The winner of this year’s prize for “Cover of the Year,” as chosen by Amazon.com customers, is none other than Harper’s Bazaar‘s December 2009 issue, featuring — who else? — the starts of Twilight, which I still refuse to read or see or, most days, even acknowledge.
This is the second year in the award’s five year history that Amazon.com has hosted and participated in determining the winning cover. Harper’s Bazaar initially won in the “Best Vampire” (truly) category before being chosen “Cover of the Year.”
The 11 other winners are listed after the jump.
The Atlantic, May 2010: “Fat Nation”
Category: News & Business
Marc Ambinder uses the story of his own battle with obesity to comment on America’s long and losing war against fat. We wanted an image that presented obesity as a truly national epidemic, one that would plant the problem squarely at the feet of Americans. Alex Ostroy’s image of an obese Statue of Liberty highlights the national scope of the problem with a dash of wit.
GQ, December 2009: “Clint Eastwood”
Category: Entertainment & Celebrity
Each month, GQ does its best to put a celebrity on our cover who embodies the moment in both culture and style. And like many magazines, those celebrities tend to be fresh-faced and on-the-rise. Every once in a while, though, as evidenced by GQ’s December 2009 Clint Eastwood cover (by photographer Martin Schoeller, who shot every portrait in the issue), the magazine recognizes men who can confidently be deemed GQ Icons. Men whose cracks, and veins, and wrinkles (those hands, that face) convince you not to glance away — but to peer closer.
The New Yorker, March 29, 2010: “Homage”
Category: Fashion & Beauty
For “Homage,” the cover of The New Yorker’s Style Issue, Ana Juan featured Alexander McQueen’s signature butterfly hat in a stark array of black, white and red. In her haunting image, Juan unerringly portrays the loss suffered by the fashion world when, earlier in February, the extraordinary McQueen had tragically ended his own life.
GQ, February 2010: “The 25 Most Stylish Men in the World 2010″
Every once in a while it makes sense to forgo a new shoot in order to publish the perfect vintage photograph. And for the February 2010 issue, GQ did just that. As the lead image for the “25 Most Stylish Men in the World” feature, no picture spoke more convincingly to the GQ aesthetic of style than the one by Patrick Demarchelier of Johnny Depp. The hair in the eyes. The tattoos. The casual eccentricity and dripping confidence. The half-finished glass of wine. This is who and where we want to be. And this photo is the one we show friends who ask, “Who’s the coolest guy you know?”
National Geographic, April 2010: “Water: Our Thirsty World”
Category: Science, Technology & Nature
To create a just-dunked effect for the cover of National Geographic’s April 2010 special issue, “Water: Our Thirsty World,” executive editor William Marr and staff photographer Mark Thiessen started with a shiny slab of white Formica coated with car polish. Artfully spritzed water drops beaded up and posed through many lighting experiments and photos, then the famous yellow rectangle and the cover type took their places in the image. That’s not all that happened, but the rest has something to do with magic.
Sports Illustrated, December 11, 2009: “Pictures of the Year”
Category: Sports & Fitness
What is so unique about Morry Gash’s shot of Wisconsin running back John Clay is that it gives fans an immediate view of the game from Clay’s eyes as he stands behind the line of scrimmage. When the SI photo staff cropped in further on Gash’s photo, the clarity of the reflection was still amazing — no small feat for something that was just 10 percent of the original picture. This photo demonstrates the value of SI’s treasure trove of previously unpublished photos and the shelf life they have for later on.
Coastal Living, April 2010: “Weekend Paradise”
Category: House & Home
Coastal Living’s April 2010 cover captures the essence of the magazine’s mission – an escape from everyday life and dreams of the good life by the sea. Our objective is to transport readers to a peaceful, stress-free place through excellent photography and design. This image embodies the magazine’s laid-back vibe, nothing too formal or precious. Shot by freelancer Annie Schlechter at a refurbished sugar mill on St. Croix, this clean, crisp photograph has it all – a place to rest, a cool breeze and a killer view. You just want to be there.
Playboy, November 2009: “Marge Simpson”
When Playboy’s editors learned “The Simpsons” was celebrating its 20th anniversary and the upcoming season would feature an episode about Marge Simpson disrobing for a modeling gig, they knew they had to honor her with a Playboy pictorial! America’s most-beloved matriarch was featured on the November 2009 cover, which was Playboy’s first cover to feature an animated character. The much-buzzed-about cover image, which was created with the help of Matt Groening and Julius Preite from “The Simpsons,” was a recreation of Playboy’s iconic October 1971 cover featuring Darine Stern.
New York, September 28, 2009: “HATE”
Category: Most Controversial
New York’s Obama “HATE” cover takes Shepard Fairey’s campaign “HOPE” poster and turns it on its head to reflect the political realities of fall 2009. A collection of words used on signs at Obama protests (“imposter . . . Hitler . . . parasite-in-chief”) were hand-painted and then digitally placed onto a photograph of Obama, while the word “hate” replaces “hope” at the base of the image. The cover caused controversy for scrawling hateful words across the face of the president, and it certainly showed in stark fashion the public vitriol that emerged so loudly in some quarters in the months since Obama’s election.
Texas Monthly, August 2009: “The 50 Best Burgers”
Category: Most Delicious
When it comes to your average Texan’s diet, there’s Tex-Mex, there’s barbecue, there’s chicken-fried steak – and then there’s everything else. So to glorify a foodstuff not found within that holy trinity was somewhat risky. Yet through an inviting color palette of sunshiny yellows and crisp, cool blues; inspired location-scouting and spot-on food-styling; and in-your-face photography from Randal Ford, Texas Monthly made the case to readers that the hamburger no doubt belongs in the pantheon of classic Texas dishes.
Sports Illustrated, February 12, 2010: “Swimsuit 2010″
2010 was a return to the iconic, attention-grabbing SI Swimsuit covers of years past. Set amidst the simple yet breathtaking waters on the Maldives, there is nothing to clutter the focus on Brooklyn Decker’s flowing blond hair, piercing blue eyes and all-American smile. Her girl next door charm jumps right out of the photo; it’s easy to understand her leap into the pop-culture stratosphere. And for legendary photographer Walter Iooss Jr., this is old hat. 2010 marks the 11th cover shot for the man whose name has become synonymous with the Swimsuit franchise.