Questions & Answers

Q. Where did you get the idea for Reiko?

A. Reiko was inspired by a combination of sources. The main one would probably be the painting”Portraitof Reiko” by Japanese artist Ryusei Kishida. I encountered the painting while working as an assistant English teacher in Japan.

Q. What does “Reiko” mean?

A. Reiko means “ghost child”. I changed it from the traditional meaning of “beautiful child” by switching a kanji character.

Q. Is Reiko Japanese?

A. Yes.

Q. Can Reiko speak Japanese?

A. Yes.

Q. Is Reiko an oni?

A. Reiko is one of many Japanese spirits called “youkai” or “yuurei”. I also consider her to be a type of demon or “akuma”. An oni is more of an ogre, like Reiko’s Uncle Kenzo.

Q. Why does Reiko’s dress have swirls on it?

A. Because swirls are fun to draw. As a bonus there is a type of mystical healing art called Reiki and one of the symbols is a swirl representing a snake called Chokurei.

Q. Does Reiko live in Japan?

A. No. She lives in the United States.

Q. What is the name of Reiko’s school?

A. Reiko goes to Elizabeth Andrew Borden Elementary School. Or Lizzie Borden Elementary School for short.

Q. Why does Reiko kill more boys than girls?

A. I don’t intend for that to be the case. If that’s the way it works out it’s a coincidence. For visual clarity I think I just try to draw someone whose looks contrast Reiko’s.

Q. Why are Reiko’s arms so long?

A. I think it looks creepy. Anyway, the real question is why do humans have such short, stubby arms?

Q. Is Reiko a real pirate?

A. Of course!

Q. Will you ever give Reiko a boyfriend?

A. Nah.

Q. How does Reiko chew with only big pointy teeth?

A. Uh, the same way a shark does, I guess.

Q. Why do Reiko’s sisters all start with “Shi” but “Reiko” doesn’t?

A. I just like the way it sounds. “Shihoka, Shirabe, Shinobu, and little Reiko”. I createdReiko years ahead of her sisters, but I designed her older sisters allat about the same time. They are all named after people I have known in real life. The number 4, or shi, is also very unlucky in Japanese culture and relates to death.

Q. Why do Reiko’s sisters have horns, but Reiko doesn’t?

A. Reiko has horns, too. They’re just under her bangs.

Q. Why does Reiko have a katana and ponytail sometimes? She looks cooler like that.

A. Arrgh! That is not Reiko. It is her older sister, Shinobu. *sob*

Q. I thought Shinobu was a boy. If she’s a girl why doesn’t she have breasts?

A. She is only ten!

Q. What is that red face on Shinobu’s shirt?

A. It is just a scowling demon face. It is Shinobu’s trademark.

Q. Why does Shinobu have a scar under her eye?

A. She cut herself on broken glass. I’ll tell the story someday.

Q. Does Shinobu only have one eye?

A. No, she has two.

Q. Why does Shinobu have a katana?

A. It’s an heirloom.

Q. Why is Shirabe a blonde but her sisters all have black hair?

A. Like many blondes, Shirabe’s hair color comes in a bottle.

Q. Why does Shirabe wear pentacle earrings? Is she wiccan?

A. Shirabe is not wiccan. She just likes pentacles.

Q. Why do Reiko, Shirabe, and Shinobu look alike but Shihoka is different?

A. I guess Shihoka just takes after a different branch of the family tree.

Q. Why is Shihoka’s neck so long?

A. I was inspired by a type of Japanese female spirit called Rokurokubi with a very long snake-like neck.

Q. Why does Shihoka wear glasses?

A. She’s near-sighted.

Q. Is Lucy an alligator or a crocodile?

A. Er, a crocodile, I guess. I just like the way “crocodile” sounds.

Q. Is Lucy a boy or a girl?

A. He is a boy.

Q. Where did Reiko get her crocodile, Lucy?

A. He was a birthday present.

Q. Why does that one girl have two heads?

A. It is not one girl. It is two girls. They are twin sisters who are conjoined from birth.

Q. Can Nadi and Zeni split apart?

A. No. They’re “conjoined” twins.

Q. Will we ever see Nadi and Zeni’s parents?

A. Maybe.

Q. Were Nadi and Zeni based on Alice from “Alice in Wonderland”?

A. Not intentionally.

Q. Why doesn’t Irving have a head?

A. That’s just the way he was born. He comes from a long line of proud headless men.

Q.Will we ever see Irving’s parents?

A. Maybe.

Q. Why are Irving’s clothes so old-fashioned looking?

A. He is a trend-setter. This look will be all the rage soon!

Q. I love Irving’s knee-socks and pointy shoes! Where can I get some?

A. See? It’s starting!

Q. Why does Irving always look sad? I feel sorry for him.

A. He’s not sad. He’s just carved that way.

Q. Who are some influences on your work?

A. There are many, many artists with a variety of styles and media whose work I greatly admire. However, some cartoonists I really like are David Wenzel, Carl Barks, Sergio Aragones, Gary Larson, Chaz Addams, and Eiichiro OdaTim Burton‘s work is excellent, too.

Q. How do you get your ideas?

A. I sacrifice baby kittens to Colonel Sanders in exchange for inspiration.

Q. Do you draw Reiko comics on a computer?

A. Reiko used to only be drawn in sketchbooks, the old-fashioned way. But now I often draw the comics directly into Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. I think I like paper better though.

Q. Did you go to Art school?

A. Sort of. I went to a New York liberal arts college called Pace University and majored in Studio Art. Later I briefly attended the Art Student’s League of New York, and the Reilly League of Artists.

Q. How old are you?

A. Old enough.

Q. Are you a man or a woman?

A. How many women are named “Vincent”?

Q. Are you Japanese?

A. No. I’m American.

Q. Do you live in Japan?

A. Currently, yes.

Q. Can you speak Japanese?

A. Yes, I can speak some Japanese, though far from perfect.

Q. Your name sounds Italian. Are you Italian?

A. My father was born in Italy. My mother was born in Puerto Rico.

Q. Where were you born?

A. The Bronx, New York.

Q. How many people does it take to maintain this site?

A.There is only me. I do all. Comics, cartoons, web design, newsletter, etc..

Q. What is the Tainted Ink symbol supposed to be?

A.It’s a fairy puking into an ink bottle.

Q. Why doesn’t your site have a comics archive?

A. I had one but it was a pain to keep updated. Plus, Reiko can be read in any order and doesn’t require an archive in my opinion. Just browse!

Q. I made some Reiko fan art! Can you put it up on your site?

A. Sure. I love fan art! E-mail it to me!

Q. May I use your Reiko art to make a signature tag?

A. Yes, you may. If youwant to be extra nice you can add “TaintedInk.com” or “Tainted-Ink.com” or “ContemplatingReiko.com” in there somewhere. And send t to me. I love to see Reiko fan art type stuff!

Q. Can I get a Reiko tattoo using one of your images?

A. Yes, you may. But please send me some photos so I can see how it comes out! If you want a custom design e-mail me about it and I’ll give you a quote.

Q. There is a product design I want that is not in the shop! What can I do?

A. If you don’t see what you want, don’t hesitate to e-mail me about it and let me know what you want!

Q. I have an idea for a Reiko comic or cartoon! Can I send it to you?

A. Thanks for the offer, but I rather stick to using my own ideas.

Q. I have a suggestion for this site. Can I send it to you?

A. Sure, if you have a suggestion to improve this site please e-mail me!

Q. How can I support this site?

A. Tell your friends about it. Donate. Visit often. And buy a DVD.

Q. I have a question that is not answered in this FAQ. What can I do?

A. E-mail your question to me, of course!