A Little Bit About Squid Ninja and G. L. Gillen

What to expect

First of all, this page is going to serve as a reference for story-relevant information that the reader might want to find and review without having to search through the archive to find where it was first mentioned. This first section, however, is the comic's manifesto. Squid Ninja came about quickly at the end of 2004, when I finally decided to buckle down and start an original serial. Looking through the Internet's existing supply of ninja-themed comics, I found a disappointing lack of actual ninja action, or sometimes the complete ignorance of the absolute coolness of ninjas. I thereby vowed to make a ninja story with ninjas doing actual ninja things. It won't be terribly realistic (and in many ways it will be outright fantastic), but it will always hold the same regard for ninjas as I do. It might not always be funny, but it will always be telling a story. A ninja story.

The comic updates Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday because most of my favorite webcomics are Monday, Wednesday, Friday deals; I wanted to fill the void of the off-days. I'd like for it to return to being a daily thing, but I make no promises. I hate making promises. However, as a matter of personal taste, I can promise the following about this and any story I tell:

From time to time I may employ an occassional gag comic, either to kill time or maybe to break up a particularly grave segment. Forgive those filler comics; they mean well.

"What do you mean by 'Ninja?'"

A Ninja (note the capitalization; sometimes referred to as a "Full-Blood Ninja") could almost be considered a separate human subspecies. Regular people can becomes ninjas by way of the practice of ninjutsu, but a Ninja is automatically born with the capacity to excell at the art. Ninjas are born of other Ninjas, and are endowed with specific abilities through heredity. A Ninja is typically faster, stronger, and more agile than a regular person by a factor of two or three (more if they work at it, less if they don't). Ninjas have the natural ability to make themselves disappear into dark enough shadows, although the ability to teleport is an unconfirmed legend even among Ninjas. Finally, Ninjas have the power to "summon" any weapon that they own from wherever it might be into that Ninja's possession; this allows them to travel lightly and pick their tool at a moment's notice. This, however, is not an ability to create weaponry; only things that already exist can be summoned.

The Ghost Orb clan is an exclusive clan of Ninjas who carry jewels that have been possessed with spirits of some sort or another. These are typically animal spirits, but other kinds exist, like elemental spirits. The founder of the clan was a Ninja called Toshi who managed to infuse his own spirit into a jewel. Since then, the succeeding leaders of the clan have always worn the Toshi jewel, which is the only one possessing a human spirit.

A Word About the Setting

The story is set on a remote Pacific island/country called Harbor Crescent. Most of the action takes place in the capital city, also called Harbor Crescent; it sits on the lower point, or the "chin," of the banana-shaped island. Any civilization beyond those city limits is typically resigned to small villages, mostly dotting the inner curve of the island. There is, however, a sizeable mountain range populated with a variety of interesting characters (read: Ninjas) as well. The island has a pretty high elevation, so it's fairly temperate during the summer and nice and cold there during the winter.

The island was originally a small Japanese colony, overlooked by a warlord who had been given dominion as payment for saving the life of a high-standing member of society. However, since he had a history of disappointing the emperor at the time, his reward turned out to be an isolated spot of land of little to no value to anyone else, so he and his samurai lived out their lives there in relative quiet, much to their chagrin. It was not until the discovery of Ninjas living in the mountains that things became interesting, and the various clans fought to maintain their isolation on the island. Generations later, the samurai are gone and it is said that only one Ninja clan remains on Harbor Crescent, now its own country.

A great deal of the country's commerce comes from importing and exporting. Exports include paper, a few rare spices, and education. Harbor Crescent University is home to some of the most reclusive and therefore sought-after minds in the world, and most of them have been given jobs as professors there. Imports include, well, almost everything from machinery to pencils for all that paper. Needless to say, the airport is always busy. A good deal of the rest of the city's business is done illegally, but the majority of the policy-makers of the city turn a blind eye as long as the country stays afloat.

The Comic & Me

I was born in Ohio in late April 1980. You may have seen my work on other sites under the name "Glarryg." I still live in Ohio and have a B.A., but no formal art training. Most of the skills I use to make this comic were learned as I went along, although I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. Squid Ninja is just the latest in a series of characters and settings I've devised. I use regular copy paper and a non-photo pencil for the sketchwork, ink with Micron pens (line #03/0.35mm), and scan & shade the comics in Paint Shop Pro Studio.

E-mail me at . Really.

Squid Ninja is a production of

Squid Ninja and all related names and characters are © 2005-2013 G. L. Gillen. No copying unless I say so. And I don't say so.
Squid Ninja is hosted on Comic Genesis, a free webhosting and site automation service for webcomics, buddy.