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Comic Review: Blue Estate #6
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Review by Matthew Manarino

Image Comics: Blue Estate #6Blue Estate #6
Point of No Return
Original Story by Viktor Kalvachev, Kosta Yanev
Script by Andrew Osborne
Art by Viktor Kalvachev, Toby Cypress, Nathan Fox, Robert Valley
Colors by Viktor Kalvachev
Cover by Viktor Kalvachev
Image Comics
Release Date: October 12, 2011
Cover Price: $2.99

Ever since I began reading Blue Estate it’s felt like with each new issue I’ve been holding my breath waiting for a lull in action or dialogue, or anything to give me a moment’s rest. Since issue #1, Blue Estate has been delivering a virtually unending line of pulp action and Blue Estate #6: Point of No Return is no exception. From the start, creator Viktor Kalvachev and his five-man team have made it their personal mission to drag us as readers down into the literal hell that is Los Angeles on the brink of a gang war. In Blue Estate #6 we are introduced and reacquainted with some of L.A’s worst, but instead of pulling us out of the cesspool, Blue Estate grabs us by the throat and yanks us in deeper.

Blue Estate follows a double-digit cast of characters as they lie, cheat, murder, and generally create havoc all over Hollywood and beyond. Each character from the failed Hollywood starlet to the drug-addicted stripper plays a pivotal roll in Blue Estate‘s complex story. L.A is boiling over as gang lords, part time private eyes, drug dealers, and cops settle grievances (almost always through violence). Everyone has something at stake in Blue Estate and plenty of bloods going to be shed before it’s all over.

Blue Estate #6: Point of No Return starts with shock and awe and ends with a murderous cliffhanger that the series has become so famous for ending it’s issues with. Writer Andrew Osborne is an Emmy award winning screenwriter and his work for film shines through every page of this book. When lesser writers would fill pages with endless dialogue to tell the rich plot line of this issue, Osborne says what needs to be said in one line delivered with razor sharp timing. Often times I could not even begin to predict where Osborne and Kalvachev were taking this storyline but after revealing their plan in Blue Estate #6 it instantly becomes apparent they know exactly what they were doing from panel one.

Artists Nathan Fox and Toby Cypress take art leads in Blue Estate #6: Point of No Return, and continue to weave their individual styles into each and every panel. Blue Estate has developed a unique technique that has each artist drawing designated panels but not the entire book. At any given time in Blue Estate #6 you could be soaking in the loose line, richly detailed style of Toby Cypress then suddenly be thrust into the hard-edged, heavy inked panels of Nathan Fox. It’s a unique direction for a comic and can mean and artistic disaster if not done with the utmost planning. However in the case of this issue Nathan Fox and Toby Cypress with the art direction of Viktor Kalvachev pull it off beautifully.

Blue Estate continues to be a master class in how with near perfect planning and direction a series can be more than just a pulp comic and actually become art. With it’s clever dialogue and brilliant team of artists Blue Estate #6: Point of No Return is a must read for any hard boiled comic reader.

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