The alien alphabets have landed. When Futurama, the animated series from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, debuted on Fox, April 4, viewers started picking up clues to an otherworldly language literally written on the wall: A poster declared ”Drink Slurm” in English and in space-age hieroglyphs. Robert DeMartini, 28, head of production and planning at CDWorld in Silicon Valley, turned to the world’s largest decoder ring — the Net — to translate the lingua Futurama back into English. He put photos on his site, The Futurama Outlet (www.futuramaoutlet.com), where crypto-fans cracked all but three of the symbols. ”They decoded our first alphabet even faster than we estimated,” says the show’s coproducer and icon designer Mili Smythe. Now she’s working on ”enough alien alphabets to keep fans busy for years.” That way Futurama can send secret communiques to fans — along with snotty remarks that the suits at Fox will never decipher.
Posted June 4 1999 — 12:00 AM EDT
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