In a triumph for lazy hacks everywhere, Dave Zinczenko's Men's Health was nominated for National Magazine Awards for three of its 2009 issues—the covers of which are visually indistinguishable from the same shit Zincenko was hawking last year.
As our own Brian Moylan discovered last year, Zinczenko's strategy for designing engaging and enticing newsstand covers consists of—literally!—slapping the same coverlines and ridiculous numbers over and over again, year after year, on pictures of whichever ab-tastic sports figure happened to be available that month for a photo shoot.
The American Society of Magazine Editors decided to validate that neat little trick this year by nominating Men's Health for a general excellence award for its September, October, and December 2009 issues. Let's see how they stack up against the covers Zinczenko recycled them from in years past. At left in the images below are the 2009 issues that the ASME thinks are generally excellent, and to their right are just two of the many identical covers Men's Health has published in the past:
Six Pack Abs!: September 2009, October 2007, December 2006
Lose Your Gut: December 2009, March 2008, September 2007
Get Back In Shape: October 2009, September 2008, October 2006
OK, that last one wasn't exactly recycled, owning to the unusual presence of Barack Obama. So congratulations, Men's Health, on producing precisely one non-retread cover last year. As for the rest of them, you can now expect to be nominated for a National Magazine every year, forever, so long as you don't screw up your crack magazine-cover science.