Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sam and Max: Surfin' the Highway

When I bought season two of the Sam and Max episodes, I splurged for the media pack that also contained the newly rereleased collection of all the original comics and the DVD of the animated series. It seems to have been worth it. The comic is a bit different from the games, the characters and sense of humor are the same, but it's just a little darker and more adult, making a slightly more enjoyable experience. There's not that much content, only five full issues produced over a period of several years, but most of it is humorous enough to make it thoroughly worth checking out.

Sam and Max's adventures are as varied here as they ever are in the games, as they go everywhere from an inaccurate representation of the Philippines to the moon to all around the country in a great road trip issue. There's a lot of imagination and fun in just a few short pages, and it's really just pleasant to read. The pair have some violent tendencies, but they're really just great friends that like seeing the world and eating junk food together. There are both black and white and color segments in the book, including original paintings from the covers of books and games without the labeling covering everything up. Steve Purcell's art is simple and cartoony, but it's always effective at expressing the personality of the characters and mood of the situation. Besides Sam and Max, Purcell's done lots of work for Lucasarts, which led to the creation of their first adventure game. He later moved to Pixar, and still does work on their films. He doesn't have a lot of original creations to his name, but he's created two of the more entertaining cult comic characters of our time.

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