Brenton Nichol's Reviews > Sam & Max: Surfin' the Highway Anniversary Edition

Sam & Max by Steve Purcell
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's review
Sep 13, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: humor, comics-graphic-novels
Read in July, 2009

Sam and Max is a comic/game/TV series that long been peripherally aware of but never managed to experience until now, with this updated, complete print edition.

The book itself is well done, with a fantastic embossed cover featuring a hilarious drawing that tells you everything you need to know about Sam and Max. I wish I could have gotten a hold of the hardcover edition, but it was limited in number and I couldn't find it for less than a hundred bucks online. Even I, collector of Vertigo Absolute Editions, have my price limits.

The content of Sam and Max threw me a curve ball, but it was a welcome curve ball. Being described as a freelance crime-fighting duo, I expected there to be more than a bare minimum of gritty New York alley plot, but what I got instead was a series of over-the-top adventures and zany parodies that reside almost solidly in the realm of witty goofball humor. Sam and Max travel through time and across space via laughably simplistic and unrealistic means at times, while other strips make a point of entirely avoiding any explanation of how the duo got themselves to, say, ancient Egypt. I'm usually not a big fan of such over-the-top silliness, but in the case of Sam and Max, it was all hilarious enough that I found myself loving every page and wanting more; no wonder the ice cream-loving dog in a trench coat and the hyperkinetic rabbity thing are such icons of underground cult comics.

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