Tuesday, April 21, 2009


How ‘bout that? Neato Coolville the blog, just turned three years old today! Wow, who wound up the clock so fast? Three years - really?

I suppose this would be as good a time as any to share with all of the Neato Readers the origin of Neato Coolville! Before I put everyone to sleep with a blog history lesson I want to thank everyone who stops by to read this blog, especially all you Neato Readers who have stuck with it since the early days. I always appreciate the nice comments and emails. Ok now, pull up a chair and gather around.

It all started one dreary night . . .

Oops, sorry that’s a different story.

Neato Coolville has its origins in that big virtual garage sale known as ebay. I listed a nice lot of old advertising stuff back in 2002 or 03. It was mostly ad character and kid’s packaging items from the 1950's - 1970's. I remember needing a good title for the auction and I think I named it something like - NEATO COOL 1950s 70s ADVERTISING CHARACTER VINTAGE LOT. The importance of the title is that I used two retro sounding words, neat-o and cool. I dropped the dash between the neat and the o because the title didn’t fit in the box. That box has always frustrated me.

Here’s the ebay photos from the neato cool auction. I can’t remember how much the lot sold for, but I think it went cheap. Notice I used “neat-o cool” on the first photo.

I used neato cool a few more times in my ebay titles until I changed my ebay user name from bossk to neatocoolville. Yeah, that’s right!

I used the name bossk, the lizard bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back as my ebay handle. What of it? I like him better than Boba Fett, natch!

Now you’re probably wondering, why the ville? I added the ville because of an idea for a children’s book that was set in a zoo in a silly little town. I scribbled down names like Zanytown, and Wowsville, but those just didn’t click. Then BANG! it hit me like a parachuting elephant. I named the town Neato Coolville.

I never did anything with the book idea, but I liked it enough to use it as my ebay name. I even started putting it on stickers that I mailed with the junk I sold. Here’s a few of them -

I made this large letter style postcard for my ebay "me" page that inspired the one that used to be this blog's banner and now can be found at the bottom of the page.

Ever since I plugged myself into the internet I always wanted a website to make a virtual museum, but didn’t have the skills to put one together. Back in 2005, I found flickr and started my little gallery of images and called it Neato Coolville. My flickr icon was my favorite childhood toy, Stretch Monster.

On April 21th 2006, I started this blog. It had a tacky space background with the Stretch Monster icon at the helm.

My first post was and is considered the most exciting post I've ever done. Click here to read the historical first post of Neato Coolville!

Next came the puke green alien head era.

It didn’t take me long to get tired of the alien heads and instead came up with a short lived rocket ship and a new spaceman icon. Don’t ask me why I didn’t get tired of the puke green background.

Finally, I ditched the puke green and just settled on black and the spaceman icon turned into a spacekid. The postcard that is now at the bottom of the page was at the top.

The last banner before the little buildings was this one -

This banner was animated. Each letter opened to reveal a Neato Coolville type of item and you can see the animated version here.

There you have it, the origin of this blog. Someday, I’ll share the fake history of the town of Neato Coolville, but until then, you’ll just have to endure the bad grammar and look at the same type of neato cool posts!


suzanne said...

Happy 3rd Birthday! Love, love, love this blog!

. . . and if you refer to "puke green" as "sage", it starts to look much more attractive :)

Vlad said...

Congratulations, my friend!!! Vlad wishes Neato Coolville a happy third birthday! And may your retro fire continue to burn forever in the inky blackness that is this thing called the Internet!

Mike Middleton said...

Wow, what a gripping story NC. Congrats on three years of neato stuff!

Stephen said...

Wow, has it been that long already? It's been a fun ride so far, Todd. Looking forward to the next three.

Glen Mullaly said...

Happy B-Day Mr. Mayor! In part the NC blog is responsible for a lot of amazing things in my life these days - so I can't thank you enough for starting it up!

Here's looking at another 30!


Erick said...

Congratulations Todd! I look forward to many more years of Neato Coolville.

Carrie said...

Congrats!! 3 years is great!!

jazzmonkey1138 said...

Happy Birthday to my favorite "warm and fuzzy" blog - thanks for the memories and MTFBWY!

Bubbashelby said...

Happy Birthday!

Stacia said...

Happy birthday! I wanted a stretch monster so bad when I was a kid, you have no idea. I'm going back in time so I can be super jealous of you when you get it.

John Rozum said...

Happy Birthday! I'm looking forward to how your town grows over the next three years. Great stickers by the way.

Todd Franklin said...

This kind of feedback really charges the old ticker! You kids are the neatest and coolest and you make all the work worth it! I think this Mayor will stay in office!

Thanks for all the swell blog birthday wishes and comments, they really mean a lot!!

Video Zeta One said...

A big congratulations to the mayor formerly known as Bossk- three years is a long time to stick with something in the world of blogs. I hope yours is around for many more years to come. I always enjoy my visits to neato coolville. Your little recap was quite interesting.

Shawn Robare said...

Congrats! I still remember stumbling across your flickr account way back when and through your collection, reconnecting with the Crestwood House series of monster books. Since then and through your blog I've discovered so much great stuff, not the least of which is a whole community of similar minded folks. Thanks for that, man!

Waffle Whiffer [Brandon] said...

Happy anniversary! Neato Coolville is a swell place to visit!