See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Orby heads to Detroit Historical Museum

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 8:48 AM

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!)

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation