Review: HIGH CRIMES #1
HIGH CRIMES #1
Monkeybrain Comics has been slowly and steadily rising among indie publishers since they launched their digital initiative last year. They have a slew of critically praised titles such as, October Girl, Masks and Mobsters, Red Light Properties and Unfair and after reading their new title, HIGH CRIMES, it’s easy to see why so many are jumping on the Monkeybrain bandwagon.
This title comes to us via writer Christopher Sebela and artist Ibrahim Moustafa and I can’t tell you how intriguing and fun I found it. The story came at me from left field and it’s concept is wildly imaginative. HIGH CRIMES is based around two guides for tourists who seek the thrill of scaling the Himalayas. The opening scene has Haskell Price uncovering a body buried in the snow of an unfortunate victim of the deadly peaks. Price’s methodical task of stripping the body of personal effects and retrieving an even more gruesome keepsake, meant for identifying a body, is shocking commonplace for him.
Later we find Price mentoring a young American, Zan Jensen, who is on the run from her past and running from any redemption that may try to find her. It’s becomes clear that they are not only adventure escorts for high paying tourists but use many untimely deaths of such thrill-seekers to turn a nice profit as well. It’s a plot point I have never even considered and why I found the concept so highly imaginative. But the finally plot twist is what sets this series up so nicely for what high-stakes Price and Jensen may have to pay for such an off-kilter money making scheme. When Price stumbles upon the remains of long lost Sullivan Mars the discovery puts Haskell and Zan in the sights of an organization so ruthless they are going to wish they never found Mars in the first place.
As I’ve already stated, writer Seblea’s concept took me by surprise and left me chomping at the bit for issue #2. He has written Zan as a human train wreck who can’t get out of her own way and Price as a man who has become strangely calm and oblivious to such a sinister profession. The pace of this book is brisk, which is rare for a story with so much to set-up, but Seblea does so by not beating you over the head with details. Moustafa’s art is integral in setting and keeping such a pace and Seblea writes to his artist’s strengths. The color palette of muted tones gives you a sense of the coldness of Mount Everest and is used to it’s highest effectiveness throughout the book.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of picking up one of Monkeybrains titles yet this is a great experience that will have you seeking out more of their titles. And if you have yet to tackle the digital comics realm, HIGH CRIMES, is more than enough reason to start a Comixology account. For the $.99 price tag you get a book well worth the price of an average printed book and no better way to spend a buck.
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics
Price: $.99 - Ages 17+
Release Date: 1/30/13