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
The first issue of Blue Estate introduced a rich, complex and funny Hollywood noir world of shady deals and movie stars in their decline. The second not only carries forward threads from the first but does so while introducing and spending most of the issue with an entirely new set of characters, all in the orbit of Z-list starlet Rachel Maddox. It’s a testament to the writers’ skill that the complexity of the story never gets in the way of it’s accessibility and that an issue mostly involving expanding the existing cast is this pacey and incident-packed.
The art is just as impressive as in issue #1 and a lot of the credit should go to Viktor Kalvachev’s atmospheric colours. Comics colouring is perhaps not commented upon enough, though it can make or break a scene, in some ways serving the same mood-setting function as music and lighting do in television or film, though much like music it can be said to be at it’s best when you don’t notice it. Here it adds a layer of verisimilitude to locations as distinctive as the sunbleached streets of LA and a sleazy, underlit strip club. It’s something you can easily miss (as, ironically, it should be) yet it enhances the experience of reading the book immeasurably. Having a single colourist on a book with multiple artists also helps to tie everything together visually, making the already well-crafted transitions between artists completely seamless.
Also, one million billion karma points to the writers for the Charlie Sheen reference to (please God hopefully) end all Charlie Sheen references by pointing out how dumb and annoying Charlie Sheen references are.