Blade Runner Superfan Recreates Dystopian Magazines from Scratch (Update)

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You might think you love Blade Runner—and if you don't, you should!—but do you love it enough to track down and digitally recreate a prop that most people have never even noticed? This amazing viewer did.

The recently resurfaced magazine covers, approximating the dystopian pop cultural glossies of LA in 2019, range from creepy to sublime: there's Moni, the tech mag. Horn looks like a copy of Cosmo you'd find in the Tyrell Corporation lobby—"THE COSMIC ORGASM"—and then there's Dorgon Magazine, which is just wonderful gibberish. The attention to detail that went into designing these covers is astounding, considering they appear only as infinitesimal items in otherwise enormous sets. The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal found newly drafted versions of the covers, digitally drawn by a Blade Runner fan known only as Kevin. What Madrigal pinned down, with some sleuthing that would make Deckard proud, is amazing:

In this case, clip art from a computer in the early 1980s was used to make magazine covers that were printed and then filmed in a classic movie. These things were forgotten for decades until sometime during or shortly before 2009, someone (Kevin) started to reconstruct them for his friends in an Internet forum about the movie. Some forumgoer used them as a Kindle screensaver; another was going to print them out and frame them, according to a forum posting.


It's a dazzling Internet Möbius strip—an ode to a sci-fi artifacts that never really existed at all. [The Atlantic]

Update: Well, this is terrific: Tom Southwell, Production Illustrator for Blade Runner (that is to say, the guy who made these covers!) wrote in personally:

Your comment: "clip art from a computer in the early 1980's" was incorrect. I got my first computer (a Mac) in 1989. The clip art ( from a copyright free Dover book ) ironically was from the late 19th century. Very "retro" for a magazine dated 2020 (the original date scripted).