cover image Artifice


Alex Woolfson and Winona Nelson. AMW Comics (, $19.99 trade paper (112 p) ISBN 978-0-9857604-0-3

Deacon, a highly advanced artificial person (or A.P.) designed to be the perfect blindly obedient supersoldier, finds himself under arrest by the corporation that created him. Deacon’s seemingly inexplicable and homicidal actions occur after a not entirely successful off-world mission, causing the android’s violation of his programming to be called into question by a therapist, with Deacon’s account of the situation yielding wholly unexpected and quite moving answers. At its heart, the best of science fiction examines the human condition in thought-provoking ways, while being tarted up with the fantastic gewgaws of future tech and interplanetary travel, and this collection of Woolfson and Nelson’s Web series is a fine addition to the SF graphic novel canon. Essentially an intimate look into Deacon’s therapy sessions, with the mission’s events told in flashback, the narrative grips the reader from the first panel to the last, treating the audience to a moving rumination on love, free will, sexuality, and the question of whether a machine can feel. Woolfson and Nelson cover this familiar territory with fresh eyes, bolstered by solid artwork; it’s an emotional winner that deserves notice. (May)