Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sam and Max

There were no weeklies that caught my interest today, but there was a surprise offering in the new collection of Sam and Max: Surfin' the Highway. I'm a long, longtime admirer of Steve Purcell (he's got videogame roots, too) and his Sam and Max work was a huge inspiration to me when I first started in indie comics.

The new collection by Telltale Games, coincidentally publisher of the revamped Sam and Max videogames, is a sweet package. It has a classy design that serves as a fitting tribute as well as a great introduction. I've got the original trade, which I've read is quite rare and goes for a tidy sum on ebay, tho I suspect now with the reprint that demand will drop significantly. I'd have a hard time parting with it anyways, but I'm glad this new edition is making these great comics more available to readers.

Aside from the crisp art that's as inspiring in black and white as it is in color (Purcell's traditional media work is dream-inducing), Sam and Max offers biting humor that turns from slapstick to black on a dime. Posed along with Purcell's whimsical storylines and characters, the self-employed freelance police are often send-ups in their own adventures. Hard-boiled detective tales, Americana, sci-fi, and even Cthuhlinan lore is more fun than any dog and rabbit should be allowed to have. But be glad that they are!

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