The Year’s Most Memorable Magazine Covers

  • Though technically from the tail-end of last year, this edition of New York's annual "Reasons to Love New York" issue comes complete with a Where the Wild Things Are-inspired font and an endearing speck of a red coat amid a whitewashed central park.

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  • With this cover, The Economist took the just-announced iPad's nickname -- the "Jesus tablet" -- to a whole new level.

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  • National Geographic achieved a truly bracing straight-out-of-the-dip feel with its issue that focused on water conservation. But don't try to dunk the actual issue in the drink! Doing so is a waste of water and will render the thing unreadable.

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  • America's problem with obesity is news to no one, but it's still jarring to see Lady Liberty's engorged frame act as a symbol of our national indulgence.

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  • This cover, designed by artist Jorge Colombo, is notable first and foremost for being the first New Yorker cover painted entirely on an iPhone app, but it's also a woozy and attractive intimation of a warm summer night. Two dogs with the works, please.

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  • It may be the same type of movie star portrait that Esquire has been pumping out for years, but with Leo DiCaprio flinging his cocktail at the camera, bleary-eyed smile across his face, this cover is a classic of the form.

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  • A wintertime tradition that's hard to resist, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue made headlines this year for choosing Brooklyn Decker, wife of Andy Roddick, as its cover model.

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  • There's nothing especially shocking about a cover story exploring homosexuality in animals. But when the animals are bunnies and the cover hits driveways as families are going to church for Easter Sunday? Fantastic. Bonus feature: Jeff Koons did the photos!

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  • Terry Richardson's persona often overshadows that of his subject. (Please get your mind out of the gutter.) But when his skill as a provocateur-photographer is at its peak, he disappears. That was certainly the case when he had Lady Gaga dress up at a PETA supporter's worst nightmare. That meat dress — instantly iconic.

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  • The schlock-Broadway appeal and buttoned-up high school setting may keep the sexiness of the Glee stars in check. But GQ wanted to heat things up, and did they ever—shooting its stars in some compromising positions. Naturally, they hired Terry Richardson. The attention hit fever pitch, sales soared, and the cover became a genuine phenomenon, almost on par with the show itself.

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