Story by Viktor Kalvachev and Kosta Yanev
Written by Andrew Osbourne
Art by Viktor Kalvachev, Toby Cypress, Nathan Fox & Robert Valley
Published by EZD Productions
With the arresting and unique cover image that resembles a snapshot of the inside of Don Draper’s subconscious, Blue Estate announces itself as a something very different from the average indie comic. Set in a modern-day Hollywood where the bright lights cast the darkest shadows, the story takes in several interconnected characters from sleazy private investigator to a pair of married, fading movie stars by way of the mafia, L.A.P.D. and the russian mob. Throw in betrayal, secrets, lies and mysterious gym bags and we’re off.
By turns exemplifying and subverting the tropes of the noir style: here the statuesque, cunning femme fatale, there the nerdy, obese P.I. in a Star Wars tee who plays Nintendo Wii in his office and hilariously follows one of the bad guys on Twitter. It’s entertaining details like this that keep Blue Estate well away from falling into the trap that many crime comics (and not just crime) seem to fall into, that of confusing grimness and humourlessness with high quality drama. Blue Estate keeps it fairly light in the first issue but still presents us first signs of things inevitably going horribly, violently, wonderfully (for us) wrong.
Essentially, if Elmore Leonard wrote comics, Elmore Leonard would write Blue Estate.
Art duties are shared in a fascinating jam/mashup style, with each of the four artists switching off to denote a change in location, mood or timeframe. Something similar has of course been done many times before to for stories-within-stories or to create framing devices for flashbacks (recent issues of Avengers, for example). However while the effect can often be quite jarring in this case it makes for smooth transitions, even pulling off a seamless flashback-within-a-flashback. It helps that the collaboration between the artists is close enough that they can switch off between panels on a single page, allowing the different styles to flow organically into one another.
very highly recommended.
Check out the Preview http://comicbuzz.com/blue-estate-1-preview