pages back

  • Artifice 2 someday please.  Not a big superhero fan, i will look at the young protectors only out of curiosity but i dont know if a superhero story will hold me.  I prefer ruminating on futuristic possibilities with D&J. thx for the beautiful artifice work though, it is awesome.  will artifice continue to be available online? thx

    • You’re very welcome, Hansen Designs. And yes, I have no intention of taking these Artifice pages offline. So they should be available for some time to come. 🙂

  • This was a magnificent story and I’m glad I got to read it. 🙂 I can’t wait for more projects!!

    • Thank you, Lauren! I look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Ambler

    Damn, Jeff looks more badass than Deacon, and he’s not even kicking down a door.

    This was an awesome story :3

    • Thank you, Ambler—for the props and for being such a cool presence in the comments here. Hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

      • Ambler

        Lol, I’m glad my comments weren’t annoying. I am actually reading the new comic, just haven’t commented yet.

  • Do you except guest comics? :3

    • I’ve actually never thought about it. What did you have in mind?

  • I’m in a mixture of happiness and sadness now. Alex+Winona=Best superhero team evar! Thank you guys for amazing art and story, if Artifice 2 does actually go ahead I know I won’t be the only eager reader here. Serious loves and cuddles for you and your work and thanks again! :3

    • You’re very welcome, Danielle! It really was our pleasure!

      Love and cuddles back and I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Eze_stryker

    Long time reader- first time commenting. Yes. My wife and I are very interested in an Artifice 2.

    Artifice is everything I want in a story. I’m so glad you pushed this project. 

  • “if you’d like to see Artifice 2, by all means let me know”I would like to see Artifice 2.

  • Fulgin

    Add my vote for Artifice 2!

    Also, I hope you can find a way to keep the community discussion going.  I’d love to run a wider discussion on themes and influences.  In my spare time I’m an English professor, focusing on “speculative fiction” (scifi/fantasy/horror), and there’s so much to discuss here.  Perhaps I’ll use the hardcopy of Artifice in a future class…

    • Wow, that’s very flattering that you’d consider using Artifice in one of your classes. 🙂

      I hope that many in the community here will consider sticking with me over at The Young Protectors, but I’m also open to the suggestion of starting a forum here. I too would very much like to keep the community discussion going. So if there is sufficient interest (and folks willing to put in the hard work of being moderators), I’ll make that happen. 🙂

    • Sam

      So that’s why my literary criticism senses were tingling…

      …and where do you teach, if you’re comfortable sharing?  If I weren’t in the last weeks of my undergrad career I would probably entertain notions of transferring to your institution.

      • Fulgin

         I’m in Wisconsin.  Or, as we call it, “flyover country.”

  • As much as I hate her, I’m so glad she’s not going to die! She’s such an awesome super villain! So freaking amazing!!!

  • kawilke

    Dear Alex.
    This is certainly the best moment to put an end to this story. Temporary of course. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to Artifice 2 at this very moment already!
    You really managed to create something so thrilling, exciting and fascinating… It is hard to find the right words for my feelings in a foreign language. Well… I guess it would be even difficult to explain everything in my mother tongue!
    However, the characters -no, the people you created (and who were so lucky to be drawn by the very talented Winona) are remarkable unique in their very own way. I’m extremly happy you consider Maven to be too cool to die! Because that’s just the thought I got while reading the last pages of Artifice.
    And of course Jeff and Deacon will get out alive – no need to mention it. It’s just the whole atmosphere… Somethings just tells one that they will manage whatever awaits them. Thank you very much for this wonderful end of an extraordinary story.
    Best wishes for everything you are planning.

    • You’re very welcome, kawilke. Thank you very much for the kind (and very thoughtful and well-put) words. And also for sticking with us for such a long time. 🙂 Your sweet words about the characters and how Artifice made you feel mean a lot to me and I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors. 😀

  • kawilke

    And yeah. Jeff is going to need some shoes. That’s for sure. Hope he doesn’t take Maven’s… She wouldn’t appreciate it.

  • Shinashi

    I don’t think necks bend that way.

    Gosh, I really enjoyed Artifice, soooooooo much. And I will be back again and again for more from you and any of your stories, with whatever artists.  When I have the mulah, I’ll be buying merch as well! ;D

    • Thank you, Shinashi—I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed Artifice! And also that I can expect you back for more! That’s awesome! 😀

  • Exciting until the very end. You’ve made an excellent comic! Excellent writing, excellent visuals. Really action-packed with a good message of love and commitment, no matter what your orientation is ^^ Plus I love the last page, they both look so badass!!

    • Wow, thank you for all the kind words, Megan! They mean a lot to me! 😀

      I’m really glad you enjoyed Artifice! I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

      (And hehe, they do look a bit badass here, don’t they?)

  • I have to say, I joined this about five pages from the end, and I wish I were more involved in the beginning! <3 I don't usually like sci-fi stories like Artifice, but I truly enjoyed this! Thank you so much for the story, I'll be sure to recommend it to my friends~

    • You’re very welcome. And thank you, Kalie—for the kind words and for letting folks know about us! I’m glad we were able to create a comic you enjoyed despite it’s sci-fi genre and I hope you’ll also enjoy The Young Protectors. 🙂

      • I’m sure I probably will! Thanks for the reply~

        Have a good night~

  • I am so sad that this is over, I have really enjoyed reading it. It is going to be strange without Artifice updates, lol, but I have started reading The Young Protectors so hopefully that will fill the void. I’ve been reading it for several months but I think I have only commented about once or twice during then as I am more of a lurker. *shy*

    Thank you very much to both you and Winona, I have loved this so much and I really hope that one day there is a sequal *fingers crossed*

    • You’re very welcome, Jenny! Thank you very much for letting me know you’ve enjoyed reading Artifice despite being shy. I really appreciate that. 

      And I very much look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

      • Tarun Banerjee

         Alex, my heart sand as the series ended! But congratulations, this was an absolutely terrific piece! I don’t think I’d read a graphic novel since a kid but you had me hooked to this from the very beginning. Count me in as a dedicated follower and fan of your work now! I’m eagerly awaiting news that you will put this out in print, for I would buy copies for all my friends, and love to have a hardcopy for myself as well. I hope you are able to work on a sequel to this at some point as well! The themes of the android/human connection are of course fascinating, but you touched on so many terrific ones I would love to see more off – the idea of perfecting humans and what we do with our “faults”, the therapy and self-reflection mix with action and violence, and finally the corporate entity that oversees this new society. It’s beyond terrific Alex, I can’t wait to hear news that you will be able to work on a sequel! Congrats again and I look forward to following all your work now!

        • Thank you so much, Tarun! You’re a sweetheart—I’m really glad you enjoyed Artifice! (And that you’ll stick around for my other comics. Please say “hi” over at The Young Protectors.

          Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know you’ve enjoyed my work! 😀

  • Ms_Lily

    I think this was a great ending.  I can just imagine it as the end of a movie.  As Deacon kicks open the door, everything slows down and a bright light comes pouring in and fades to white.  Then a second later it goes black and the credits start rolling to some upbeat rock song.  Personally I have “Livin’ on the Edge” in my head.  Anyway, thanks for the great comic.  I enjoyed reading it for all these months.

    • Superjenny

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that saw that in their head…

    • Honestly, that’s always how I pictured it. Perhaps not with the rock song, but definitely the fade to bright white. 🙂

      You’re very welcome—it really was our pleasure. Thank you for letting me know you’ve enjoyed Artifice. I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Guest

    A perfect ending. “WE OUT!!” <3

  • dontpettheskunk

    Awesome!!!! I am sad it is over, but what a great way to end it!!!! As great as this ending is, Artiface 2 would definately not lack support! I’m sure everyone would love to see our beloved heros in more action (and of course more smexyness.) 

  • Now more Deacon and Jeff?  My life feels incomplete!

    What ever shall I do????

    Buy a hard copy so I can enjoy those hawt makeout scenes whenever at my leisure?  


    • Hehe. Thank you, Amber! I very much appreciate the Kickstarter backing—and that you found the makeout scenes “hawt”! 😀

  • Lorescien

    Best. Ending. Ever. 😀 THANK YOU!!!

    • You’re very welcome, Lorescien! Thank you for the props—and for your participation in the community here, which has been very special for me. 🙂

      I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • …anyone else feel a little weird not camping at this hour?  I totally do.

  • Man i wish they did shoot the doctor lol

    But it made me cry with that sweet love…its however a shame that they cant be together forever 🙁

  • Emy

    That was the best ending there could possibly be! I swear, I was hiding behind my hands going “Don’t kill him Deacon! What is wrong with you?”…and then I laughed my ass off when Jeff yelled out a command code lol best ending!

    • Yay! Glad you liked the ending, Emy! Thank you for letting me know!

      (And I hope to keep seeing you over at The Young Protectors!)

  • yellowrock

    It’s over!  Thank you so much for making a great comic and providing good, thought provoking entertainment for us all!  I’ll be sure to check out your other comic as soon as I am able to.  😀

    • You’re very welcome, yellowrock! Thank you for your wonderful presence here in the comments and all the super-generous support you offered this comic. It makes me so happy to hear you enjoyed the ride! 😀

      I look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!

  • Pronombre

    Alex, first of all, Congratulations♥, you and Winona made the best webcomic I have ever read, and to now that this is the end, it makes me feel  like I miss something.  Anyway I wish you the best in your own project and Also to Winona, I know bot will be awesome and successful. 


    I always wanted to draw you something but I’m to shy so I never made it. Anyway, Congratulations Alex and Winona, both of you gave me the best  journey and I’m glad that we got a safe landing~♥

    • “the best webcomic I have ever read”? Wow. ::blush:: Thank you! I’m so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it!

      And… it’s not too late to draw something for Artifice if you’d like. I’ll still be posting up fan art I receive on the Fan Art page. It’d be great to see your work. 🙂

      Thank you for coming along on this journey with us. And I very much hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

    • Aikka

      Don’t be shy, we all here love to see new fanart! :>

  • wasEnkidu

    I knew it! But that’s probably because it just makes sense to end it here. It’s not a Hollywood movie where we HAVE to see the happy ending on screen. Personally, word of god that they make it is enough for me, at least now that I’ve seen how you ended it. (You may notice that this is… what a few weeks late? ^_^; Yeah, I’ve been avoiding reading it because I didn’t want to see it end!) I will miss this comic and the community, but I’ll keep it on my bookmarks. So don’t be surprised if one day I suddenly pop up in the comments for The Young Protectors.
    So long and thanks for all the (arti)fish.

  • AJTheShifter

    This comic has been reduced down to once a week.  Be it so.

  • I really love the fact that Maven was not just killed outright. It makes me think of Nurse Ratched’s punishment from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; the throat being targeted and her verbal authority being taken away.

    •  omg yeah that’s right! Awesome reference thanks for that.

  • Thank you,Alex and Winona, for sharing such a great story and art with us! You say we rock but you both rock equally as hard^_^. You both put such hard work and long hours into making this comic without much hope of any recognition. You guys deserve every accolade you’ve received. 

    Alex,I will miss Artifice immensely but I like the way you ended it. By not giving this a typical happily-ever-after wrap you leave Jeff and Deacon open to all type of possibilities including your readers imagination;).
    Already enjoying The Young Protectors and can hardly wait to see what wild ride you take us on with Kyle and the Annihilator.

    Winona, I’m looking forward to more Cassiopeia. The art is aces and the writing funny. Cass comes off as a cross between HAL from Space Odyssey and a crazy girlfriend. Poor Ramsey^^.

  • anyone else favor his short buzz? i love it it makes me happy 😀

  • My fanart is done~ I like how I did the shading, haven’t done it like this for quite a while xD
    I hope you like the silliness lol

    • Yay! I love the silliness! Thank you! 😀

      May I put it up on the Fan Art page? If so, how would you like me to credit you?

      Also, if it’s not too much trouble, could you please include the credit/copyright info I ask for at the bottom of my FAQ on your dA page?

      Thank you again! It’s lots of fun!

      • Yay, I’m glad you like it! 😀 Sure you can, and you can credit me as michanforever. And oh, I’m sorry I didn’t do the crediting right >< fixed it now. You're welcome~

        • Thank you so much! I’ve just posted it up… 🙂

          • 😀
            By the way, Maven’s first name is Clarice, right? Just asking, because I honestly can’t remember lol ^^”

          • That’s right. 🙂

  • i miss Jeff long hair….j

  • Happy Easter and Jesus Zombie day! 

  • And suddenly… I don’t know what to do with my life anymore D:


  • Julian Rose

    I love this so much. I will do my best to hash out getting it with my partner (yeah, yeah, it’s not that much but we are both under/unemployed right now. First class work. Although I wish Maven was dead. I don’t like her much. 🙁 Anyhow, take care, and congratulations on the kickstarter thing.  

  • Bealtaine

    I always miss great things!literally a week too late 🙁 Heartbroken that I never got to camp ( I was going to bring bruschetta!). Absolutely amazing comic and if you’re still looking for people to do transcripts, I can translate into Irish 🙂 Please do an Artifice 2!

    • Thank you, Bealtaine! 

      Folks are now camping on Friday nights for The Young Protectors and I’m sure your bruschetta would be very welcome there! (I love bruschetta…)

      And if you’d like to translate Artifice into Irish, that’d be awesome. Just email me using the Email Alex link above and we’ll set that up.

      Take care!

  • Guest

    i would like to say that i would love to read a Artific 2. ive had fun reading this with my boyfriend. please do consider writting a second one if you have the time. 

  • hykaru

    I would like to say that I’m looking forward to an Artific 2. This comic is very steamy and i loved reading it. The combination of love and violence is the best combination in my opinion. My boyfriend and I both enjoyed it. Please do write a sequel when you have the time to. 

    • I’m really glad to hear you and your boyfriend enjoyed Artifice, hykaru! Thank you for letting me know! 😀


  • sbjenia

    “Does Maven die?
    Maven is too cool to die” (c).

    Hurrah! I`m worried about her very much, thank you for not killing her!)) But, truly, i`m curious now, WHY Deacon took a pity on her… Whether also it will be pressed in Maven’s memory, that she is only one, whom he left alive.

  • Vicki Agee

    I must admit I’d definitely like to see and Artifice 2. I loved this comic and am sad to see it end, but like you said in your comments I feel like this is a good ending spot with closure and whatnot. Beautiful art as well. I’m a big Deacon fan. Go smart AIs!

    • Thank you, Vicki! I’m really glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  • Vi-vi Gulick

    An amazing story here and even if I know they get out alive, I think it’s sad for it to end. That’s why I think Artifice 2 is a fantastic idea 😀 I’d like to see how an Human/AI relationship might progress and see what these two can get into in the future. Amazing story line, beautiful art work, I’d like to see more of it :3

  • This was stunning, and I love the clever placement of Artifice 2 in The Young Protectors. Seriously, made my entire day. But this series was stunning, so tahnk you for the wild, crazy, and utterly enjoyable ride!

    • You’re very welcome, Sam. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! (And I look forward to seeing you over at The Young Protectors!)

  • SolrSurfr3

    AWESOME!! I loved this so much, you have no idea! 😀 If you decide to do a sequel, I’ll be able to die happy. ^-^ 
    In the meantime… *goes to check out Young Protectors*

    • Thank you, SolrSurfr3! (And it was fun reading all your comments as you went through the story. Hehe. :D) 

  • This was awesome! Thank you for creating it and sharing it with the world! I would love to see how their relationships develop and shall be eagerly awaiting Artifice 2. In the mean time I am off to check out The Young Protectors.  This is probably the most enjoyment I’ve gotten out of clicking an interesting looking ad. Thanks!

  • Honestly seemed to have ended way too soon. Would love to see this in a kindle format.

    • Glad that you enjoyed it, Benjamin. 🙂 It probably won’t come out in a Kindle format (they’re filetype is currently very comic-unfriendly), but I’ll be keeping my eye on e-book formats to see what might be best for Artifice. 

  • *tears*
    I am so happy I clicked this random ad with your comic on it.
    If I had not I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it like I have for the past year.
    awesomely drawn pages, beautiful plot line story. AND you always had me at the edge of my couch/bed lol. I swear I will possibly not find anything to equal this story in depth and personality.
    No I’m off to try to find something else to fire up my fangirling for yaoi 😀

    • Howdy Trice! Very glad you found us and happy to hear you enjoyed Artifice! Thank you for all the kind words! 🙂

      I hope to see you over at The Young Protectors!

  • gk

    GREAT JOB!!!!

  • just discovered you from an ad on a website I love … and what else to say this comic is … outstanding I LOVE it, just before jeff said the codes, I was like my face on the screen … couldn’t wait to see it, and BTW best end ever ! It can let me dream 🙂
    I’ll check your other comics right away, godd luck 😀

    • Hehe. Thank you, Baptiste! I’m really glad you enjoyed Artifice and really appreciate you taking the time to let me know. 🙂

      Hope you enjoy my other comics!

  • narutowhife


  • Guest

    I loved Artifice and would be thrilled to see an Artifice 2! Thanks for making it and sharing it. 😀 

    • You’re very welcome, Dagnyy! Thank you very much for letting me know you enjoyed the comic!

  • Kallona

    Last night I found you through an ad and so far I’ve read the the story three times. I suppose I have to admit it’s really captivating. :>

    • Hehe. Well, I for one very much appreciate you “admitting” that here. 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!  (And 3 times? That’s awesome! You’ve got me grinning here!)

  • Anon Azure

    I read this in one go and I loved it so much! I’m so glad about the ending…

  • ahh so many emotions! this was well-crafted and wonderful and adorable and sdflkjlkj ;____; i got here through the ad on the teahouse comic website, and i’m so glad i did! you guys are a good job!! <3

    • Thank you, aricey! I’m glad you found us and I appreciate the very kind words! 😀

  • This is like my fifth time reading Artifice through. It’s too awesome for its own good! And I’m absolutely loving what I’ve seen of TYP so far. Especially Annihilator. Ya know you’re a very inspiring person (for me anyways) you’ve made me want to be a better writer, and for that I sincerely thank you. 🙂

    • Wow, thank you! Your fifth time? That’s makes me feel awesome. 😀 I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the comics!

      And it makes me feel even more awesome to hear that you’ve found my comics inspirational for your own work. I’m sending my best good-luck fellow writer vibes your way. 😀

  • BatSpork

    I sat and read this entire thing in the span of a hour or so, and I just -loved- it. It was intense, made me hold my breath, tear up, the works. I was slightly disappointed to find out that this was the very last chapter. However, if you ever get around to it, I would absolutely love to read an Artifice 2! <3 The artwork is amazing, and done very well. Keep up the good work, y'all c:

    • Thank you, BatSpork! I really appreciate you sharing the emotions Artifice made you feel—I always like hearing that. 🙂 

  • DONT STOP!!! No no no no no no no I messed up my sleep schedule for this. The plot and art, the character development, everything is amazingly breathtaking. That surprise twist when Jeff uttered the override code. OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS NOT A MOVIE? Or a video game. I would play that video game. XD Please continue this. I MUST know if they make it out alive.

    • Heh. Artifice messed up your sleep schedule, eh? That’s awesome. Thank you for the very, very kind words!

      (And thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, there will at least be one more post-Noneco scene. As for a movie or video game? I like the way you’re thinking… 😉 )

      I hope you’ll stick around for my future comics. 🙂

    • geek_and_nolife

      OH YES. I just came across your comment and oh fuck yes. A video game would be awesome. Let’s get Bioware on this project. 

  • keikocha

    i so totally found this through teahouse and i have to say

    this was AWESOME…. so much better than i thought i’d be… and i actually wanted it to continue

  • Oh, god…i’m a french reader, and my english vocabulary are…too limited for tell you how i feel when Deacon told he’ll kill Jeff !! It was just..horrible !! I criying a lot. But at end…it’s ok. All it’s ok. It’s good. Thank u <3

  • I just found this tonight and read the whole thing in one go and holy crap just adfasfsadfjk. <3

  • So glad I stumbled upon this comic, so wonderfully written AND with beautiful and expressive art!
    (Not to mention adorable) I love it!

  • Thanks for advertising this on Teahouse. It’s almost nothing like Teahouse and yet is really great. I enjoy the Chobits-esque concept of human/android love and I think this story explored it in an enjoyable and original way. The fact that it’s a gay story, unlike Chobits, probably also helps, haha. Also, I liked the reference you made to Black Butler in your comments after one of the last pages. I’m currently watching that anime at my sister’s request and am thoroughly enjoying it. 🙂  He certainly is one hell of a soldier, hehe. ^_^

  • I had doubts about this at first – the art style wasn’t really my thing, and I’m not that into sci-fi, but I absolutely adored this!  I would be MAJORLY excited to see a sequel, and I’ll be creeping on here all the time now to see if there will be one 😀
    Now off to see about this Young Protectors comic…

  • Amber Barnes

    This story is amazing!! I wasn’t too sure about the whole androidxhuman story line, but now I think im hooked. The idea that an android would be curious and would want to learn and experience sentimental things is exciting, to say the least 🙂 I certainly hope that a sequel comes out!!

  • I cried like 3 times. No kidding.
    I can’t express how much I loved reading this right now. yay and all in one sit!
    The writting is soooo awesome! seriously! It was like watching a really great movie! *oscar*

  • now Maven can be their archenemy! yeahhhh. Artifice was amazing. I just was so happy to have found it. you and Winona are amazing really. Thank you both. I really can’t express how amazing this is.

  •  and yes to respond to your comments I would like to see Artifice 2. 🙂 I think be amazing and I do hope one day you write a script for it and of course I hope Winona is available to draw it. 🙂 good luck!

  • Mary Short


    Author and Artist, you are two amaaaazing people and I enjoyed this comic SO MUCH! SOOOOO MUCHHHHHH!!!!!! AH!!!!!!! Spent the past two hours reading it and I couldn’t stop once, reading over the adorable, interesting facial expressions and subtleties in dialog and, and, there was all the CUTE AND SEXY in their little bedroom scenes and I just loved it so much. So. Much. sihfaubvcljesif. I wouldn’t care either way if there was a sequel, sometimes I like it when a story ends in an awesome way, and it just stays suspended in that awesome forever ^_^

  • Original, yaoi webcomics are now my thing, I believe. First, Teahouse; now, this.

    I think that, since all of my random link-clicking has been successful today, I probably won’t have as much luck later on finding terrific works like this again, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll try!

    After I read The Young Protectors. Of course.

    Edit (3 days later): Reread Artifice. Enjoyed it even more. That, and Teahouse isn’t exactly a “webcomic,” more like “webmanga.”

  • ithilloke

    Follow you? Lead on, mate. Lead on!

  • GinnyBeth

    As stated by Automation, random link clicking proved successful in finding a brilliant story. I just lucked out not having to wait for the conclusion.

    I think an Artifice 2 would be great, I would love to see the characters again, especially Maven. I love to hate her!

  • Pronombre

    I can’t get over it … Although the comic ended, when is Saturday or Wednesday , I feel the instinct to check for an updated. Oh gosh I really loved this comic so much.
     I hope one day Artifice 2 come to life ; n ;

  • I’d be VERY interested in a sequel, when you two have the time. Because I read half of this last night and stayed up way too late (I had an early shift today) and could NOT stop thinking about it all day at work, and finished it when I got home and now I want to see their epic romantic space adventures so, so much. 
    Can’t wait to be able to purchase a physical copy of Artifice!

  • Jen

    I feel like I missed something even though I read the whole comic and loved it… Were we ever told why the colonists on Davinci 4 had to die?  They knew something about Noneco and Jess didn’t? Or did he actually, since override codes don’t seem like something Deacon would be able to share with Jeff. AUGH. My head!  

    Anyhow, my questions are. Why were the colonists actually killed, why did Jeff have override codes? 

    Cheers and thanks for a great comic! 

  • PomixWing

     Okay, read this in 1 go, and I loved it! Personally, I like Jeff’s hair
    now than when he first appeared and I hope he keeps it (sorry all). 
    But, most of all; I DEMAND A SEQUEL!!!!!! As much as I loved two
    beautiful boys getting it on with each other, which I REALLY REALLY did,
    I think this story has potential to branch out into a much deeper
    story…….. with a lot of sexy times, of course X3

  • PomixWing

    Okay, read this in 1 go, and I loved it! Personally, I like Jeff’s hair now than when he first appeared and I hope he keeps it (sorry all).  But, most of all; I DEMAND A SEQUEL!!!!!! As much as I loved two beautiful boys getting it on with each other, which I REALLY REALLY did, I think this story has potential to branch out into a much deeper story…….. with a lot of sexy times, of course X3

  • Monica

    I miss them so much! I still sometimes want to read the next page and follow them on new adventures… *sob*

  • WriterJenLavoie

    Oh God, print copy… WANT! Also, Artifice 2, WANT! I would TOTALLY back that. I just found this tonight while I was procrastinating from doing work while I was reading Teahouse. Random click on the Ad brought me to read what you have up of Young Protectors and I decided to check this out… SO glad I did! I cried at the end thinking it was over, but then Deacon! And Jeff! SO BRILLIANT!

    I’m going to bed a very happy person now. 🙂

  • Michael Bowman

    I might have already said this on here, but I can’t remember. I guess my memory is going bad at twenty-one; just my luck, heh. Regardless, I would like to officially say that I love Artifice and I would most definitely love to see a second arch. Artifice 2 would be absolutely amazing, hands down, no questions asked.

    But no matter what happens, I just want you to know how much I love yours and Winona’s work. Everything you and Winona did here was fantastic and I’m loving Young Protectors. You’re a great inspiration to me and I just wanted to let you know how awesome you are~

  • Personally I just stumbled across this site through another site, and as a yaoi fan I could not resist clicking on the ad and checking it out, and boy I was sure glad I did. This comic is amazing and really good, I do wish it were longer though so I can continue to enjoy its epic awesome beastly-ness

  • i really love it!!
    i cant believe that i read the whole comic this day!!!
    Sorry my english is bad XD!!!!

    En verdad lo necesito >3.< ♥

  • Kerowyn

    I finished Artifice in one day. I looked at it a month or so ago and thought no..sci-fi love isn’t my thing. but I came back to it out of curiosity and man am I happy I did! it’s an amazing story and deacon, Jeff, and Maven are amazing characters.

    I was near tears at the test scene ^.^
    I would love an Artifice 2 but if you guys can’t arrange it I understand.
    I do have my imagination after all 🙂

  • iamjustherek

    I just found this comic today and finished it today and I absolutely loved it! Jeff and Deacon are so cute together and I’d absolutely love an Artifice 2!!! Great job!

  • Annie Jalota

    My comment is going to sound the same as the person below, but… I found this comic today, and I found it to be refreshing! I absolutely enjoyed the themes explored in this. I am pleased by this ending – different, but conclusive! Kind of a cliffhanger, but once you explained it, it makes sense!

    Looking forward to an Artifice 2, and for more *ahem* action in the Young Protectors…. 😉

  • knknkn

    Hi Alex,
    Thanks for great comics! How can I participate funding the Artifice project? I really want the pdf too and it looks like the kickstarter project is closed.

  • NamiSwan

    I loved this so so much <3 The ending was perfect ^^ of course I'd love more, but who wouldn't 😉 I am keeping an eye on The Young Protectors, I am liking it so far :3 Can't wait for more! And I can't wait to buy Artifice when it goes on sale!

  • azurefiction

    @alexwoolfson:disqus : I don’t know if you watch the show Bones, but in the first episode of season two there is an actor that I swear is the splitting image of Deacon! I’ll get a screen shot of him to show you, but for now this is his IMDB page: 

  • Sarah Trotter

    Wow, I have just finished reading this comic in one sitting and you have succeeded in gluing my butt to the chair until I read it from beginning to end!

    I am amazed at the depth this story has to offer, the issues and subject matter that it tackles not only addressing the difficulties of homosexuality and society as a broad topic, but also introducing a whole new element of technosexuality from Jeff’s side of things! Jeff not only has to cope with the knock the purist society gives him for being gay, but on an inner level he has to figure out what exactly is he and Deacon getting out of this pairing at the end of it all. Is there potential for a true relationship and feelings to flower, or is Jeff essentially just knocking boots with a very sophisticated sex toy?
    I applaud the use of chromosome defined genetics being used as a reason behind Jeff’s homosexuality in this universe! This is an age old debate that in my opinion leads to pointless arguing as to why at the end of the day how are people gay! By including genetics into the plot, you have efficiently and tactfully eliminated the possible fan-base war of “Is it a choice, or are people just born that way?” as well as setting a strong, firm, real world foundation that being homosexual is not unnatural and should be nurtured like any other positive trait that surfaces while an individual is growing up and entering puberty.
    It is endearing to watch Deacon’s struggle with the full capacity human emotions has to offer him being a synthetic being. It is not made entirely clear how exactly Deacon is given the capability to feel emotion, but then again that is nit-picking on my part… it’s a sci-fi… and the fiction of this universe dictates that he can! Without his capability to feel there would essentially be no story. There are a great many elements still left to be explored here about the inner dynamics of a human/synthetic relationship.
    As your post says, I will not ask you if and/or when “Artifice 2” may be published or even if there is a sequel being planned into the works. But I am telling you as a fan, I would LOVE to see one. It truly is a one of a kind story that I would love to see developed further. You have many avenues and a wealth of topics and directions at your disposal for a very meaningful continuation.
    To sum up, this webcomic is a dessert! A tall elaborately layered sci-fi trifle with a generous helping of techno-jam that just gets more intricate, sweet and juicy the further in you go, DELICIOUS!


  • Silentwisher

    2 2 2 2 2

  • Marisa Geoghagan

    The idea was very intriguing. Human-android love stories have been done before, and the story doesn’t surprise much in that aspect. But then you also throw in the curveball of falling in love with someone you know is going to kill you. Deacon has to carry out his orders. Even now I’m left wondering – how did he manage to do what he did? Is love really that strong? Is it possible that he just could not kill his heart?

    I honestly thought he was going to go through with it. That would’ve been just as fine of an ending. I also didn’t think that they would make it out alive. Yes, Deacon is strong, but Jeff is only human, and Deacon can not protect him from everything. Is love stronger when it overcomes or when it fails? What would have happened to him then? That is another story, one that I would be just as interested in reading. It is not easy for humans to kill their hearts. I can only imagine what it would be like for one who built his heart piece by piece only to find that he must crush it with his own hands. But perhaps I’m just more pessimistic (realistic?) than the common reader. Sometimes, tragedy makes a better story.

    What you wrote was very thought-provoking. It’s sweet, bittersweet, and wrenching. I commend you for that, and I would love to see you explore this concept more. I believe that it still has room to be written on: you have not exhausted this idea yet.

    As for the ending, I thought it was wonderfully placed. It leaves the reader to come up with whatever ending they wish for in the story, so even pessimistic sops like me can staple on a tragic death scene for everyone in the end. It sounds wonderfully dreadful.

    This comment has become much longer than it should, so I’ll end it with this: I eagerly look forward to Artifice 2.

  • I love the psych in this. Deacon’s twisting orders was very entertaining.

    Please make a #2!!!

  • Definitely hope you make a #2! The art was amazing and the story and idea behind this was absolutely incredible. I’m passing it along to anyone who will listen because it’s that good, and I literally just finished reading it and am tempted to go back and start over from page one. Loved it!

  • Natalie Bannister

    Would love to see a sequel!  Really enjoyed reading this one.

  • SheDemon

    This is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t take my eyes off of the guard with the broken neck!!!!!!!

  • McKenna

    YES! Please make Artifice 2, that’d be so amazing!!

  • amanda damron

    love! LoVe!! LOVE!!!!!!!!

  • Kenne Stu

    Ah! I am so upset it took me so long to finally finish this but UGH!!!!! It was so AWESOME!!! I love the feeling we are left with whit Jeff and Deacon whoopin some ass and takin some names! So incredible!! asdfghjkygtfdsxcvbnhj!1!!!1!! So much love for this comic!! I can’t wait to read more from you and everyone involved in the awesomeness that is Artifice!! 😀

  • Julie Rothey

    I loved Artiface and am hoping hoping hoping for a sequel! Thanks!

  • rnanimo

    I adore your comic so much! Thank for bunch of great emotions 😀 The plot and graphics hooked me from the beginning. And main characters are stunning.

  • I really enjoyed Artifice and I would love to read a sequel. I am also really enjoying The Young Protectors (thanks to Adam Dekraker for turning me on to these.)

  • DarkFeanix21

    Even if it wasn’t exactly a “happy” ending in the strictest sense of the word, it was definitely an epic ending and the boys are together, so that’s really all that matters. Oh, and Dr. Maven is alive. That matters as well. At least to me.

    That being said, I’ve really enjoyed this comic, from start to finish, so I’m kind of disappointed that it’s over now. I’ll definitely be checking out the Young Protectors (in, like, ten minutes or so), and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a sequel to Artifice at some point in the future.

  • THE END? Ah damn. Still, I loved this. Definitely would be awesome if there were an Artifice 2, but this was way good. 

  • Lumi Li

    Great story!  This definitely stands out from the crowd, a real gem.  I’m happy to see a well written and thought out plot, that isn’t just pointless smut, but a story where you can actually feel for the characters

  • Well my plans to fill my time between now and Wednesday catching up on other things has failed, since this is over now.

    Very good story, I liked it a lot. XD

  • midnightkp15

    Would I lke to see Artifice 2? Hells yeah! Artifice was a fantastic, amazing story and I would be ecstatic to read Artifice 2… if you ever make it, I’ll be first in line to read/buy 😀

  • Marvin_Arnold

    This could SO be made into an indie movie! Find a talented team, two young lead actors and a suitable Nemesis, with very little CGI needed, and off you go!

  • Jack abug

    Please add me to the long and still-growing list of Artifice fans who would LOVE to see (and buy!) Artifice 2.

  • Josie Eldred

    This was so good, loved it 🙂

  • Bianca Simone

    I would <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 to see Artifice 2!!!!! 🙂

  • Ah, please Artifice 2!! >(●w●)<.

  • I enjoyed it. Thanks Alex, Winona.

  • Lukas Xavier

    OK, questions:
    Did Deacon give Jeff the code ahead of time, as a fail-safe, expecting the rescue team to be uncooperative? Does that mean that all APs know their own codes? Are there individual codes for each or do all units of the same model share codes? Could one AP shut down another, using these codes? Wouldn’t that be a disaster waiting to happen, since one malfunction could potentially wipe out an entire squad?

    Alternatively, did Jeff somehow get the code and use it to prevent Deacon from killing him? What does this imply regarding whether Deacon’s feelings are genuine? Could feelings and memories be implanted using these command codes? Is this the reason why Deacon is a special case?

    Finally, am I totally overthinking this?

  • L G

    Definitely would b interested should there be an Artifice 2.

  • I really enjoyed this story and it’s characters.  I would absolutely love to see an Artifice 2. 

  • I would love to see an Artifice 2 🙂

  • Beth Lebar

    I just discovered your beautiful comics, and I’ll add my voice to all the others: yes, I would *love* to see an Artifice 2!

  • TravelerOfWebcomics

    I miss the hair… also Artifice 2 would be niceeeeeeee

  • Chi Shadowmagic

    Loved it!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  • Joy P

    This. Comic. Is. Amazing!!!
    I love Deacon and Jeff, I feel their emotions when I’ve readed the comic

  • Ree

    What a great ending shot! And your insight on it is wonderful to read. Also – how do I get in on this kickstarter business? I want that PDF! 🙂

  • Just wanted to drop by and mention how amazing this comic is.  I can’t wait for Artifice 2 and hope that you can find the time and funding to do it in the future.  I’m also loving The Young Protectors right now.  Keep up the fantastic work!

  • streetwalkersan

    Pre-ordered mah copy a while ago. Judging by the preview, it’s gonna be so awesome! I’m so excited… *o*

    And please, please, please do Artifice 2!

  • I am SO glad this story is available through Amazon. I was worried like nobody’s business when I saw the Kickstarter had ended before I’d found this comic. Now I can rest easy and order the hell outta this gem. I would absolutely support an Artifice 2, especially if it signals a reunion of you and Winona. Gotta keep the dream team alive, right? Anyway, while I never want my fav stories to end I can definitely respect the vision you had for Artifice and if nothing new comes of it I will still be overjoyed I found and (soon) have it on my shelf. On to The Young Protectors. <3 See you later, little monsters.

  • August_Sun

    I read the entire thing in one sitting.  It’s a damned good story, although, the therapist’s outbursts were hilarious.  I mean, the way she flew off the handle after calmly discussing something with him?  I guess therapists are trained differently in that universe!

  • I started reading this story when it first came out, and remembered stopping somewhere around page 15 because there was no more. After a LOT of computer mishaps, I just got back to this yesterday and finished all of it!!! Imagine my surprise when I realized that there might be a second one! Please please PLEASE create it! If I could come back to this comic after 2+ years, imagine all the people who would rush to the 2nd one! 😀

  • Jan Rahl

    I was looking for some cases in Administrative Law for our big test tomorrow and I couldn’t exactly determine how I ended up here and finishing the whole story… It’s your fault I spent time enjoying this instead of preparing for a huge exam… But THANK YOU SO MUCH for this!!! AWESOME STUFF and I really love it!!! This, and the “Tough” series, as well (maybe that’s how I got here).

  • Josh Castro

    Pre-0rdering this on Amazon this week! 🙂 Deacon and Jeff are SO damn cute together..

  • Stahli

    Please Update! Please Update! Please Update! Please Update! Please Update! Please Update! Please Update! Please- ok I think you get the idea.

    …..Please update.

    Ok sorry this was before I read the author’s note…I’m impulsive like that sometimes. Ignore this comment.

  • Cassidy

    I still just love this so much.

  • Loved it.

  • Just came from your signing at Bookesh Beasts, in San Francisco!! (i was the gay boy in the burgundy deep V neck and vest).it was SO AMAZING seeing you! and getting you to sign a book for me and my friend!! Thank you!!

    Alex, you totally made my year so far! keep up the great work with The Young Protectors!!

    • Awesome to see you too, Josh, and it was absolutely my pleasure to sign those books for you and your friend. A highlight of my day as well. You’re very welcome!

      I’ll be at GaymerX in San Francisco this August. Hope you two are able to stop by again. 🙂

      Take care!

  • sarahdaffin_18

    Finished this in one go. Kind of sad it left off there, but at the same time, I’m not disappointed in the slightest 🙂 Very well done, I loved it.

  • Just Read the whole thing in one go. Freaking awesome! I wants more!

    • Garry Leonberger

      I just read it again in one go! It’s a terrific story. Very well done; excellent art, compelling characters, interesting world (that I’d love to learn more about) and fascinating storyline!

  • Muhammad Idrous Ishaaq

    I wonder how they would deal with the issue of ageing

  • Chris Moorhead

    On my way to Amazon to buy this. I want to support your art and hope you create more THANK YOU!

  • Cat Astrophe

    This story is great! Very well written, of course 😉 As a writer myself, and as a reader as, I’d LOVE to know more about this world. A part 2 is definitely something I’m dying to read. There’s so much character development left and so many things I’d like to know about Jeff’s past… I feel like it would almost be an injustice to just leave it at this! I humbly beg you to start another script :3

  • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

    I decided it was time to revisit this story, reading it all in one go, instead of a page or two every week, and the entire flow changes – those moments of contemplation over what’s really going on really don’t have time or space for consideration until after the story is finished because the flow of the story makes you want to keep reading. The scenes with Doctor Maven help to slow down the story again, helping to get that runaway train back under control.

    It’s also easier to appreciate the passage of time through the window of Maven’s office. While I remember noticing the motion of a helicopter in the first release, and starting to look for changes in the scene through the window, reading the story all in one go makes those changes easier to notice.

    I also thought it interesting that Maven chose a blue suit for the final scenes. Her choice of color appears to be a very conscious one – the pink suit may encourage patients to view her as a caring figure (heteronormative idea – pink equals feminine, equals caring), while the blue suit is one that illustrates an emotional coldness and creates a subtly intimidating persona (heteronormative idea – blue equals masculine, equals emotional coolness). I don’t know whether this was intentional, or accidental, but either way, it’s an intriguing element!

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    I’ve been wracking my brain and wracking my brain to remember what 80’s child/teen actor it was Jeff reminds me of. First I was thinking “He’s like an amalgam of the Brat Pack….” but now I’m thinking Nathan Fillion pre-One Life To Live.

    Take a look!

    What? I have to amuse myself some way while awaiting the next installment of YP.

  • person

    I was on other webcomics, and kept hearing about this ‘Artifice’ comic. So I decided to check it out. MIND BLOWN. The only problem I can find is that it’s too short! This is a story I could read forever. I definitely want to see an Artifice 2.

  • person

    I was wondering: What planet are they on right now?
    Is it Earth? Yes? No? Maybe so?

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    I found this and had to share.

    Look familiar?

  • TravelBear

    Just stumbled onto Artifice and The Young Protectors. I really enjoyed both! I for one would love to see more Artifice too!

  • Ali CemeteryHall

    NOOOO!!!!!! You can’t leave it at this!!! Make more!!!

  • Stranger

    …….Eeh, letting her live is a crueler fate sooo… I’ll accept it. This is a nice little story. I enjoyed myself. Now if you’ll excuse, I have to go to sleep. I’ve been reading both of your stories nonstop.

  • I, for one, am very pleased with this ending. It leaves a lot of room for imagination and speculation and I love it. But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t complain about an Artifice 2 at all. That would just be spectacular and I honestly can’t get enough of Deacon and Jeff, the whole dynamic of their relationship is very interesting and incredibly sweet. And throughout the entire comic, I loved seeing Deacon’s transformation from machine to very much human. Mr. Woolfson, I love your work and I’m glad I stumbled upon Young Protectors because I found this work of art, so thank you!

  • tori

    I really want artifice 2!!! please make it!!!!! D:

  • Would love to see a sequel, perhaps with some flashbacks showing what Jeff went through while they were separated? I must admit I saw the ending coming as soon as Deacon offered to kill Jeff, but it didn’t make me enjoy it any less. Awesome story, awesome illustrations. Will definitely be checking out The Young Protectors and Cassiopeia. Thanks to all involved in creating or supporting Artifice.

  • Amy

    Yaaay! I loved this story! Thanks for making it. 😀

  • Kyletin

    I also really like Maven, but I don’t necessarily agree with the second sentence. I like how Deacon and Jeff sort of evolve through each other- something that wouldn’t have happened quite the same, if they hadn’t gone through the ordeal together.


  • Kyletin

    Maybe I’m being a little off, but I thought of Jesse Williams for Deacon! 😀

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    And then they escape and I don’t know what to do… I know it’s time for work but I’m STILL stuck here, unable to move. I hope I didn’t get too involved and that there will be a sequel or something. 🙁 I am grieving the sad, sad absence of the “Next” button. D:

    • SofiaT

      I feel your pain. *pats back*

      No sequel (yet!) I’m afraid, but since you liked Artifice, I suggest you take a look at Alex’s other comic, The Young Protectors (if you haven’t discovered and devoured it already).

      I suggest you go to work before you start it though, or you’ll have to call in sick 😉

      • Noriam Gutierrez

        Hehe, that’s why I’m here. I’m actually kind of caught up on Young Protectors so I am beginning to feel some type of way. xD

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    <3 Just reread this for the third time. It gets better every time.

    • Derkins

      Re-reading it for the… I don’t even know at this point. And I totally agree. I’ll never get enough of it.

  • Daniel Notsoinnocent Lane

    I have no words to describe my feelings right now… n.n

  • TruthStings


  • Patrick Parker

    I would like to see a Artifice 2 i really enjoy this and it would be interesting to see were their relationship goes.

  • Keneu

    omg, it’s already over? I would love to read a second part! The ending felt a bit abrupt, but overall I enjoyed reading this story a lot. And Maven can go to hell for all I care. ♥

  • Emily D.

    OMG! I loved it. so wonderful! i would love for there to be a sequel.

  • sstogner1

    That was an excellent story 🙂 will spread the word about it.

  • Zephyr10101

    so theyre just gonna leave her alive? :/

    • Derkins

      I don’t think she survives that. her throat is crushed, she’s suffocating. They’re leaving her to the painful slow death she deserves 😀

  • Ugh, I have a bad feeling about them leaving her alive @.@ eeeee….

  • This woman reminds me of the epic evile of Madame Secretary from Xenospora

  • WHAT?? I’m all caught up already? NOOOOooooo
    Le sigh. I guess I must wait now…epic frowny face

  • Oh wait…it’s OVER? Wahhh!
    OK heading over to read The Young Protectors…scurry aways!

  • Tim

    Well that was enjoyable :). I started off with the YP comic so i’m already caught up there but i’m really glad I didn’t overlook this one. I definitely love an artifice 2 if the opportunity shows itself. Until then, you’ve got yourself a hooked reader.

  • simonella

    i’d love to have a sequel / part 2!! 😀 <3

  • Quill

    I would LOVE to have an Artifice 2! It would make my YEAR. I loved this book. I’d also love that happy ending denouement you mentioned, as well, if that is ever possible to have. :p

    You have no idea how giddy I am, fangirling in the early hours of the morning and annoying the various unfortunate members of my family (including sleepy pets…srsly, the dogs are glaring at me).

    I’m 29, I shouldn’t be this giddy about anything. Do you see what you have done? You must take responsibility and when the opportunity presents itself an Artifice 2 is necessary for my mental health and sanity. And that of my family (including the furbabies…you don’t want to be responsible for the ill mental health of furbabies, do you?).

    I haven’t slept…I’m sorry. I’m going to bed now. Thank goodness it’s Sunday. :p

  • angieivy

    I love love love love love ARTIFICE and would be SO happy to see a sequel / ARTIFICE 2 <3

  • Shawna R. Nixon

    I would love to see an Artifice 2. I am also enjoying The Young Protectors, however.

  • Kabbalist

    Well, that was a fun ride! Thanks for sharing Artifice with us, Alex; it was a real pleasure to read it. The action and story were engrossing, and I came to care about the characters before it was over, even though it’s a bit of “short” story for a completed comic. I’d say that means you handled the pacing well and managed to strike a good balance between action, romance, and exposition/development. Winona’s art has been fantastic throughout, consistently detailed and expressive.

    Deacon and Jeff made for fine protagonists, while Dr. Maven served as a very effective antagonist. That’s not a bad trick, given that she posed no physical threat to Deacon. She made more ethical breaches (by modern professional standards) than one can shake a stick at and also evoked as much of an emotional response as Deacon and Jeff did. I hoped until fairly close to the end that she’d prove more sympathetic than she appeared, but by the time things came to a head I was absolutely thrilled to see her outmaneuvered and silenced. Incidentally, her use of verbal command codes really emphasized the power of her voice and words…already two of her most dangerous weapons!

    Excellent job, and I look forward to enjoying The Young Protectors at least as much as I did Artifice.

  • Rosiebud

    Artifice 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sam

    I would LOVE to see an Artifice 2! I’m usually a novel reader, and the few webcomics I follow have long story arcs so I was very surprised and a little disappointed that it ended so soon. I’m so glad you explained yourself, and I agree it is a good place to end – it’s just not at all what I’m used to. I really really enjoy the issues dealt with here! Thank you so much for creating this wonderful, intellectually stimulating, inspiring work of art.

  • Sarah Lebowicz

    Artifice 2! I would like to see how their relationship progresses.

  • Enrique

    I absolutely want Artifice 2. It’s 2015 now, so this story still has its appeal.

    • Derkins

      *a year later this point still stands* Absolutely, yes.

      • Biippa

        2017, it still stands

  • Justin White


  • Rolan7

    I felt like I was reading an original Asimov story. Absolutely amazing, thank you so much for sharing this.

    • Strikelord

      I totally agree. It was, in many ways, a pastiche of the classic Asimov Robot stories, particularly those involving protagonist Susan Calvin, Robopsychologist, with this doctor being Susan’s “evil twin”. It also parallels themes in some of the later R. Daneel Olivaw/Elijah Baley novels. I bet the corporation is wishing they’d built AT LEAST the First Law into Deacon and his siblings. I think the Master would have approved of this story. If you’re going to borrow concepts, borrow from the best, as Alex seems to have. Well done!

  • Well, what a journey… If an “Artifice 2” were to be, I would definitely read it ! But if there’s not, then it’s also fine with me. Happy Endings are great.

  • WOW! I’m so glad I finally found the time to read Artifice! This was a splendid read and I love the way it ended. Great job, Mr. Woolfson!

  • GalaxySheep

    Juste un mot : superbe ! Merci de nous avoir fait partagé ce webcomic ! Une histoire avec du suspens et de beaux graphismes ! bravo 🙂
    Et une belle fin, en plus ^^)/

  • Fox

    This was amazing and I would love to see an Artifice 2

  • Strikelord

    I’m on the fence with the movie idea. I’d probably pay to see a feature treatment, but I’m afraid that it would draw comparisons to “Ex Machina” of the “me too” variety.

  • JP

    Good story. Just one complain: Maven has been established as very intelligent and the executives of Noneco (is that the name of the company?) as very cautious, so they been unable, regardless of Deacon’s intelligence, to have foreseen Deacon and Jeff’s plan is a little unbelievable. Anyway, cheers.

  • Camila

    I would LOVE Artifice 2 (and by Love i mean ‘I would scream and make sure the page would always be open so that i cant miss any page’) (honestly ive read everything i could find thats yours and as a non-straight sci-fi nerd i would love to see more gay characters in sci-fi so thank you for writing these!!!)

  • ME!

    It. . . it– Its over? But this is one of the best webcomics I’ve ever read (which, believe you me, is saying something). The art is drool-worthy, the writing intriguing.
    Curious as to how he got the codes though. Is that something Deacon knows and can tell him?

    Absolutely love the “inhuman” thing from the beginning too. That was brilliant.

    I’ve decided Deacon is a good soldier. Its just he’s decided to fight for himself now, is all.

    My unceasing compliments.
    (PS, as if I need to say it, I would read the HELL out of an Artifice 2 [and 3, just sayin’])

  • Tayl

    This may seriously be one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Why did it take me so long to read it?!
    But, omg, I’m not even joking, this is all around perfection.

    • I’m very glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know. 🙂

  • LevixEren

    I just found it accidentally while I was reading another webcomic. Great story. Great characters. And very eye catching drawing. And Deacon is seriously the sweetest A.P ever, and that master code Jeff has, was very surprising. I wish you have more time ro write Artifice 2. I want to see them more together. Overall, great webcomic and very Well written!!!! Now going to read Young Protector ♡

  • I very much enjoyed this comic! 😀

  • amusingmurff

    I actually “worked backwards” and came here from YP, so while I was a little sad this wasnt a multi-chapter, too, I loved it, from the whole cat-and-mouse feel of the framing therapy sessions to the implicit references to a wider world and Evil Empire (perhaps D and J will find La Résistance in the theoretical future of Artifice 2) to Deacon and Jeff’s adorable growing romance. I wish we could have seen a bit more of how the boys fell in love (came for the romance, stayed for the mental chessmatch), but the moments included were sweet and sexy and funny. This ending is amazing. Normally I really like the happy denouement moment, but them running out the door to kick ass and take names, TOGETHER, really is just so satisfying.

    • Thank you for the great reaction, amusingmurff! It put a big smile on my face. 🙂

      • Derkins

        Sometimes I find myself wistfully thinking of how much I’d love to read a follow-up story about these two characters, who I love so much, about what happens to them after they escape.
        Even just a short, like you did with TYP’s truth or dare segue …
        I Mean. I know this project was a long time ago for you. But. Still. A girl can dream! 😀

        • Derkins

          lol I guess that’s what fanfic is for. Is there artifice fanfic out there somewhere? :p

  • Name

    This is by far one of the greatest things I’ve read! The story was clever, enticing, and it was set up magnificently! A breath of fresh air compared to most of the gay fiction out there. And the characters were so lovable despite the short time we had to get attatched to them! Thank you so much for writing this, you made my evening!

    • You’re very welcome, Name! Thank you for taking the time to share such a wonderful reaction! 😀

      • Name

        You’re very welcome! It’s so cool how you try to reply to everyone who comments. ^^

  • akira

    I come back to this story at least twice a year, always puts a smile on my face. Thank you so much!!!!!

    • Derkins

      Same! The re-read value is strong with this comic. Can’t count the number of times I’ve read it, on two hands. Every time I want need a smart-adorable-sexy-baddass pick-me-up, Artifice is always there. Alex’s writing is just so wonderful (I’m jealous of his skill), and the artwork is just so perfect for bring this brilliant story to life. It’s a rare gem, especially on the web.
      I notice more every time I go through it. This time I saw a lot in how Deacon stole away glances or worded answers, when talking to the doctor, that I hadn’t thought about much before. So much subtlety!

      • Thank you so much, y’all. You now both put a big smile on my face with your kind words! 🙂

    • Name

      I read it too recently but I’ve been skulking around and keeping this page open so that I can reread it as soon as I can! lol

  • elisuccia

    God I love this one! I just absolutely love this!!!

  • Omry Grinberg

    While a *very* good story.. Something doesn’t make sense.. That government had basically declared Deacon a person.. Sure a Z class person, but aultomatly, a person. How come a lamen prison guard was more capable of empathising(? One of many)

  • Omry Grinberg

    Sorry, malfunction.. How come the guard was more capable of recognizing him as a person (A person he hates, but a person regardless).. While the doctor who is supposed to do that was little more than a visitor to sight-show.. Yes, it was needed for the story, I’m not saying this is a bad, completely unbalivable story, quite the contrary.. it *is* a bit forced.

    And Yes, I really like it.. I’m just a knitpicker..

    • That’s a good question, Omry. 🙂

      Of course, it could be “forced” writing, but can you think of any motivations Maven might have for feeling that way? (Or at least, acting that way?) How would that have been in her interest?

      Very glad you liked the story!

      • Biippa

        I feel like, as part of both Maven’s job, and her present goal of “interviewing” Deacon, she acts as if he is not a human because the honestly does not see him as one. She sees him as what he is – an artificial human – which, to me, seems to make her see him as someone who is below her in every social, political, and moral way possible. I know plenty of people who treat their pets as such, along with their internet “friends,” and their arguments are always “why should I treat them like actual people? To me, they’re not, and that’s that.” Perhaps Maven is the same. But who really knows? We’re not Maven.

        Also, sorry for once again babbling on here. I’ll go now.

  • Rapiret

    This ending pains me so bad. I thought this would be multiple chapters, but I got here and I kept wondering why the same page kept popping up. That story was wonderful, and all too brief. I would love a sequel to this

  • MoniCuervo

    Gimme a sequel please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need it!

  • Ricardo Grr Argh

    I must shamefully confess I’ve had this webcomic on the back burner for two years. Well webcomics in general. I’ve recently been starving for LGBTQ and M/M romance story lines. I had no idea the level of craftsmanship and depth I would find. I’m utterly mind blown! I started with YP and now finished Artifice. It took me two days and only due to the fact that I was savoring them like fine wine. I didn’t want them to end. Thank you for establishing a new found respect for webcomics in me. Along with two other series’s I stumbled upon, you’ve gained another devoted fan! I would definitely like to see more of Artifice, YP and anything/everything you have to offer!

    • Welcome to the world of webcomics, Ricardo!

      To be honest, I was a webcomics skeptic myself, but as an independent creator, I can now see the many benefits. (For example, I wouldn’t be able to make my living as a LGBT story-teller if it weren’t for the power of webcomics to build an audience. Which means The Young Protectors wouldn’t even exist.)

      Very to hear you’ve enjoyed our work here. The Young Protectors is still ongoing and updates every Wednesday and Saturday. And one of the best features of webcomics are the communities that form around them. We have an especially lovely, welcoming commenting community that “camps” in the Comments Section of the most recent page starting the night before. Next camp starts this Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. PST—if you get a chance, you might want to say “hi”! 🙂

  • Biippa

    I honestly don’t remember ever commenting on your works before, but I gotta say something.

    This story. Right here. I’ve read it so many times, it’s been saved to my phone, my ipod, my computer, anything I have that can load this site, I have it saved to favorites. I actually love the way you ended it. I cannot count how many times I have mentally played out how this could possibly continue in my head, I almost wrote my favorite one down as a fanfiction, but I lack the patience to ever finish those, which is sad cuz I have started so many.

    This also goes along with my adoration of Young Protectors, which, by the way, that Spooky/Kyle kiss? Ugh. I squealed. And when Kyle said he and Spooky agreed to get together after things calmed down a bit? I actually fist pumped so hard that I elbowed my headboard. The pain was worth it though. Anyway, I’m getting off topic here. The way you write your characters is so amazing. And I don’t comment on these things often, considering I hate the jitters and heart flutters I get from the anxiety that comes from talking to people I admire – admiration that stems from my love of how you write, and the art, the backgrounds, the atmosphere created, the whole experience when everything is combined, all of you are amazing artists in your own ways and these comics are superb.

    I think I’ve digressed into a blubbering ball of sporadic flailing and seemed to have spiralled away from what I intended to say originally, I apologize, and so I’m going to end this by saying that I adore your works, and should you ever decide to follow through with a sequel to Artifice, if I can afford to do so, I will try my best to back you as much as possible, because it would be well worth every cent. I have been wondering, is there a way to donate that isn’t patreon? I cannot get that site to work on my phone, and the computer is currently under strict “for work only” usage rules as far as accounts go. Don’t even get me started on the ipod, that thing is so old and I honestly hate apple, I just use it for music, reading when my phone is charging, and otome games. DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE BL OTOME GAMES THOUGH?! THAT’S AMAZING. *cough* Again, I’m rambling, so sorry.

    ANYWHO, I shall cease bugging you with my inane babble. Have a wonderful day and I can’t wait to see what else you make in the years to come.

    • Biippa

      PS, I actually found this a few years ago while staying at a friend’s house and googling “BL webcomics” on her laptop. Artifice was the first result and I clicked it, and have loved it since. You and your team deserve all the hearts. This was an amazing way to enter into the world of webcomics.

    • Thank you so much, Biippa! Thank you so much for stepping over those heart flutters and jitters to leave your comment, it made my whole day. 🙂

      It was so much fun to read your words, and especially hearing about the things you liked. (That Spooky/Kyle kiss was fun for me too. 😉 ) I’m glad to hear that Artifice and The Young Protectors have meant so much to you. I definitely hope you’ll consider reaching out again in the future—we have a wonderful commenting community on this site, and I know they’d be very welcoming. And I’d love to hear from you again.

      To answer your question about supporting the work, I think the best non-Patreon way would be through my store: Purchasing hard copies of the books and other merch totally helps me out. And, of course, you’d get cool stuff in return. 😉

      But Patreon definitely helps me a lot, and if you’d like to be able to take advantage of the Patreon rewards, I’m sure there must be a way to support using your smart phone. The folks on Patreon are very committed to mobile. If you get a minute, you can shoot them an email here:

      and I’m sure they’ll be able to help you out and get things working for you.

      Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to give such a fun and detailed reaction. Very cool to hear about how you found us, and I think it’s you who deserve all the hearts.

      Stay in touch,


      – Alex

      • Biippa

        I… Was honestly not expecting a response, wow. Just wow. Wowza. Thanks! I’m conflicted. Do I feel ecstatic? Yes. Do I feel incredibly anxious and slightly terrified? Immensely so.

        Socialization does this to me. A lot of it makes me nauseous, which is why I mainly keep to myself and my small group of friends haha.

        As far as supporting you, Patreon did fix the issue, which made me happy, so as soon as I get a stable income again (I really hate trying to find a job in this economy, it’s so difficult, ugh) I will totally become a member so I can help you out.

        I look forward to more Spooky/Kyle moments in the future, but since I can’t find more than two fanfics about them (and they’re more friendship than relationship) I shall attempt to write down some of my imaginings and see if I can make a half decent ficlet out of them. Since I have more free time. Cuz I’m jobless now. Ugh everytime I say that, my pride cringes.

        • Biippa

          ^^ Also why I tend to avoid socialization. I ramble. Really badly. Sorry for that.

        • Thank you for letting me know that Patreon was able to fix things. I thought there might be a way to make it work. It’s useful to hear that in case anyone else asks. 🙂

          And I’m glad you like Spooky/Kyle enough to want there to be more fanfic of them (and even contribute some!) I talk a bit about my fanworks policy in my FAQ:

          (But the short answer is that, of course, I find it very flattering that people would care enough about our characters to do that.)

          Thank you again for your very kind words. I hope you’ll continue to be part of our little community here! 🙂

          • Biippa

            Pffft, the chances of me actually posting any of my fanfics on any media is in the negatives, but if I manage to make any I genuinely think are decent and worth sharing, I’ll let you know. But again. Very deep down in the negatives. I mainly scribble ideas down as they form in my head and then they just sit there on paper for all eternity.

            I’ll try, maybe. If I get over my social issues haha.

  • Marshall Alexander

    watch them get their asses kicked as soon as the door falls down and thats why this was the end. didnt want them to be embarrassed on how they got taken down so quickly xD good story tho. really enjoyed it

  • Sarah Salpietra

    I wish there was a sequel! But I know you can’t force a good story like this. Good luck and happy writing! Oh and please update Tough Chapter 3! It is driving a lot of people insane! Thank you!

  • BlackMethos

    First of all let me start with saying that I’ve read the Young Protectors first before stumbling over this gem of a comic. Yes, a gem.
    And as a bit of perspective: I’m a straigh guy, so when I say I really enjoyed this comic (and I do enjoy the Protectors), I really mean it.
    Beautiful artwork (kudos to Winonaand Adam respectively, not to mention the colurists), very interesting characters and well written stories.
    And I also do enjoy the romantic parts “despite” them being around gay people simply because it’s written so well.

    So what I essentially want to say: You guys rock, your comics rock and I just love reading them 🙂


    Edit: And yes, I’d definitely read Artifice 2 when/if it should come out 😉

    • Thank you so much, BlackMethos!

      We actually have a good contingent of straight guys who enjoy my comics here, and I love hearing from y’all! I totally get enjoying the romantic parts, even if it’s not your personal flavor. (Just for the record, my favorite romantic comic, True Story: Swear to God by Tom Beland, tells the story of a totally het relationship.) That’s one of the things I’m trying to do with my work—show the universality of love and tell love stories in a way so lots of different kinds of people can
      enjoy—so it’s very gratifying to hear that you’ve connected with my stories in this way too.

      I really appreciate you reaching out like this. It’s made my day. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy what we’re putting out here! 🙂

  • William Clapie

    Alex? Is the Young Protectors book on Amazon all the chapters? You still get some money from the sale of the books, right?

    • Howdy William!

      The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy Volume One comprises the Prologue, Chapter One, the Interlude, and the Spooky/Commander Bonus Comic. It also has extra material (like an in-world magazine article about the origin of superheroes in my universe) that aren’t available on the site.

      There will be two more volumes of The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy that will include the remaining chapters of that arc. (I’m going to have a Kickstarter for Volume Two shortly.)

      If you buy from Amazon, I get about 40% of what I’d get if you buy directly from my store. So, of course, buying directly from me is my preference. (And if you buy from me, you get a signed book. The Amazon books are unsigned.)

      But if you’re an Amazon Prime member, of course I totally understand wanting to buy from them. That free 2-day shipping is hard to beat. And what’s most important to me is that our readers are able to enjoy the books—so choose the method that works best for you. 🙂

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    I had a hankering to re-read this and holy crud I can’t believe this wrapped 6 years ago! The story still seems so fresh!

  • Alex, this was very entertaining to read! You told a great story and should be proud. Now, back to me reading the Young Protectors! 🙂

  • Snorlaxation

    I’m sure i’m not the only one to say this, but I still come back to this comic every so often, fondly remember waiting for every new update. This story is fantastic, and being able to see two dudes in love and managing to survive and succeed (and not get killed off) was such a breath of fresh air.