This new graphic novel, The Initiates, written and drawn by Etienne Davodeau, will certainly make my top five graphic novels of 2013! The subtitle of The Initiates is "A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs", which also serves as the best description of what this graphic novel is about.
Etienne Davodeau, the cartoonist / creator of The Initiates, decides that it would be interesting for is friend, Richard Levy, a wine-maker, and himself to both become familiar with each other's life passion and vocation. They don't trade jobs, although Etienne works with Richard in his vineyards to get a better understanding of what goes into wine-making. Obviously, it would be much more difficult for Richard, who is unfamiliar with the artform that we call comics to just immerse himself into the creative process of making a sequential art production, so he gets his schooling of this medium through Etienne giving him graphic novels to read, taking him to a printer, going to comic festivals, and meeting cartoonists.
I don't know that much about wine, but do like to drink it from time to time (although my preferred adult beverage is beer, like a good hefeweizen, Blue Moon, or Samuel Adams). From reading The Initiates, I now have a better understanding of how wine gets from the vine to the glass and even if you have no interest in drinking wine, after reading about the processes that Richard Leroy goes through to make his wine, you'll get an appreciation of all the variables that goes into wine-making. And for those of you who like wine or know someone who likes wine, but don't have much of an understanding of the alternative / European comic scene, The Initiates gives one a good exploration of that side of that part of the sequential art world. This beautifully designed 267 page hardcover is highly recommended in every respect by Ich Liebe Comics! and Alternate Reality Comics!