So the Magazine Publishers Of America have announced their selections of the best magazine covers of 2008, even though we still have over two months left in the year. Maybe the MPA are on some wacky Grammys-esque bullshit timeline of what a 'year' actually is. Anyway, take a look at the choices in that link, and then fire on back to read my comments....
* Cover of the Year. No dispute here, that Spitzer picture ain't getting any less funny. Best of the non-finalists: EW's 1930's glamour shot of Tina Fey. Am I picking this cover because I'm in love with her? Yes. Yes it is.
* Best Celebrity Cover. As hard as it is to ignore a lovely gold-tinged picture of Ms. Alba, it's equally hard to top a shot of Willie about to make sweet love to his guitar. But, to be fair, a gold-tinged picture of a guitar would've beaten a picture of Willie about to make sweet love to Jessica Alba. I think that one would've been meant for the cover of Oh, God, No! Magazine. Best of the non-finalists: I'm actually shocked Lohan's "I'm just like Marilyn Monroe, really, I am!" cover didn't make the final cut. Same with Angelina Jolie's tribute to the wonderbra on Vanity Fair.
* Best Concept Cover. I'm not sure any of these were particularly award-worthy. If forced, I would've voted for the Time one, I guess. But really, the New Yorker has been around for umpteen decades and only now did they strike upon the idea of doing a playing card-style flip of their logo for the cover? And I'm not even sure how the Vanity Fair one of Madonna even counts as a 'concept.' Unless as part of their green issue they cut Madonna open and counted her rings to see how old she actually is. Best of the non-finalists: the SI Bizarro Baseball cover, which I'll discuss later.
* Best Fashion Cover. Pretty lame to have a two-way tie out of only four nominees. You might as well just hand out a Participation ribbon while you're at it. The New York 'LOOK' cover probably deserved it more than the Gisele shot. I may be biased just because I'm one of the few straight males on the planet that doesn't find Gisele particularly attractive. Am I crazy, or is she something of a butterface? Best of the non-finalists: either Time Out Chicago or the ESPN Magazine cover featuring the Williams sisters.
* Best Leisure Interest. This is apparently the 'sports' category as well, since I was wondering how they couldn't have any sports covers at least be nominated. I'm not crazy about the winner or either of the final two nominees. Looking at the finalist list, there are at least two better options (the Departures and New York Times Magazine entries were striking), and going with sports, I would've stuck the Sports Illustrated 'Bizarro' cover of the Tampa Bay Ray punching the Yankee. Bonus points for that one since it was drawn by one of my favourite comic book artists of all time, the great Mark Bagley. If I ever do a 'greatest artists named Mark' list, he'll probably take the number one spot. Tough break, Marc Chagall!
* Best News Cover. Ah, Spitzer. You are truly a living joke. What's up with the dopey Time cover making the final cut? That's not even in the five best Obama-related news covers, let alone one of the best overall. Best of the non-finalists: Esquire's Obama cover, Newsweek's Obama cover, or for non-Barack options, the Audubon cover. Polar bears are awesome.
* Best Service Cover. Gotta love BBQ, and while I'm more interested than cooked meat than the environment, I probably would've voted for the Wired cover. Best of the non-finalists: hmmm, I can't really pick one out. I think the three nominees were actually the best ones. Well done, MPA!
* Best Coverline. And the Spitzer cover's Lord of the Rings-esque domination of these awards continues! Take a bow, Governor!