The term originated in the Middle Ages and first described a preparatory drawing for a piece of art, such as a painting, fresco, tapestry, or stained glass window. In the 19th century, it came to refer to humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers, and in the early 20th century and onward it referred to comic strips and animated films.
Sam & Max is a media franchise focusing on the fictional characters of Sam and Max, the Freelance Police. The characters, who occupy a universe that parodies American popular culture, were created by Steve Purcell in his youth, and later debuted in a 1987 comic book series. The characters have since been the subject of a graphic adventurevideo game developed by LucasArts, a television series produced for Fox in cooperation with Nelvana Limited, and a series of episodic adventure games developed by Telltale Games. In addition, a variety of machinima and a webcomic have been produced for the series. The characters are a pair of anthropomorphic, vigilanteprivate investigators based in a dilapidated office block in New York City. Sam is a calculative six-foot dog wearing a suit and a fedora, while Max is a short and aggressive "hyperkinetic rabbity thing". Both enjoy solving problems and cases as maniacally as possible, often with complete disregard for the law. Driving a seemingly indestructible black-and-white 1960 DeSoto Adventurer, the pair travel to many contemporary and historical locations to fight crime, including the Moon, Ancient Egypt, the White House and the Philippines, as well as several fictitious locations. The series has been very successful despite its relatively limited amount of media, and has gathered a significant fan base. However, the franchise did not gain more widespread recognition until after the 1993 release of LucasArts' Sam & Max Hit the Road, which cultivated interest in Purcell's original comics. Sam & Max Hit the Road is regarded as an exceptional adventure game and an iconic classic of computer gaming in the 1990s. Subsequent video games and the television series have also fared well with both critics and fans; critics consider the episodic video games to be the first successful application of the episodic distribution model.
Steve Ross Purcell is an American cartoonist, animator and game designer. He is most widely known as the creator of Sam & Max, an independent comic book series about a pair of anthropomorphic animal vigilantes and private investigators, for which Purcell received an Eisner Award in 2007. The series has since grown to incorporate an animated television series and several video games. A graduate of the California College of Arts and Craft, Purcell began his career creating comic strips for the college newsletter. He performed freelance work for Marvel Comics and Fishwrap Productions before publishing his first Sam & Max comic in 1987. Purcell was hired by LucasArts as an artist and animator in 1988, working on several titles within the company's adventure games era. Purcell collaborated with Nelvana to create a Sam & Max television series in 1997, and briefly worked as an animator for Industrial Light & Magic after leaving LucasArts. He is currently employed in the story development department at Pixar. His main work for the animation studio has been with the 2006 film Cars and spin-off materials such as shorts and video games. Despite his employment with Pixar, Purcell has continued to work with comic books and came together with Telltale Games in 2005 to bring about new series of Sam & Max video games.