High Orbit

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High Orbit was a comic created by Deal Whitley and serialized in issues #6-9 of Albedo Anthropomorphics. The story was uncompleted at the time of Deal's death.


One of the other Albedo contributors Matt Howarth had published a one-shot graphic novel in 1985 called WRAB: Pirate Television about an ultimately benevolent, temporary hijacking of the world's video nets. The title "High Orbit" appeared as a series title in the outlaw station's programme guide. At the same time, Deal Whitley had been considering a futuristic sequel to his campus slice-of-life character comedy comic series Opporknockitytoons, so the idea of connecting the two series seemed a natural to Albedo's editor. Thus High Orbit is supposedly a story within a story, a science fiction soap opera airing on WRAB pirate television.

The overall scenario of High Orbit is of a funny-animal Earth, just after the turn of the next century, and life in Clarke orbit. The setting is the Zenna Henderson HEO Habitory Facility, part of the USA One station. One plot thread involves an attempt to close down funding to a deep space observatory attached to a station, while a second involves the culture clash between the relatively promiscous orbital community and their more prudish terrestrial visitors. The second thread involves some amount of sex and nudity, and was the first publication of such in Albedo.


The major characters are descendants of, or made their first appearance in Opporknockitytoons, a fannish strip by Deal which first appeared in Rowrbrazzle.

  • Dr Sabina Kitteridge-DiGlamourmoor, the Director of Physics Studies and Associate Director of Cosmological Studies at the C. K. Sheffield Deep Space Research Laboratory. Sabina was the co-creation of Deal and fellow cartoonist Lou Scarborough.
  • Tetra Matthews, adult daughter of Sabina's old friend Joy, visiting from Earth. She has a cow plush named "Margaret".
  • Ruth-Simone DiGlamourmoor, Sabina's young granddaughter.
  • Allyn Hanes, a male mouse and the villain of the story. He's an independent agent working for the Exec Council, trying to close the C. K. Sheffield observatory.

Publication History[edit]

The production of High Orbit was constantly hampered by Deal's poor health, and only three issues of the comic were produced.

The first 12-page issue was inked by Steve Gallacci and ran in Albedo #6.

The second issue was ten pages in Albedo #7, inked by Steven Montano.

The third issue wasn't ready in time for Albedo #8; Deal printed an apology letter and two pages of rough pencils. The ten-page instalment that ran in Albedo #9 was co-scripted by Robert Carspecken. It was intended for it to be inked by Steven Montano, but published instead in pencil form.


  • Albedo Anthropomorphics #6 (January 1986), pp 1-12
  • Albedo Anthropomorphics #7 (March 1986), pp 21-30
  • Albedo Anthropomorphics #8 (July 1986), pp 29-31
  • Albedo Anthropomorphics #9 (May 1987), pp 20-29