The first published Sam & Max comic was available in 1987, containing two different stories: Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple and Night of the Gilded Heron-Shark. These were followed by On the Road and Our Bewildering Universe in 1989. The third series was published in 1992 and consisted of the Bad Day on the Moon story. Although all of these were originally produced in black-and-white, some were turned into colour later. For example, Epic Comics published the Special Color Collection featuring a number of old Sam & Max comics along with colour.
|Title||Year||First appeared in||Publisher|
|Monkeys Violating the Heavenly Temple||1987||Sam & Max: Freelance Police special edition||Fishwrap Productions|
|Night of the Gilded Heron-Shark||1987||Sam & Max: Freelance Police special edition||Fishwrap Productions|
|Night of the Cringing Wildebeest||1987||Critters #19||Fantagraphics Books|
|Fair Wind to Java||1988||Grimjack #52||First Comics|
|On the Road||1989||Sam & Max: Freelance Police special||Comico|
|Our Bewildering Universe||1989||Sam & Max: Freelance Police special||Comico|
|The Damned Don’t Dance||1990||Critters #50||Fantagraphics Books|
|Bad Day on the Moon||1992||Sam & Max: Freelance Police #1||Epic Comics|
|Beast from the Cereal Aisle||1992||Sam & Max: Freelance Police Special Color Collection||Epic Comics|
|Terror on the Tanbark||1992||Sam & Max: Freelance Police Special Color Collection||Epic Comics|
|Ponderings of the Ages||1992||Sam & Max: Freelance Police Special Color Collection||Epic Comics|
With credit to the Sam & Max Wiki for the comic listings. Clicking a comic title from the table will take you to the respective page on the Sam & Max Wiki.
Purcell produced a number of colour, single-page strips to act as promotional material for LucasArts’ The Adventurer magazine from 1990 to 1996. They were all based around games Lucas had coming out at the time, including Full Throttle (seeing Sam & Max pose as bikers) and The Curse of Monkey Island (they are picked up by the Flying Dutchman). Several short comics were also made through 1997 to 1998 to coincide with the animated series.
The Big Sleep was a webcomic from December 9, 2005 to April 18, 2007 on Telltale’s website and was made alongside their first season of games. It was the pair’s first comic outing in over a decade, and followed the story of an earwig’s effect on Sam & Max. The 12-page comic won the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2007.
Surfin’ the Highway
Originally released in 1995 under the title ‘The collected Sam & Max: Surfin’ the Highway’, the book was compilation of Sam & Max comics and artwork. It had 154 pages and was sold for $12.95, alongside a limited edition signed and numbered version. It was reprinted a year later in 1996, this time selling for $15.95. Copies of the original Surfin’ the Highway have been known to go for hundreds of dollars on eBay and are considered a rare collectors item.
To celebrate Sam & Max’s 20th anniversary, Telltale Games (creators of the episodic adventures) reprinted Surfin’ the Highway in a 197 page edition, sold at $19.99 in paperback and $49.99 in hardback. The hardback version was also numbered (out of 2500 commercially available) and signed by Steve Purcell. However, the limited edition version sold out at the end of 2009.
The updated version included everything found in the original, along with a foreword by Steve Purcell, new comics and pictures relating to the animated series and Telltale’s games. There was also a colour version of ‘Fair Wind to Java’, a comic strip originally only available in black and white.