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Monkeybrain Monday Review: “High Crimes” #1

Monkeybrain comics don’t specialize in anything save for quality books. “Monkeybrain Monday” showcases some of the digital titles this small publisher has to offer. This week’s entry may not be in print, but the fear is very real on the pages of “High Crimes.”

Christopher Sebela takes a familiar concept and twists something new into the heart of the story. The result is cooly refreshing like mountain air. It has a chill sense of dread with a protagonist who makes death his business, a supporting character who just can’t escape her past, and just when you thought it was a by the numbers murder mystery the antagonist bursts onto the scene and changes everything. This is how you write crime comics, folks.


WRITTEN BY: Christopher Sebela

ART BY: Ibrahim Moustafa

PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics

PRICE: $0.99



Its no secret that Christopher Sebela’s “Dead Letters” was a resounding success last month. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that’s what brought me here, but inside this comic isn’t the makings of a great crime writer, its an already great crime writer doing his thing.

Haskell Price and Zan Jensen are working literal cold cases. They take to mountains and dig up lost bodies in an attempt to trace their past and sort out their affairs. Of course they come to dig up the wrong man and involve themselves in a massive conspiracy.

“High Crimes” does an excellent job at taking a familiar concept and throwing it into an unfamiliar world. The things you come to expect with the genre are all here, but they have to be explained in radically different ways. Something as simple as a lopped off hand seems to be the most important piece of the puzzle.

Ibrahim Moustafa has bold and clean art that manages to make the dizzying peaks of the book look as threatening as the gun-toting goons. He has a style with a thicker line weight that reminds me of Michael Walsh. His colors are bold but appear to be diluted and a little washed out. He can also draw one hell of a frozen body, but that’s beside the point.

“High Crimes” is an incredible debut issue that spins several plates at once without faltering. It’s as impressive as it is engaging and manages to keep my interest despite being another crime story. Yet, it’s unique setting and complicated and morally ambiguous characters add a lot of heart and intrigue to the story outside the allure of a dead body. The idea of risking your life just to bill the survivors and remind them of the person they lost is wonderfully morose. 



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