Marc Jacobs, Eliot Spitzer, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Battle for ‘Cover of the Year’

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Marc Jacobs as Andy Warhol, Eliot Spitzer as Barbara Kruger fodder, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as scandal-wracked Idahoan Senator Larry Craig. These are the two-for-one covers named finalists for Cover of the Year in the third annual Best Cover Contest organized by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Todd Eberle photographed a Warholized Jacobs for Interview‘s June/July issue, which celebrated the 80th birthday of its founder (Warhol created the magazine in 1969, he once said, to “give the kids something to do”). Meanwhile, in the scandalous send-ups department, Kruger’s Futura Bold Italic annotation (all caps, no less) of Henry Leutwyler‘s photo of Spitzer for New York was a crowd-pleaser this spring (and is also a finalist in the Best Coverline category), and who knew that Barry Blitt‘s bathroom stall shuffling Ahmadinejad, the cover of The New Yorker‘s October 8, 2007 issue, would seem positively staid next to his subsequent examination of Obama perceptions?

New York and The New Yorker topped the list of publications receiving nominations in several other categories, including a well-deserved nod for the stark black-and-white spring 2008 cover of New York‘s fashion-focused spinoff New York Look and Blitt’s March 17 New Yorker cover that had Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both lunging for that 3am phone call. Check out the full slate of finalists here; alas, Jill Greenberg‘s Culture + Travel polar bear cover didn’t make the cut. The winners will be announced on October 6, during the American Magazine Conference in San Francisco.