Monday, December 26, 2011

Year end reflection and new goals

This year started pretty tough. Tough business decisions, tough new responsibilities, and pushing in new directions. Looking back, I could not be happier with weathering those tough times and seeing the benefits within a handful of months. Our Free Lunch business has grown and made new friends and products.

Here we are at the doorstep of a new year. A time of year that people challenge themselves to new levels. What will this new year bring? I will share my business goals with you.

I will think outside the box. Ugh, great. Corporate power terms. If you've ever stepped into Free Lunch Studios, you would almost guess we live outside the box! Well, that's just it. I need to be a strategist for success. In the immediate area and as far as I can both physically and virtually.

I need to finish a book a month (and more). That stupid storm at Halloween really threw me off. You will see me get back to basics and churn out great work in great turnaround times. I listen to sports radio a lot. One Monday morning, I heard my favorite quarterback talk during an interview about the long trip home after a road win. Instead of partying and goofing off with the team during the long plane ride home...he studied film for the following game. Who are your heroes? What did they do to be successful? What sacrifices did they make?

I will get representation. I know, it's crazy to think that I don't. I will be sending out solicitations all year if I have to. Prints are already on their way.

I will be more aggressive. Nuff said. See everything...

So there you have it. I have a couple more motivational papers to hang on the wall. I have an art space at home again.

I wish you all the strength and commitment to succeed in your goals.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cartoon Anatomy finale

Here are some of the pics I drew from our last cartooning/comic art classes for the year. I gave the dragon one (not shown) away. We'll start classes again in January. In the meantime...keep drawin' and have a great holiday season!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Join me this weekend at the Holcomb Farm with 11 other Granby artists. Support the arts and shop locally for unique Holiday gifts.
This year our holiday marketplace will include original paintings, prints, pottery, sterling silver jewelry, ornaments, handwoven scarves and bags, photography, glass, calligraphy, T-shirts, note cards, mugs plants and much more. Free Lunch will be there with Elyse, intern extraordinaire and Matt Ryan, owner/illustrator. They'll be on hand to sell comic books, King of Monster Mountain games, original art and drawing commissions. A portion of all sales will benefit Holcomb Farm.

It's at the Holcomb Farm in Granby, CT on Saturday and Sunday! See you there!

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The first part of the Shuffle is complete

Cliff's got a show on Sunday! (November 27th)
(and sport card shows are on the 3rd Saturday of every month.) All of these shows run at the Plainville V.F.W. Hall- 7 Northwest Dr. (Route 10) from 10 AM to 3 PM.


Free Lunch Studios has hosted it's fourth COMIC BOOK SHUFFLE! This is the final part of an event where writers and artists were randomly matched up and competed to try to complete a 5 page story in 5 HOURS! Every attendee of the show will receive votes that they can cast for their favorite team-up. The winning team will be awarded with a number of honors and one voter will win a great prize just for voting!

Hosting this part of competition is Free Lunch Comics own, Steve Kanaras, creator and writer of Only in Whispers, Pork and Beans, Beyond the Kuiper Belt and upcoming Hostile Universe.

Directions to the V.F.W. Hall: 84 East or West, take exit 32 and turn onto Route 10 North from the off-ramp. Follow Route 10 North for 4.5 miles, and turn right onto Northwest Drive. The V.F.W. Hall is on the left- follow the signs.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Junk Food is on the move...

There's a NEW home for Free Lunch Comics Junk Food!

Click the link and enjoy! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We'll be at the Plainville Comic show this Sunday (11/27) selling the first collection of Junk Food.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday Comic Fest!

One of my favorite events is coming up! The Black Friday Comic Fest is a very fun, all ages, annual workshop where we create our own Post-it Note comics, eat snacks, watch cartoons & movies and hold a great comic sale! This event runs from 12:30p - 4:30p and is only $10 each! If you want to stay for the Drawing and Painting class, you are welcome to for an additional $20. Maybe I'll see you there!

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am in trouble...

After work loads, massive power outages and huge fires...I am up to "here" with crazy deadlines. are invited to a new Free Lunch event!!!
Free Lunch is taking back Halloween! The first ever Free Lunch Fear Fest will feature the works of horror painter, David Davies, Zombie comic publisher, Guild Works Publishing (that also published the work of your Free Lunch hosts, Steve and myself), freaky photographer, Coelynn McIninch and scary specialists, The Horror News Net! Special events that will include: a EXCLUSIVE RELEASE PARTY FOR: WORST CASE SCENARIO from GWP, a wandering zombie just dying to have his photo taken with you and more!!!

Food, folks and fear will all be on tap for this first ever Free Lunch Fear Fest!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finished a lot today.

No finished pages for the last couple days...I finished four Junk Foods! Can't sneak peeks of those'd give everything away! The newest one was just put up at

Also finished the cover for our first Junk Food book! I'll sneak you a peek at that later!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Couple days...couple pics

Couple pages...AND the cover for the Junkfood Book - yup I said BOOK. Yeehaw!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crazy day today!

Finished a job, booked 3, sent of a print job and resolved a page...and I'm not even done yet! Also found out today that the FIRST ISSUE OF I, SHERMAN will be available at Free Lunch Studios for the Granby Artists Association Open Studios Tour! How awesome is that? By the time I get to the end of this one - I will deserve the break! Let's see if I can start a little 'bout a panel a day from another Twin Robotz comic?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

MNJ Round Table Show!

The return of the Monday Night Jam Round Table Show! Yay! You want to see some of the cool stuff we do at Free Lunch? Watch or come on by!

It was our first recording in a while so I was a little rusty...I'll be a much better host next time!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer ends...

...with a slap from Irene! I thought that August was going to be a big catch up month...boy was I wrong...I ended up doing a ton of work on the road at places like the Farmington Valley YMCA and University of Hartford's Summer Place. I hosted a couple King of Monster Mountain tournaments and Mad Science Cartooning events too.

It was a great summer...but you never feel like you did enough. We're working on the "connectivity" of everything Free that's taken me some time too. Check out our Free Lunch Studios biz page on Facebook and keep an eye on our Free Lunch site for some changes too.

From here I can see 4 comics that I need to finish, along with Junkfoods and other jobs that will come down the path. No complaints though...I love every second of it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Comic Fest next week! Sunday!

You should TOTALLY come by! It'll be our first outdoor comic festival with vendors, creators and more! To top it all's FREE TO ATTEND! The fun starts at 10am and runs 'til 3pm at Free Lunch Studios in the Granby Commons, 518 Salmon Brook St (rear) in Granby CT! I'll be drawing FREE quick sketches for the first 50 who attend!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


My second contribution to the upcoming Guild Works Publishing book - spot illustrations for a prose story by Valerie Finnigan. The other is a 11 page comic story that Steve Kanaras wrote. Here's a peek at one of the spots!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last day at The Summer Place

What a great time we had at the Summer Place. This is one of the little treats that the kids are going to get today on our last day. It's a collection of some of their Mad Science cartoon work. The other treat, a little KING OF MONSTER MOUNTAIN! Yes! Thanks to Brad for referring the job for me, to all the kids for making me feel so welcome and thanks to Nikki for being such an awesome partner in there!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's not very offen...

...that I post something other than my art here...but I received this the other day from one of my cartooning students at The Summer Place at the University of Hartford. We're having a lot of fun in that class!

I'm halfway done with another comic from Twin Robotz Comics...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brass City Comic Show tomorrow!

Waterbury, Conn. – Naugatuck Valley Community College and local comic book store Legends of Superheroes will co-host the second annual Brass City Comic Convention from 10 am – 3 pm on Sunday, July 31 in the NVCC Ruth Ann Leever Atrium. Admission is $.99 and free for kids under age 10 who are accompanied by an adult, with proceeds to benefit Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury.

See you there!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've been bad...

Sorry I have not updated in a while, still trying to dig myself out of a hole leftover from going on vacation. (it was worth it though!) I've been finishing up Junkfoods and I just started a New Comic Job! Up til now I've been doing the prework for it, but a lucky turn of events (Wally coming to the office to approve the layouts) I was able to start the pages today!

Our friend Mel from Rely Local has come in and is cracking the "social network" whip. We've been doing all sorts of stuff to create better connectivity with...everyone including ourselves. If you want to help out, here's the link for my "Matt's Mine Studio" Facebook page....if you "like" it, that'd be great!!/profile.php?id=170338829701528&view=feed&refid=17

I was invited to the Greater Hartford Arts Council volunteer recognition gathering this past week too. It was at the uber fancy, Society Room in Hartford CT. I was accompanied by two fellow Granby Artists AKA "The Party Girls". One was Wendy Van Welie, owner of Indigo Images and one was potter extraordinaire, Claudia Karimi.

Aside from that, there was our unofficial 24 Hour comic challenge that I was able to complete (but this one seemed much harder) and that silly movie that was just released that I had to see a few times!

So...I'm sure there's a Junkfood post I can put up tomorrow and I can guarantee there's going to be some "connectivity" updates too. I'll see you soon!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 8, 2011

Resolve some work - then Connecticon bound!

Knocked off some Junkfoods and hope to finish this piece for the Yankee Flyer today before class starts. I'm going to try to get better at updating the blog when the Junkfoods get published - I promise!

Once class is over, off to Connecticon to catch up with Steve, Rachael and Lonnie!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A new ...

New job! This one you can come along for the ride! Today - script read, concept art and thumbnails. From the mind of Wally Czyzniak, creator of I, SHERMAN. Hang on friends...!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Decent couple days

Your job is not the easiest to return to after you return from vacation, right? Well, the good thing was I was productive. With the Comic Book Artists Guild meeting tomorrow, Connecticon, a Granby Artists Association board meeting and our Unofficial 24 Hour Comic Challenge all coming up...things will be busy, busy, busy!

Here's what I'v
e been workin' on...Junkfood art, 2 4 Peace layout and a piece from GWP's Worst Case...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New classes, events and CAG

My new classes and workshop dates have been added to Free Lunch Studios! Starting this weekend are: Character Building Workshop and Mad Science Cartooning.
Our final Drawing and Painting for Teens: Fifth House Festival and Unofficial 24 Hour Comic Challenge events have been scheduled!
I'm hosting a Comic Book Artists Guild Jam/movie meeting 7/3 at noon too!

Money...and I didn't even know it.

How cool is this?! Remember this job? My friends at Granby Pharmacy in Granby CT used my banner art that I did for their window for their in store gift card! How cool is that?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One of three pieces I did today

One of the three Junkfoods I worked on today....

unlettered, unzipped, unframed and unpublished.

Be on the lookout for the final!

Alright, so I took a break...

Sorry it's been a while...but I am back! Just finished my addition to the Granby Artists Association's Granby 225 Postcard event. We'll be collecting these all summer to put up on display at the Granby 225 event!

Next, I'm going to get caught up on my Junkfoods! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New classes!

New classes and workshop dates have been added to Free Lunch Studios! New dates for: Graphic Novel Writing Workshop, Character Building Workshop, Mad Science Cartooning, Graphic Novel Writing Project, Cartoon Anatomy and Comic Book Storytelling were all updated!

Our final Drawing and Painting for Teens: Fifth House Festival and Unofficial 24 Hour Comic Challenge events have been scheduled! Find these events and more at our
Free Lunch Studios Events Page.

We'll be at Cliff's Con on May 29th

Hey there, everyone! It's a new year and Cliff's got a show on Sunday, May 29th!
(and sport card shows are on the 3rd Saturday of every month.) All of these shows run at the Plainville V.F.W. Hall- 7 Northwest Dr. (Route 10) from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Owners of Free Lunch Comics and Free Lunch Studios will be there with Matt's 24 Hour Comic: Sentinels of Blood Island as well as conduct portfolio reviews, talk about upcoming classes and special events. You can check everything that's going on at the site!

Directions to the V.F.W. Hall: 84 East or West, take exit 32 and turn onto Route 10 North from the off-ramp. Follow Route 10 North for 4.5 miles, and turn right onto Northwest Drive. The V.F.W. Hall is on the left- follow the signs.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Frogs, Pigs And Bears. . . OH MY!

Learn how to draw characters from the Muppets (and more) with cartoonist/writer Brad Gilchrist. Find out in a fun and informative, “Meet, greet and drawing session. “ Brad will give a talk about his history in the world of comic strips and cartoons, including The Muppets, Nancy, and sports feature, CT Fan. Along with the talk and drawing demonstration, visitors can view a Gallery Show of Brad’s personal collection of original comic strip art, including: Blondie, Hagar, Gasoline Alley, Zits, B.C. Beetle Bailey, For Better Or For Worse, Rose is Rose, and many more.

May 15th - First session from 1- 1:45pm. Second session: 3- 3:45pm. Space is limited, so please sign up for a spot. Call for a reservation: (860) 305-6621
Free event

There will also be a public Comic Book Artists Guild meeting at 2, between the sessions!

Free Comic Book Day!

What a great time Gabby, Mason and I had at Sarge's this past Saturday! It was great to see a lot of my friends/fellow creators at the event along with a great amount of kids! I drew free sketches for any kids that walked by...let's just say I drew a TON! Got some free books myself and bought some good ones too! All in all a good time. Pretty exhausted by the time I got home though...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Free Comic Day Debut!!

Yeah...this looks like a person crazy enough to stay up 24 hours to draw a book...Sentinels Of Blood Island will be available at Sarge's!!!

I'll see you at Sarge's Comics in New London for Free Comic Book Day this Saturday!!! I will be doing commissions on regular Bristol stock PLUS a whole new kind of'll have to come and visit to see what cool, new and different kind this'll be!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


It's T'Konk from my 24 Hour Comic: Sentinels of Blood Island! He and the comic will be at Sarge's for Free Comic Book Day!

This is the kind of cool stuff we do in our Friday Drawing and Painting for Teens class!

Two Places at Once?!

Free Lunch will be at two events this weekend! Steve and Rachael will be at the Boston Comic Con roaming the isles, talking to friends and making some new ones! Yours truly will be at the Family Funday Sunday in East Windsor CT. I will be there to do commissions, caricatures, sell comics and show what I'm working on these days. You want to hang out and support a good cause? Meet me there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh's comin'!

It's official! We're printing my newest 24 hour comic! I'm pretty excited about this! Rachael and I put the finishing touches on it yesterday! I've actually been thinking of doing a follow up to the story...over a 24 hour period too!

Still working on the character design job as well as the bumper sticker job.

Wally, creator of "I, Sherman" came into the office for a surprise visit yesterday. It was cool to sit down with him and talk about the future of poor Sherman (and other things!! Stay tuned!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keepin' Busy!

Hard at work on a whole bunch of things...Here's a cover that I've been working on today. It's for a custom comic job that Rachael and I are doing. I got another job that I'll be showing you the "step by steps" on. Stay tuned. I'm about half-way done with the character design job that I can't show you :^( ...but there will be other things...I promise!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Couple of Comics

One thing I was doing (when I wasn't goofing around with Rachael or the customers) during the Chocolate and Wine Fest was drawing these covers. Thanks to our friendly neighborhood comic vendor, Oliver, we get these great variant comic covers with nothing drawn on them! For these, I drew them with pencils and inks followed by a nice ink wash. Pretty cool. I'm going to start selling these and taking requests to do them at shows too. So be on the look out for me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Woo! Busy, busy!

Had the Windsor Locks Career Fair on Friday and then Rachael and I worked the FLS booth at the Chocolate and Wine Fest in East Windsor yesterday! Great times at both! This 1st pic is from the Career can tell we're havin' fun! Today I got caught up on my character design assignment and started final image concept thumbnails. Good day. This other pic I did during Drawing and Painting class on Friday afternoon! It's 18x24 and drawn with chalk pastels.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Windsor Locks High Career Day

I want to thank Dot and Kate for inviting me to such a fun day! It was a pretty early start this morning, but what a great bunch of kids! They all had great attitudes and questions...I did a portfolio review, got to see Brad Field again (last time we worked together was at the Granby Leprechaun Hunt) and I even had fun goofing off with quite a few of the kids. It didn't hurt being placed right next to my cousin either. I'd love to come back for it next year!

Chocolate Festival? Umm, YEAH!

It's happening - Saturday April 9th the "First Annual Wine and Chocolate Festival" located at Golden Gavel and Joe's Fine Wine and Spirits! Join Free Lunch Friends, Rachael Meyer and Matt Ryan anytime from 3pm-7pm. Free Lunch will be there drawing commissions, caricatures and more! Browse through a variety of Specialty Wines and Tastings. ALL tastings are FREE with your paid admission of $20! Designated Drivers, Seniors and Children get special 1/2 off discount.
For more information about this fundraiser and TICKETS please call Lori at 860-982-5837

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Original Comic Strip Art Gallery

Free Lunch Studios in Granby, CT is pleased to present a gallery of the private collection of comic strip art of Brad Gilchrist. Mr. Gilchrist is a long-time writer and artist of comic strips including The Muppets, Nancy, and The Rock Channel. The collection features original strips from such features as Garfield, Broom Hilda, Zits, and others. The display will feature approximately 30 strips and sketches. The gallery opening will occur at the Free Lunch Studios at 6 PM on Thursday, April 7, 2011. The exhibit will remain open for viewing for the period of a month. Please call Steve Kanaras at 860-810-4927 for hours and availability for viewing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This just in...

Free Lunch Comics will be participating in the Annual Free Comic Book Day at Sarge's Comics down in New London, CT! Free Comic Day is the first Saturday of May and Sarge always delivers on a rich selection of books to try and talented artists for you to meet!

This Saturday I'll be hosting the Comic Book Shuffle Challenge at Free Lunch Studios.
Sunday I will be at the Shuffle judging at the Plainville Cliffs Con. We'll be debuting the 2nd issue of the 'Shuffle titled, SECRETS. Once the Shuffle is over, I'll be hosting a Comicbook Artists Guild meeting at 2pm right there at the show!

I'll see you there!

Today I'm going to try to finish a couple pages for a future project.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A lot goin' on!

Well, the Granby Leprechaun Hunt here in town had come and gone and I felt pretty good about it. All the Leprechauns that were painted were auctioned off! If you want to see all of the photos from it, go to my facebook page.

The following day, I received the absolute honor of meeting one of my idols, Mr Bob Camp. If you know me well, I am a fan of specific things...Conan the Barbarian stuff, Ren and Stimpy cartoons, Start Wars, Jaws and a handful of other things. Well, Mr Camp worked on the CONAN comics from Marvel AND the original REN & STIMPY cartoons. He was gracious enough to invite Steve and myself to his Artist Party. What a cool event this was! Bob was welcoming and super approachable, and on top of that - there were tons of other artists there too! It was a great day! A great day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Shuffle returns to Cliff's Cons! 3/27

There will be a Plainville show this weekend as well as the Comic Book Shuffle voting AND our CAG meeting! The show opens at 10am, Shuffle voting ends at 1:45pm and the CAG meeting is at 2pm. Come to the show for some cheap books, support your indy artists and enjoy a Comicbook Artists Guild meeting!

Directions to the V.F.W. Hall: 84 East or West, take exit 32 and turn onto Route 10 North from the off-ramp. Follow Route 10 North for 4.5 miles, and turn right onto Northwest Drive. The V.F.W. Hall is on the left- follow the signs.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Leprechaun Hunt Gallery FRIDAY!

Come to Free Lunch Studios Friday night, March 11th at 6:30 pm for a special gallery event! For one night only, all of the hand painted Leprechauns for the town wide Leprechaun Hunt will be in one place! Come and enjoy the talent of featured local artists including members from The Granby Artists Association, The Granby High School Art Club, Free Lunch Studios and more!

PLUS: Rob the Leprechaun from Lazer 99.3!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hard work

Working on a very exciting project these days...and hope to complete it soon (within a week?). I'll give you a peek.

Aside from this...I was given some sad news. I'm not going to go into too much detail...but...a good friend of mine, who I'd known, and who knew me since birth, has passed away... This was hard news for me to take. BUT- I quickly remembered that this man had left behind a legacy of positivity, kindness and goodness not only by his own acts...but those same traits are evident in those he worked with, mentored and loved. He will be missed, but his methods will live on through those he impacted including myself.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Show Sunday!

SUNDAY, February 27th, 2011 from 10am - 3pm

Golden Gavel Plaza
149 North Road (Route 140)
East Windsor, CT 06088

(Off of I-91, exit 45 - Follow Route 140 east for 1 mile, the plaza is on left)

I'll be on hand to talk about upcoming events in March at Free Lunch Studios, like new classes, a Leprechaun Gallery and the 3rd Comic Book Shuffle competition.

A measly 99 cent admission.

Showcasing dealers of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic, C. C. G., Sport/nonsports cards, Action figures, Collectible toys, Diecast, Paper/pulp collectibles, Comic/card supplies and VHS/DVD's and more!

See you there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CAG meeting this weekend!

I'm hosting a Comic Book Artists Guild meeting this weekend at Free Lunch Studios! If you are a writer, artist or any other creative talent that is interested the comic art form, you should come by! Free Lunch Studios is located on the back side of the Granby Commons Plaza, 518 Salmon Brook St, Granby CT. The meeting will start at 3pm. Come on by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Whew! Things are happenin'!

I know it's been a while since my last entry here...we'll just call it an adjustment phase.

The Granby Artists new year is underway and things are going in a orderly fashion. I've hosted two board meetings and one general meeting with positive feedback from all. I held my intro Comic Book Artists meeting at the tail end of January and my first REAL meeting will be this Saturday at Free Lunch Studios (from 3pm to 6pm if you're interested) where we'll go through the meeting and then draw/write together.

Our Junkfood strips continue to get out there. One of our most recent strips was published by the American Humanist Association

Steve and I continue to work on our next's looking cool so far. I'll show you some peeks again soon....I'm contemplating working another 24 hour day soon (believe it or not, I really enjoy those!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I can finally tell you...!

Back in December, I was approached by the president of the Granby Artist Association to replace him in the upcoming year. I didn't want to say anything before last night, just in case it didn't happen.

When I graduated college, I was living a pretty good lifestyle as an artist. After eight years of working full time at different studios (including my own), I went through a seven year period after that where I pursued the arts only as a part timer if at all. That was a rough period of my life. When I decided to jump back to where my passions lived, I knew that doing pro-bono work and joining groups (the Granby Artists Association and the Comic Book Artists Guild) were going to help me achieve my goals in the creative field. If you saw how much growth I've had since joining the Granby Artists Association, (and you might have if you've followed this blog from it's inception) you'd understand why I would happily accept the role of president for the group to do what I can to pay back the organization.

My return to the Comic Book Artists Guild is also a very special honor for me. When I left the group, I was not happy about it, and I told Keith Murphey (founder and at that time, the president) that I would return one day. Now, I am returning. I am returning to that leadership position with a very different scenario. Now that Steve Kanaras and I have been managing the Free Lunch Studios office, I believe I can provide the best functions that I am able for the New England membership in the coming year.

So that's it. I've been dying to tell you and now I can. ahhhhh

Saturday, January 22, 2011

As promised...

Here's a sneak peek at another project! Drawn in ballpoint pen to be light-boxed. Believe it or not, Steve and I started this project during a 24 hour work day!