THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best Magazine Covers

1. JACK - NOVEMBER 2002

Jack's first issue on going monthly in November boasted a classic, stand-out cover. Patrick Faricy's illustration and Simon Brown's art direction reinvent the comic book look. The cover of James Brown's baby boasts an Alberto Varga-style model alongside a baboon and a chainsaw with Alan Partridge thrown in for good measure. Very cool indeed.

2. ESQUIRE - NOVEMBER 2002

Esquire's fashion special boasts a stunning double cover with Cameron Diaz on the front and Ethan Hawke on the back cover. Fantastically shot by Stewart Shining and eschewing the usual lechery of men's magazine photography, the Cameron Diaz visual strikes the right note of elegance. Art director Ian Pendleton has created a look for Esquire that stands out among other men's titles.

3. VOGUE - JANUARY 2002

Vogue splashed into 2002 with a gatefold cover packed with the best UK modelling talent, from Stella Tennant to Naomi Campbell, wearing various Union Jack outfits. A classic Mario Testino shot, it struck just the right note of optimism coming into a cold New Year.

4. THE FACE - SEPTEMBER 2002

The first of two Face entries, its September fashion special boasted three different covers featuring Alexander McQueen, Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney. The photography by Vincent Peters is stunning, particularly in the platinum-tinged shot of McQueen.

5. VANITY FAIR - JANUARY 2002

Shot by Annie Leibowitz, this cover, featuring President George Bush and members of his cabinet with the strapline "War and Destiny", stood out at a time when they were preparing for war. It accompanied a photo-essay of Bush and the US corridors of power, with Vanity Fair being granted rare access to the West Wing. Its serious, straightforward tone perfectly suited the mood in the US.

6. THE FACE - JULY 2002

A departure from its usual white and red masthead and photography, The Face's July issue featured a cartoon caricature of Ozzy Osbourne by James Jarvis just as Ozzy mania hit our screens via The Osbournes on MTV. The pink and white "Ozzy" cutting through The Face masthead is a neat touch.

7. MARIE CLAIRE - JUNE 2002

The IPC title's June issue was its first one ever to boast a male cover star in the form of England and Manchester United football star David Beckham claiming: "I can't dance but I'm an animal in bed." It was also a coup for the magazine to get Beckham a month before GQ featured him.

8. VANITY FAIR - NOVEMBER 2002

Another gatefold cover, also shot by Annie Leibowitz, accompanies Vanity Fair's November music issue. The main cover shot captures the allure of the stars featured -Gwen Stefani, J-Lo, Sheryl Crowe and Alicia Keys, particularly in J-Lo's case and the pink masthead design, by the design director David Harris, is the perfect complement.

9. ESQUIRE - NOVEMBER 2002

The brave decision to picture Al Pacino sitting down and almost overshadowed in prominence by the cover lines for Esquire's film issue pays off. The halo effect created by Platon's photography conveys a real sense of Pacino's brooding stature. Once again Esquire emphasised its serious, grown-up positioning with its cover.

10. GQ - JUNE 2002

Perfectly timed to coincide with the start of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, GQ's June issue featured an oiled-up David Beckham seemingly pinned to the St George cross in David LaChapelle's memorable photograph. The Messiah imagery was not misplaced at the time but Beckham was some way short of being England's saviour.

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