Thursday, November 8, 2007

'Homies' Do Play Dat!

Way back In The Year 2000, when the Militant worked some awful cubicle jorb, one of his Chicano-bred co-workers showed him these little cartoonish, 2-inch Choloesque figurines gracing his computer monitor. The then-corporate slave proto-Militant thought it was like the coolest thing evar, since they worked at an unspecified evil, East-Coast-owned entertainment industry-related company, especially one where the proto-Militant was forced to deal with the oh-so-short tempers of impatient, New York-accented writers and producers day in and day out. So anything in the cubicle that gave a nod to Eastlos street culture, the proto-Militant thought, would be a defiant, (albeit strictly symbolic) "Stick it to The Man" kind of gesture. Si se puede!

The proto-Militant was introduced to the world of Homies, which since their creation almost a decade ago, have grown from little toys one finds at local supermarket and carwash vending machines, to a mini-empire created by artist David Gonzales, who initially created them as a comic strip in Lowrider magazine.

The figurines, which were originally derided by certain parents' groups and law enforcement as "glorifying gang violence," got a second shot when Gonzales began to write bios for each character on the website and on merchandise packaging which gave each of them a more positive, yet still very street-cred-heavy persona. Now, even police officers ask Gonzales to autograph Homies merchandise. The line has even spawned a few spinoffs: children (Mijos), circus clowns (Homie Clowns), an East-Coast counterpart (an Italian American mafioso brood called The Palermos) and even a white-trash equivalent (Trailer Park). And the spinoff figurines are by no means limited to humanoid forms; there's even streetwise vermin (Hoodrats) and canine (Dogpound) versions as well.

The little plastic vatos fell off the Militant's radar over the years but registered a blip recently when the Militant found out they now have their own "animated" TV shorts.

As you can see, it's decidedly low-tech "animation" done by manipulating the figurines themselves using stop-action techniques. Very ghetto? Sure, but hey - no one can accuse them of not keepin' it real!

The Homies Hip-Hop Show, which debuted in September, is a new program on the syndicated LATV bilingual network. You can catch it Tuesday and Thursday nights at 9 p.m. locally on KJLA, channels 57 and 33 (on both analog air signal and digital HD). Those of you with DirecTV, it's on Channel 57 or 962 and Dish Network folks can see it on channel 8022. Check it out, homes!

1 comment:

Greg said...

Hi - I'm the editor of and would like to talk to you about your Web videos. Please contact me at I have a featured video slot on my home page and thought your animations are cool. Regards, Greg.