Fighting Crime, Right Meow
Columbus native Wolfgang Parker has been making art for over two decades, is the singer and bassist of the Alternative Rock band Weedhaven Laughing Academy, and the writer and illustrator of “Crime Cats.”
“Crime Cats” is a self-published mystery chapter book series recommended for readers aged eight to twelve. They follow eight-year-old Columbus superhero Jonas Shurmann as he and his partners, cat detectives CatBob and Neil Higgins, work together to solve mysteries around their neighborhood.
Parker originally created “Crime Cats” for his family. “I have nineteen nieces and nephews living out-of-state. I wrote the first book as a Christmas gift to them, so I could be a positive influence in their lives without geographically being there,” he explains.
The stories in “Crime Cats” typically explore forgotten parts of Columbus’ hidden history while teaching moral lessons, like the value of empathy and self-worth. Each book also contains “Cat Clues,” which are helpful tips to make you a better cat friend. Parker adds that these cat clues, “cover everything from how to introduce yourself to a new cat to what to do if your cat-friend goes missing.”
Since being published, “Crime Cats” continues to be a Columbus reading staple. The series was recommended by “Columbus Parent” magazine and made Columbus Metropolitan Library’s 2015 Summer Reading list. It’s also been featured on ColumbusUnderground and in “ThisWeek” Community Publications, plus profiled on WOSU’s “Broad & High.”
“It has been a bit of a whirlwind,” Parker says. “The first Crime Cats book was the first book I ever had written, so to have a first effort generate so much excitement…it’s overwhelming.”
Parker feels extremely fortunate and that he’s working to make the most of the experience. And while the segment on “Broad & High” was pretty thrilling, he says seeing photos of the first homemade Crime Cats costume was probably the coolest thing so far. He shared with Cbus Chic the photo so everyone can see; the girl’s mom made her Jonas Shurmann’s chicken costume.
If you want more “Crime Cats” and Wolfgang Parker, he signed at the Book Loft in German Village for Independent Book Store Day on April 30. Then, on May 7, he was at Eco-chic Craftacular at the Whetstone Community Center., and May 15 and 16, he’ll be at Fetch-a-Friend at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, in the Louche Building. Parker also updates his book signing schedule every week at crimecatsbooks.com/signings
You can also check out more on Parker and “Crime Cats” by visiting the Official Crime Cats website at www.crimecatsbooks.com. And be sure to follow all the action over Crime Cats’s Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to pop over to Weedhaven Laughing Academy’s website at www.weedhavenlaughingacademy.com and the Official Wolfgang Parker website at www.wolfgangparker.com for more information on the band and Parker.