Orby heads to Detroit Historical Museum

Orby holds a copy of Re-Entry: The Orbit Magazine Anthology. - ERIK MALUCHNIK
Erik Maluchnik
Orby holds a copy of Re-Entry: The Orbit Magazine Anthology.

After going missing for 16 years, a beloved Detroit mascot has finally found a longterm home. On Saturday, it was announced that the head of Orby — the smirking, globe-headed cartoon mascot of the defunct local humor magazine, Orbit — is set to be put on display at the Detroit Historical Museum sometime in 2016. 

The announcement was made at a Saturday party at Third Man Records celebrating the wrap of Re-Entry: The Orbit Magazine Anthology, a recent book that chronicles alternative publisher Jerry Vile's Orbit, Fun, and White Noise magazines. Re-Entry author Rob St. Mary tells us he contacted the Detroit Historical Museum after the Orby head surfaced in September, and says he is handing over Vile's entire back issue archives of Orbit and Fun, digital copies of White Noise, and assorted other Orbit ephemera and memorabilia that he collected during the making of the book as well.

"They said they're willing to take as much as they can get," he says. 

It's been a wild ride for Orby, who narrowly escaped a planned "beheading" at Orbit's 1999 goodbye party at Saint Andrew's Hall. A superfan rescued the discarded head at the end of the party, and it spent most of the past decade and a half sitting in an apartment, occasionally making rare appearances at parties around town.

The Detroit Historical Museum should make a good fit for the Orbit artifacts. Currently, the museum is hosting the Kid Rock Music Lab, an interactive exhibition supported by the Kid Rock Foundation (Re-Entry was able to get published thanks to a $20,000 donation from Kid Rock). Also currently on view is Start the Presses: 50 Years of the Fifth Estate, a look back at another popular countercultural Detroit publication.

In the meantime, we're told you can snag a copy of Re-Entry at Third Man Records, along with assorted other Orbit swag like the infamous Orby T-shirt. (As seen in Pulp Fiction!)

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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