Illustrator Jenny Parks has managed to marry two of my favorite things -- cats and the world of geeks and nerds -- into a wonderful series of art. From Star Trek and Star Wars to Captain America and Harry Potter she has translated much of the science fiction and fantasy world into being populated by cats. And the results are delightful, entertaining, and more than just a little bit, well, catty.
Parks is a freelance scientific illustrator based out of Denver, Colorado, and gives a whole new definition to the term "crazy cat lady." She also is proud to be a nerd. She started to gain internet fame with her illustration of all 13 Doctors with "Doctor Mew."
Touting a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts and a graduate degree in from the University of California at Santa Cruz, she is now living the dream to make a living drawing cute, furry kitty things -- with a strong nerd twist.
Parks has illustrated a number of covers for Marvel Comics and one cover for the Action Lab "Hero Cats" comics. Her works can be found for sale at a number of conventions around the country. Next up is the Albuquerque Comic Con in New Mexico January 13-17, 2017. Check out her website for more events.
Parks is on Patreon, a website similar to Kickstarter, so that she can raise the necessary funds to keep creating her unusual and nerdy feline art. Instead of donating to the overall project, you will donate for each piece. Donations start at just $1. Just like Kickstarter there is a rewards system of gifts. These include merchandise discounts and even a 2017 calendar.
The cats Parks illustrates not only come from comic book characters, but from all sorts of television shows and movies as well. If you are a nerd you probably don't really even need the captions to go with these great pictures.
You can purchase merchandise with these cats on them in the form of prints, postcards, buttons, magnets, mugs, notebooks, and other items. Her subjects also include Spiderman, The Hulk, Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones, and so on. Not all of Parks' cats are based on sci-fi or fantasy. There is also a Hannibal Lecter Cat, Dexter, and one for Downton Abbey (Downton Tabby).
Naturally, Star Wars is a big subject for Parks' illustrations. They include Han and Leia, Boba Fett, and there is even a BB-8 cat (along with Rey). Naturally this leaves a large number of characters to still do. A Vader cat would be totally awesome. So would a Jabba the Catt. HA!
In February 2017 Parks' first book will become available. "Star Trek Cats" is 64 pages of fun inspired by the iconic television series. From Captain Kirk to Mr. Spock, these illustrations are purr-fect. Note that Scotty is a Scottish Fold and that Chekov is a Russian Blue. That really adds to the whimsical nature of these pictures to me.
"Captain's log: We have entered a galaxy where beloved illustrator Jenny Parks has conjured an astonishingly vivid homage to the original Star Trek series with an unexpected twist: a cast of cats. Featuring a hilarious new take on iconic characters and scenes—from Kirk in the Captain's chair to Spock offering his Vulcan wisdom—this eye-opening adventure stays true to the tone of the classic TV show. Playful, loving, and from a strange new world, Star Trek Cats is the perfect gift for fans of, well, Star Trek and cats." -- Jenny Parks Illustration
Mr. Spock believes in the theory of IDIC. That is the idea of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Cat-binations. Cats do seem well on their way to creating this.
Back in high school my Trekkie nickname was Spock. So I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that I once had a cat like the one in Parks' illustration. She was a big kitty and a scaredy cat. I called her 21 pounds of fear. And I think that should read "Live long and paw-sper." Keep on trekkin' Jenny Parks! May I suggest more cats from shows like Red Dwarf and The Librarians? Maybe Battlestar Galactica?
Star Trek Cats is available for pre-order on Amazon. To reserve your copy of this incredible book, click here.
To follow Jennifer Parks on Facebook, click here.
Illustrations by Jenny Parks, Images via Jenny Parks Illustration