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Although probably best known for the classic Lucas Arts PC point-and-click computer game "Sam & Max Hit the Road," Max (full name Maximillian the First) actually got his start in comic books.
The pair act as freelance policemen (effectively private detectives) solving the most bizarre crimes with the most ludicrous outcomes. Sam is the more stable of the two and tends to have to restrain his implusive lil buddy from doing people harm but at the same time he has been known to use Max as a weapon when they are in a tight spot.
Steve Prucell first published a black and white Sam & Max comic back in 1987 and things were slow to take off but the following comics were a moderate success and were enough to bring them to the attention of Lucas Arts; who were looking to expand on their point-n-click adventure success Day of the Tentacle with another game utilizing the same technology.
Sam & Max was the ideal solution with this mix of slapstick and madcap comedy adventures they lent themselves to the themes and ideas that Day of the Tentacle had already laid the foundation for.
Max is a small verbose rabbity thing and the comic foil the straigt-laced Sam who is in the mold of a hard bitten 1940's film noir private detective. Max is his hyperactive partner and will often willingly resort to violence if the more level headed Sam doesn't restrain him, physically or verbally.
Major Story Arcs
Sam & Max Freelance Police
Sam & Max visit the moon in order to snuff out the roach problem.
Sam & Max Hit the Road
The PC game that got Sam & Max the wider attention they deserved and lead to the creation of the TV series.
Same & Max the Television Series
Following the smash hit of the PC game and the the successful reprints of the comic-books TV was the next logical step.
Sam & Max the on going online games.
After too many years away and a the vaporwear Sam & Max 3D Steve Purcell took the initiative and crated an episodic online Sam & Max point-n-click game series. The first episode was free and then he explored ways for people to easily purchase the following episodes that play as individual games but form a coherent series of ever building events.