Arthur Hochstein writes about The Economist cover of Fidel Castro: “The Economist is known for its offbeat covers. At their worst they can be heavy handed, and at their best they can be brilliant. This one is in the brilliant category. It deals with Fidel Castro’s legacy not by portraying its iconic subject in his fiery youth, but by cruelly pointing out that the only worthwhile thing that emerged from his years of rule is the Habano, the revered Cuban cigar. The particular cigar depicted, the Cohiba, was long a perk given to members of the Cuban Communist government and was eventually released for sale to the general public â€” although not, of course, in the U.S. The Cohiba became the symbol of high-end cigar consumption the world over.”
For Portfolio, Hochstein wrote, “This is another one of those ‘Ouch!’ covers that simultaneously sticks it to the you-know-who’s on Wall Street while evoking a real sadness for what has happened to the U.S. and the world as a result of the financial meltdown. Here we see the power of iconography, the fallen Wall Street bull â€” long a symbol of dominance, growth, optimism and American power. The statue’s execution (pun intended) achieves what any image maker or cover art director aspires to do, i.e. make another professional (or reader) look at it and wonder, ‘How did they do that?’ The likely answer is 3-D rendering, deftly done and inserted into the photo via Photoshop.”
See all of the top 10 covers here.