Steve Purcell

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Born and raised in California, Steve Purcell has drawn his entire life. In fact, he still has drawings from when he was three years old, a drawing of Yogi Bear and another of Bozo the Clown. Around 1970, he and his younger brother Dave created the characters of Sam and Max, an anthropomorphic dog and rabbit detective duo. From that time on, Purcell has continued writing comics and telling stories, and it is his interest in storytelling that has led him around all parts of the entertainment industry.

Purcell has said that his major influences growing up were the Marx brothers, Peter Sellers, MAD magazine, Monty Python, and “creative people who have made their seemingly most self-indulgent artistic whims into a career.”

He went to school in northern California at the California College of the Arts where he became friends with fellow student Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) and comic book artist Art Adams. While in school, Purcell drew comics for the school’s weekly newsletter, featuring the two characters he and his brother created, Sam and Max.  After his graduation in 1982, Purcell began freelance work with Marvel Comics, Chaosium, and on Steven Moncuse’s Fish Police series. In 1987, after Moncuse asked Purcell to contribute another comic to accompany his successful Fish Police series, Purcell accepted and published his first two Sam and Max stories, “Monkey’s Violating the Heavenly Temple,” and “Night of the Gilded Heron-Shark.” Purcell published a third story in the animal anthology comic book Critters called, “Night of the Cringing Wildebeest.”

In 1997, Purcell left Lucasarts to develop a TV show based on his Sam and Max franchise called The Adventures of Sam and Max: Freelance Police.  The show aired 24 episodes in the U.S.  During this time he also co-authored and illustrated the Hellboy Christmas Special with Mike Mignola and Gary Gianni.

Purcell returned to ILM for a brief period of time before he joined Pixar to begin work on Cars. He contributed extra screenplay material and provided extra voice work for the film. He later designed the Screaming Banshee in the short Mater and the Ghostlight.  Purcell is credited with contributions to Ratatouille, and provided the voice of Carl Fredricksen for the short George and AJ, found on the Up Blu-ray.

Most recently, Purcell co-directed Brave alongside Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews.  He also co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Irene Mecchi, and provided the lyrics to the ‘Song of Mor’du,’ found on the Brave soundtrack.

Purcell currently lives in Petaluma, California with his wife and two children.

Tidbits

  • In 2005, Purcell began developing a Sam and Max game series with Telltale Games, called ‘Sam and Max Save the World.’   A webcomic for Sam and Max accompanied the game on Telltales website.  That webcomic won Purcell an Eisner Award for “Best Digital Comic” in 2007.
  • Check out Purcell’s personal blog and his Sam and Max blog 

Filmography

  • The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley (production unit)
  • Pipe Dream (video game; artwork)
  • The Secret of Monkey Island (video game; animator, background artist)
  • Loom (animator)
  • Monkey Island 2:  Special Edition:  Lechuck’s Revenge (animator; graphics artist)
  • Defenders of Dynatron City (writer)
  • Sam and Max Hit the Road (creator, writer)
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors (concept artist)
  • The Curse of Monkey Island (concept artist)
  • The Adventures of Sam and Max:  Freelance Police 
  • Cars (additional screenwriting material, voice actor)
  • Mater and the Ghostlight (additional character designer)
  • Ratatouille (credited)
  • George and AJ (voice actor)
  • Mater’s Tall Tales (voice actor)
  • Brave (writer, co-director, voice actor)
  • The Legend of Mor’du (voice actor)

Bibliography

  • Amazing High Adventures (1984) – cover artwork
  • Different Worlds #33, #35, #36, #37(1984) – cover artwork
  • New Mutants #43 (1986)
  • Fish Police #6, #7, #9 (1987)
  • Alpha Flight #47 (1987)
  • Sam and Max: Freelance Police Special Edition (1987)
  • Critters #19 Sam & Max in “Night of the Cringing Wildebeest” (1987)
  • RuneQuest (1987–88) – cover artwork
  • Gumby’s Winter Fun Special (1988) – writing
  • GrimJack #52:  Sam & Max in “Fair Wind to Java” (1988)
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police special (1989)
  • Critters #50: Sam & Max in “The Damned Don’t Dance” (1990)
  • Marvel Comics Presents #41:  “Wolverine” (1990)
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: “Bad Day on the Moon” (1992)
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police special color edition (1992)
  • Fast Forward #3 (1992)
  • Defenders of Dynatron City (1992)
  • The Collected Sam & Max: Surfin’ The Highway (1995)
  • Dark Horse Presents #107 “Rusty Razorclam, President of Neptune” (1996) – writing
  • Hellboy Christmas Special (1997) – writing
  • Wizard:  Sam & Max in “Belly of the Beast” (1997)
  • Oni Double Feature #10:  Sam & Max in “Skeptical Investigators” (1998)
  • Totally Fox Kids Magazine #10:  Sam & Max in “Something’s Not Right Here” (1998)
  • Totally Fox Kids Magazine #31: Sam & Max in “Action Figure Surgery” (1998)
  • Batman Villains Secret Files and Origins #1: “If A Man Be Clay!” (2005)
  • Sam & Max: The Big Sleep (2005–2007)
  • The Age of S&M (2006)
  • The Effigy Mound (2007)
  • Sam & Max: Surfin’ The Highway anniversary edition (2008)
  • Brave: One Perfect Day (2012)

Interviews

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