The Homies are coming back to the comics! This hugely popular line of small collectible figures depicting various Latino characters started as a an underground comic strip by David Gonzales before morphing into a huge line of merchandise. Now Dynamite has signed a deal for all kinds of Homies publishing, including a “HISTORY OF THE HOMIES” comprehensive retrospective hardcover art book, with information on all of the toys ever released. They also have the license for original comics and graphic novels in all sizes, as well as reprints of existing comic material.
As you may know, Dynamite typically does not set up at Comic-Con—instead they run a series of announcements before the show, and this is just the first one. Look for more Dynamite news in the next few days.
The HOMIES first began as an underground comic strip created by artist David Gonzales that ran in Lowrider Magazine in 1978 and was based on his friends and lifestyle. The merchandising of HOMIES began in 1994 when trend savvy retailer Hot Topic offered the shirts for sale, which soon became hot tees in their stores. Following on the heels of a successful T-shirt run, HOMIES was licensed for figurines in the vending machine toy industry, where all sales records were broken, with over 150 million figurines sold worldwide. The licensing program soon spread to products such as action figures, remote and die-cast cars, notebooks, posters, plush, Halloween masks, video games, music and more, and were carried by specialty and mass retailers, such as Walmart, K-mart, Kay-bee Toys, Spencer Gifts, Walgreens and many others. Today the HOMIES are enjoying a comeback with new T-shirts, toys and more in the works.
“The Homies started as an underground comic strip back in the 70’s, and it has always been my dream to have them published in a comic book of their own. I have also, always wanted to create a Homies History book of sort, to establish the legacy of HOMIES, and to share the stormy and controversial and wild ride they have taken me on, “ says David Gonzales. “I am very pleased that Dynamite has recognized something special in my creation, and will champion me and my Homies in this quest.”
“I remember the toys, and how nuts people were in collecting them, back in the 90’s” says Dynamite Director of Business Development Rich Young. “They were a phenomenon, and all the different characters they created were super cool. I’m very happy that Dynamite is able to be the first publisher associated with the HOMIES and helping bring them to the printed page!”
“We’re not only excited to bring ‘HOMIES’ to the comics and book market, but we also get to kick this off at San Diego Comic Con! For fans who come to our panel Thursday, we’re going to give away a collectible “HOMIE” to each and every fan. The panel is in room 6DE on Thursday, from 5:45 to 6:45, and we can’t wait to talk more about ‘HOMIES’ and our additional Dynamite projects!” states Dynamite CEO Nick Barrucci
As for the characters themselves, the HOMIES got started
as a group of tightly knit Chicano buddies, Hollywood, Smiley, Pelon, andBobby Loco, who grew up in the Mexican American barrio (neighborhood) of “Quien Sabe” (“who knows”), located in East Los Angeles. Over time, the Homies have expanded their crew to over 300 characters from all different cultures, genres and even species. The wide-ranging personalities and characteristics, together, make up a single, composite entity that is the “HOMIES.” In an inner-city world plagued by poverty and oppression, the Homies have formed a strong and binding cultural support system that enables them to overcome the surrounding negativity and allows for laughter and good times as an anecdote for reality. The word “Homies” itself is a popular street term that refers to someone from your hometown or, in a broader sense, anyone that you would acknowledge as your friend. In use in the West Coast Latino community for decades, the word “Homies” has crossed over into the now mainstream Hip-Hop street culture that has taken America’s young people by storm.
“The Homies were a part of my childhood and I couldn’t be more excited to see them offered for a new generation of fans,” says Surge Licensing’s Elan Freedman. “But even more so, there is nothing more exciting than being able to progress the evolution of the brand by offering a brand new experience to all fans, existing and new, through a publishing program.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.