Tag Archives: Toons

Third Year of Nevada & Dale PEACE vigil

September’s 3RD FRIDAY IRAQ MORATORIUM is rescheduled/merged to this week’s MONDAY NOON VIGIL, where Colorado Springs’ most persistent antiwar loiterers will curse their THIRD YEAR. Please join us Monday at Noon, at Nevada Ave and Dale Street. –UPDATE 9/22:

Camp Casey Colorado Springs began in mid September 2005, and caught flack for conflicting with the Lavender Film Festival opening that evening (the 2008 PPLFF opens tonight!). Our first concurrent action was a counter-recruitment effort -more coincidence- at Palmer High School. After several months of nightly campfires, the full-time campers adjourned for the winter, but a daily vigil was continued out of concern for a Christian Peacemaker Team abducted in Iraq. After the CPT hostages were released, the vigil keepers convened weekly, and continue to this day.

Toons stencil history of iconic film stills

Stenciled film stills
Can you identify the iconic images collected on these stencils? Larger views of each section are reproduced below. Answers at the bottom.

Stenciled film stills

A clue, the stills are in chronological order, going across starting at the lower left.

Stenciled film stills

Stenciled film stills

Lune, Vampyres, Buster Keaton, Lon Chaney, Chaplin, Valentino, Lugosi, King Kong, Frankenstein, WC Fields, Oz, Dietrich, ?, Shirley Temple,

M, Mae West, Gone With the Wind, Groucho, ?, Astaire & Rogers, Garbo, Errol Flynn, Laurel & Hardy, Betty Grable, Maurice Chevalier, ?, Jane Russel, Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford,

Gary Cooper, Ten Commandments, Singing in the Rain, Judy Garland, Grace Kelly, ?, Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Spencer Tracy, Audrey Hepburn, ?, Some Like it Hot, Yul Brynner, James Dean, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf,

Cool Hand Luke, Psycho, Clockwork Orange, 2001, Berman, Strangelove, ?, Bonnie & Clyde, Nutty Professor, On the Waterfront, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, Lawrence of Arabia, Bergman, Shaft, Josey Wales, Mrs. Robinson,

Harold & Maude, Bruce Lee, Cabaret, ?, Eraserhead, Aguirre Wrath of God, Woddy Allen, Jaws, Bowie, Pacino, Mad Max, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, Rocky, Rocky Horror, ?,

Yoda, ET, ?, Blade Runner, The Shining, ?, Bruce Willis, Good Morning Vietnam, Divine, ?, Blue Velvet, River Pheonix, Color Purple, ?, Terminator, Tommy,

Hanks, Hannibal, Thelma & Louise, Edward Scissorhands, Run Lola Run, Gary Oldman, Pulp Fiction, Godzilla, Witness, Morgan Freeman, Color of Money, Kwaidan, ?, ?, O Brother Where Art Thou, ?,

Constantine’s Sword debuts on April 19

Sword of Constantine documentary debuts in US on April 19
Oren Jacoby filmed part of this documentary in Colorado Springs in 2006. I remember when he interviewed our vigil for the Christian Peacemaker Team members held captive in Iraq. We were assembling daily at noon at Camp Casey. The filmmakers arrived with their camera held out the window, rolling. Jacoby had hired a local crew to film the Colorado Springs segments, and rendezvous’d with them in the Toons parking lot. Both entourage and team were wearing black, as if they’d stepped out of a cab in New York City. Our daily CPT event, which included a Guantanamo protest and a march to congressional offices, had been covered by three videographers in as many weeks, but this felt like a visit from the big league. CONSTANTINE’S SWORD screens this weekend in NY.

Eisenstein at the Colo Springs symphony

Battleship Potemkin -Sergei EisensteinI’m really impressed that
the Colorado Springs Philharmonic was able to attract a nearly full house for a screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, the 1925 Soviet revolutionary call to arms that became even too subversive for Stalin’s taste.
The newly restored version adds more graphic pieces to the Odessa steps sequence, but my favorite scene remains aboard the battleship deck, when the rebellious sailors cower under a tarpaulin, awaiting the bullets of the firing squad.

It reminds me of my favorite story about the few proud Marines. The Marine Corps, now its own branch of the Defense Department, evolved from a very particular function in every nation’s navy. (Like MARINE biologists, their function has obviously to do with the sea.) On warships since the Napoleonic Wars, marines were the only enlisted men entrusted with guns. Their role, beside serving as landing parties, was to protect the officers from mutiny by the sailors; a function they were prepared to serve on the Potemkin until thankfully the revolutionary rhetoric held sway.

Battleship Potemkin Soviet propaganda poster

I wonder if our few proud US Marines will have brains enough to side with their families and comrades when Bush orders them to fire on his insurgents.

Panzercruizer Potemkin -German film posterIn promoting the Toons film collection, I’ve made a preoccupation with data mining for every poster incarnation of our diverse films. Since the Toons website has been down for a bit, I thought I’d represent here our gathering of Potemkin posters.

Kudos to the Pikes Peak Center team for delivering Eisenstein to the Rocky Mountain art Bourgeois. We showed up three generations deep, each age this evening running into others they knew. And everyone loved it.

La Corazata Potemkin -Italian film poster
A highlight of the event for me occurred when the battleship fired its salvo into the city. After the sailors had rebelled, the city populace had risen in support. To subdue the masses, Tsarist Cossacks marched down the Odessa steps, shooting into the crowd. In angry response, the crew of the Potemkin aimed its big guns at the headquarters of their Tsarist oppressors, or so explained the inter-title cards, further specified in the text as the Opera House! We were Colorado Springs symphony-goers, at the town’s premiere performing arts center, rooting for the Russian workers as they united against their ruling class.

Battleship Potemkin call to arms

Battleship Potemkin -contemporary Soviet poster

Battleship Potemkin uprising leader

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin -Modern Russian print

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin -stamp

?????????? ???????? - Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein

Bergman and Antonioni circa 1959

With the coincidental deaths of Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman, I was reminded of another synchronistic moment the two shared at the magical close of the 1950s. This nouvelle golden age of film rose amidst the literary milestones Naked Lunch, Goodbye Columbus, Tin Drum and Sirens of Titan. The monumental films from that season could fill two top ten lists, including Avventura and Virgin Spring.

Though the TOONS online database is down momentarily, I was able to assemble this list. Have I omitted any?
L’Avventura, Michelangelo Antonioni
The Virgin Spring, Ingmar Berman
Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus
Never on a Sunday, Jules Dassin
La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini
Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard
Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks
Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock
Spartacus, Stanley Kubric
The World of Apu, Satyajit Ray
Hiroshima mon Amour, Alain Resnais
The Magnificent Seven, John Sturges
The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut
Touch of Evil, Orson Welles
Some like it Hot, Billy Wilder
Ben Hur, William Wyler

And for cineastes, these too:
Le Trou, Jacques Becker
The Young One, Luis Bunuel
The Cousins, Claude Chabrol
Kagi, Kon Ichikawa
Zazie dans le Métro, Louis Malle
Peeping Tom, Michael Powell

Dead, in concert, the King!

Strange title, grabs you. I get to that later on. What prompted me on this was a couple of days ago there was a statement from Steve Irwins widow, about the Death Tape being destroyed. There has been a lot of tabloid trash about an investigation and even an autopsy ordered, that last was bullpoopoo because he had already been cremated.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, they are playing his shows every day on Animal Planet, have a Croc-a-thon at least once a week, play the tape of his memorial service, Croc Hunter Diary, you name it. He was a valuable property for his production company. They have to recoup their money right?

Elvis Presley MunsterWhich brings up the title.

Many years ago, before Larry Flynt was shot, or taken to court in his wheelchair, how long ago was that? But it WAS right after Elvis died.

Don’t anybody get dumb and ask “Elvis who?” and one of his magazines, Hustler, published yet another of his truly sick cartoons, had Elvis’ corpse hanging on wires, rotting flesh and his guitar wired to his hands, a sign saying “Dead, in concert, the King! See him twitch to his favorite songs!” and Colonel Tom Parker talking to somebody saying “This just goes to show that NO son-of-a-bitch ever gets out of a contract with the Colonel!”

World Trade Center vs. Silent Partner

Christopher Plummer as Bin LadenWORLD TRADE CENTER, Oliver Stone’s sentimental take on 9/11 heroism comes out this summer. I have nothing against a story which describes the travails of two New York City cops and their families caught up in the World Trade Center collapse. But Stone’s timing with the release of this movie is unfortunate. With the upcoming elections, the only rallying cry the Republicans have anymore is 9/11. What a time for Stone to wax patriotic. And I think the absence of his usual political curiosity offers a silent aquiescence to the official line. Too bad.
For anyone who feels they absolutely need a jolt of 9/11 heroism, might I suggest the documentary 9/11 aired on CBS and made by the Naudet brothers, the French filmmakers who inadvertantly captured the first tower being hit. Talk about harrowing viewing. They went inside the WTC to witness the second strike and were still inside when the opposite tower collapsed. (That’s why the video of the first plane was so late to emerge. Filmmaker and film were nearly destroyed in the rubble.)

I’d like to recommend an altogether different classic: THE SILENT PARTNER, an unforgettable 1978 sleeper hit starring Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer. Don’t take my word for it, this thriller shares some striking plot points.

Plummer plays bank robber Harry Reikel who is thwarted in his first attempt to rob the bank at which Gould’s Miles Cullen is a bank teller. Deciding to await a better opportunity, Reikel discards the deposit slip upon which he’d written his directives, this is a robbery, etc. While tidying the lobby, Miles discovers the imprint of Reikel’s message on the deposit slip beneath. He reacts with alarm, but goes home to consider the opportunity knocking and hatches a plan.

(What did the US security advisor do with the memo titled “Bin Laden determined to strike inside the US?”)

The next day at work Miles waylays as much money as he can from the bank vault. When the forecasted robbery occurs, he gives Reikel some of the money, later declaring the entire sum as stolen, and then takes the bulk of the loot home, thus becoming the robber’s silent partner. Of course, when Reikel learns on TV the magnitude of his purported take, he figures out what Miles has done. Now Reikel becomes the partner whom Miles must keep silent.

Does it make sense that someone might be using Guantanamo to keep al Qaida ranks silent, lest anyone find out that Bin Laden had only commandered the planes? Crashing the airliners was forewarned by the now infamous security memo, but the terrorists may have had nothing to do with upping the magnitude of the 9/11 disaster by setting demolition charges at the WTC and the Pentagon. Those may have been more easily planted by cold-blooded accomplices to the terrorists, silent partners who wanted a Pearl Harbor to launch their PNAC authoritarian coup.


The hills are alive with the sound of music
Are you worried that your children might be suffering from Affluenza, a degenerative virus pervasive among the world’s affluent cultures? Many of America’s youth can easily grow up insulated from an understanding of the human condition. Here are some recommended films for introducing affluent children to the larger world.

All these films are kid friendly. They are about children and are not too traumatic. The only mature subject presented is the world view.

While you endure your daily travails in the security of American suburbia, ninety percent of families on earth live in houses with a single room and no furniture. Meals are prepared and served on the floor, and the floor is of dirt.

Here are three films which can provide a gentle visual introduction to the reality of impoverished humanity: Baraka, Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation and Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. Each of these feature photographic images set to music, from Philip Glass to classical. Latcho Drom is another film without dialog. It depicts the traditional Gypsy migration from India to Spain, told entirely in musical performances.

For examples of children showing determination under adversity, with subtitles, Children of Heaven tells of a brother and sister in Iran who must share a pair of shoes. Another warm depiction of everyday muslim life is The White Balloon. A child’s upbringing in India is portrayed in Satyajit Ray’s 1954 masterpiece Pather Panchali.

For children who are ready for a little more adversity there’s A Time For Drunken Horses about boys hired to smuggle goods into Iraqi Kurdistan. For a light hearted glimpse of the challenges faced by Romany beggars there is The Time of the Gypsies and Mondo.

And now for something completely different, in English, here’s a humorous look at the life of the Bushmen of the Kalihari, The Gods Must Be Crazy. Another incredible tale, set on the coast of Ireland, The Secret of Roan Inish offers an appreciation of the mystical possibilities of life.

To see this collection for growing minds at TOONS.

Special effects masked King Kong’s erection

When I came across the headline MIRACULOUS SPECIAL EFFECTS MASK KING KONG’S MIGHTY MEMBER I thought, that explains a lot.
Virginal maidenHollywood convention:
Innocent white maiden
displayed for the taking
against her will
by large beast.

Promotional posters for Peter Jackson’s KING KONG remake show a Naomi Watts, even fully dressed looking every inch desabiller, facing an admiring Kong looking every missing inch a eunuch. What’s up with that?

What is Kong’s interest in his little friend supposed to be about in the first place? I don’t know, is Naomi the mouse who removed his thorn? Is she like KOKO’s kitten? Is she simply an aesthetic beauty with which Kong is so enthralled he must possess her? (Would art-loving in itself be necessarily platonic? I don’t know, can someone pay 58 million dollars for a Van Gogh and not masturbate to it?)

If this primate is in fact infatuated, even if he knows he can’t copulate with his tiny Fay Wray, it would seem only primal that were he to set his petite ami down anywhere to gaze at her, it would not be atop his hand.

And so there it is, the film is about fluff. There is no Mrs. Kong, there are no Kong hormones, there is nothing in Peter Jackson’s Kong world, like the Middle Earth trilogy before it, that has anything to do with sex, with the sexes, with what life is about. It’s like a film about race cars without wheels, not going anywhere useful.

You may tell me that I’ve missed the point, you may ask what do I think Fay Wray is screaming at, you may say that King Kong is sex, but I’ll tell he is not. The Empire State Building may be about sex, but having a hairy ape climbing to the tip of it is not about sex, with a partner at least. And what about all the dinosaurs for God’s sake! (If you think I’m a kill-joy, I’ll tell you that if the part of the virginal maiden had been played by BENJI, I would not have an issue.)

So this is a tale for children, western children, who needn’t grasp a sense of the real world until they are sensibly grown apparently. But there cannot be much good in perpetuating children’s stories to adults.

The problem with storytelling in modern times is bigger than Kong’s erectile disfunction. From today’s Saturday morning cartoons to the typical Hollywood blockbuster, there’s a distinct lack of telling any actual story. There’s an adventure usually, a road story at best, but never anymore a transformation or a lesson or something which an audience could take home with them to illuminate their own life experience.

And not only is there a lack of lesson or insight, there’s deliberate disinformation.

A not very profound example might be Hollywood’s interesting take on how to shoot a gun. Every gang banger has learned from the movies that a handgun is fired sideways, just as you would throw down a gang gesture. A hand extended straight out looks like you’re wanting a handshake, putting your elbow out to the side projects a dancer’s ambivalence of gravity, thus attitude.

Doubtless a gun held sideways is more attractive to film, you can get more of the actor’s face in the shot, but it’s impossible to aim a gun that way. Weight, recoil, even the gunsight conspire against you.

A simply nefarious example of movieland disinformation is sexless male aggression. When Wes Craven makes a film like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, or Sam Peckinpaw makes STRAW DOGS, or Stanley Kubric makes A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, community leaders are outraged, and those filmmakers are vilified!

But the studios are all strangely comfortable with American horror villains like Freddy Krueger of HALLOWEEN and Jason of FRIDAY THE 13TH, both on fruitless psychotic rampages. Even SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE features an intruder bent on killing, not raping the girls. Has there ever been a serial killer who was not motivated by sex, however disfunctional? Hannibal Lecter exudes all of the sadism of a believable predator, without any of the biology. Vampires used to represent sexual malevolence, back when there was just Dracula. Now vampires abound but they’re all zombies.

Am I intending to say that I wish American horror films were more pornographic? Absolutely! The violence is pornographic, why not throw in the sex? Does this exclude children from being able to watch? Certainly!

But I mention these horror films chiefly as examples of villainy depicted out of context. Villainy abounds in the real world, much of it disguised. Villainy abounds in the movies, and usually without a human face. It’s often mega-maniacal or psychotic, far removed from the reality of despotic patriarchs. This is one reason perhaps why President Bush finds it an easy sell to describe terrorists as simply evil-doers. Few in his audience seem to question that terrorists might have any plenty obvious motivions.

Why not describe a real motive or two in the movies? Maybe the world’s 800 pound gorillas don’t want to offer too many clues lest their real world villainies be rooted out. A culture informed about sexual aggression might better understand and respond to problems of gender violence, human trafficking, war atrocity and systemic abuse.

In truth, Shakespeare pioneered the archetype of the faceless villain with Iago, whose plotting against OTHELLO seemed all the more evil because Iago had no discernible motive. But Shakespeare’s devices highlighted his insight into humanity. Hollywood offers not even artifice. Its fables are just plain dumb.

Not that it is terribly brilliant to worry that Peter Jackson’s KING KONG misrepresents what gorillas have in mind with minuscule waifs. The marked absence here of King Kong’s genitalia may not be the most egregious case of cinema-verité violé, but I have to say I’m curious that it may have been pretty big.

Dear Vivendi

TOONS 45 sleeve
On behalf of TOONS, a music and video store in Colorado Springs, I’m writing you to ask for your help to obtain the domain TOONS.COM, where many of our customers automatically presume to find us. Even friends try to email me there.

Your company has held the rights to TOONS.COM, although it is currently in expiration. We’ve learned that a cyber-squatter is poised to seize it and that is why you are uniquely capable of helping us.

TOONS has been in business since 1990 and we possess the trademark in Colorado. When in 1995 we sought the domain name we found it was already owned by JAMTV for their TUNES.COM website. As a phonetic surrogate, TOONS.COM was used to redirect surfers to TUNES.COM. Fair enough.

Later we notice that JAMTV has been absorbed into the EMUSIC empire and the TUNES site no longer exists. TUNES.COM now redirects to ROLLINGSTONE.COM, again a logical use, but TOONS.COM, perhaps because it is no longer phonetically relevant, is being abandoned.

Now that EMUSIC.COM, MP3.COM and ROLLINGSTONE.COM are all under the VIVENDI umbrella, we have been unsure as to who we might contact about the discarded domain.

TOONS can be found on the web at TOONSMUSIC.COM where we host a popular film website. We’d be most grateful to have TOONS.COM.

Bookman flooded

Guess what’s new at Bookman today? The entire back room has two inches of red mud on the floor and seeping up the boxes! The rear quarter of the main room is soaked and red with red rock. All the paperback on the floor, from the P’s of Fiction, through Psychology, through Anthropology and Theatre, to somewhere in History are soaked like sponges. All the magazines standing in folders likewise syphoned the water straight up.

At seven thirty this morning, a water main broke behind Bookman, exactly underneath the two trailers. By 8:30 the city water department reached me. They needed me to move the trucks before they could begin repairs. I met Dad down there.

Water was flowing out of the pavement. The asphalt was sagging just ahead of the rear wheels of the trailers. We’d have to pull them forward, over the hole, held up by the water pressing up from the broken main.

So the water people refused to turn off the water until I’d gotten the trucks moved, meanwhile the water was washing away more dirt and creating a bigger hole. Imagine everyone from the city and all the neighboring businesses watching and waiting on us and we’re waiting on a driver.

I saw the mud up on the back sidewalk and asked Dad if he’d seen any damage inside. He said no. When I saw we had to disconnect the power cord to the truck I went inside to unlock the back door. I took off my shoes to keep from getting the carpet wet. Walking in the dark I suddenly felt the carpet was squishy. I slopped barefoot through to the back door, opened it and greeted Dad.

The driver was good. He pulled the first one forward quickly over the hole. The second trailer he backed up and ran the tractor backwards over the hole. That one was the trailer Justin had packed real full and was the heaviest. Mike was taking Mpegs of the action, a luckily there was none. It could have been amazing and we would have needed a crane.

Randee arrived by this time and draped toilet paper across the aisles and wrote on them: Do Not Cross, like a police barrier. A customer went home to get a squeegy which he’d used when he had flooding. Meanwhile Dad and I repacked the graffiti truck so that the contents could handle the long drive to the storage yard. We put it right in front of Longs. Margot of Felix Realty took this occasion to intone that she didn’t ever want the trailers back.

So the water’s off for everyone. The dry cleaner is freaking, Pizza Hut closed for the day, and we don’t care, we don’t let anyone use the bathroom! They’ve got a back-hoe digging to clear some work space for replacing the pipe. It’s going to take a huge paving job because the dirt is eroded along the edge of the parking lot clear down to past Longs.

Well that’s the story so far. Mike took pictures for insurance and gawking reasons, meanwhile he and I were trying to repair the Toons computer, it was still down. It’ll be up, new and improved, making regular backups, by 7pm ETA. Mom helped out quite a bit and brought shovels and lunch.

Toons is discovered by Business Journal

Here’s a very nice article about the unique film collection at TOONS.
Reprinted from The Colorado Springs Business Journal:

‘Oasis’ for the offbeat
By BOZENA WELBORNE, Editorial Intern

Most people, when they think of Toons — if they’ve heard of the store at all — will envision a graffiti-ridden former gas station-turned-store on Nevada Avenue. Its location and its ambience make it a likely hangout for the Colorado College students in its vicinity.

But it’s much more than that. Toons actually draws much of its clientele from “working, commuting students from UCCS or other community colleges, as well as students who come by during the holidays,” said Eric Verlo, the founder of the music, video and vintage items store.

The store has an eclectic collection of videos, used albums and CDs, vintage posters and collectibles that run the gamut from “clairvoyant,” heat-sensitive gummy fish (the cheapest item in the store at 25 cents, and very popular with those CC students) to $2,000 vintage jukeboxes (the most expensive item and the least likely to be sold, Verlo says).

Most of the used goods come directly from the closets and attics of the Colorado Springs community. Generally, Toons will purchase used items at 50 percent of their original price, though it may vary according to the quality of the item or how many copies of the item Toons has in stock.

Toons’ owner is especially proud of the store’s diverse video collection, with 4,700 titles and maintains they are not merely hard-to-find videos, but videos the average person has “probably never even heard of.” What the store can’t make up in number, it makes up in the sheer diversity of its collection. There is also a very strong Eastern European film collection, as well as the obligatory French films.

Verlo emphasizes the highly academic nature of a portion of the collection, maintaining that many of the films are chosen specifically because of their sociopolitical or cultural significance.

Because the store carries such a diverse assortment of items diverging from the mainstream, Verlo is hard-pressed to identify any competitors. The most likely candidates would be Media Play, Best Buy and Blockbuster Video. Verlo says those retailers are just beginning to realize the potential of catering to the non-mainstream market, of “introducing people to new things,” and may increasingly compete directly with Toons.

Few people know that there are actually two Toons stores, one at 802 N. Nevada Ave., but also a less well-known store at 3163 W. Colorado Ave. The latter, actually called the Bookman, opened first in 1990, while the Nevada Avenue location opened at the site of an old gas station in 1993, in a conscious effort to drift away from the typical strip-mall-feel evident at many stores.

Verlo came up with the idea of opening such a store while visiting his retired parents in Colorado Springs. Verlo started contemplating what he would do after his own retirement and, considering his passion for books, decided that he would like to own a bookstore and thus, the initial idea of Toons was formed. Verlo’s unique life has also had an influence on the eclectic nature of the store. Verlo is a graduate of UCLA who has lived in France and the Philippines, and has traveled extensively.

Verlo estimates startup costs fell somewhere in the $10,000 range. Since the idea of the store was a gradual development, the inventory itself was gradually collected without a specific vision. So, the cost of accumulating the inventory wound up being more expensive. Today, Verlo knows that probably was not the best way to purchase the store’s inventory, but the method is responsible for the store’s unique, museum-like feel. He emphasizes that the store’s existence is not really driven as much by a profit motive as it is by the idea of creating a collection of unusual items to intrigue and be enjoyed by the entire community. Toons is still pretty much breaking even with any excess profit immediately re-invested into enlarging the diversity of the store’s wares. This accentuates the fact that it is really a labor of love on Verlo’s part, as well as that of the staff.

Although it expanded to the Nevada Avenue store in 1993, Toons is now branching out onto the Internet with its own Web site at www.toonsmusic.com. The store’s staff created and maintains the site.

Ironically, Colorado Springs’ growth has not benefited Toons. Verlo said most of the growth has been at the outskirts of the city. Because of this, he says, fewer people come downtown, where the store is located.

Currently, Toons is trying to attract a more upscale, older clientele at the Nevada Avenue store and has consequently sectioned off a portion of the store, hoping to appeal to this new client base. Jitterbuzz.com, a top Washington D.C.-based Web site for swing and lindy hop aficionados, called the section “the largest swing selection of any record store in town (Colorado Springs).” Verlo hopes the store’s new setup offers some variety, while allowing the older and younger generations to choose whether to interact or keep to themselves.

Verlo believes that Toons’ ultimate legacy for the Colorado Springs community is its very existence. It provides the city with an oasis of non-mainstream ideas. Verlo advises those who seek success or at least contentment in the business arena to “do what (they) want in life,” as he did in creating Toons.