The faces are ghostly white and weirdly round in shape. Bright, Crayola-esque colors dominate the wardrobe and set dressing. And clunky looking, oversize word balloons hover over the characters’ heads. But, still, there’s no mistaking it: This is Blade Runner, all right. Artist David MacGowan has been faithfully if crudely recreating the dystopian 1982 sci-fi classic in Microsoft Paint on a shot-by-shot basis and posting the results to his Tumblr blog, MSP Blade Runner. He started on July 18 with this whimsical rendition of the opening credits sequence. Note that Sir Run Run Shaw’s name has been changed to “A-Do Run Run A-Do Run Run” in homage to The Crystals’ 1963 classic. That’s the first indication that MSP Blade Runner will be taking a slightly skewed approach to its source material.
MacGowan has been progressing steadily through the Ridley Scott film ever since then, posting new panels on a daily basis, often two or three at a time. If one doesn’t mind progressing chronologically backwards, the entire series can be read as a primitive comics adaptation. The artist recently captured an intense interrogation scene between Harrison Ford’s Deckard and Sean Young’s Rachael, as the former administers a Voight-Kampff test to the latter.
What would possess a person to do this sort of thing? MacGowan explained to Motherboard that the project arose from a genuine, intense admiration for Blade Runner, the desire to have his own blog, and a general lack of original ideas.
I used to draw really crappy basic MS Paint pics for a favorite pop group’s fan site, and they always seemed to raise a smile. The idea of doing something else with MS Paint, a kind of celebration of my not being deterred by lack of artistic talent, never really went away.
Strange as it seems, MSP Blade Runner is not entirely unprecedented. Back in 2013, artist Anders Ramsell created 12,000 watercolor stills for an animated “Araquelle Edition” of Blade Runner.