April 5th, 2009

Planets of Peril

Weinbaum RPG - Martians and cartoons

I don't think I ever got round to posting the final text of the part of the Weinbaum RPG describing Martian reactions to cartoon characters:
Although many aspects of Thoth society and personality are still mysterious, they are avid consumers of Terran animated films and seem to be in awe of certain characters, most notably Warner Brothers’ “Road Runner” and to a lesser extent Universal’s “Woody Woodpecker”. There are obvious reasons for their love of these characters; they are vaguely similar in body form to the Martians, and some of the behaviour shown in these cartoons looks a little like the fast erratic movement of a Martian. Within months of the first cartoon screening on Mars it was noticed that Martians had begun to use the word-sound “beep-beep” for extra emphasis.

It was initially thought that the Thoth might be worshipping these characters as gods, but there is ample evidence that they understand the animation process, and realise that the characters are human creations. In 2076 a Thoth known as Ch’tiiiiir visited Earth; while in Washington it gave the Smithsonian Institute seventeen pictures which were eventually deciphered as a crude “storyboard” outline for a film based on the characters, in which Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner to Mars, falls into a series of traps based on peculiarities of the Martian environment, and is ultimately eaten by a Dream Beast, which he sees as an attractive female coyote. The Institute contacted Warner Brothers and arranged to have the aimation made, with Ch’tiiiiir witnessing the production process from beginning to end. The cartoon was popular enough that several sequels have been made, and on any given Saturday morning it’s likely that at least one will be shown on one of the children’s television programs. This has helped to reinforce the idea of the Martians as the friends of humanity.

Oh, and here's the Martian view of humans, in a cut because it's more of a "don't tell the players" thing:

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