In recent years, Chicago has had a high profile due to staggeringly high levels of gang violence in the Midwestern metropolis, but 'Thee Almighty & Insane' shows that the deadly crime groups are hardly a new phenomenon in the city. The book, researched and written by Brandon Johnson, is a collection of business cards from gangs that roamed Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s.
Business cards might not seem like the sharpest idea for crime syndicates, but the "compliment cards," as they were known, were designed to be personal markers of affiliation and recruitment more than advertisements. In either case, the bizarre cards showcase the creative flair that these dangerous gangs employed.
The cards printed in The Almighty & Insane stick to specific stylistic gestures. The title of the book is itself a common phrase used on many of the cards, as well as the insidiously congenial "Compliments of..." The cards also tend toward ornate cursive fonts and key members' aliases printed in small type.