Crips & Bloods

Witches
Tricky Discs

Gangs

Introducing Issues With (Opposing Viewpoints)
Gangs
Barbour, ed.
2006

Gangs cover

Gangs
Issues That Concern You
Daniels
2008

Submitter: There was a post on an old weed-worthy gang series title a couple of years ago (http://awfullibrarybooks.net/?p=890).  Neither of these are old – one is dated 2006, the other 2008, so I’m not weeding either of them, but the cover photos on these Gale books are absolutely brutal.  The B&W photo on the ‘Issues That Concern You’ book concerns me greatly.  It looks like a casting call for a Michael Jackson video.   As for the red ‘Opposing Viewpoints’ cover, I don’t know what to say.  It looks like they pulled some guys from People of Walmart (http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/) and told them to make some generic gang hand gestures for a photo.  Or maybe the guy on the left with the kneesocks and his tank top pulled up to look like a man bra is undergoing his initiation?   Neither cover really makes me think that gangs are scary, only that they’re support groups for people who make bad fashion choices.

Holly:  I agree that these are keepers for public library collections.  Are the pictures inside these books just as…um…interesting?  I think man-bra guy wants to show off his tattoo.  The guy next to him did the same, but then blew it by crossing his arms over his stomach.  The third guy is clearly practicing for the airline safety spiel (“exits to the sides and rear of the aircraft…”)  The second book looks like a reunion of the cast of Welcome Back Kotter.

24 comments

  1. I think the cheery folks from cover #2 look like extras from “Starsky and Hutch.” Where’s my Snoop Dogg? Hey, he could have been on both book covers!

  2. Isn’t a man-bra known as a “bro”?

    I actually thought the 2nd book looked like a weird cross between an 80s teen rom-com and West Side Story. I don’t see many gang members sitting around with pool cues.

  3. Man, the second book… that looks like a party I’d like to be at! And the first one looks like the next morning at some of the parties I’ve already been to.

  4. These are awesome! What I really want to know is – who designs these covers?!?! They must be some messed up mother fudgers.

  5. Don’t you love the apparent wedding band on Guy#3 on the first cover?

    Don’t tell me you didn’t notice!

    Do gang-bangers wear wedding rings???

  6. Imagine if the gangs pictured on the covers were rival gangs.
    Who do you think would win in a fight?

  7. with opposing viewpoints? Does that mean it contains a debate between pro-gang and anti-gang factions?

  8. Re Opposing Viewpoints, no, I don’t think so. I think it’s different viewpoints on various gang issues, like causes and how to handle them and stuff like that.

  9. Oh my gosh, both of these awful covers have me in stiches here at the library desk. Both photos just look decades older than the years the books were respectively published. Like Jami, the second one totally reminds me of West Side Story. I didn’t know gangbangers could look like that in 2008!

  10. I think the gang from the second book would win, because they have the whole Theban Band thing going on (unless some of those people are supposed to be women).

  11. The second book completely baffles me. What kind of gang wears rivets on their clothes, headbands, Che hats and has ethnic members that are not bothered by the swastika on the wall?

  12. The first gang looks like they’ve been watching ‘The Wiggles’. They just need some coloured skivvies.

  13. So, um, where are the gangs? Cover one just shows three suburban crackers hanging around the parking lot of the Long Beach Marriott, and the second cover looks like a group shot of Parliament-Funkadelic’s roadies.

    In either case, I’ve met more threatening people while being seated at weddings.

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