The River Troll is strange and darkly comic illustrated Y/A novel featuring a nameless protagonist we call “friend.” Late at night our friend wanders a little and ponders quite a lot on a long walk along a river looking for a reason to keep on living. He meets up with a troll and a few other all-night ghouls as he drifts along, searching for purpose. They all find it amazing our friend can negotiate his way through the day posing as a junior high school art teacher.
Besides being a cave-man, Rich is a genius talent at painting and drawing. His art hangs here and there in prominent homes and galleries but he prefers not to boast about it. Rich is founder of Rumble House and happens to also teach junior high school art. He is the author and illustrator of Stop Making Art and Die, and the co-author of the poetry book, A Wake in the Undertow, along with his partner Jess Szabo. Intriguingly, he calls himself a tomato can. He and his tribe exist/co-exist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Rich Theroux drops this piece of surrealism … a darkly comic and deeply strange illustrated fable that has a nameless protagonist coming across interesting characters in late-night walks. They include the titular River Troll, who is huge, naked, ornery and a bit violent. There’s the condescending Clever Monkey. There’s a one-eyed “giantess.” Baba Yaga, a supernatural figure that comes from Slavic folklore. There are dragons who wear armour and glide through the city on tracks like trains … the art is surreal and dreamlike.
— ERIC VOLMERS, The Calgary Herald