First Comics News: How did you end up joining Scout Comics?
Walter Ostlie: Comics is very much preparation meets opportunity. The Scout deal was very much a case of that. I created and printed Shiver Bureau and Cubicles, went to conventions, and kept running into people that were part of, or working with Scout. At that point the momentum kept growing, the stars aligned, and the contract was signed. I’ve been self-publishing comics for 5 years and it is awesome, but I am ready to take it to another level.
1st: Who is the star of “Shiver Bureau” and what is the story?
Walter: Some people think Pickle is the star, but truly the stars are Trish and Pickle. Neither character would be as much fun without the other. Pickle is a charmingly egotistical rebel. Trish is a no nonsense, tough as nails detective. They play off of each other, it’s a perfect chemistry.
Shiver Bureau takes place in London. The world is plagued by ghosts called shivers. The Shiver Bureau are in charge of keeping the shivers under control. Pickle arrives in London, his first day as head Inspectre, which is a play on the word inspector. Pickle and Trish butt heads, but have to put aside their differences to solve a case of missing orphans before it’s too late. Of course, they have to go through shivers, monsters, and a conspiracy to get to them.
1st: Why does the Inspectre’s gun glow green?
Walter: There is an energy in the world of Shiver Bureau called spectral. It powers lights, guns, vehicles, and whatever else gas or electricity would. It is also the substance which makes up a shiver. Spectral can be found everywhere, most humans have a little bit of it in them. Inspectre’s have a concentrated amount running through their bodies, so much so their eyes and hair turn green. An Inspectre powers his weapon with his own internal spectral, hence the glow. Everyone else powers their weapons with a liquid form of spectral.
1st: Why does the story take place in London, England?
Walter: I’ve always had a fascination with Europe, specifically London. It’s always held a bit of magic in my mind. Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Oliver Twist, Excalibur. There is a lot of fantastical history. Also, I can’t lie, I love a British accent.
1st: Who are Trish and Mr. Todd?
Walter: Trish is an agent of the Shiver Bureau. She’s not an Inspectre, but still as formidable. I think she’s more formidable than Pickle. Like I said before though, it is being a team that really makes them a danger to Shivers.
Mr. Todd is a muscle bound pacifist who is crazy smart and loves inventing things. I am huge fan of Scooby-Doo and how each character played their role. I also love the family aspect. So Mr. Todd and Oliver round out the family. Oliver is a wild card, he is kind of like Pickle but without the experience. Oliver is a young orphan that helps the group along the way and creates some chaos.
1st: What exactly is a Shiver?
Walter: A shiver is what we would call a ghost. Sometimes a ghost is angry, it becomes corrupt, and transforms into a menacing shiver.
1st: How would you describe your art style?
Walter: Hard question to answer about your own style. I would say it is sketchy, cartoony, frenetic, and fun. There is a bit of an animation look to it, cause I tend to stretch figures to convey motion.
1st: Will we find ghosts at www.shiverbureau.com?
Walter: You will find all the ghosts. Beware!
1st: Why do you use Patron and what does it provide for those who join?
Walter: I always appreciate anyone that supports my art with likes, comments, and shares. Patreon is just an additional way to help support my art. Supporters get behind the scenes art, early news, weekly vlogs, and original artwork.
1st: What is “Cubicles” about?
Walter: Cubicles is about two slacker office workers who stumble upon a plot to take over the company they work for. They are shuttled off to the far reaches of the galaxy and have to find their way back home. They aren’t really good at anything so they stumble all the way back facing off against space pirates, galactic squid, zombies, aliens, and monsters.
On the surface it is a ridiculous ride through space with over the top enemies and scenes. Deeper down it is about becoming more than how your job defines you. Working in a cubicle tends to turn people into weak drones and our characters have to break out of that.
1st: Why do Wally and Ost. get to battle zombies, aliens, pirates and a squid?
Walter: Bad luck? Sometimes when you try to take the easy way out things can become even more complicated than if you had just charged straight into the problem. I think that is what happens here. Wally and Ost are slackers and because of it they are tossed into all these situations that wouldn’t of happened if they had been at their desks working. But it also shows how you can have more fun if you don’t always do what is expected.
1st: How do you find attending comic conventions?
Walter: It is fun because I get to meet new and existing readers. I get to talk about my stories and when people’s eyes light up, it’s a great feeling. It is very immediate. When I post online, I don’t know who is seeing it or how they feel about it. Being face to face with someone, I get to experience their excitement first hand.
1st: Do you have any ideas for other comics you would like to see published?
Walter: Oh yeah, tons. The reason I started making comics was that I had so many thoughts that I needed to get out of my brain. I’ll never have enough time to get through them all. The genres range all over the place from sci-fi to westerns to fantasy.
1st: Why post comics online as compared to publishing a printed one?
Walter: Online comics open the door to every reader. Not everyone can afford to read comics. I want everyone to read my work. That is why my work is all ages and why I put it online. It would bum me out if someone wanted to read my work but couldn’t.
1st: Would you like to meet a ghost or have you already?
Walter: My family used to live in a house that was haunted by the ghost of a young boy who was about my age at the time, which was around 5 years old. My whole family saw him and I played action figures with him in the backyard. I still get chills when I think about it. I wouldn’t want to meet another ghost. When I watch scary movies, I can’t sleep for a few days. I constantly think something will get me while I am sleeping. So meeting a real ghost would turn my hair white.
1st: Any words for all your many fans?
Walter: Just want to say thank you to all my readers and appreciators of my work. You are the ones that keep me motivated. Hang around because I got a lot more cool stuff coming.