The Goodbye Family
The Goodbye Family are a fictional family of undertakers from the Old Weird West of author and illustrator Lorin Morgan-Richards. The Goodbye Family comprises Pyridine Goodbye, matriarch and mortician, Otis, father and driver of the hearse, their child Orphie, who has the dual role of gravedigger and self-appointed town Sheriff, and their pets: Ouiji the cat, a tarantula named Dorian, and Midnight their horse.
Since 2009, the Goodbyes have appeared in both single panel comic and literature as part of the Great Mountain book series by Richards that begin with Me’ma and the Great Mountain. The humor of the Goodbye Family is typically macabre, often satirizing industrialization and rules of authority.
Characters and story
Beginning in 2009, Richards started to produce the Goodbye Family as one-off cards after an inspiring trip to France and Wales. Richards envisioned Orphie, the daughter, and primary character, on the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral sitting with gargoyles, while her parents Otis tried to board a train with a shrunken head, and Pyridine publicly sewed a cadaver in Cardiff. Subsequent single panel comics and merchandise made of each character but before delving into their identities.  In 2012, A Raven Above Press released Richards first novel Me’ma and the Great Mountain, about an indigenous girl that overcomes ghoulish spirits to save her people. Along with her journey, she meets Hollis Sorrow, a friendly character entombed in a casket made by the Goodbye Family, marking the first mention in literature of the Goodbye Family. By 2015, Steamkat, an online comic distributor, weekly featured The Goodbye Family comic, and in the following year, Richards released subsequent book collections about the family.
- Orphie: Daughter who loves mischief and has the strength of 20 men – which comes in handy when carrying caskets and as a gravedigger. She finds herself most often filling in as sheriff of the town and training her pet spider Dorian.
- Otis: Driver of their funeral hearse with an uncanny ability to smell demise a mile away. He is in charge of all the wakes. He spends his free time walking his hat and feeding their horse Midnight various pickled things.
- Pyridine: Matriarch and mortician of the family. She enjoys needling cadaviers and social gatherings with the undead.
- Ouiji: the family cat. Believed to be part Siamese due to her glowing red eyes.
- Dorian: Orphie’s pet tarantula (specifically a Needlepoint Tarantula) that loves to spin webbed accessories for the family.
- Midnight: Most likely a Friesian horse, she is the Goodbye's main implement of travel for both single rider and carriage. She characteristically is fueled by pickled things.
In an interview, when asked about the characters influences Richards replied: "I suppose Pyridine Goodbye, the matriarch, is loosely based on my wife, Otis Goodbye is myself, and Orphie their child is Berlin (Richards daughter) and our friend's child Heidi (who came before our daughter). All though with a few other influences. Just like the Goodbye Family we do have a pet tarantula and Siamese cat."
Richards clarifies the genre of The Goodbye Family: I fall into the category of Weird West, but I think it may be more of a “Down West” as I’d like to call it, for its sense of macabre western humor.
Collections of comics
- Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album. 2017. ISBN 0997319348
- Wanted: Dead or Alive… But Not Stinkin’. 2017. ISBN 0997319356
- The Goodbye Family Unveiled. 2017. ISBN 9780997319361
- Down West. 2018. ISBN 9780983002079
- Nicklesworth: Featuring the Goodbye Family. 2018. ISBN 9780997319392
- The Tiny Adventure of Hairball Man, 2016 webisode featuring the Goodbye Family cat Ouiji
- "Public Profile". SCBWI. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
- "An Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards". SteamKat!. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "Lorin Morgan-Richards - The Goodbye Family". Lorinrichards.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "AmeriCymru: 8/1/10 - 9/1/10". Americymru.blogspot.com. 2010-10-10. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "Me'ma and the Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards". FictionDB. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Name (2012-04-26). "Review: Me'ma and the Great Mountain | Advice from a Caterpillar". Advicefromacaterpillar.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "Inspirational Story/Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards". Inspirationmatters.org. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
- "The Dreaded Summons – Our Q&A with Author Lorin Morgan-Richards". NewsWhistle. 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Morgan, Lorin. "Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album by Lorin Morgan-Richards, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Morgan, Lorin. "Wanted: Dead or Alive... But Not Stinkin' by Lorin Morgan-Richards, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Morgan, Lorin. "The Goodbye Family Unveiled by Lorin Morgan-Richards, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
- Book, Bergers (2012-11-09). "Me'ma and the Great Mountain « Bergers Book Reviews". Bergersbookreviews.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Morgan, Lorin. "Me'ma and the Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®". Barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.