[Podcast] JUST KICKIN’ IT! Ep. 1: Ray Troll


We love comic books. Anyone who has followed the site over the last eight years has probably noticed some comic book coverage. Our interviews over the years have grown, transformed, and continue to evolve. What began as email interviews with comic creators worked it’s way to a video format, which was elevated by video conferencing (Zoom), and now we’ve recently added a podcast channel featuring a variety of shows covering a wide spectrum of the comic book industry, and soon the cosplay & convention communities. From past content being revitalized to previously unseen/unheard material finally getting the respect they deserve, and on-site interviews at comic conventions (like this one!), PodCultHQ will have a little something for everyone. 

Just Kickin’ It!” is a reimagining of PopCultHQ‘s “Pants Optional” Kickstarter Spotlight feature, where we interview comic book creators and discuss their latest project(s) that they are bringing to the platform. With the new “Just Kickin’ It!” show title, both PopCultHQ & our official podcast – PodCultHQ – will feature these crowdfunding promotions in an additional format. The interviews will be available as a straight podcast and with a published article here at PopCultHQ. Oftentimes, a video format may be available for additional ways to view and spread the word.

Last week, PopCultHQ had the honor in interviewing the puntastic Alaskan artist Ray Troll. The creator, the Paleo Nerds podcaster, and member of the Ratfish Wranglers has teamed with Clover Press to bring his work to Kickstarter. The SPAWN TILL YOU DIE: THE FIN ART OF RAY TROLL hardcover book collects over forty years of fishy, funny, and inspiring art from the iconic and celebrated artist. The campaign is fully funded and in its final hours on Kickstarter, ending Monday, August 28th @ 9:00 PM PDT.

For more than four decades, Ray Troll has been luring, hooking, and landing fans around the world with his mesmerizing renditions of the inhabitants of Planet Ocean, past and present. Part natural history adventure and part underground comic, Troll’s art depicts beautiful and accurately drawn creatures of all kinds, with a special fondness for weird fish served up with a twist of Freud and Darwin, along with fossils, resurrections of strange extinct animals, and much more. His acclaimed art is featured in many of the nation’s major natural history museums, as well as in galleries, books, and on a popular line of t-shirts.

Now, Clover Press is crowdfunding SPAWN TILL YOU DIE: THE FIN ART OF RAY TROLL, which collects over 40 years of fishy, funny, and inspiring art from this iconic artist. SPAWN TILL YOU DIE: THE FIN ART OF RAY TROLL features a foreword by David Craig of Willamette University, and an introduction by Brad Matsen, author of Titanic’s Last Secrets and Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King. Clover Press Publisher Hank Kanalz proclaimed, “Some of his pieces are amusingly tongue-in-cheek, others are beautifully surrealistic and evocative of the interconnectedness of life on Earth. SPAWN TILL YOU DIE: THE FIN ART OF RAY TROLL is the perfect addition to Clover’s growing line of hardcover art books.”

So come take an exuberant plunge into the fantastic realities of strange sea creatures and funky prehistoric animals that come alive with “scientific realism” and a quirky sense of humor!

If you’re hard of herring, crank up the volume to hear from legendary creator Ray Troll about SPAWN TILL YOU DIE: THE FIN ART OF RAY TROLL, live on Kickstarter through Monday, August 28th @ 9pm PDT!

Time to listen to the interview!

JUST KICKIN’ IT! Ep. 1: Ray Troll

Follow Ray Troll Online!

Artist Statement: Moving to the state of Alaska in 1983 exposed me to the forces of the natural world like few place on our planet can. It changed my life and it changed my art. Living on the edge of the Tongass National Forest and being in such close proximity to the wild world with deep woods on one side of me and the deep ocean on the other, was magical for me and transformative for my art. It fueled my creative spirit and filled me with an urge to try and translate that raw power to paper and canvas, and oddly enough fish became my emissary from that untamed world.

It’s fairly obvious when looking at my work that I’m obsessed with our scaly brethren, but why? It’s hard to explain an obsession rationally but I’ve been asked countless times and my answer is always multi-faceted. In short I still find the topic fascinating and with over 25,000 living species to choose from one can see why the topic is nearly inexhaustible. I can say that they’ve become vehicles for my moods, my thoughts, and my opinions about the human condition and our own place in the grand biological scheme of things. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes menacing and edgy, the fish lead me on, diving deeper into further creative explorations.

As I spent more time delving into the topic my curiosities led me to befriend scientists and writers. I slowly came to realize that scientific inquiry and artistic inquiry overlap beautifully as both disciplines seek to ‘know the world’ in overlapping ways. I’ve embarked on many an adventure since then and have found myself in some pretty strange places, like crawling around on my hands and knees looking for trilobite fossils on a tiny Southeast Alaskan island or deep in the Amazon rainforest wrestling caimans at night. Needless to say my creative batteries have been endlessly recharged by these associations. They led me to believe that the cross currents between art, science, music and literature are the waters I prefer to swim in.

I’ve also found it immensely gratifying to share that sense of artistic adventure with other people through collaborative art projects, exhibits, lectures, performance events, and books. It’s especially rewarding to pass that sense of wonder and delight onto the next generation when I’ve spoken at schools and universities. It makes my strange quest seem worthwhile.

~ Ray Troll

Publisher – Clover Press

Clover Press is an eclectic, boutique publisher based out of San Diego, CA. The publisher focuses on the book trade and the direct market (or comics shop market) with an extremely eclectic list of titles, including genre fiction and licensed properties.

Clover Press releases two to three books a month offering both original titles and reprints of classic works. They experiment with crowdfunding for some titles, and sell titles directly to consumers in a combination of new titles and reprints of classic works. 


Follow Jason Bennett online!

Jason Bennett (@TahoeJBennett) is a writer & chief editor for PopCultHQ, As a team member since PopCultHQ’s inception, Jason has written over 8,300 articles covering all aspects of pop culture. He established relationships with many of the comic book publishers with whom we work on a regular basis. Whether sharing news from the comic book industry, conducting spoiler-free reviews, interviewing creators, or working with publicity reps, he is dedicated in promoting those within the comic book scene, giving people a platform to share their projects, as well as always seeking to find ways in which PopCultHQ can grow and improve. Jason also attends comic conventions, representing PopCultHQ as a member of the press, and can often be seen at conventions up and down the west coast.

Follow PodCultHQ online!

PodCultHQ is PopCultHQ’s official podcast. Maintained & managed by Jason Bennett, PodCultHQ is a feature-filled, ear candy of content highlighting the comic book, cosplay, and convention communities.

You can expect exclusive interviews with comic book creators, previous video features returning in audio format (“Pants Optional” Zoom interviews), crowdfunding promotions (“Just Kickin’ It!“), a deeper dive into the comic book world (“Industry Insider“), unpublished material finally seeing the light of day (“From the Vault“), plus so much more. And, of course, idle chatter.

And be on the lookout for some new, fun & exciting, outside-the-box shows, including a talk show, a weekend wrapup broadcast, and an amateur rap competition for comic creators where you, the fans, can vote for your favorite each week through our toll-free number! Crazy, right? Yeah, we question our sanity a lot of times. Every now and then, it replies.

Celebrate your fandom with us… audibly!

Follow PopCultHQ online!

PopCultHQ is a professional entertainment media company covering all things pop culture, with concentrations in comic books, cosplay, and conventions. We have exclusive interviews with comic book creators, cosplayers, publishers, local comic shops, and entertainment celebrities. PopCultHQ is also active on the convention scene, covering many events on-site to obtain & provide exclusive content for our viewing audience. Celebrate your fandom with us!

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