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Los Angeles -- In 1998 artist David Gonzales had released the first set of his popular Chicano figures,

Homies, but by May 1999 his first set of 6 figures was receiving strong negative backlash about the

Chicano representations in his art. On the one hand there where those that thought his depictions of Chicanos

where emphasizing the negative stereotypes of Mexican youths in California but then there were those that

appreciated the art and the cultural representations of real people from the barrio. Gonzales states that the

 figures are real people from his experiences, people from the community and people he grew up with. The

 other criticism was that the original 6 Homies were gang related and promoted a violent lifestyle. Detective

 Morris from the Devonshire division of the Los Angeles Police Department told the LA Times that "the

Homies where negative images that perpetuated negative stereotypes and glorify the gang life style

(LA Times May 26, 1999)". There was also a deputy district attorney that stated that, "we're thinking of

putting them [Homies] in court to show people that if you are dressed like these guys, you' re violating

 probation (www.lapdonline story entitled Homies Disappearing From a Store Near You)." The negative publicity

 from the law enforcement pressured some retailers such as Jim Plescia of The Vallarta Supermarkets to

pull the Homies from the market, but was all the negative publicity towards Gonzales' figures correctly warranted?

Let's examine the original 6 Homies.

 

The original set includes, 8-Ball, La Raza, Mr. Loco, Sapo, Smiley and Droopy. They were available

individually in gum ball machines, on a blister card and as key chains. These are the characters that

where being associated as criminals, thugs and gangsters. The Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1999

 stated that the 6 figures perpetuated negative stereotypes that glorified the gang life style without even

 examining the six figures individually. Each Homie has a bio that Gonzales wrote as part of the artwork

and if the critics of the Homies had some knowledge of the Homies they would know that Mr. Raza, for

 example is very passionate about his cultural heritage and has degrees in Chicano Studies and Latin American

and Pre Columbian History. Mr. Raza also tries to educate the other Homies and encourage them to go to school

and become educated and work to change the system. Also SaPA(Frog)is just an ordinary homey from the

 neighborhood that eats a lot of Mexican food and is not popular with the ladies. And even the most hard core

 of the original 6 Homies, Mr. Loco works as a youth gang counselor and settles problems between rival gangs

 in the barrio. Gonzales has stated in numerous interviews that he "did not create the Homies to glamorize gang

 life" but many people will make false assumptions that Hispanic caricatures that are wearing baggy cloths, t-shirts,

and hats must be gang related, but the connections to gangs is a stretch which some consider quite ridiculous.

 

 It is out of ignorance and prejudice that people come to these conclusions, but the Homies that have four

series now are becoming increasingly popular and are considered legitimate collector's items. Many stores that

had previously removed them have now reconsidered stocking them. Interest in these figures initially came from

 the Hispanic community but now people from all over the world want to own their own Homies. Recent orders have

come from The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The Food Network and a costume company. Also there have

 been several requests from many countries in Europe, Africa and South America and people in all 50 states have

ordered Homies.

It turns out that the early perceptions of the Homies were greatly exaggerated, and police officers and prosecutors

 where a bit off the target when they associated these figures as gang-related. The release of Homies 2, 3, and 4 in

 addition to Mijos 1, Mijos II, Mijos III have reinforced the original sentiments of Gonzales when he stated he was

 creating art based on Chicano culture, not gang culture. The most recent releases include the Hoodrats and Psycho

Clowns and the Mini Bobble Heads. Some of these figures have also been made into dolls and are the most popular

Homies product now. Six popular homies have been made into larger bendable homies figures.

 

MOST YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THIS PHOTO ON THE HOME PAGE OF BIG 8 AT IT'S BEST NEWS .COM                 

 LOOK AT THE TOP OF ME ( DAVID A GARCIA ) AND YOU CAN SEE SOME OF MY HOMIES ON TOP OF THE    PC   THAY ARE ALL THERE TOO THIS DATE MAY.16.2005                            

                                    HERE ARE SOME OF MY HOMIES THAT I HAVE BUY                                                                   

NOW THAT YOU JUST SEEN SOME OF THEME. NOW YOU MAYBE WHAT SOME FOR YOU

HERE ARE SOME WEB SITES THAT YOU CAN BUY HOMIES AT

( NOTE YOU MAY BUY THEME IN STORES IN YOUR AREA TOO ) BUT WE HAVE

WEB SITE LINK'S WHERE CAN BUY THEME TOO HERE THAY ARE

HOMIES TV WEB SITE   http://www.homies.tv/indexflash.html

STEETGANGS WEB SITE  http://www.streetgangs.com/homies/

I LOVE HOMIES WEB SITE  http://www.ilovehomies.com/

LOW RIDE 2 FREEDOM WEB SITE   http://lowride2freedom.com/index.htm

VENDING USA  WEB SITE  http://www.vending-usa.com/homiesseries4.html

ROLL IN LOW WEB SITE   http://www.rollinlow.com/homies.html

WICKED COOL STUFF WEB SITE  http://www.wickedcoolstuff.com/homies.html

ART.COM  WEB SITE  http://www.art.com/asp/display-asp/_/id--13432/Homies.htm

UNIQUE DIST WEB SITE   http://www.uniquedist.com/homies.htm

                               WHOLE SALE CENTRAL WEB SITE

http://www.wholesalecentral.com/galaxy/store.cfm?event=showcatalog&catid=36852 

                                       TOY EXPERTS WEB SITE

http://www.toyexperts.com/homies/?CFID=2841642&CFTOKEN=36203358