The Goodbye Family
|The Goodbye Family|
|Publisher(s)||A Raven Above Press|
|Genre(s)||Black Comedy, Weird West, Western, Gothic fiction|
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 gothic or macabre, and 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 were made of each character but before delving further 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 starting in the following year, Richards released subsequent book collections about the family and syndicated his series through social media and Tapas.
The Goodbye family lives in a giant tree that has been made habitable by Otis' woodworking. Their original house was lost in a fire due to the war of the Tried and Boorish.
- 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 cadavers 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.
- Kepla: a mysterious older brother of Orphie that happens to be somehow older than her parents.
- Lassie: a deadly snake that was introduced in the 2019 comics that assists Orphie like a lasso in catching villains.
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." Kepla is said to be based on an older friend of Richards and his wife that they jokingly called their son.
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."
The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain
The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain is a Weird West juvenile fiction novel by Lorin Morgan-Richards, the second in his Great Mountain series, about undertakers Otis, Pyridine, and their daughter Orphie. According to the book's summary Pyridine is a witch and mortician, Otis is a bumbling but brazen hearse driver, and Orphie has the strength of twenty men and helps with grave digging.
Following the first novel Me’ma and the Great Mountain, Me’ma, an Indigenous child, has routed the mining tycoon Baron Von Nickle and headed west over the Great Mountain as the defeated and leaderless miners returned east to the town of Nicklesworth. Frank Thorne is the only soldier to stay intact and searches for the Baron's accomplice. The Goodbye family, undertakers in town, hear of the defeat when the Baron's rattail hair appear on their doorstep. The Goodbye's, suffering from poor business, look to monetize the situation and seek an heir, but find the townsfolk are turning into zombies. Otis finds the culprit in a new tonic that leads the family to Nothom, the underworld, where Thorne is following close behind. They find a production facility that is pumping oil to those above for consumption, dramatically altering the land of Nothom to the dissatisfaction of the Goodbyes. In turn, and without the Baron, the oil is causing the townspeople above, like Thorne, to become the living dead and fall under the control of the Baron's accomplice, a wicked warlock named Zenwick Aldrich. The book is a blend of goth and humor.
A common theme in Richards stories is an underlying environmental message. Similarly, to his first novel, Me'ma and the Great Mountain, he also provides a solution. In this case, dependence on oil is the cause of conflict and the Goodbye family's disruption and disorder saves the day.
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
- Gallows Humor: Hangin' with the Goodbye Family (2018) ISBN 9780997319385
- Dead Man's Hand-kerchief: Dealing with the Goodbye Family (2019) ISBN 9780983002086
- The Importance of Being Otis: Undertaking with the Goodbye Family (2019) ISBN 9781733287906
- Yippee Ki-Yayenne Mother Pepper: Getting Saucy with the Goodbye Family (2019) ISBN 9781733287937
- Me’ma and the Great Mountain. 2012. ISBN 0985044799
- The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain. 2020. ISBN 9781733287913
Richards announced he is writing a script for The Goodbye Family: The Animated Series.
- 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.
- The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards – Alextheshadowgirl's Blog
- "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.
- "Review: Me'ma and the Great Mountain | Advice from a Caterpillar". Advicefromacaterpillar.wordpress.com. 2012-04-26. 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.
- The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards - FictionDB
- Lorin Morgan-Richards - Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain
- Introducing the Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain by Lorin Morgan-Richards - YouTube
- Amazon.com: The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain (9781733287913): Lorin Morgan-Richards, Jessica Rose Felix, Richard-Lael Lillard: Books
- 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.
- Lorin Morgan-Richards - News
- The Goodbye Family on Tapas