Dynamite is proud to announce an agreement with Surge Licensing, Inc. and Homieshop, LLC to create the first-ever officially licensed Homies publications. The deal includes rights for a “History of the Homies” comprehensive retrospective hardcover art book, which will feature all of the toys ever released, along with behind-the-scenes art, info, and photos on the development of the characters, brand, and merchandise, including interviews with its creator, David Gonzales, and the story of how the Homies blew up! In addition, the deal includes the right to create original comics and graphic novels in all sizes, as well as reprint existing comic material.
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 some sort to establish the legacy of Homies, and to share the stormy, controversial, and wild ride that 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 ’90s,” 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 comic and book market, but we also get to kick this off at San Diego Comic Con! For fans who come to our panel on July 9th, we’re going to give away a collectible Homie to each and every fan. The panel is in Room 6DE on Thursday, from 5:45pm to 6:45pm, and we can’t wait to talk more about Homies and our additional Dynamite projects,” says Dynamite CEO and Publisher Nick Barrucci.
As for the characters themselves, the Homies got started as a group of tightly knit Chicano buddies: Hollywood, Smiley, Pelon, and Bobby 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.”
Dynamite Entertainment’s Homies art book, comic books, and graphic novels will be available to consumers through the comic book specialty market, and the graphic novel collection will be available at major bookstore chains, online booksellers, and independent bookstores courtesy of Diamond Book Distributors. Homies comics will also be available for purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital. Fans and retailers are encouraged to follow Dynamite Entertainment and the Homies’ official social media channel for the latest updates regarding creative teams and release dates.
About Dynamite Entertainment:
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
About Homieshop, LLC:
Homieshop was established by Homies creator David Gonzales in 2000. Its goal is to create a wide variety of character design for the licensing industry, with an urban and streetwise feel. Now with the full time addition of David’s son Anthony Gonzales, all creative development from concept art to 3D sculpting is handled in-house, and with the resurgence of the Homies brand, the Homieshop are poised for an exciting future.
About Surge Licensing, Inc.:
Surge is an IP incubator, which identifies IP and grows brands into multi-platformed entertainment and product licensing programs. Through simultaneous merchandise licensing and entertainment development, Surge nurtures brands while maintaining their core value and enhancement of the fan experience. Est. 1986, Surge is a pioneer in developing multi-media strategies to merchandising/licensing, through the targeted marketing of unique/compelling entertainment. Historically, Surge has challenged conventional practices by venturing into non-traditional areas, developing a number of pop culture’s great iconic properties, namely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®.