Lorin Morgan-Richards (born 16 February 1975) is an American author and illustrator, primarily of children's literature. He was also the publisher of Celtic Family Magazine, and founder of the Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival.
|Born||16 February 1975|
|Pen name||Marcil d'Hirson Garron (anagram of "Lorin Morgan-Richards")|
|Genre||Children's literature, Western, short stories, humor, poetry, literary nonsense, Supernatural fiction, Weird West|
|Notable works||Me’ma and the Great Mountain, A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels, Simon Snootle and Other Small Stories, The Goodbye Family|
He is known for founding the Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival, one of the largest Welsh festivals of its kind in the United States, and founding the most widely distributed print publication based in the United States about Celtic cultures and interests. In 2014 he won the Eisteddfod Honorary Recognition for Bardic Achievements.
Richards was raised in an old converted school house in Beebetown, Ohio. His mother (a student of fine art) taught him the basics of drawing and music composition on the family pump organ. Richards also credited his imagination on the plentiful books his family owned, creative isolation, and the sheer number of animals they took care of, many of which he incorporated into his early drawings and writings.
Richards interest in Native American and American Western history began in childhood. "I remember my first book as a child was The Indians Knew by Tillie S. Pine, an early reader from 1965 explaining the cultural ways and historical resourcefulness of Native Americans and how they are applied in the sciences today."
When Richards entered second grade, he was diagnosed with a form of dyslexia that required tutoring through the ninth grade. By his early teens, he was reading and became inspired by Edward Lear, L. Frank Baum, Roald Dahl, and Lewis Carroll; helping him overcome his reading disability.
Richards Great Uncle was Elliott D. Canonge who worked with the Comanche and Inuit. On his mother's side, Richards ancestor was the 19th-century Welsh-American poet Robert Dennison Morgan. Robert's father (Richards direct ancestor) John Morgan left the Tredegar area of Wales and emigrated to southern Ohio in the early part of the 1800s.
Between 1993-2003, Richards received an AA Degree in Liberal Arts at Cuyahoga Community College and credited his Anthropology Professor Mark Lewine as a mentor. During this time, Richards also achieved minor success in producing music projects containing modern dance and theater, and befriended and collaborated with artist Textbeak. "I first attended Tri-C Western campus where my focus was on Liberal Arts. At the time, I kept a journal of random thoughts, doodles, and lyrics and used the filter of music as my art. So, the bulk of my classes were in this field of study. I made connections with other artists who shared similar passions, and we were all eager to form various projects of expression. I moved to Lakewood to be closer to the performance spaces and switched to Tri-C Metro where I was awakened out of my shell by an Anthropology teacher named Dr. Mark Lewine." In 1999, Richards solo album ENKI and subsequent live production were based on Zecharia Sitchin's book The Twelfth Planet. The show premiered in Cleveland, Ohio under the choreography of Michael Medcalf. Native American musical act Shouting Mountain opened the evening. In 2001, Richards followed the success of ENKI with the production of An Occurrence Remembered, influenced by the metaphysical war writings of Ambrose Bierce. The performance premiered in New York City. Richards reflects on the performance: "Rehearsals were underway when 9-11 happened and I recall we continued only for our own therapy of the situation, knowing theater-goers were not going out. It was a tremendous performance, but it financially broke me."
Richards calls his synth music "Dark Electronic Storytelling" as it is conceptually based on written works and is meant for dramatic performance.
Richards announced on social media in June 2018 that he was re-releasing previous albums and upcoming tracks under the new moniker Elder Moon.
In 2002, Richards moved to Los Angeles to start over where he refocused his artistic direction into writing and illustrating, which he said: "did not need the expenses of my past but only a pen and paper." While his novel Me’ma and the Great Mountain (2012) began drafts as early as 2002, it was Simon Snootle and Other Small Stories that became his first book release in 2009.
The following year Richards delivered four new releases including his second book of short stories in A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels.
Richards conceptualized most of The Goodbye Family characters in 2009 during a trip to the UK and France with his wife, although they were mentioned before this in his western novel Me’ma and the Great Mountain. Richards explains "I took a diary on the trip in order to write my second novel The Goodbye Family.
The Goodbye family consisted of undertakers Otis and Pyridine, their daughter Orphie and her pet tarantula Dorian. Orphie was first seen atop the Notre Dame Cathedral with gargoyles, Otis was trying to board a train at customs with a shrunken head, Pyridine was sewing a limb back together in Cardiff, and Dorian was capturing a fairy to eat. Following these illustrations, a cat Ouiji was unveiled and Orphie is said to have a brother named Kepla, but he is hardly ever seen and it is unclear if he even exists."
Between 2009 and 2013, Richards was bookbinding his limited edition versions of each title with runs equaling 50 to 400. These collectible books were typically oversewn by hand with a faux leather hard backing and linen pages inside. In an interview he states:
"Having seen what is being printed by majors these days with poor quality paper, I wanted to provide the reader with a book that carries more value near the same price and that can last for generations. Nothing would be more inspiring to me than to know my books are treasured like an heirloom."
Stylistically, Richards prefers a pencil and ink approach to his illustrations, and his writing often has elements of dark satire.
In 2015 Richards began two weekly cartoons on Steamkat, a comic strip site, The Goodbye Family and The Noodle Rut. Richards won the 2016 Official Tasty Nugget award for his illustrated story Sad Lost Doll.
Marcil d’Hirson GarronEdit
In February 2018, artwork started daily on social media under the name Marcil d’Hirson Garron, with the artist coining their style as Imperfectualism (art that cannot be easily replicated by machine). Likewise, Garron adopted the label Imperfectualist (an artist that looks to slow automation through their art). The artwork is free of precision and appears as minimalistic inked line drawings, however detail is seen hidden between the lines.
Further, it has been found that Marcil d’Hirson Garron is an anagram of Lorin Morgan-Richards.
A Raven Above PressEdit
A Raven Above Press was founded in 2009 by Richards with a focus on printing his illustrated stories and promoting other authors and illustrators of Celtic and Native American origin. The press also became a catalyst for producing cultural events and art exhibits. Notably, the Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival. On August 1, 2013, Celtic Family Magazine hit the newsstands with a release party in Cardiff, Wales. Richards was the founder and publisher of Celtic Family Magazine from its inception in 2013 to its hiatus in 2017.
The logo for A Raven Above Press displays a raven atop a bending cypress tree. Model Wednesday Mourning has appeared in the main ad for A Raven Above Press, as well as Morgan-Richards daughter Berlin in her traditional Welsh dress.
Richards would produce a book for every Welsh event he curated through A Raven Above Press. Outside of including his own illustration, these books often had American and Welsh artists depict the subject matter. Notable artists involved were Jen Delyth, Ruth Jên, Siobhan Owen, Monica Richards, Nichola and Sarah Hope, and Nathan Wyburn to name a few. The following is a list of these books:
- A Welsh Alphabet by Lorin Morgan-Richards and Peter Anthony Freeman (2010) in conjunction with the 2011 West Coast Eisteddfod.
- The Children’s Voice: A Definitive Collection of Welsh Nursery Rhymes by Peter Anthony Freeman (2012) in conjunction with the 2012 Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival.
- The Age of Saints by Peter Anthony Freeman (2013) in conjunction with the 2013 Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival.
- Welsh in the Old West by Lorin Morgan-Richards (2015) created for but released after the 2014 Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival.
Native American InvolvementEdit
Richards speaking on the history books he read in grade school: "Usually the pictures told much more about American history than the text. I remembered seeing at a very early age a glowing photo of Custer and a few pages after (of) an elderly man, who looked like my own grandfather, lying dead in the snow. He was alone, and without care. I later found out his name was Miniconjou chief Spotted Elk (Bigfoot) and he was part of the massacre at Wounded Knee. That photo has always stuck with me. I knew something was not right, and the text which was alongside it was not giving the full story."
Richards received a BA Degree in Anthropology at California State University, Los Angeles, where he focused on cultural studies (specifically Indigenous peoples of the Americas) and Folklore under the mentorship of Elliott Oring. To help pay for school, Richards worked at an art gallery in Westwood and later at the Southwest Museum of the American Indian store where he assisted setting up gallery shows including works by Russell Means. On February 11, 2008, Richards met Dennis Banks and was in support of The Longest Walk 2 starting on Alcatraz Island. Around this time, Richards attended a conference in Cleveland, Ohio on Native mascots hosted by brothers Vernon Bellecourt and Clyde Bellecourt, and also credits hearing John Trudell speak at his university as influential to his life.
Richards volunteered at Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center in the Angeles National Forest, where he researched and wrote about the Indigenous plants and their uses amongst the local tribes of Southern California. Botanist author Frank Acuna and Tataviam tribal leader Rudy Ortega Sr. were vital in this process and its use by the center for a trail guide.
Bringing the Circle TogetherEdit
Between 2008 and 2012, Richards partnered with Native American and Indigenous groups in Los Angeles to establish Bringing the Circle Together, a free monthly film series hosted at the Japanese American National Museum. The series offered a central gathering place to screen documentaries by and about Indigenous people while providing historical narratives with guest speakers, and art and cultural demonstrations. Special guests included Makana, Saginaw Grant, Douglas Miles, Blase Bonpane, among others.
The film series in partnership with AIM Santa Barbara held a community birthday celebration at Nahui Ohlin in Los Angeles for Leonard Peltier on September 12, 2009, with an update on his status and how the public could get involved to petition his release. Richards spoke to a reporter: "This is all grassroots. Everyone's voice counts. The time is now because Barack Obama, our president, had said it's not the president that actually makes the change, it's going to be our pressure upon the president that will make the change." The event was followed in December by a screening of Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier with discussion afterward by Ben Carnes, members of AIM Santa Barbara, as well as friends and family.
History was made at the film series on February 25, 2010, at the screening of Lost Nation: The Ioway when representatives of the Southern Ioway and Northern Ioway tribes gathered with Tongva leaders, making it the first time a meeting took place between Southern California and Midwestern Native American Nations.
In 2015, Richards published a free journal entitled Bringing the Circle Together Magazine featuring interviews with contemporary Native American leaders Joanne Shenandoah, Greg Grey Cloud, and L. Frank.
Richards became heavily involved in the Welsh-American community after the untimely closure of the Welsh Presbyterian Church in December 2012. Before this, Richards had helped coordinate an Eisteddfod at Barnsdall Art Park in 2011. Feeling a need to fill the void of losing the church as a cultural center, Richards founded the Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival, an annual event taking place on or around March 1 celebrating Wales. The first festival took place on March 1, 2013. Singer and harpist Siobhan Owen headlined the large-scale event. In conjunction with the festival, Richards began producing Celtic Family Magazine, a nationally distributed print and digital publication on Celtic interests.
In the summer of 2015, Richards invited members of the community to form the Welsh League of Southern California which took on the responsibility of the festival and other events in the area. Celtic Family Magazine announced its hiatus in 2017 due to increased production costs.
Richards has since refocused his energy into writing and illustrating full-time.
Words and phrases coinedEdit
Several words and phrases coined or adopted by Richards have passed into English usage:
- Down West, a type of the subgenre of Weird West depicting macabre western humor as seen in his series The Goodbye Family. The term is also from Richards cartoon collection of the same name.
- Bratniks, as a pejorative social epithet referring to Generation Z for their quick access to technology and knowledge. Richards playfully explains: "While the beatniks had On the Road the Bratniks have ‘On the Phone’. The ironic twist is that neighboring generations can easily be sucked into Generation Z like a black hole – making it very hard to differentiate what time and place you originated. Considering, maybe it's not so bad after all."
As Marcil d’Hirson GarronEdit
Author and illustratorEdit
- Simon Snootle and Other Small Stories (2009) ISBN 0985044748
- A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels (2010) ISBN 0985044772
- A Little Hard to Swallow (2010) ISBN 0997319313
- A Welsh Alphabet (2010), with notes by Peter Anthony Freeman ISBN 0983002053 (in collaboration with other artists)
- The Terribly Mini Monster Book & a Lesser Known Story About a Rare Benign Belbow (2011) ISBN 0983002045
- Me’ma and the Great Mountain (2012), with foreword by Corine Fairbanks ISBN 0985044799
- Welsh in the Old West (2015), with foreword by Jude Johnson ISBN 0983002096 (in collaboration with other artists)
- Dark Letter Days: Collected Works (2016) ISBN 0997319305
- The Night Speaks to Me: A Posthumous Account of Jim Morrison (2016) ISBN 0997319321
- The People of Turtle Island: Book One in the Series (2016) ISBN 099731933X
- The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills (2017) ISBN 0983002061
- 13 Disturbing Postcards to Send to Your Grandparents (2010) ISBN 0983002002
- 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
As illustrator onlyEdit
- The Pied Piper of Hamelin (2012), authored by Robert Browning, colorized by J.A. Pringles
- Plop the Raindrop (2013), authored by Kevin Alan Richards
Richards has created several illustrated stories exclusive to social media.
- Sal the Silverfish
- The Overcooked Tater Tot
- The Sad Lost Doll
- The Tiny Adventure of Hairball Man
- 12 Days of Krampus
Solo studio albumsEdit
Albums released under the name Elder Moon or Lorin Morgan-Richards
|2001||An Occurrence Remembered|
|2002||We See But Dimly|
|2001||Notes From Thee Real Underground IV (Underground Inc.)|
|2002||Mutations: Tribute to Alice Cooper (Underground Inc.)|
Albums released under the name Lorin Morgan-Richards
|2010||A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels (Read by Jason Shepherd, introduction by Seongje Hwang and Tae Sung Jie)|
|2012||Simon Snootle and Other Small Stories (Read by Jason Shepherd, introduction by Seongje Hwang and Tae Sung Jie)|
|2012||A Welsh Alphabet (Read by Jason Shepherd)|
|2018||The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills (Read by Jason Shepherd, introduction by Jay Hwang and Jie TS)|
Albums released with associated acts
|1998||Graven Image – Black Lung Cathedral (Jevan Records)|
|2009||Graven Image – Early Demos and Live Tracks|
- "An Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards". AmeriCymru. 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "The Welsh in America". Wales Art Review. 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Welsh Singing Sensation Meinir Gwilym Makes her American Debut in Hollywood". Welsh Icon News. 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Richard Burton honored with a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". Express. 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "St David's Day: Wales Around the World". Daily Post. 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "From Carmarthenshire to Hollywood". Carmarthen Journal. 2014-01-15. Archived from the original on 19 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Acclaimed local portrait artist features in US magazine". Isle News. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Celts in California". Irish Arts & Entertainment. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Welsh in the Old West: More than you thought" (PDF). British Weekly. 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
- "Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards". SteamKat.com. 2016-04-09. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Poems of Life, by Robert Dennison Morgan, Columbus, OH: New Franklin Printing Co. VG. 1914
- "The Descendants of John Morgan and Mary Shaw - Lorin Morgan-Richards, Karen M. Richards - Google Books". Books.google.com. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- Cacho, Daniela (2015-02-13). "One of many Tri-C Alumni Contains a Creator of Children's Literature – The Voice". Cccvoice.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- Scene Magazine, 2000 Scene Magazine Music Awards, Erick Trickey, published April 27, 2000
- Last Sigh Magazine, Enki, by Tek, published May 28, 2000
- The Cleveland Free Times, The Power of ENKI, by Laura DeMarco, Published November 17–23, 1999
- Civil War Times Illustrated, December 2001
- Ambrose Bierce Journal
- Golwg360, January 21, 2016, Welsh language newspaper.
- "Reviews". Darktwincities.Com. 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Lorin Morgan-Richards - Elder Moon • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:30pm UTC". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- Gothic Beauty Magazine, Issue 31, 2010
- Dread Central
- Disdeinen.net, October 13, 2009
- "An Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards". SteamKat!. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "Home". SteamKat!. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "Tasty Nuggets Banjo's Hollywood". Tasty Nuggets. 2016-11-01. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- "Instagram post by Lorin Morgan-Richards - Homeless child studies under the moonlight By Marcil d'Hirson Garron • Mar 28, 2018 at 7:38am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
- "Instagram post by Marcil d'Hirson Garron • Mar 20, 2018 at 4:02am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- "Welsh artists to descend on Hollywood this coming St David's Day". Wales World Wide. 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- [dead link]
- "Mar 18 on FM: Women's Month, Bridge City & So. Central Farm Update". Feminist Magazine. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "In Los Angeles, A Free Screening of Quest of the Carib Canoe". Garinet.com. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "Rally for Leonard Peltier : LA IMC". La.indymedia.org. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "Events | Japanese American National Museum". Janm.org. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- ""Lost Nation: The Ioway" - News". Iowaymovie.com. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- Barton, Cath. "The Welsh in America". Wales Arts Review. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "The Dreaded Summons – Our Q&A with Author Lorin Morgan-Richards". NewsWhistle. 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- "Generation Z Gets a New Moniker". SteamKat!. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- "Tweet by Marcil d'Hirson Garron". Twitter. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
Imperfectualism: (is) art that cannot be easily replicated by machine. An imperfectualist looks to slow automation through their art. As coined by Marcil d’Hirson Garron.
- "The Welsh roots of America's Wild West gunslingers revealed". Wales Online. 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- "David Edmonds (Lansing, MI)'s review of The Pied Piper of Hamelin". Goodreads.com. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2017-04-26.