Steven Ross Purcell (born 1961) is an American cartoonist, animator and game designer. He is most widely known as the creator of Sam & Max, an independent comic book series about a pair of anthropomorphic animal vigilantes and private investigators, for which Purcell received an Eisner Award in 2007. The series has since grown to incorporate an animated television series and several video games. He performed freelance work for Marvel Comics and Fishwrap Productions before publishing his first Sam & Max comic in 1987. Purcell was hired by LucasArts as an artist and animator in 1988, working on several titles within the company's adventure games era. Purcell collaborated with Nelvana to create a Sam & Max television series in 1997, and briefly worked as an animator for Industrial Light & Magic after leaving LucasArts. He is currently employed in the story development department at Pixar. His main work for the animation studio has been with the 2006 film Cars and spin-off materials such as shorts and video games. Despite his employment with Pixar, Purcell has continued to work with comic books and came together with Telltale Games in 2005 to bring about new series of Sam & Max video games.
The Simpsons' eighth season originally aired between October 1996 and May 1997, beginning on October 27, 1996 with "Treehouse of Horror VII". The showrunners for the eighth production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. The aired season contained two episodes which were hold-over episodes from season seven, which Oakley and Weinstein also ran. It also contained two episodes for which Al Jean and Mike Reiss were the show runners. Season eight won multiple awards, including two Emmy Awards: "Homer's Phobia" won for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) in 1997, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics" with the song "We Put The Spring In Springfield" from the episode "Bart After Dark". Clausen also received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Music Direction" for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious". "Brother from Another Series" was nominated for the Emmy for "Sound Mixing For a Comedy Series or a Special". The DVD box set was released in Region 1 on August 15, 2006, Region 2 on October 2, 2006, and Region 4 on September 27, 2006. The set was released in two different forms: a Maggie-shaped head to match the Homer and Marge shaped heads of the previous two sets and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the seventh season box set, both versions are separately available for sale.