Above All – 1934

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A Rock rises high in triumph over a pair of scissors held by an angry losing player (middle character). The anger of this player seems particularly strong considering that he has recently triumphed over Paper which has been thematically represented by the artist as a “Bureaucrat” (left character). This is the first known image where the technique of “chain logic” was used (if Paper is beaten by Scissors and Scissors is beaten by Rock, therefore Rock must be the best). This has been a common theme in RPS promotional art. The early dating of this image also refutes the current notion that the phrase “Nothing beats Rock” was first uttered by cartoon personality Bart Simpson.

Note: In RPS imagery a skull (as seen on the right) tends to be a reference to any of the non-noble throws (i.e. well, god, water etc…