Well, it’s been a long time coming, but my sci-fi yaoi graphic novel Artifice is finally ready for you to read. If you’ve been following my work for a while, then you know my original plan was to release Artifice as a for-pay PDF that you would download at our store. But after following the excellent work of Hamlet Machine with Starfighter, EMIRAIN with Teahouse (both webcomic links NSFW, BTW) and Cheera and Muun with sfeertheory, I’ve been inspired to try something different. I’ve decided to post Artifice up, for free, one page a week, as a webcomic.
What’s Artifice about?
It was supposed to be a routine “clean-up” mission on the isolated colony Da Vinci Four, but Deacon, a prototype android soldier, has failed spectacularly. Not only did he disobey orders, letting a 19-year-old business liability named Jeff survive, he also attacked and killed those who were sent to help him. Now, the brilliant and uncompromising robopsychologist Clarice Maven has been summoned by the Corporation to determine why.
With Deacon at her absolute mercy, Maven will find out exactly what happened between the android and this boy, and she will use her terrible power to make sure Deacon never fails the Corporation ever again.
Check it out for yourself!
I wrote Artifice and all the art from pencils through colors is being created by the totally awesome Winona Nelson. And to give you a good feel for what’s to come, I’ve posted up the first five pages on the webcomic site. (Starting next Saturday, I’ll post up a page a week until the story is complete.) Please take a look!
(Be sure to click the Next button under each page to keep reading! 🙂 )
Why a webcomic?
Well, like sending out the pin-ups to my mailing list subscribers, this is another experiment. My current method of publishing my comics is to wait for each one to be fully completed before sending them out to my readers as PDFs. This means that when they are released, it’s a lot of fun. (I have over 14,000 subscribers of my mailing list and all my readers are awesome sweethearts, so I get a bunch of great comments and feedback when each comic comes out.) But then, several months pass before the next comic is ready and that explosion of momentum and energy, which frankly is so useful for morale for me and my artists, naturally falls off quite a bit. And, I also think quite naturally, in those intervening months, a lot of readers wind up forgetting all about me and my comics, even if they really enjoyed reading them. I have a busy life myself, I know how it is.
This has been on my mind for a while now. And so, when I went to YaoiCon last October and I saw how much buzz was around the (awesome) webcomics Starfighter and Teahouse, it got me thinking. What if I were to have a comic that was released on a more consistent basis like once a week, like, well, a webcomic! And so after talking with a bunch of folks about that idea (including Starfighter’s awesome Hamlet Machine who was very helpful), I’ve decided to give this a try to see if it helps keep readers engaged with my work. Now, I’m not expecting the kind of success of Starfighter and Teahouse, but just having something to share with my readers every week, just having a consistent way to connect with my readers every week, well, that just sounds like a lot of fun.
I’m very, very proud of the work Winona and I are doing on Artifice. The truth is, I think it has some of the the best writing I’ve done out of all my comics. And, frankly, if I put it out as a $4.99 e-book, there are only so many people who would choose to pay for it. I’ll still try publishing a for-pay e-book at some point (maybe with the 18+ Chapter 4 of Tough), but I think by putting Artifice out as a free webcomic, a lot more people are going to be able to enjoy it. And that’s something I really want. 🙂
Please let me know what you think
So, I’d love to know what you think of what I’m doing. Good idea? Bad idea? Cool? Not cool? And what do you think of the pages I posted up? Please let me know by commenting on this blog post or on the pages of the webcomic itself.
I really hope you enjoy reading the webcomic pages I’ve put up so far and that you’ll come back to find out what happens next! 😀
And, of course, my other full-color yaoi comics are still available as free PDF downloads for subscribers of my mailing list. Want to get your hands on those download links? Well, it’s easy! Just fill out the form on the Free Comics page and the links will be sent right to you in the Welcome Email! You’ll get the first two completed chapters of Tough sent to you right now! That’s 70 full-color pages of yaoi goodness. Score!
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