We’ve been big fans of the Monkeybrain digital comic “High Crimes” by Chris Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa, and we were so excited to see the book get an Eisner nomination this year. It’s a well earned nomination for a great series (the first installment of which you can read for free right here) and one that we’ve actively been looking to support.
As such, we reached to Chris Sebela, friend of the site and all around nice guy, to see if he had any interest in doing something with the site as part of our ongoing fifth anniversary celebration. And it’s with that in mind that we now present to you this three-page comic, which has not appeared in the series. Created for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, it’s a dark little story related to Sullivan Mars, whose corpse discovered on Mt. Everest kicks off the events of the book.
Here’s a note about the comic from writer Chris Sebela:
As we were wrapping up High Crimes #6, Ibrahim Moustafa and I were asked to contribute a story to the CBLDF DEFEND book, a Free Comic Book Day comic all about freedom of speech and the dangers of messing with that. Besides the attendant panic of being part of two huge staples of comic books at once and the pressure of trying to figure out how to make a book about drug addicts and mountain climbing remotely relevant to freedom of speech, we had to figure out how to make High Crimes play in just three pages. No pressure.
So instead of focusing on the hook of our book, we turned to our shadowiest character, Sullivan Mars, and his journal full of ugly little stories like this. As High Crimes is a book about conspiracies among other things, we wanted to explore how these theories get made and whether suppression doesn’t inadvertently cause information to spread farther and faster than it normally would. Mostly, though, it was nice to tell a story without tents or snow or mountains.
Ibrahim pointed something out to me towards the end of production on this I hadn’t noticed. Strange Truths is the first time Mars ever speaks “out loud” in High Crimes, not just through the pages of his journal. I’d be lying if I said we’d planned that, as some kind of sly little nod to freedom of speech, but High Crimes has been full of happy little accidents like these, so we’ll take it.