Happening @ CAM

Sam & Max – Swift and Mirthful Justice: The Art of Steve Purcell

November 2, 2013 – April 19, 2014

Please note that the Cartoon Art Museum is closed on Easter Sunday, April 20, and our Sam & Max exhibition will conclude on April 19, 2014.

Opening reception: February 1, 2014


The Cartoon Art Museum is pleased to present Sam & Max – Swift and Mirthful Justice: The Art of Steve Purcell, the creator’s work on exhibition from November 2 to April 19, 2014. This exhibition features original Steve Purcell art from across the years, including highlights from independently published comics, an animated television show, videogames and more!

Raised in Northern California, Steve Purcell’s career has been eventful and diverse to date, including years with Lucasfilm’s videogame division LucasArts as well as Industrial, Light & Magic.  Mr. Purcell’s now infamous Sam & Max Freelance Police series originated in comics he drew in his youth, and first published in the school newspaper while attending the Bay Area’s California College of the Arts.

Sam & Max are a 6’ tall fedora wearing canine and his hyperkinetic rabbity-thing partner, who tangle with ludicrous criminal elements and absurd paranormal bugaboos from their home base in a broadly fantastical New York City. The first Sam & Max independent comic book “Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple” (titled after a firework) was released in 1987.  After a series of follow-up comic books, Purcell worked with a team at LucasArts to create the critically-acclaimed Sam & Max Hit the Road videogame in 1993. Sam & Max moved to television in an award-winning animated series in 1997, an Eisner Award winning webcomic, and games for multiple platforms, including three seasons of acclaimed episodic adventures from Telltale Games.  Sam & Max stories are characterized by Purcell’s wry sardonic style of humor; abundant, multi-syllabic exclamations; crisp, bold and extremely imaginative visuals; and subjects that run the gamut from pirates to road trips, outer space and urban legends.

Mr. Purcell joined Emeryville’s Pixar Animation Studio shortly after his time with the Lucas companies, where his most recent credits include co-writing and co-directing on last year’s Academy Award-winning Brave.  He continues to reside in Northern California, with his wife and two sons.

To celebrate this new exhibit, Steve Purcell’s Sam & Max comics in the comprehensive Surfin’ the Highway collection will sell for special 50% off promotional pricing November 2 and 3 at the Cartoon Art Museum Store, as well as digital versions on all platforms through Comixology.  http://www.comixology.com/Sam-Max-Surfin-the-Highway/comics-series/9350

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