The Helicoprion (AKA Buzz Saw or Whorl Tooth) shark exhibit I developed with the fine crew at the Idaho Museum of Natural History is heading to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in June. It’s going to be an extra cool installation of the show because it will be right next to a giant tank full of live sharks AND my beloved ratfish. It opens on June 21 and runs through the end of the year. It will be part of their big summer blockbuster show called ‘Sharkmania!’

 Check out their website for details: http://www.pdza.org/

Here in the great year of Twenty-Fourteen we find ourselves in an ever changing and rapidly warming world, full of great uncertainties, with moments full of turmoil and doubt countered by momentary glimpses of bliss and deeply gratifying joy. Yes, it’s the rich pageant of life marching ever onward and upward one day at a time. And to help you through that daily grind we’ve come up with seven new wardrobe choices in the funky, fishy T-shirt department.

 All of them have been hand printed on 100 percent cotton shirts by Skip and Marie Jensen’s fine crew of squeegee pullers at Post Industrial Press in Tacoma, Washington. There are no better screen printers on the planet. This year we’ve upped our game even more and are offering some shirts that are quite a challenge to print. So without any further ado I hope you’ll take a moment and check them all out.

2014 Ray Troll Shirts
Front
Back

ALASKAN PARTY ANIMAL

When you’re in the mood for a good party why not make a sartorial choice that says it all? I had a great deal of fun drawing this cast of misbehaving creatures of the far north, including “bad” puffins, beer standing polar bears, rockin’ rockfish, blues playing caribous, howling wolves, teetering moose, oom-pah  walruses, drunken bruins and very funky beer-swilling humpies. I think I can say with great confidence that we Alaskans know how to throw a damn fine party.

 This one is printed on the front and the back and pretty much covers the whole shirt. It’s quite a challenge to print a shirt like this but the fine folks at Post Industrial Press have pulled it off in style!

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ROCKFISH PAPER SCISSORS

My ratfish brother Russell Wodehouse gave me this brilliant idea many years ago and I only now got around to doing it justice. At the top is a lovely Quillback Rockfish (Sebastes maliger), paper is represented at the center by a to-do list of mine (remember to breathe!) and at the bottom is a rusty old pair of scissors. The pun is based on the great hand game also known as Roshambo. According to Wikipedia an interesting twist to this game is that it can be played with a degree of skill by “recognizing and exploiting non-random behavior in opponents.”
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 Russ and I wrote a song last year all about Rockfish Recompression and used this as a line in the tune. You can check it out at:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c0CN_1veT0

ONE KING BEATS 4 ACES ANYTIME

 I think I first saw this pun in a 1950’s book about King Salmon fishing in Ketchikan’s Clover Pass area. Having been lucky enough to catch a few of these truly magnificent fish over the years I’d definitely agree with the sentiment. I still think there isn’t a better tasting piece of fish than a freshly caught King Salmon hot off the barbeque. Ketchikan high school’s mascot is the King Salmon and appropriately this design is printed on the schools “o-fish-al” color maroon.

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 ALASKA HEADS & TAILS

This shirt features a big, bold half a Coho (AKA Silver) salmon on the front and the tail on the back. The crew at Post Industrial in Tacoma prints the shirt on an old hand press using oversized screens and big squeegees. A somewhat similar shirt I always loved from way back in the 1980’s done by Oregon artist Tom Prochaska inspired the design.

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Yep, just imagine chillin’ out and channel surfing with a nice cold brew and a giant King Salmon on your sofa all day long. Oh yeah. That’s what I call true Alaskan style living. King for a day, yo.

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Inspired by the great SNL skit from a few years ago:

 https://screen.yahoo.com/sofa-king-000000974.html

HEY FISHFACE

 I often like to remind my fellow wayward lobe-finned human friends of our humble fishy origins via artwork and music. Over the last few decades it’s been fascinating seeing all the latest “missing links” being found and filling in the gaps on the path that “led” to you and I. One of my favorites is the ancient Devonian fish from our tribe called Tiktaalik. It’s number four in this line up of critters on our lineage. Tiktaalik is being celebrated in Neil Shubin’s incredible new PBS show called ‘Your Inner Fish”.

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 Scientists have been refining this tree of origins ever since the publication of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” in 1859. This particular drawing was inspired by  the cover of a book from 1929 called “Our Face From Fish to Man” written by William Gregory. See https://archive.org/stream/ourfacefromfisht00greg#page/n5/mode/2up

 I also wrote this one as a song I performed with my son Patrick Troll on guitar, the amazing Shauna Lee on vocals, and the inimitable Alejandro Chavarria also on vocals. You can sing along at:
http://www.trollart.com/news/fishface.html

EVOLUTION: CHANGE THAT I BELIEVE IN

 Wait a minute. That’s a Ray Troll shirt?

 Yes indeed it is a stylistic departure for me folks, but such is the nature of the creature they call “artist”. I wanted to give a shout out to the wonders of the great soupy concoction that all life sprang from and the marvels of the process called evolution. This one is printed with transparent inks on a dark heather grey shirt using a heavy wood grain as a background texture.

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All artwork on this website © Ray Troll 2009. Contact the artist directly for permission/usage fees.