High Crimes #1

by Forrest.H on May 28, 2015

Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics
Release Date: January 30, 2013
Cover Price: $0.99
I owe Christopher Sebela an apology. Months ago, he emailed me all of the issues of High Crimes that were out at the time for me to review. How did I repay him? I totally dropped the ball, letting a little folder titled “High Crimes – READ ASAP” sit on my desktop for far too long. I want to apologize to these creators for not getting to this incredible book sooner. I plan to make it right over the next few days with reviews of issues 1-10 amidst sporadic tweets about how you guys should be reading this book.

There, that’s off my chest. Now, I get to talk about how fucking good this book is. Because, it really is.

I think, and Sebela says himself in the letter at the back of this first issue, that High Crimes is about a lot of things. It’s about failure, redemption, a feeling of manifest destiny, a need to survive and even bloody, visceral violence. Most importantly though, it’s about people.

Sure, there’s a monstrously tall, monolithic of a mountain that towers over the whole book. However, that mountain in all of its natural, imposing presence is, indifferent. Indifference is not interesting. A mountain has no goals, ambitions, fears or plans. Thankfully, the characters at the heart of this book are quite the opposite. Sebela leverages that difference to a greatly effective degree. With his counterpart Moustafa behind the pen, they make an interesting book about the kinds of people that climb mountains that are indifferent to their very existence. Not an easy feat.

Some of the people here are looking to make a quick buck. Others are looking to redeem themselves and even more, scary as hell, are looking for revenge. There's some really dramatic exposition and info dumping near the end, sure. But so what? compared to everything else this issue offers, one narrative misstep (almost always necessary in a first issue, anyways) is no big deal at all. 

There’s snowboarding, cut off hands, jets, fingerprinting and guns in this first issue alone. What else could you possibly ask for?

How about an intriguing mystery, naturally written and human feeling characters, art that rivals any mainstream comic book and oh yeah, secret agents.

This is a truly great first issue. One that’s built on a unique idea but that is driven by its people, not its plot. That’s the best thing a comic can be. A vehicle for mediation of the human condition even on a 29 thousand foot tall mountain. This is a hell of comic.

Issue two review soon. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside