Norman Shurtliff talks about SKULL CAT & THE CURIOUS CASTLE

Norman Shurtliff grew up in Northern British Columbia, Canada. He spent much of his time at the family greenhouses, where he and his siblings explored the endless outdoors, built forts, told stories, and invented games. He is known for Amazing Scriptures, Soulmate Chronicles, and Captain Moroni. He combines game design and mazes into his comics for unique adventures. Norman was nice enough to stop by First Comics News to tell our readers all about Skull Cat and the Curious Castle.

First Comics News: Who is Skully Catterson?

Norman Shurtliff:
Scully Catterson is Skull Cat. He’s a young cat who works as a gardener at a castle that he suspects is haunted. His fears worsen when the rest of his crew suddenly go missing. He’s a timid scaredy-cat that loves reading comics. The inspiration Scully gets from his comic book hero is what encourages him to find his crewmates and save the day.

Fun fact, Scully’s last name is inspired by one of my favorite comic book artists, Bill Watterson. You may know him from his comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes.

1st: What is Skully’s world like?

Norman: The world of Skull Cat is a dangerous place for a young cat to grow up. His town is a hub for adventurers who fight monsters in the mountains and loot their gold. Scully is trying to take the safe route through life and work as a gardener… but he’ll soon learn there’s not only monsters in the mountains. Ghosts, goblins, vampires and sorcerers all await Scully in the adventure ahead.

1st: Who is Green Boot?

Norman: Green Boot is Scully’s crew chief. She puts him to work right away picking up trash, and that’s where Scully’s troubles begin.

1st: Why does she wear just one green boot?

Norman: Green Boot has a secret. An Achilles heel. And she wears a green boot to hide it. Though the sloshing sound Scully hears when Green Boot walks, is a dead give away that something’s totally weird about her.

1st: What is Le Dark Château?

Norman: Le Dark Château is the Curious Castle from the book’s title. Scully is responsible for keeping the castle’s gardens litter free. The castle might be haunted. And it might be hiding a Dark Sorcerer.

1st: Who is Lady Lamant

Norman: Lady Araena Lamant is the caretaker of Le Dark Château. She’s mean, rich, and apparently a pretty good sword fighter. She has a secret admirer that’s a ghost. Scully is pretty sure he saw her drinking blood!

1st: Who is the Dark Sorcerer?

Norman: A ghost warns Scully that a Dark Sorcerer is asleep inside the castle, and if awakened, he’ll destroy the entire world! Or, maybe the Dark Sorcerer is already awake and Lady Lamant fed Scully’s crew to him for breakfast?

1st: Who is the Legendary Cathero?

Norman: Scully, and a rather annoying goblin, are big comic fans and Cathero is their favorite comic book hero. He carries around a giant sword and fights monsters. I’ve based the character off of characters like Conan and Usagi Yojimbo.

1st: Is Skully’s father secretly Cathero?

Norman: No, but Scully’s father did get hurt in the mountains fighting monsters, so he does have a cool hero side. Scully actually takes his father’s sword along with him on his adventure.

1st: What makes Skully so cool, no true comic fan should miss his adventures?

Norman: It’s fun to see Scully geek out about comics but it’s more fun to see Scully as a scaredy-cat, freaking out about the latest terrible danger, or tripping over his own feet at the worst possible moments. True comic fans, as you put it, know how it feels to be inspired by the stories of their heroes. I think they’ll have a lot in common with Scully as he “reads comics to find the hero inside.” I wanted Scully’s story to feel like an adventure that shouldn’t have happened, but it did, because Scully was inspired to do the right thing. This story is kind of my love letter to comics.

1st: There is a lot to Skully, his friends, and his world. Will there be further adventures of Skull Cat?

Yes, there’s more to come and I’m actually writing his next adventure right now! So more is on its way soon.

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