Weekly Web Highlight: Blade Runner Magazine Covers
Science fiction is well known for the devotion it inspires amongst certain strains of society, with the geeks of the world ceaselessly pouring over even the tiniest minutiae of their fictional future world of choice.
As a result, many of the most popular works are those that employ the most diligence when it comes to supplementary ephemera, that colour in the storylines with incredible attention to detail.
Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 cyberpunk masterpiece, is exactly one of these. With at least seven different cuts of the film in existence, the cult classic is a goldmine for fans who wish to delve into its deeper reaches, picking out the smallest fragments to be analysed and examined.
A collection of magazine covers created especially for the film has been posted online, showing the thought that went into its production. Drawn by Tim Southwell, the movie’s production illustrator, and briefly shown on a newsstand in the film, they appear to cover subjects such as technology, fashion and possibly soft-pornography.
Headlines include “Colour Spliced Skin Inserts Don’t Wash Off” and “Earthlings Pay Big $ to See Future”, each title marked with a publication date of 2020 (the original setting for the film, eventually changed to 2019).
The magazine covers were first featured in a DVD extra called Sign of the Times: Graphic Design and are rumoured to have been made into a set of lockscreen images that can be displayed on a jailbroken Kindle.
If this is the level of detail that the makers of Blade Runner stretched to there are no doubt many other aspects of the film’s production that could emerge over time. Thanks to some eagle-eyed fans these inventive and clever additions to the fictional world have been preserved when they could simply have been lost in time, like tears in rain.