Thee Almighty & Insane: Chicago Gang Business Cards From The 1970s & 1980s

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Back due to popular demand, another volume..

Thee Almighty & Insane: Chicago Gang Business Cards from the 1960s & 1970s. Same format, but with all new content including a selection of older and rarer Chicago gang compliment cards from the North and West Sides made during the 1960s & (mostly) 1970s. This book documents a collection of historical ephemera from a period of time in which city-orchestrated displacement, the loss of industry, and racial antagonism created socioeconomic conditions that led to the formation and expansion of gangs in the streets, parks, and schools of Chicago.

Once again, 70+ enlarged reproductions of original compliment cards listing members, territories, slogans, and declarations of loyalty/animosity, are brought to the forefront for examination and interpretation.

This new edition is now ordered geographically (more or less) winding from south to north to reflect both the fundamental link of these organizations with physical locations and their interactions with others nearby. The essay has also been updated to reflect new information and perspectives introduced since the last edition was published.

Thee Almighty & Insane: is an ode to an idiosyncratic print subculture that arose in Chicago just prior to the digital age when street gangs made business cards displaying their symbols, nicknames, territories, and enemies as a means to assert their pride, recruit new members, and serve as general tokens of affiliation.

Less intended, but maybe more significant is the role of these cards as historical artifacts—not only documenting the specific histories of these gangs and their members, their hand-drawn graphics, their blackletter typefaces, their outlandish names and clever slogans.

Clothbound, 96 pages

Full color

5.5 x 8.25 in | 14 x 21 cm