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Literature

The Goodbye Family – Weird Western Comic

The Goodbye Family are a fictional family of undertakers  in a Weird Western comic that is the creation 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. The Goodbye Family will soon be an animated series, and theme song is performed by the Gothic Americana band the Heathen Apostles.

Weird Western comicSince 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.

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.

Weird Western comic
Lorin_Morgan-Richards

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.

 

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