Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cover of the Year

Any feminist with eyes knows that magazine covers are basically the root of all evil. The airbrushing, the recycled but repackaged sex secrets, the overpriced fashion, the endless parade of celebs. I always kind of figured that the people who make these magazines have kind of a sense of humor about it, that they must realize that they're not really doing anything.

Then I saw the finalists for the 2008 Best Cover contest by the American Society of Magazine Editors. And now I'm just confused. The following cover is nominated in 3 categories, including Best Cover:
And now I can't decide if magazine people think the whole thing really is a huge joke or if they're a bunch of 5th graders. I can't really disagree with this cover. But this is the kind of brilliance that nominates you for cover of the year? Really? I think we need to raise the bar just a smidge.

However, there were only 3 of your model/actress/singer looking pouty and thin covers between all 8 categories. Even 2 of the 3 celeb cover nominees were men. You had a couple from Vanity Fair, but no Cosmo or Elle or any of them. (I'm not sure all those New Yorker covers are great replacements, but at least it's something else. Personally, I think the best overall group of covers came from Wired.) See all the nominees here.


Anonymous said...

i actually like this cover. its simplicity (and as you mention, it's accuracy) is its greatest virtue. sometimes it takes great skill to have restraint.

NewsCat said...

I'm more perplexed by the inclusion of Time magazine's "And the Winner is*" cover of Obama. It's a really great photo of Obama, but still. Most of these covers weren't outstanding.

Habladora said...

Well, looking at the covers was fun - and I AM relieved it isn't all just airbrushed model waifs. The GQ cover made me laugh out loud - talk about cheesy. Really, though, it is hard to determine what the criteria were. I'd like to read the judges commentary, because most of these seem pretty dull (I'd even go so far to call the winning Spitzer cover dull).

DJ Dual Core said...


Is it a critique or is it normalization?

Maybe it doesn't matter. It is funny.