Gonzales had been drawing a comic strip called "Homies" for Lowrider magazine but only drew the ire of law enforcement agents when he decided to launch a toy line based on his creation.
The line of two-inch toys featured what could be called stereotypical representations of people involved in Mexican-American gang culture which were sold cheap through vending machines in Latino neighborhood stores. Foes argued that they glamourized gang culture to children.
Gonzales addressed some of their concerns by creating "positive" or inspirational background stories for each character but some stores stopped selling them due to the outrage. Almost ten years later, though, Homies have survived and are still in the marketplace. And, according to today's Santa Fe Reporter, already have a gay Homie or two in their ranks.
From the article:
Santa Fe Reporter: The Homies all have detailed back stories that can be read on your Web site (homies.tv), stories that often challenge visual stereotypes. Are there any gay or transgender Homies?So far, I haven't found him in the roster of Homies available at the Homies site but I did find Bouncey the lesbian Homie. Let me know if you find the gay barber. I want one!
David Gonzales: No transgender Homies. I have been approached by the gay community. So far, there’s one guy, he’s like the barber for this big cartel guy and he ends up going into hiding in a little barber shop in LA and he happens to be gay. But maybe more will surface in the future. I’ve got lots of races, Jamaicans, Koreans, all kinds of Asians and even a journalist, with a sensitive ponytail and a notepad. But, you know, how do you incorporate everyone?
Updates: A reader writes that the gay barber's name is Peloquero (see comments below). A link to his 'back story' seems outdated though. But another reader has provided us with this link which has an image of the Homie in question (above, left).
Image credit: 67 Degrees with a 40% Chance of Rain