Jill Filipovic, editor of the web site Feministe, has written a persuasive piece about why print magazine covers still grab us, even in this age of images flashing by online at dizzying speeds. Is it the cover lines that tease? The sleek models (think GQ), the "beautiful people" (Vogue), the edgy, quirky but always relevant (Rolling Stone)? The shiny paper and lush inks?
Even with print publications in a seeming irreversible slump, their covers still make news. And magazine cover opportunities are still coveted by public figures with an image to protect and burnish. No matter how many Twitter followers you have, you aren't going to turn down Rolling Stone (ask Julia Louis-Dreyfus) or Vogue (probably the toniest magazine real estate Kim and Kanye have ever had!)
Pope Francis, and still mostly men, in spite of Time's change from "Man of the Year" to "Person of the Year" in 1999). Few who lived through the Afghanistan war era will forget photographer Steve McCurry haunting photo of the penetrating eyes of a 12-year-old refugee girl, Sharbat Gula, in a refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, published as a National Geographic cover.
There are lists and lists of favorites, compiled by sources from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) to Mashable. McCurry's National Geographic cover is Mashable's No. 1 pick; the Lennon-Ono photo is ASME's. A look through the cover images in these lists are good reminders of how compelling these covers can be, and how much emotion and commentary they contain.